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Hello, everyone! I've finally regained an ouce of creativity after what feels like forever, so I've decided to write something! Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy what I have so far!

this has been revised!!! 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.



Acres of painstakingly-maintained green grass decorated with a winding patch of rocks surrounded the Martin manor. At the northeast corner, a decent-sized field of Fragarias grew rapidly under the bright sun’s rays -- in the middle, a team of half a dozen gardeners were weeding and harvesting the ripe red strawberries that jutted from the base of the plant.  


Calysta Martin's maternal protrusion preceded her full presence at the window next to her older brother. Looking out over the expanse of land owned by her family, the Martin's, her chest welled with pride and serenity. The head gardener, Will, crouched on one knee next to an unidentifiable gardener and passed on his harvesting know-how. Precisely, which strawberries were fit enough to be served to the Martins, and which were fit enough to be harvested for Calysta's preservation and delicacy-producing activities. 


Calysta's tightly coiled hair stopped half an inch from her scalp, but that didn't stop her from habitually passing her hand around the curve of her ear, only succeeding in grabbing a few jet black strands that withdrew back to their original form as soon as she let them go. She inhaled the fresh warm air that flowed through the open window. “I bet you missed this view, didn't you?" Calysta perched her hands on top of her belly with her fingers interlaced and she took another deep breath in and let it back out, feeling the slow breeze caress her skin. She turned her head up to get a good look at her brother and a small contented smile grew from her glossy lips.


"I sure did." When their eyes met, her brother's eyes shot open and his head lifted from his pillow in a burst of panic. 



Damien Martin's eyes adjusted to the dark and squinted until they could discern the numbers on the digital alarm clock that perched on his nightstand. There were still two hours left until his alarm was set to go off at six, but he knew there would be no use in trying to get back to sleep. His head collapsed dejectedly back onto his pillow and he sighed loud enough to forget that the room was completely silent otherwise. 


He stared at the wall in the pitch blackness and groaned. Damien would give anything to snatch those last two hours of sleep, but instead of letting the time he had left go to waste, he sat up in bed, swung his legs out until they touched the floor and leaned forward on his knees. His wave cape was squeezing his head a little too tightly, so he pulled it off and threw it on his nightstand. Running a hand over his hair in a forward motion, Damien closed his eyes and mapped out his schedule for the day. 


First up, he needed to head in to the office and make sure he gives his well-wishes to all of his coworkers. His last day as the director of research and development at Sonus Ultimate— a technology company specializing in the retail of various sound-systems and accessories headquartered in Houston— had arrived not a moment too soon and Damien couldn’t tell if the lurch in the pit of his stomach was caused by the gloom from leaving the city and company that had felt like home for him for the past eighteen months; or the uncertainty of what was to come in his next venture. 


The second item on his mental schedule was dinner his soon-to-be former coworkers had arranged to wish him good luck on his next venture. Since it was held at a nice restaurant downtown, Damien made up his mind to wear the navy paisley dress pants he’d just bought. 


Next on the list: he needed to end things for good with his one again-off again flame. The board’s secretary of Sonus Ultimate, Priscilla, had been vying for Damien’s attention in not-so subtle ways ever since he ended their short-lived relationship three months before. Priscilla’s consistent and powerful seduction coupled with Damien’s unusual lack of self-control complicated things. 


Lastly, Damien needed to finalize his packing and making sure he was all ready to leave town the next morning. He was making a return home as the president of Turner Company, a book retailer with a successful online store. 


Remembering the two extra hours he was reluctantly grateful for, Damien dragged himself to his feet and plodded from his bedroom, through the living room and into the kitchen after taking a trip to the bathroom. He set up a pot of medium roast coffee on to brew and poured an incredibly sugary bowl of corn flakes and milk. After preparing a less-than-adequate cup of coffee from what little had dripped into the carafe, he plopped down on the couch in his living room. 


His one free hand fumbled with the remote before he was able to turn the television on to the news and relax as the upbeat anchor projected the most knowledgeable but upbeat tone she could muster. How she could manage to sound so impartial while delivering the news that the president had once again hit a group of people below the belt while trying to appear righteous was beyond Damien. He shook his head in disapproval and could feel his eyes slipping closed as he lazily alternated between slurping his cereal and washing it down with creamy and sweet coffee. 


Finally finishing his breakfast, Damien lounged on the couch as he waited until it was time to get ready for his last full day in Houston. 



