Emma waited until five o’clock before giving up. “Fine,” she said to the phone. “Don’t call me.” The interview yesterday had gone well, she knew it had. So why hadn’t they called for a second interview? “I’m too old,” she told herself, looking out the front window at the wilting daisies in the front yard. “My skills are outdated,” she continued, jaw muscles twitching. “They want younger people. People who’re willing to work all the time.”
Emma ate her dinner, but it didn’t sit well. Her mind wouldn’t stop. She was a failure. She would go bankrupt. She would lose her house. Her father had been fired in his early fifties and had died before he turned fifty five. Would she have a similar fate?
Finally, she decided to deadhead those daisies. She didn’t need reminders in her garden of used up things. But even then, she played the interview over and over again in her mind. Where had she gone wrong? What misstep had she made? “What do people want,” Emma asked herself through clenched teeth as another daisy head fell to the ground.
The daisies taken care of, she turned her attention to weeding. As she knelt on her gardening pad, gloved hands working the soil, it wasn’t long before Emma felt calmer. She imagined the earth receiving her angst and anger, her fear and resentments, and sifting and mixing all of it with rock and soil, breaking everything down to its base elements.
Ninety minutes later, feeling empty in one way and full in another, Emma went back inside.
In the morning, she’d begin her job search again.