Two Weeks | By: Curtis Williams | | Category: Short Story - Friendship Bookmark and Share

Two Weeks

Two weeks in Mississippi. Free from stresses of work and the cretins in my family. I almost flipped out of my chair when they called my ticket during the raffle. It’s hard to believe that I was reluctant to join the damn thing in the first place. If wasn’t for my co-workers, I would still be lying in my bed right about now, praying to God our office was either torn down by an Earthquake, or robbed. At one point in time, I loved my job. When I first joined Illinois Action for Children, a company dedicated to keeping kids in school, I was young, fresh out of college and ready to experience what living on my own was like. I had just bought a house on Montrose and Broadway, a few blocks away from the newly built office. One of my associates let out a sharp whistle as we scanned our new site. “Damn, look at those windows!” shouted another. “I can brush my teeth lookin’ at these.”

 Walls coated with fresh gray paint, office utensils scattered along the black rug; cubicles lined up neatly in the room’s center. Trash bins, printers and roundtables stacked at different corners of the walls, with posters of soldiers who died in Afghanistan hanging above them. Giant panes of glass acted as barriers, bringing in sunlight and a great view of city, while at the same time separating us from the irritating noises of traffic. During those times, I was proud being an Action for Children Coordinator. Took me five years to become Supervisor-of-Teen-Parent-Programs. Then the people at the top became greedy bastards. We merged with partners who couldn’t care less about our mission to keep kids off the streets. More Young workers like me got into the system, except they didn’t know a thing about their jobs. What’s worse was that they were being promoted a year after they arrived. Five more years passed and I remained a supervisor, now in danger of being replaced.

It was a six hour drive to Shaw, Mississippi. Half of that was spent in a ford van staring at open fields of farms. The rules of the trip allowed me to bring two people and since my co-workers, Sabrina and Johnson convinced me to join the raffle, I decided to let them tag along. My cousin James lived out in the country and would show us around while we stayed at the Alamor Hotel.

“There’s nothing down there but racists and huge bugs that chew tumors on your ass,” I frowned folding my arms. I was becoming skeptical. Leaving a city where I did nothing to come to another place where there was nothing to do didn’t sound like a vacation to me. Both my friends sighed in aggravation.

Johnson sucked on his teeth and flipped his baseball cap backwards. “Your crap is gettin’ old. Since you so excited about this trip, drop his whiny ass off right here, Sabrina.”

She slapped a hand against her forehead, tucking some short hair behind an ear. “I’m thinkin’ about it. In a minute, you about to get a tumor from me kickin’ you out that window. Enjoy the ride and shut up.”

“Harold, my man,” James called out when we pulled into the hotel’s parking lot. Beads of sweat rolled off of his dark, bald head as he embraced me in a hug. Alamor hotel was surrounded by a chain of restaurants and a highway. Across from the parking lot, next a dirt road, sat an open field, followed by a forest. I introduced him to my co-workers, then we all headed inside to register.

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