So this one will hit hard for anyone who has went through a large layoff, and been one of the ones still standing after it all. I have been laid off a few times, but until a bit more recently I had never experienced this from the side of those left behind. Tried to work a little of that feeling into this, and then twisted it a little and ramped it up to a 9.
Her chest heaved as she tried to get air, and at the same time tried to breath evenly to imitate calm. She quietly excused herself and walked as quickly as she dare towards the washroom, feeling the warmth in her eyes the signified the welling up of tears.
She went into the last stall and let out a ragged gasp, just breathing, trying to breath, and calm down. It was okay, the worst thing that they could do was fire her. It was okay, she would be okay, she could live on unemployment, she would find another job, and why were people being such assholes today?
She wiped her eyes, blew her nose, used the facilities and centered herself in the mirror. It is okay, I will be okay, she squared her shoulders, turned, and walked out into the chaos that was the loss of too many jobs, none of them hers.