The Death of Good Days

by Alexandra Cunningham

Today will be a good day. She says the words aloud as she peers at her reflection in the mirror. Lifting a hand to smooth down her soft brown hair, she feels the tendrils fall through her fingers. Blue eyes stare back her. Her mother’s eyes, she thinks, though they lack the sagacity of her mother’s gaze, not yet colored by the wisdom of age and experience. Instead, the eyes that gaze out of the glossy surface have been colored by tragedy, their blue the dismal color of an oncoming storm. She turns away, not glancing at the counter littered with small orange bottles topped with crisp white lids. Her delicate hands tremble as she reaches for the door. The bus ride to work is long and the itchy red material covering the bland, grey plastic seat irritates her bare legs. At work she yells that table two wants a bacon sandwich and a double cheeseburger and smiles at a talkative gaggle of young girls. She chats with a couple who have greying hair and love-struck gazes and brings piles of napkins to frazzled parents of children who are devouring ice cream. She walks from table to table, moving and talking and smiling until she can feel the exhaustion in her bones, her eyes hooded by heavy, closing lids. Carried by dragging feet, her weary body finds its way to the bus stop, illuminated by a single, flickering street light in the darkness that overwhelms the space around it. She floats on a blissful cloud of languor, relaxing into the bland, grey plastic seat. Stumbling to the door, her hand reaches out to grasp the cool handle, pushing into the small, brick home. She calls out in greeting, voice echoing in the empty home, fading into the air around her. Silence surrounds her, shattering her into a multitude of broken pieces, leaving her helpless to the crushing waves of despair that beat against her broken form. She lets her eyes fall shut, and allows herself to believe that she can hear feet padding through the halls of her small home, the echo of laughter bouncing off the walls, the weight of a delicate silver band and glittering diamond on her finger. She permits herself to forget the crisp white sheets and the sharp, antiseptic smell, the whirring of machines and the steady beep that stopped much too soon. She sinks into the soft, creamy cushions of the couch and lets herself forget him saying that all of our days our numbered, so make each day a good one, even when I’m gone. She lets her mind create an idyllic fantasy so that when dismal blue eyes stare at her from the glossy surface of her mirror, she can steel her gaze, and hear her forced words fill the silent home. Today will be a good day.

Alexandra Cunningham is an up-and-coming writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has loved reading and writing from an early age; however, she has only recently begun to share her work.