This was so depressing I went back and added the last paragraph when editing. It kind of follows a similar vein to Katherine the Great, in so for as people seem to spend a lot of time trying to do things to make themselves successful to be happy, when sometimes you just gotta take a minute to stop and smell the roses.
Caroline felt that at her core she was a work in progress. She was a person, but not complete. At 40, she still looked around when a child looked for an adult, not yet feeling that she was up to wearing that mantle of responsibility.
She wasn’t where she should be in her career. She didn’t own a car, or house, and she wasn’t close to having the money to do either. She didn’t travel or have luxury goods to explain her lack of the other.
She had no husband, children, or even a prospect of either., not that she wanted them them, and that was the hardest part to explain to other people. Caroline felt as if she was a variant, some small defect had left her just shy of fitting in any of the molds, and so went through life unformed, unfinished, and unfulfilled.
That wasn’t entirely true though, not really, because Caroline was happy. She was happy in her apartment, her dead end job, her hobbies, and her dog. Maybe, what she needed to do was not focus on reaching her finished state, but to redefine what it was she was aiming for. After all, success is what you make of it.
This was based on the Six-Sentence Story prompt “reserve” by girlontheedge. I am going to apologize now, because this is incredibly depressing, and unfortunately real world even though it is fiction. It is focused on Christmas and the growing realization that people are having that this isn’t going to be the joyous, pandemic free holiday that people have been expecting.
I held my own opinions in reserve as I listened the boisterous holiday talk around me, not wanting to be the one who soured the mood with a dose of reality. I did not have to wait long, as with each day and each new case announced the feeling of unease grew, and the murmurs changed from joy to discontent at what kind of Christmas we would be having.
The holiday masks of the prior year, once thought to be a decadence due to their short term use, were being pulled back out with an air of sadness. Friends and family asking the question if they should forgo this Christmas to try and avoid being in the same boat next year, while others who didn’t have many seasons ahead of them worried this might be the last chance they got to see their families.
For the second year in a row, lines were drawn, and people were split in their decisions, though some had changed sides since the year prior, with whether or not they were willing to take the risk, to potentially get sick, or end up trapped far from their own homes.
I looked out at the scene that was set with snow, decorations, presents galore, and all that was missing was the holiday spirit of those who were being reminded that Dr. Seuss’s was right, that it wasn’t the same if we didn’t have we.