My alarm started to beep at the regular time; 9:30 in the morning. I love working from home. Because I don’t have to wear a suit, make a commute, or pack a lunch, there’s literally very little I have to do in order to be ‘presentable’ for work.
A lot of people at my firm do the same actually, the city is awful to move through if you’re forced to commute with everyone else. It’s packed, and even though people rarely have problems, it’s just kind of a drag. Besides, who doesn’t like to work while wearing sweatpants?
I hopped in the shower real quick, and then put on some fresh clothes. Getting out to the kitchen, I popped some bread in the toaster, and looked at the clock. 9:52. Not really enough time to watch TV. I’ll flip it on for my first break.
After punching the button on my computer and powering up my work phone, I heard the toast pop up. Before the butter could even melt, I heard my phone vibrate in the other room, two pulses for a text. Then two more.
Plate in hand, I made my way back to the office. The log in screen was up already, and a notification LED flashed on the phone. “I can’t believe it; this is awful.” “Taking the day off, you understand, right?” Two texts from the same coworker. “What are you talking about?” I typed in the response.
Setting the phone down, I typed in my password to my computer, and my desktop loaded up. I normally check my email first thing in the morning, but for some odd reason I decided to skip over Outlook and move straight to my browser.
Google immediately popped up, showing an illustration I had never seen before; our flag at half mast. As I typed into the search bar, it auto filled to go to the national news site. “The King Has Passed.” The page had been taken over by the text in boldface, sitting upon a background of the royal palace at the middle of the city.
The phone vibrated again. “Haven’t you seen the news?” My coworker had responded. “I just did. I think I have to do the same.”
Setting the phone down, I looked back at the computer screen. I averted my eyes. Turning on the TV, the news station started to play. The reporter was talking over the feed of the King’s adviser standing at the royal podium, head bowed, as he spoke quietly into the microphone. The king’s two daughters stood in the background, holding tissues to their faces. As the camera zoomed out, the crowd standing in the royal gardens and plaza came into view.
Muting the sound on the television, I got out of my chair and moved to the back wall. I slid open the matchbox, half full, and pulled one out. Carefully, I lit each one of my candles, their faint smell drifting into the air. As the lights flickered daintily against the back wall, I pulled out my phone and scrolled down to my sister’s entry in the contacts. I stared at her number, wondering if I should wake her up; late night her time; to give her the bad news.