The midnight blue pigment of Damien’s favorite casual suit complimented his deep brown skin, giving him an extra boost of confidence as he stepped into the elevator of Sonus Ultimate’s headquarters. Being the only passenger on the elevator, he relaxed against the wall and unlocked his phone, checking the notifications he missed over the course of the morning. He looked up and caught himself in the reflective metal of the elevator door and wondered if he still looked as exhausted as he felt. 


The doors slid open with the soft beep of the elevator and the research manager, Delilah Johnson walked on. She had assumed the elevator was empty and didn’t bother to look up from the file she was analyzing, her thin-framed glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. “Morning, Delilah.”

She looked up startled, adjusted her glasses and smoothed her already-sleek black hair. She hadn’t expected her boss to be on the elevator this morning. “Oh, Damien! Good morning!” A wide smile graced her pretty round face and the files she was holding disappeared to her side with a great deal of shuffling as she gave him her full attention—she was a ball of nerves as always. “What brings you to the office this morning? I don’t think anyone’s expecting to see you until tonight.” 


Damien checked his wrist-watch and decided he really could have come in to complete this task later in the afternoon, but reconciled that he had a lot to do. “Well, it is my last full day in Houston, so I’ve got plenty to do. I decided I’d better say goodbye to the office and people who won’t be at dinner tonight sooner rather than later.” The elevator pinged again  indicating the riders had reached their desire floor and the doors slid open. Damien let Delilah precede him and he followed her out into the open office where all of his former employees looked up at him in surprise. 


Delilah went to sit at her desk which was situated off to the side of the short cubicles that her research employees worked in. “Morning everyone!” Damien called, addressing his employees. He now had all of their attention. “As you all know, I’m moving back home to Phoenix where I’ll be working as the president of Turner Company. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has helped me to shape this place up after its acquisition eighteen months ago. I really wouldn’t have been able to do anything without every single one of you.” 


He focused his eyes on the interns who had their own set up in the corner. “It’s unfortunate that I won’t be able to see you guys through your time here, but I was incredibly fortunate enough to meet you all and get some new and interesting perspectives from young, innovative minds. Thanks for choosing Sonus Ultimate to spend your summer.” The four interns nodded their heads in agreement with small, shy smiles on their faces. 


Including everyone in the office again, Damien continued, “I wish you all luck, happiness, ease, and comfort if you continue to work here at Sonus…” after a calculating pause, he continued, “and of course, if you choose not to continue here I want the same thing.” This drew a chuckle from his employees. He didn’t realize he’d miss these faces until right now, right before he was about to say goodbye to them. 


He went around and said goodbye to the interns individually, wishing them all luck with their future endeavors and promising them letters of recommendations or anything else they may need. Standing at the front of the office again, he announced. “Again, thank you all very much… and goodbye.” 


With a wave, Damien turned to leave this office for the last time for an unknown amount of time. 


On his way out of the office, Damien ran into the person he dreaded saying goodbye to the most. Not exactly because he was sad to leave her or because she had an exceptional impact on his life, although she had somewhat become part of his routine; but he was nervous about how she would react to the news that he wouldn’t be coming back for her. “And here I was feeling down because I thought you weren’t going to see me before you left.” In the lobby of Sonus Ultimate’s headquarters, Priscilla Mannan stood blocking his path to the exit. 


She looked so well-put together like she always did. Her dark brown hair was perfectly coiffed and fell over her shoulders like she was modeling for a business magazine. Her lavender pantsuit was tailored so it fit perfectly around her curves and matched her tawny skin like it was made for her. 


“Priscilla, hi.” 


Priscilla grabbed Damien’s arm and turned herself around to lead him toward the door. “You have perfect timing as always,” she praised, grinning, “I was just about to head out to grab myself a coffee, why don’t you join me?” 


Damien didn’t protest. Instead, he allowed himself to be pulled along by the arm to whichever nearby café Priscilla was going to visit. “I was thinking that maybe we deserved a goodbye longer than a coffee break.” He waited for her to agree, wondering why he still tried to protect her feelings by trying to keep her content. 


“Don’t be silly, Damien.” She chortled, causing a flood of relief to wash over him. “I’ll swing by your place tonight. For a proper goodbye.” Priscilla winked at him. “Even though we both know it won’t be the last time.” She squeezed his upper arm with the hand that still held onto him as though he was her property. 


