Route 7 Review - Page 129

The Hunger By Tessa Adams Percy was on his way to work on this very important day. Before he walked out, he checked his appearance. He smiled and adjusted his tie so that it was centered. He grimaced and he felt his face relax to its normal state. He looked up at the clock and frowned. It was tilted ever so slightly, and this would not do. Not today. It had to be perfect. This was a very important day after all. He turned back to look at his living room before he walked out of his house. His eyes bounced between the neatly organized bookshelf and the dusted coffee table. It was ready. With a sigh and his eyes set, Percy trudged to his dusty brown Alero. He admired its state. The car wash did the old thing some good. Everything was just as it should be. He was going to do this today. His drive to work on this very important day was much like all of the others, except he knew the choices he would have to make in order to persevere. Like Whitney. It seemed so easy for her. He’d do it for Whitney. He thought back fondly to their walk around the lake by his house. At the time, he was questioning whether or not to take a job offer, and she was listening intently. Her beautiful blue eyes were soft with understanding that this was his only choice, and the breeze allowed her hair to frame her cheeks. What had she said? “Once you desire more, Percy, it’s simply over for your old life. It’s not important how you change it. Just that you do. Do it right away. Don’t stop to question. Once the hunger hits you and grabs you and won’t let go, only then will you know it’s real and it’s time. You’ll know, Percy.” He liked to remember Whitney’s words each morning before he arrived at work. He liked to think Whitney was right about him. That he’d be so sure of himself when the time came. That he’d be so confident he could take hold, find his voice, and finally say it. What would happen? Would the cap come off like a shaken soda? Would all of the words begin fizzing out in a sugary stain on the carpet? He’d say all that should have been said for five years. He’d speak for himself and all of the others. There must be others, he thought. The advantage of having her in his head was that he could feel in control for the few minutes it took him to drive to work. What was it about that place that sucked away his confidence making him believe that he deserved no better than what they gave him in pay, respect, admiration? For now he chose to remember Whitney. She had a way of making him believe he was invincible. As Percy pulled in the parking lot, he found a stall towards the entrance. This will be a good place for today. I’ll want to get out quickly and not look back. I’ll need a short walk to my car. This is perfect. Pulling in, he put the car in park and left his sun glasses out of their container. This would be acceptable today. He wouldn’t be gone long. He labored to pull himself out of the car and grimaced at his reflection in the car window as he shut the door. Percy entered the lobby for what would have to be the last time and inhaled the cocktail of paper, plastic, and cologne. He was close enough to see the name plate on his boss’s door. He planned to walk past the window-encased office, stare straight into his dark, blood shot eyes, and look away without acknowledgement. Would that be enough? Would Mr. Tillman walk right out and try to make him stay? He hoped so. He would lock eyes, swear a perfectly timed expletive, and march out the door. No. That would be irresponsible. He had to get to his desk. He wanted to tidy up before making a scene. Before chasing the hunger. He approached his corner booth in the firm and pulled out his chair. Percy decided to take his time, memorizing what trapped him on this very important day. This was his last day here. After all, he had decided. The only element that made this day the most important day rather than every other day he had