Another failure, making seventeen within a month and a half. She never failed to keep track of them, not once. Her mother would tell her that it makes things worse to think about it, but how could she not? It was seventeen failed job interviews since she started job hunting and little more than a month has passed!
She released a dejected sigh as she wandered the sidewalks on her way home from her most recent flop. "Maybe I'll try again tomorrow? Or, no, wait, if I try again tomorrow, I'll just wind up thinking about today and then I'll fail that one too!" she mumbled to herself as she strolled along. "Then next week? Maybe a bit to late? Or too soon? Is there a right time to apply after a failed interview?
"Maybe I should ask mom when I get home. I hope she doesn't mind. But maybe she will mind! Then what? I should ask someone, right? I should-!"
"Excuse me, ma'am!"
She jolted in place for a moment, letting out a brief, yet sharp cry of surprise. She turned her head to the left, where a raven-haired man stood, staring straight at her with his full attention. "Uh, um, yes, sir?" she asked nervously.
"You do realize you're talking to yourself, right?" he said, his words feeling blunt, yet somehow tinged with a bit of apathy. "I'm not an expert or anything, but I'm pretty sure your social and professional life isn't something you just blurt out in public."
Her brief adrenaline from being surprised faded fast, giving way to immense embarrassment that someone had heard her. Had it not been for this confrontation the man was presenting, she likely would have droned on and on in unwitting ignorance. "Oh, I'm so sorry, sir! I didn't mean to talk so loudly!" she replied, her volume coming in unintentional excess.
The man stuck a finger in his ear, rubbing it as if his ears were ringing. "That's okay, miss, just tone it down, okay? Don't need to go bursting any eardrums." It was a little harsh, she found, but she didn't blame him. She's always had a bit of a problem controlling her volume when she wasn't paying attention.
She was fuming from her distress at the situation and, in a panicked fit, apologized to him a second time, turned back, and tripped over an incredibly slight uplift in the sidewalk in an attempt to abscond from the conversation. She let loose a yelp for the split second of descent before she felt herself stop. In the next moment, she felt an arm reach around and lift her up to her feet. "You need to watch where you step."
The man had saved her from a sudden and nasty fall. And yet, even though he had lectured her, he seemed a tad distracted. It was curious, but she felt that she'd taken up too much of his time.
"Thank you and sorry again!" she quickly said, taking her time to make sure she didn't trip again before hurrying, slower this time, towards home. As she headed away, she growled in self-hate at her clumsiness, her lack of awareness, and her panic. It was a mortifying moment for her to remember. She had hoped she wouldn't see him again, not to discredit what kind of man he was, but to hopefully not recall that moment.
She soon arrived at home the moment she resolved to push that event as far back into her mind as possible and called to her mom that she was home, heading straight to her room. A room with deep blue wallpaper, notebooks and journals piled onto a desk in the corner, across from her closet, which had a full-body mirror hung onto it. A few posters for movies lined her walls, with a TV on top of her chest of drawers in the middle of it all. Upon her bed laid a teal and a ocean blue striped blanket with a couple of stuffed cats messily laid across it. Finally, the most defining part of her room was the messy floor, with books, more journals, and more plushies scattered across the carpet.
She navigated around every item littering the floor and plopped herself right onto her bed, sighing with relief at being home, being in her room, and being in her bed. The day had been very disappointing and mentally taxing. However, her mother seemed to have different thoughts.
Her ginger-haired mother stepped into her room, not bothering to fully enter, lest she lose her balance over a happy stuffed cat. "Alisa, how did it go?" her mother asked hopefully. She wanted Alisa to grab a job so badly, that was as clear as glass.
"Badly, again!" Those two words from Alisa's mouth were enough to drive the hopeful gaze to disappoint and empathy for her unfortunate girl. Alisa frowned miserably at her mother and asked, "Do you really think I can do this? I've had seventeen failed interviews, mom. Seventeen!"
"Oh, Alisa, I've told you to stop keeping track," she scolded softly. The woman looked down at the floor and carefully stepped into the room, going to sit on the edge of Alisa's bed. "Listen, I know getting a job seems tough, but you're just a bit too panicked. If you can just keep your calm and really tough it out, you'll get one." She gave her daughter a quick kiss on the forehead. "Trust me on that."
She got up and made her way out, making sure to look down again, asking Alisa to clean up before disappearing out the door. Alisa sighed and sat up in her bed, throwing her feet over the side and getting up. She started picking up her toys and journals and such, making quick work of things, tossing the plushies onto her bed, the books into one of her drawers and journals onto the desk, of which a few fell off again, annoying her. After managing to teeter her journals onto the desk without them falling off again, she sighed bittersweetly as she had finished cleaning her floor.
Now, though, she simply felt icky. It was probably because of the rush home after the... incident. She likely hadn't noticed due to her relief of coming home, but now that she wasn't focused on anything, it was glaringly clear. "I should probably take a shower," she said to herself.
"You do!" her mother called from the kitchen. Apparently she spoke too loudly again. For now, it didn't matter as much, but it was something she knew she needed to work on later.
Alisa sighed as she prepped for her shower, heading to the bathroom and undressing, removing the suit she'd used for the job interview earlier. However, once she'd fully removed it from her body, she noticed something. The suit was torn up on the back, near the collar. "Oh no! How did this happen?" Did it get caught on something? No, she would've felt it, wouldn't she? Her mother was not going to be happy with this, but she'd simply have to deal with it then.
The suit being the only professional attire she had available, she wouldn't be going to any more job interviews until she got a new suit or this suit got fixed. No job interviews meant no chances of getting a job. With that revelation, her day went from bad to worse exceedingly quickly.