Holding On

6:00 AM

The alarm clock sounds and he immediately knocks it to the ground, breaking it. He opens his eyes and looks up at the ceiling for a while – tears rush down his face.

He gets up, sits on the edge of the bed for a few moments and sighs. He gets undressed, puts on his socks, his underwear, and heads for the bathroom. He uses the toilet, washes his hands and proceeds to wash his teeth. He spits, he rinses, he washes his face and wipes it with the towel. He looks at himself in the mirror for a while – tears rush down his face.

He goes back into the bedroom, gets dressed, and goes into the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator, takes out a carton of milk and notices it’s empty. He looks around the kitchen and grabs some oranges. He squeezes them and pours the juice into a tall glass. He sits down at the table, looks out the window at his neighbor in the apartment across the courtyard watering her flowers and takes a sip of orange juice – tears rush down his face.

He finishes his juice, gets up, goes to put his shoes on, his jacket, and he grabs his umbrella and his briefcase. He heads out into the pouring rain, walks for five minutes towards the bus station and notices he’s about to miss the bus. He runs as fast as he can and manages to get into the bus just as the door closes and his umbrella gets caught in it. He’s forced to sit next to the door until the next bus stop when the door opens again. He looks at his umbrella and realizes it’s broken – tears rush down his face.

The bus arrives at his stop and he gets off. He runs through the rain with no umbrella for a few minutes until he enters his office building. He walks through the lobby, runs to catch an elevator going up and misses it. He gets the next one, which is empty. As he’s going up, The Girl from Ipanema starts playing inside the elevator. He looks up at the speaker – tears rush down his face.

He gets off on the 14th floor and is greeted by the janitor who is replacing a light bulb. He walks around the office, making his way through all the busy people and finally gets to his desk. He puts his briefcase down, takes off his jacket and sits on his chair, soaking wet. He looks around the office for a few moments, then he turns his attention to his desk. He takes a stack of papers and moves it a little to the side. He notices a framed picture next to his paper tray. He stares at it for a few minutes, water dripping on the back of his neck. He reaches for it, hesitates for a moment, and takes it into his hand. He stares at it a little longer and then puts it face-down on the desk – tears rush down his face.

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