The haze clears from my vision; I’m sitting in a wooden chair in front of an old metal desk with a heavy wooden surface. Grey light seeps in from a nearby widow; I look up at the ceiling for a moment, everything feels very familiar. It snaps into place as my head clears. This is my bedroom, my childhood bedroom at my parent’s house.
Still-lives-with-his-parents me looks down; I’m holding something in my hand. It’s a rejection letter from a job application. I look up; the wooden desktop is filled with rejection letters.
“Thank you, but we have filled the position.”
“We have found another candidate for the job.”
“Thank you for your time.”
“Overqualified for this position.”
“We will keep your resume on file for the future.”
“Good luck in your future endeavors.”
A lot of pretty words that all translate into fuck off. I stand up and walk over to my dresser. I slide a ringer t-shirt on and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I’m pale, scraggly hair. Instead of my normal love handles I have fat rolls. Rejected-me has sure let himself go.
I head down the familiar steps, chubby bare feet thumping on every other step. I turn the corner in the hallway and step into the kitchen. At a long rectangular table sits Mom and Dad. I feel immediate elation, after three years gone, after the pain and hurt and loss he’s sitting right in front of me.
They can see the look on Rejected-me’s face and their hopeful smiles turn to concerned frowns.
“Something will come up Bud.” Dad reassures me as I shrug and grab a bowl of cereal.
My eyes fall into the bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats as I shrug. Damn it, all I want to do is reach over and hug Dad, tell him how much I missed him, tell him I love him. I want my eyes to well with tears, I want to wrap both arms around him and never let go. But I can’t, I have no control and it tears me to pieces.
Mom is reading through the newspaper, “Hmmm… the classifieds just aren’t what they used to be.”
“It’s okay Mom, I’ll keep looking online.” I push an especially crunchy Mini-Wheat into the milk and scoop a soggy one onto my spoon.
I feel Dad’s large warm hand on my shoulder, he squeezes just a bit. It feels so great, but Rejected me just shrugs it off. “I’m going out.” I stand up, dropping my spoon into the milk. White 2% splashes onto Mom’s gaudy tablecloth.
I feel the expectant jerk around my waist, the grey clouds form around my eyes and in an instant I’m alone in Pat’s lab.