The alarm clock let out a shrill, tinny sound and Liz’s eyes snapped open to yet another dark Winter’s morning.
In that fuzzy moment between dreaming and waking, it took her a second to pinpoint where that obnoxious sound had come from. She had been having such a wonderful dream and the sudden jerk to the reality of her dark bedroom was like a harsh slap in the face.
The flash of hot pink from her bedside table drew her attention. The clock spelled 6:35; time yet again to drag herself out of bed, down a cup of the cheap bitter sludge that called itself coffee, and make the arduous journey across half of London to the office where she’d spend her day staring blankly, zombified, at a computer screen. Just the same as every other day, Monday to Friday, 9 to 6. The relentless monotony of it all made her want to just lie in bed forever, fuck the job.
The alarm sounded again. Groaning, she rolled onto her side and flung her arm out to press the snooze button on her cell phone. Her matted hair obscured her vision as she held the brightly lit screen up before her face.
Out of nowhere the memory of harshly exchanged words came to her mind. A tall man in a sharp suit and a head of slicked back grey hair — her boss — and two words, spoken harshly but with feeling.
The memory of those two words rang in her ears, and all of a sudden the entire conversation flooded back into her mind and she was overcome with a headlong rush of euphoria, and had to stop herself from laughing with joy.
She was free! She could do anything with herself! For a moment she simply lay there imaging all sorts of wonderful things she could do with her day: she could go out for brunch, go for a walk in the countryside, meet up with her friends for coffee, take a spontaneous trip to another city. For the first time in her adult life, her day was entirely her own to do with as she willed!
Flinging herself back down onto the covers, she pressed the cancel button on the alarm and spent the rest of the day cocooned in the warmth of her bed.