Ev had just made it in the door when the phone rang. She set the groceries down in a heap and searched three different pockets before she found it.
“Yeah? Peter is that you?” She shuffled off the coat one arm at a time to keep the phone to her ear, “I can barely hear you, what’s that in the background?”
“Oh, it’s just people, I guess. The terminal’s really crowded. I just thought I’d call before boarding.”
“Ok,” She pinned it between ear and shoulder as she stuffed things in the bleak little fridge, “Did it go alright?”
“Yeah, fine, sure,” a vocal shrug of shoulders, “Another trade show, y’know? How was your day?”
“Yeah? How was work?”
“Alright, I guess.” What needed to be was put away. Ev left the other bags aside in favor of the couch.
“Just alright?” Peter asked. A boomy mechanical voice announced something in the background.
“Yeah, just alright. You know how it is.”
“You sound bored.”
“I am bored.”
“Then why don’t you look for something else?” said Peter the optimist. Ev rolled her eyes, and was glad he couldn’t see it.
“I have. A little.”
“And…” Ev trailed. There were, of course, lots of things available. A few she qualified for. A very few she was interested in. None of which would pay even close to enough.
“And,” she said, “I dunno, nothing really fits. Or I don’t fit. Or something.”
“Did you see anything you hate less than you do now?”
“I don’t hate what I do now, that’s the awful part,” Ev took a deep breath, “It’s a good job. I’m glad to have it. I am. And I feel like shit complaining about it, because I know I actually have it pretty good, but I don’t enjoy it. It’s not at all what I want to do for the next five years, much less the rest of my life.”
Ev laid down on the couch, feeling like her face was starting to burn up.
“And on top of that,” she continued, “I can’t leave, because a) anything I’m actually qualified for is just more of the same, and b) what I actually want to do doesn’t pay enough to cover living and the student loan payments on the degree I needed to get this job in the first place.”
“Ev,” Peter’s voice was garbled.
“So I’m stuck. And it’s fine. And nothing is wrong, but it still sucks, and I feel like an asshole for thinking it.”
“Sorry,” she wiped the side of her face, becoming suddenly aware it was wet, “Sorry, Peter. I didn’t mean to go off on you like that. It’s just… It’s been a day, that’s all.”
“I know, Ev,” he was the most consoling person, “What do you ##########.”
A mass of static passed through the line.
“What?” Ev sat up, “What? Peter, you’re breaking up.”
“Yeah I know,” he said somewhere in the slush, “I know, I think we’re boarding in a minute here and ########.”
“Ok,” she gathered herself, “Ok, I should let you go then.”
“Yeah. Hey, Ev?”
“So what are you going to do?”
She could hear the terminal shuffling behind him. And the clock ticking in her own, silent house. One breath. And another.
“I don’t know.”