Date: September 9, 3345
Location: Oceana, VA
Rain tapping on the window pane beckoned Sarah from her sleep. The reality of her unemployed status and the fact she still lived with her parents added to her dispirited state. The coffee pot’s gurgling interrupted outside’s pitter-pattering. Dad’s awake. She thought, rolling out of bed. Using the kitchen light like a lighthouse, she navigated through the living room. Her father gave his morning salutations as she entered. She poured a cup of coffee and returned the sentiments. His hair stretched out like a jet black octopus. She was sure hers faired no better. Her mother entered, bee-lining to create her morning concoction of joy. Two creamers, two sugars, a splash of coffee, and a sip allowed her to conduct a legitimate conversation.
Sipping their java they conversed about the day’s agenda. For Sarah it was uploading her degree and searching new jobs. Her parents were off to their nine-to-five. Sarah plopped on the couch and updated her online profile. A Master’s degree in journalism, eleven electives, and four internships brought hope. Upon hitting “Submit” eleven job posts pinged. Excited she reviewed each one. Three were from American East Coast Herald, her dream job. The others were B-rate jobs she could tolerate. After reviewing and submitting her acceptance, it was lunchtime.
Three replies illuminated her Sleeve. This device was nothing more than a stretch-material sleeve, encasing a cellphone sized processor, with screen, covering her forearm. Upon looking at the Sleeve, a number 3 blinked in the corner. Sarah listened as each message repeated the same formatted message.
“We appreciate your interest in [said company], but we are regretful in informing you that we have moved forward with other candidates.”
The dark gloomy weather captured the essence of her heart sinking. Failure seemed more real. Grabbing her gym bag, she vowed not to capitulate. The rain, however, fought back. Soaked from waiting for the Metro-bus, she stepped to the curb as the bus approached at a distance. With eyes looking upward, she asked, Could it get worse? Her face met a splash of water from a speeding car. With her body drenched she boarded the bus, found the first open seat, and remained quiet.
After her workout she returned home. Still dripping from her new nemesis, “Rain”, she plopped on her bed and peeled her sneakers from her feet. Seven pings came in from her sleeve. Nervous, she waited till after the shower to hear the messages. Warm and dried once again, she turned her focus back to her Sleeve. Tears formed as each one repeated the message from earlier. Maybe, it wouldn’t have hit so hard, but two were from the American East Coast Herald. This left only one more chance to land her dream career. Tears fell as she questioned the probability of landing that job. A final ping summoned her from her thoughts. Her world collapsed as she listened to the final message. It would be another thirty days before new posts were available.
After the waterfall of tears subsided, Sarah knew she needed to get out of the house. She didn’t want her parent to come home inquiring, comforting, and recommending. Sarah wanted to let them know on her terms. She needed to set and sort this out on her own.
Setting with a tall coffee and pastry, she noticed her college mentor from her freshman year setting at a table next to her. He smiled and waved her to join him. It was comforting to hear his voice. Soft, yet masculine, she always loved to listen to his wisdom. After explaining her situation, he smiled and asked if he could review her profile. As he scrolled through the pages on his Sleeve, she sat in silence. Her mind raced with dread as the storm outside intensified.
“Are you currently unemployed?” He asked without looking up.
“Yes” she replied with reluctance.
“Then you can drop by my office tomorrow at 9 a.m. I have a starting position for a journalist. It will be a lot of footwork, but I believe you will fit the bill.”
“I’ll be there…” She realized she didn’t know were there was. “Where do you work?”
“New Technology Department at the American East Coast Journal.”
Although the storm didn’t let up, Sarah’s day got a little brighter.