The truth was, Damien was weak. He didn’t have any feelings for her, but it was clear that she wanted more than just what they had. Sometimes, he considered the idea that he was taking advantage of that fact, but he almost always reconciled it by reminding himself that he broke things off with her three months before and made sure she knew they wouldn’t be anything more than a notch on each other’s bedpost again. 


It’s not like he didn’t like her at all, but he’d spent the last eighteen months devoid of all feelings save for mental exhaustion. Damien ended things because it wasn’t fair of him to keep stringing her along when he knew he wasn’t capable of returning her feelings. He allowed this to continue because he wasn’t strong enough to put a stop to it. 


Knowing it was probably not the most sensible idea, Damien allowed it. “Can you come  at around eleven tonight? I should be back home by then.” 


Priscilla’s lips once again curled up into a satisfied smirk. “I’ll be there.” 



Naomi Day felt like she had been waiting for weeks to hear back from several prospective employers. With her phone held tightly in her hand she sprawled on her couch wearing nearly nothing in the tiny living room of her apartment, she flicked through channels hoping that anything would catch and hold her attention so she could put her mind on something other than the looming late notice on her rent. In her efforts to keep her electricity bills low during the Arizona summer, she had the air conditioner set as high as she could keep it while still being comfortable. 


She had been and was still applying for every job that came her way that she qualified for.  Despite that, it seemed that no one was taking her applications seriously. Pushing her glasses up on her nose, she sat up and turned the TV off. Deciding she was hungry, Naomi propelled herself off the couch and headed toward the kitchen. Passing by the mirror, she avoided looking at her reflection. Her curly black hair was tangled and the color had grown out longer than was acceptable. Her skin, which was usually the color of walnuts, seemed to have faded and lost all of its luster. She felt like a ghost of the person she had once been. 


In the past year that she she had been unemployed, she hadn’t been motivated to do anything other than eat, sleep, and cry. While the effort to find a job emerged in considerable degree lately, she still couldn’t find the energy to get out of the bed, much less comb her hair or put in her contacts. Her sleeping schedule was random, but most days she didn’t wake up until noon or later. 


Once in the kitchen, Naomi whipped up a small salad and poured herself a glass of water. The filter status light on the pitcher flashed orange and she rolled her eyes, wishing this new financial nuisance would just disappear. 


As she was picking at her salad —once again in front of the TV— her phone rang. She enthusiastically picked it up from the couch next to her and turned it over to see who was calling. “Hey mom.” Naomi answered as her shoulders slumped in disappointment.


“You sound happy to hear from me.” Shanice Tyson-Day, Naomi’s mother, quipped with a slight chuckle. 


Naomi went back to lounging on her faux suede couch. “My bad,” she apologized, “I just want my next incoming phone call to be someone calling to give me an interview.” 


Shanice sighed. “I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you, baby. I promise you that you’ll be hearing good news soon.” 


Turning the TV down until there was just a buzz of noise, Naomi whined, “It doesn’t feel like it. What it feels like, is this will be my reality for the next forty years of my life.” 


“I bet it does. But that’s just impossible so just keep on waiting and hoping.” There was a long pause as Naomi emitted a long sigh and rolled her neck around. Then Shanice continued. “You know I called because I emailed you something yesterday morning and I want you to open it. It’s an article about that show you like. It’s been cancelled and I want to hear your opinion on the reason it was cancelled.”


Naomi rolled her eyes. Did her mom truly think she wanted to talk about a TV show at this point in time? “What— Mom.” She held back a sigh to keep from revealing her true feelings on the matter, deciding she wanted to avoid any conflict. “I’ll look at it and call you back in a little bit.” 


“Okay, love you.” Shanice said excitedly.


“I love you too.” Naomi hang up, and knowing she had to humor her mother, opened her email’s inbox on her phone. Scrolling by an absurd amount of spam email for a business email account, one in particular caught her eye. She scrolled back up and read the subject line. “Interview.” She felt her heart begin to race as she tapped on the link to read the email. 


Naomi’s mind was racing too fast to process what she was reading so she read the email aloud to her empty apartment. “Good morning, Naomi. We have found you to be an exceptional example of a strong applicant and would like to schedule an interview with you.” Her voice rose higher in volume as she read. “Please contact the office of Brenda Cho, Staff Director, to decide on a time that is appropriate for you. We hope to hear from you soon, Turner Company Management.” Naomi thanked her lucky stars she her phone had a case on it as it slipped from her hand and hit the wood of her living room floor. 


