john e. kilberg
Maybe wearing, or having the image of, the American flag will make someone more American. To be an "American".
A woman works in a shoe store on the corner of two streets. Her husband is a contractor, and doesn't do much of the family thing. Affecting her, as it would, she feels neglected, unloved and emotionally abused.
To be in that situation is not one you want to be in, you find yourself in them. Complaining about your home life is not going to get you anywhere, not to your friends or your living parent (if you are lucky and happen to have one).
Late to work, looking in the mirror before going. Makeup isn't on, clothes aren't picked out.
She leaves home running, calls in to work to give the heads up.
Missed the alarm. Feels heavy, can't move, no motivation. She feels the weight in her chest, can it be? No, it's not a heart attack. But it is stress. She calls in to work, she's running late.
Up early this time, throws up. Carrier bag packed, shoes on, and is hovering over the toilette. Her husband happens to be home and up with her and helps her to the bed.
"Stay home." He says.
She calls in to work to call out.
4 Days Later
Finally better. Every morning was like a repeat of the first as she felt sick to her stomach. Getting ready to go in to work, she heads out feeling somewhat rested and slightly un depressed.
Reaching the shoe store on the corner of two streets, she sees in the window a person setting up, opening up, doing some of her tasks.
"We hired someone else."
That's all they said to her. She looks at the woman her took her job. It was someone of Spanish decent, and in the woman's mind,
"A Mexican took my job."
"An illegal." ?
The woman walks home, angry at her job, angry at her boss, angry that it came true to her, an immigrant has taken her job.
Walking into her home, she feels the empty air, and the sound of something down the hall.
2 Days Later
The woman divorced her husband after finding him in bed with another woman.
The day he moved out was the day she breathed again and felt herself rise with energy like she had been at least thirty years old again.
She smell of her perfume again lies on her skin. Looking into the mirror she sees herself.
Walking down the street, looking for work, she passes by her old store and looks into the window.
The woman who had replaced her looked dedicated. She looked committed. She looked like someone who wanted to work.
Looking in the window seeing her own reflection, she realizes this woman is no different than her, when she works hard. And in the past few years, she has not been working hard. To lose a baring like a relationship gone sour, she is remembered of what happiness is. This woman didn't take her job, she earned it. This woman doesn't let her life ruin her work, this woman works hard.
Walking away from her old shop, just before she breaks her stare through the shop window, their eyes meet.
The woman smiles.
She feels a feeling she had not felt in a long time.