Fable

This page is an experiment – it is not perfect. It is hard to publish things that aren’t perfect.

This is a fable written about a small company and the people who run it. It is being developed on the spot, with you as a witness. It is my challenge to myself to be vulnerable and take risks. As I write it, I’ll publish it here – the story will unveil before us together, unedited with all its flaws.

May 5, 2017

The backup alarm is screaming unrecognizable lyrics from across the room as Sara jolts awake, realizing once again she’s fallen back asleep scrolling through her Facebook feed. “Shit,” she mumbles to herself as she pulls herself out of her warm cocoon and into the crisp morning. She clicks the television on and Morning Joe is cheerily chatting away as she makes her way to the coffee maker. Distractedly as she checks her phone to see what emergencies have erupted in the 6 hours since she last checked she calls to the kids, “Lucas, Sasha, we’re running late, come on.”

Three emails from her boss, John, between the hours of midnight and three am, all worrying about some unforeseen possible disaster that could occur in their big meeting with the potential community college partner they’re meeting with this morning. She can feel his anxiety creep into her stomach as she pulls on her blazer, screaming more seriously this time at the kids to get ready. Phone in hand, absently pouring cereal, trying to process the latest protest to our countries new president that’s coming over the airwaves, Sasha’s voice breaks through, “Mom, Lucas won’t get up, I think he’s sick.”

“No, no, no, not today, I can’t miss this meeting,” Sara worries out loud as she makes her way to Lucas’ bedroom. The orange tiger stripes he wanted to paint on his wall with the jungle themed trees and elephants that he wanted when he was five greet her three years later though he now finds them too babyish as she walks in to check on him. “Good morning sweetheart,” she coos as she touches her hand to his head to be met with a heat that could only come from a fever over 100.

“Damn it!” Sara thinks as she kisses Lucas on the check and walks out of the room to call her ex, Doug. Doug answers groggily, “I’d love to help but remember I’m in Denver at that conference and it’s only 4:30 in the morning here.”

“Shit, sorry, ok, I have to go, I have to find someone.” She quickly spits out, pressing the button to end the call before the words are fully out of her mouth.

“Please be awake Jessica,” she prays to herself as she begins a text to her sister. The ding wakes up Jessica up, having grabbed a couple of drinks with her co-workers after her shift at the restaurant the night before.

“Of course sis, I’ll be there, so long as you don’t mind pajamas and have lots of coffee”

The words flash across the screen, and Sara lets out the breath she’s been holding and turns her attention to Sasha, “I’m not going to be able to drive you to the bus, I have to wait for Aunt Jessica to get here.”

May 12, 2017

Sasha rolls her round charcoal eyes in that way only a 12-year-old eye girl can manage, snatches her backpack off the counter and storms out of the house ignoring her mom’s Cheerios and calls about wearing a jacket. She trudges to the bus stop snickering with pride that her mom didn’t notice the rip in the thigh of her jeans.

Sara checks her phone again to gauge John’s stress level, attempting to review her notes once again on Johnson Community College while the morning news flashes images of refugees detained in airports and protestors filling the terminals. The sun streams in through the East window hitting the crystal perfectly as the light fractures creating tiny rainbows dancing across the marble counter island and she flashes to the moment she and Doug fell in love with this place. Back when they thought their lives were on a very different path, just after Sasha’s adoption, when the two of them could conquer anything. She can see Doug leaning against the doorway, his thick, jet black hair falling over his left eye, his smirk, and the way his eyes almost wink without actually moving, a reminder to her that she’s got an invitation into their particular, private world.

Her sister Jessica blows through the door exclaiming curiosity about the number of people on the road by 8 am, mindlessly chattering as she beelines to the coffee maker.

“How would my life work without you Jess,” Sara smiles as she hands her the half and half, pulls the Children’s Tylenol out of the cabinet for Lucas and heads out the door.

May 19, 2017

Sara swallows her anxiety and pushes the voices in her head telling her she has no business being here, that they are all going to figure out that she’s not really that smart and send her back to her college job at Starbucks. Her breath is shallow and she clutches her coffee for strength and forces the thoughts out by repeating “you got this.” Glancing at her phone to assure Jess hasn’t texted with any emergencies she walks through the door of Easy As 1, 2, 3.

She’s struck by an incredible sense of pride as she looks around the math center. They’d grown so much in the last few years and it seemed like an eternity since she and John celebrated crossing the million dollar mark. “I did this,” Sara thought to herself, “they never would have gotten here without me,” Sara remembers all the all-nighters she thought she had retired in college, writing and rewriting the curriculum, the training materials, the marketing materials and her confidence boosts as she walks through the center into their corporate offices who’s buildout costs still loom over their P&L.

The conference room is bright and modern, walls made of frosted glass designed to hold all of their brilliant and creative ideas, plans and drawings though they tend to remain blank, seeming to prefer their more functional purpose, to hold up the room.