She felt like her life was falling apart. She had always prided herself on how in command of any situation she was. All was carefully planned and executed. It all started to unravel on that day. She would never forget it. Her company had a new CEO who was 20 years her junior. Conner Cassidy had big plans for shaking up the status quo with the latest business practices. Out with the old and in with the new. It turned out the old included her, Amanda Adams.
Amanda woke up with a start as the trash truck rumbled by her house. She usually would have been up and out much earlier but that was when she had a job. Now one day ran into another and a regular schedule escaped her. As her head cleared it took her a few minutes to realize where she was. She struggled to focus her eyes on the bedside clock.
“Ten o’clock! I better get going. I have the budget meeting in a half an hour.” That’s when she remembered there was no meeting. She didn’t work there anymore. Amanda dragged herself up and into the kitchen. She still needed her morning coffee. Some things never changed. As she sipped the strong brew she found herself ruminating on recent events.
” After devoting all those years to that company I’m thrown out without any apology or thanks for all my efforts. I hope they’re happy with that inexperienced new grad who replaced me.” Amanda recalled how Conner had lit up when Carey came in the room, his eyes following her every move.
“This is getting me nowhere. I’ve got to stop thinking about it.”
Amanda had been given a severance package and realized she was luckier than some of her friends who had been retired from their jobs before they were ready. She just felt at such a loss.
“What do I do now? I wasn’t ready to stop working this soon. I hoped to work for at least 10 more years. I’ve got to try to move on but I don’t want to work for minimum wage at a job I hate.” She was lucky she had the severance but would have to cut back on expenses. Her house was on the market and she hoped to find a smaller place in a less expensive area. In the meantime, she needed to get out of the house. She signed up for a class at the local community college. It was a class on Film Noir. She had seen it listed in the college catalog before but never felt she had the time or energy when she was working. Now she had the time, plenty of time.
Her eyes scanned the room on the first night of class. Except for a few younger ones, most of her classmates were her age. The instructor was introducing the films they would be covering. As he spoke she found her mind wandering. She had seen many of the films long ago. They were before her time but she had always liked those old black and white films. One film on the list stood out in her mind. It was called ‘Dial M for Murder,’ about a man plotting his wealthy wife’s death so that he will inherit her money.
Amanda found herself enjoying the class and was an eager participant in the group discussions. She enjoyed the film screenings put on by the instructor. She and her classmates had fun dressing up in the styles that were depicted in the films.
The last film of the series was to be Amanda’s favorite ‘Dial M for Murder.’ Her blonde hair made her a perfect fit to match the lead character, Margot, who was played by Grace Kelly. The class had a great time at the party after that last screening. Amanda knew she would miss everyone after it was over. She did write down a few of her classmate’s numbers and hoped they would connect again soon.
It was a warm evening and she left the French doors open. She was getting ready for bed when she heard the telephone ring. She glanced at the bedside clock and saw it was after 11. Who could be calling at this time of night? She walked into the living room to answer the phone when he stepped out from behind the French door curtains.
Word count: 730
***The last part of the story follows from the plot of ‘Dial M for Murder.’ I thought it was fun to work it into my story. Featured image of Retirement Tiara by Steven Depolo on Wikimedia.org