Hailey wasn’t expecting to go to the park today. But with the day she had she needed to get out. It has been so long since Hailey had any time to herself. Expectation after expectation kept drowning her.

With each morning coffee was her savior. The sugar rush and caffeine that flowed in her veins, was motivation enough to push through each grueling day.

Today however, was the last straw. Hailey barely had time to take one sip of her coffee. Her boss was already at her desk with a stoic expression. Without as much as a greeting he tossed a few file folders and a massive stack of papers. She begrudgingly sat down to get started but was interrupted by her ear sore Margaret.

Margaret was the type of person that has gone through life having things done for her. Hailey could just imagine her as a child with a silver spoon in her mouth. Margaret’s parents must’ve have been doting on her with attention, food, gifts,and anything she desired. Margaret, now a gorgeous auburn haired women a few years younger than Hailey, gives her a sickly sweet grin.

“Hailey be a dear and help me out with the presentation coming up, tomorrow is the deadline and I haven’t even done the introduction”

Calm. Deep breaths. These are the two things Hailey repeats when engaging with Margaret.

” Margaret I already have a desk full of papers.” Hailey points to the large amount on her desk.

“Oh, that’s barely anything I have seen our managers do twice that much. Besides you are the smartest person for this task. I wouldn’t go to anyone else.”

She never has. For every assignment that is “challenging” for Margaret, Hailey is the go to woman to get it done.

Hailey’s heartbeat wasn’t steady. She can’t recall the last time it ever was. It has constantly been waking up, going to work, finish, head home, type up her work, finish Margaret’s, and sleep in and out while stuffing a piece of bread in her mouth.

Hailey’s repetitive routine has gone long enough. With her ambition and drive on a low simmer all these years, she felt a small spark. A flare up that has been waiting to emerge.

Hailey recalls in just a few short seconds of all the attitude and assignments that have been given to her. All the days she had to call and cancel plans with her two closest friends from college. The last phone call she got from her mom which was more of a demand than a how are you, that she should be working even harder if she wants that promotion at work. Her dead dad who was her only cheerleader in high school when she wanted to be in a play. The way her parents would argue left and right about which vegetable was the healthiest for her when she didn’t care for either at the age of five.

” You know what Margaret. Learn to do the assignments. You think I wanted to gladly take your assignemtns because I am a nice person? No I didn’t”

“Wait Hailey where is this coming from?”

Hailey slams her hand bag onto her desk. the one thing she does before doing her assignments, yet she couldn’t even get that done.

” I am sick of doing your work for you. I am not babying you anymore.” Other coworkers peered beyond their cubicles to listen further. Hailey’s simmer became a huge heat wave. It grilled her brain, she can feel her mind strettching from one side of her skull to the other.

Margaret became teary eyed and Hailey’s moment of pain stopped. Hailey felt small but relieved.

” I am taking my lunch now.” Hailey takes her bag and tries to keep her footing aligned.

When exiting the building she doesn’t think about her priroties nor responsibilities for survival. She doesn’t know where she is going. Everyone seems composed out here in the open streets. They looks so well put together. One foot in front of the other they walk. Cell phones in hand, peering at the time, talking to a friend, walking with others. Car horns fill her ears like music.

Hailey didn’t expect to take another right and cross the street. Her eyes dart towards the huge concrete steps. Then grass. She observes the greenery on the floor. A small radio sits on one of the glass tables,blasting calming sitar music. Hailey feels her lungs and her brain. She can feel how uncomfortable her button up and pencil skirt feel across her skin.

Hailey takes a moment to plant herself in the grass and observe the cotton candy in the sky. She needs this. Clarity and pure serenity. She breathes it from the tips of her pointed shoes to the palms of her hands.

This is what they call a stand still, and Hailey relishes it. She closes her eyes. Decompress, decompress, don’t fret the small stress.

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