As Jane paced along the worn-out, cement footpath, she could not bare contemplating about the day that lay ahead of her. Bills, records, letters, paperwork, bills, records, letters, paperwork – she could not even find one silver-lining that was associated with her day-to day job. The sun slanted irritably towards her semi-freckled face as she unlocked the door to her office. As she stepped in, her head immediately retaliated backward as she inhaled a wave of stench accumulated from her newly-ordered carpet. That was another reason why she extremely disliked the city – everything seemed dirty, polluted and unnatural.
But this was the usual, day-to-day life of Jane. She stepped inside, closed the door and fell onto her chair with a heavy sigh. The thought of enduring another day of paperwork was unbearable especially in a room with scarce amount of entertainment. For the last 27 years she had been restrained in the very same, compact office of with the same wallpapers, same desk and same chair. The only difference was that the pile of bills, records and letters would seemingly appear higher and higher as days, months and years flew past. Nevertheless, she brushed these thoughts away and began to start working.
Seven hours passed. Her eyes darted towards the ever-growing pile of bills, records, letters and paperwork. She had no possible idea how, when or if she would ever end this continual onslaught of mundane tasks. Even the utter slightest thought of having to deal with piles of paperwork gave Jane a headache. Her fingers distressingly ran through the strands of her smooth-silk her as she absent-mindedly skimmed through the never-ending piles of paper one by one. She desperately needed another cup of coffee, in order to at least stay awake throughout the remainder of the evening.
She could only wonder, what had gone wrong? When did she get to the point where she was swimming amongst swarms of never-ending piles of paper? It seemed like for years and years she was being restrained in her office; restrained in the imaginary world of paperwork where they was no beginning or end. She was tired, stressed, worn out. A piercing ringing could faintly be heard from the direction of the phone; however she had neither the strength nor the willpower to endure the voice at the other end.
As the hours passed, she contemplated what it would be like not to suffer the stress of an inner city office. She could imagine herself being woken up by the harmonious chipping of the birds, having the freedom to hop out of bed at any time she desired. Perhaps, she thought, she could live by the sea. Nothing too extravagant, only a modern beach-front house where the fresh scent of the pristine ocean mingled in the air. She couldn’t help but think about becoming adrift from a life filled with deadlines and pay cheques.
As another hour passed, she contemplated of the use she had being stuck in a dull office right in the heart of the Melbourne city. She thought, “What is it that is making me keep on working and living in this place?” After minutes of contemplation, to her utter shock, she did not have an answer for herself.
She removed her pencil from the position it was perched in her well-maintained hair and began writing. It was as if she was possessed by an uncontrollable force that she didn’t have the ability to stop.
Her heart beat rapidly. She skimmed the words that she had written on the faint blue lines of her notepad. In her mind it was perfect, the ideal way to make the transition from the hectic bustle of the office to the mellow life of the unemployed.
Her fingers pressed against the keyboard, in an almost instinctive manner. This letter of resignation was her avenue into what she had always yearned for. She watched as the ink spat from the printer to form the words and remembered, in her university years, how she had watched with envy the seemingly unexciting lives led by ‘rural folk’.
She wasn’t even trying now to suppress the smile that lit up her face, and with a sigh she whispered, “Now I’m finally free!”