Ringing for Change – A Short Story

As the alarm went off, Eve reached out and hit the snooze button. Ten more minutes she thought to herself. Ten more minutes before the normal, boring routine of her life started.

Eve knew how today would go. It would be exactly the same as the five previous years she had lived through. Get up, have a shower and get dressed. Go downstairs and put the coffee on, ready for Adam to wake up. Whilst the coffee percolates, wake up Tommy, help him get dressed, brush his teeth. Back downstairs to make breakfast for them both. At 0830 am both the men in her life would kiss her goodbye and leave. The day was then spent cooking, cleaning and washing. At 3 pm, pick Tommy up and help him with his homework. Adam came home at 5 pm, he normally grunted a hello to Eve. He ate his dinner and then sat semi-comatose watching TV until they went to bed.

Eve once again leaned over and turned the alarm off. Strange, Adam was not in bed. Eve couldn’t remember the last time Adam had been up before her. Going downstairs Eve went to put the coffee on.

There, standing in her kitchen was a 20-year-old, muscle-bound, naked, hunk.

‘Hey babe, you’re up late,’ the guy said, as he walked towards her, kissing her.

Eve heard herself say, ‘Scott, I told you I have a later meeting.’

Eve had no idea where this had come from or why she had said it.

As she sat drinking her coffee the rest of her life came to her like a showreel. Eve had fallen pregnant at 21, like her other life. After Tommy had been born she returned to work after 6 weeks. From there her career had flown, she was now managing director of her own HR company. Addicted to work, her family life had suffered. She was divorced at 25, Adam had gained custody of Tommy. Eve now saw Tommy once a month.

Eve knew she had to get ready for her 10 am meeting. Going into her wardrobe she looked at her expensive selection of clothes. Choosing a Chanel dress, a Prada handbag and Louboutin shoes, she yelled bye to Scott. She went into the garage, to her brand new Audi. Eve was starting to enjoy this dream life. Was this a dream life or was the other world a nightmare, she couldn’t work it out.

Without knowing how, Eve knew her way to work and her office. The meeting was long and boring. Eve, however, was starting to enjoy spending time with other people. For once, people listened to what she said and were interested in her opinions. A fancy lunch followed the meeting. Then another couple of meetings. Before she knew it her workday was finished, it was 8 pm. Home to hunky Scott and then out for an evening with friends.

This was how her life continued for the next week. Her last life started to fade into the background. After the first week Eve received her weekly phone call from Tommy. He sounded so distant to her. She tried to talk to him about common subjects she knew he loved. As his one-word answers mounted up, her heart began to break. She remembered her dream of being at home with him. The feeling of his little hand in hers on the way home from school.

Over the next week, the longing and loss became worse. Eve was continually tired and Scott was thick. He looked pretty but as far as debating current affairs with him, it was impossible. How she missed Adam’s quick mind and analytical thinking.

By the end of the third week, Eve was a tearful mess. She had been signed off with depression. Scott had moved out 3 days ago, luckily he had left an old tracksuit which Eve was now wearing. Her designer wardrobe didn’t accommodate slob clothing.

By the end of the fourth week, Eve had not washed or changed her clothes. She barely ate, instead she sat daydreaming about the wonderful dream she had a month ago. That night she’d had enough, she went to bed knowing that if she woke up tomorrow she would be ending her life.

The alarm clock woke Eve and she felt the depression settle on her like a black cloud. That’s when she heard the soft snoring coming from beside her. She looked over at the sleeping form of Adam and her heart skipped a beat. Without worrying about making coffee she threw herself at Adam.

Coming to, he enveloped her in his arms.

‘Hey, you, what’s wrong?’

‘Adam, I have had the worse dream,’ she sobbed resting her head on his chest. ‘I love you so much.’

‘I love you too, babe’ he answered.

At that moment Eve heard the tiny patter of feet as Tommy came running into the room. As he threw himself into his mum’s arms, tears rolled down Eve’s face. Adam leaned over and hugged her.

‘Baby, what is wrong? How about I take the day off and we go out on a nice family day?’ Adam said.

The day was amazing, the best day ever. Eve would never moan about a normal day again.

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