Posted by: fictionopia | January 7, 2009

1.03 “Sarah…it’s not a bonus.”

Sarah set out for work trying unsuccessfully to put behind her all of the morning’s predictions. Blessed distraction came in the form of the ring of her cell phone. Sarah was relieved — until she saw the caller ID.

“Hi, Drew.”

Drew, it turned out, hadn’t seen Melody Neel’s interview that morning and by the end of the call, the words “pop the question” were the furthest thing from Sarah’s mind.

* * *


Sarah was hunched in the corner of her cubicle whispering into her phone.

“Who wants to Marry a Castaway?” Sarah repeated. “Drew is going to be on a deserted island with 19 other guys competing for a chance to marry a swimsuit model.”

“He’s leaving you to be on a reality show? And he tells you this today?” Kate asked incredulously.

Before Sarah could say that tomorrow would not have been any better, her boss had called and asked to see her in his office. Promising to call Kate later, Sarah hung up the phone.

Sarah worked as an office manager at an independent film production company. Her boss, Thomas King, was a 26-year-old award winning filmmaker whose mother sometimes dropped by the office to bring him lunch, “to be sure he’s eating healthy.”

King’s office was chaos with books and file folders everywhere. Sarah moved a stack of scripts off a chair and took a seat. Her boss sat across from her with his hands clasped in front of him.

“Sarah, for the past year you have held this place together. I really want to thank you. That’s why I have this for you.” King handed Sarah an envelope with her name written across the front. Inside was a check for $210.

“A bonus? Mr. King, I can’t believe you remembered my birthday,” Sarah said. And before she could stop herself the details of her morning were tumbling out of her. Tears welled in her eyes as she told the story.

“Sarah,” said King, “It’s not a bonus.”

* * *

“What!” Kate exclaimed.

“Severance.” Sarah was walking home from the subway when Kate had called to check on her. “He’s flat broke.”

Kate and Sarah’s conversation was momentarily drowned out by the wail of sirens. Sarah waited for two fire trucks to race past before continuing. “Kate, I’m thirty years old. I’ve got no job, no boyfriend. The wheels are coming off my life.”

“Sarah, things could be worse.”


“You could be living at home with your mother,” Kate joked. Sarah almost laughed too…until she saw the flames.

“At least you and I will still be roommates.”

“At your mother’s? How do you figure that?” Kate asked.

“Because,” Sarah sighed deeply, “our apartment is on fire.”




  1. r u sh*ttin me!!!!! now i have to read the next page and its past my bedtime.

  2. sorry i kept you up late 🙂

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