Back from Boston. Too tired to explain this random scene.
Claire slammed her fist on the desk. Marie flinched, surprised.
“The people in this office aren’t intimidated by you!” Claire screamed at her, bracing her hands on the desk and leaning forward, “They think you’re a laughingstock! Honestly, can you get over yourself for a minute? You waltz in here like you’re the Queen of England and throw orders around that half the time don’t make any sense – half the time you’re late or hung-over or god knows what – you haven’t been here for a week – everyone knows you got this job because your father gave it to you, which is a shame because, god, M, you could be good at this!”
Claire paused, breathing heavily. Marie hadn’t moved a centimeter since she started.
“Listen, some of the things you come up with on a whim are brilliant,” Claire continued, softening somewhat. “If you tried, if you applied yourself to this job, you could excel at it, really. Why don’t you have any ambition?”
Claire stopped, apparently waiting for an answer. Marie shifted and looked up.
“You ugly, pathetic bitch! How dare you question my right to be here?” Marie screamed, standing up. “Get the hell out!”
Claire whirled on her heel and stomped to the door, yanking it open and pausing. She turned her head back to Marie.
“No one gives a shit that you’re pretty and popular. One of these days, you’re going to have to face the music, and what will you do then?”
She walked out, slamming the door behind her. Through the clear glass Marie watched her grab her purse from her desk, storm towards the elevators, and slam the button with one hand. As Claire disappeared behind the closing elevators, Marie felt the attention in the office turn towards her. She heard a low murmur of voices and grins concealed hastily behind hands, eyes reluctant to meet hers, but wanting to see her reaction.
Marie swiveled in her chair to face the giant picture window with its idyllic view. In a movie, she thought dryly, this is where the clouds would roll in so it could start raining to symbolize my internal turmoil. Unsurprisingly, it’s a beautiful day. She watched the sunlight glitter on the water until her urge to smash something had largely faded.
I’m turning twenty-five in three days, Marie mused. I’m still single. Most guys would sell their souls to sleep with me. I’m still attractive. I’m getting older. I’m still extremely popular. I have a high-paying job. My dad got it for me. My employees think I’m an idiot. Am I an idiot? Claire thinks I’m an alcoholic. I’m definitely not an alcoholic. Oh God, am I an alcoholic?
Marie rubbed her eyes hard with her fists, then looked down at the bruises on her wrist.
“I’m definitely an idiot,” she moaned quietly to herself.