Her mind still buzzing with excitement and nerves, she scrambled to pick up the phone and took a moment to calm her nerves and then tapped the number that had been provided for her to call after reading the email over and over again. Naomi got up and started pacing until it was picked up on the third ring. “You’ve reached the office of Brenda Cho. This is Lauren, how can I help you?” 


With her phone in between her head and shoulder, still pacing, Naomi cracked her knuckles and held her breath. “Good afternoon. My name is Naomi Day and I’m calling to schedule an interview with Brenda Cho.” 


“Naomi Day? Yes we are expecting an interview with you. Does next Thursday at eleven A.M. work for you?” Lauren proposed.


Taking another breath and trying to not sound too overzealous, Naomi agreed. “That works perfect for me thank you so much.” 


“No problem, we will see you Thursday the 19th at eleven A.M.”


“See you then.” 




Naomi was still frozen in her spot a full minute after the phone call ended, staring at the cell phone in her hands. Unbelievable. It seemed like all hope had been lost, but in all actuality, the right door had just not been approached. Naomi started when her phone vibrated in her hands, the jazzy notes of her obnoxious ringtone filling the silence. Her mom was calling back. She quickly answered. “Hello!”


Shanice's melodic voice rang through the phone. “You suddenly sound so chipper. I wasn’t exactly expecting the article to cheer you up.” 


Naomi sat back down on the couch cross-legged and put her bowl of salad in her lap. “No, Mom, you will never believe what just happened after I hung up with you.” She stabbed her fork into the lettuce and enjoyed the tangy taste of blue cheese. 


“Oh, I’ll guess. You got a call and were offered a job on the spot.” Shanice postulated. “That or you won the lottery!” 


Finishing her salad, Naomi responded, “Not quite. I was checking my inbox for your email and I saw an email from this company I applied to almost three weeks ago. They were asking me to schedule an interview with them, so I did and I’m on for next Thursday!”


Naomi accepted her mother’s praise and Shanice showered her daughter with congratulatory chanting. After their excitement died down a little, the two returned to their original conversation about Naomi’s favorite program being cancelled. With a job interview in her future, she actually had the energy to feel a little disappointed with the news and she chatted with her mom about the situation for a good twenty minutes. Shanice needed to get back to running her bakery, so the two bid each other goodbye and hung up. 



After getting off the phone with her mom, Naomi had fallen asleep in front of her TV for the second time that day. When she finally woke up again, the sun was setting behind the mountains. She decided to head to her closet and search out her interview outfit. Underneath piles of clothes, she found the black pencil skirt she hadn’t worn in almost three years . In a bucket of winter and fall clothes, she found the skirt’s matching blazer after clawing past faux furs, leathers, and soft-lined suedes. On a hanger was a crisp white button-up blouse. 


Having gathered these items, she laid them out on her bed and shimmied out of the boy shorts and stripped off the tank top she was wearing. Finally having found a reason to wear a bra, she pulled a black minimizer out of the designated underwear drawer of her dresser and strapped it on. Naomi pulled on the white short-sleeved blouse and buttoned it up, then stepped into the skirt. “Goddamnit,” she cursed when the zipper stopped pulling a little over halfway up. 


She turned to the side in front of her full length mirror and sucked in her stomach. “Fuck.” She groaned when the zipper only went up a little more. This skirt was certainly tighter than she remembered it being. With one last attempt, Naomi put her blazer on over it all. The blazer was long enough to cover the entire zipper, so she decided she would leave it, even though it would be a bit tough to sit through an interview knowing she was wearing clothes she didn’t fit into. However, the last thing Naomi wanted was to spend money on new clothes, so she decided this would have to do. Of course, she would be wearing stockings, so it probably wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as it was today. 


Naomi excitedly hung her outfit up in the closet and skipped to her kitchen to make some chamomile tea and microwave popcorn. She needed to start getting adequate rest in order to begin preparing herself for this interview. 

Chapter End Notes:

Thank you for reading the first submission of Nightmares for a Lifetime! If you venture to my profile, I beg of you not to read my other submissions. Obviously you can if you want to, but I want to warn you they are not good! But if you want a good laugh, please feel free to read those embarrassments. 

<3, nat

P.S. I'm working on edits and revision

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.