Aidan rubbed the matter from his eyes, tired. Exhausted.
He looked down at the file folder before him on his desk. It was thick. Heavy with countless files and documents and contracts, that would require hour after hour of mind-numbing and tiresome signing, mathematic algebraic solving, and sorting.
It was a little thinner than the last folder he had been issued. Just a little.
Most people would find this unacceptable. Most people who stand in their cubicle in rage, and throw the papers about the room in a needless display of frustration.
Not Aidan Blackwood.
He sighed, carefully opened the folder, read the first page, opened a Word and Excel document on his desktop, and began to work.
His workplace was not at all orderly. Calling it a workplace, was like calling a tabloid literature. All around, Aidan's co-worker's had their tie's loosened, merely talking to each other loudly, laughing, goofing off, and texting.
Many of the men were happily and flirtatiously tossing one of their rather attractive colleagues hat over her head, as she played monkey in the middle, only a few feet from Aidan.
Leyton Incorporated. A local, booming accounting firm in Newark, New Jersey. Aidan was their very best man. He specialized in accounting, auditing, and banking.
Since he had gotten to Leyton, it had been hell. He was paid the bare minimum, which was shocking as he was one of, if not the best accountant in the world. Hours were long, he was forced to do the back breaking work of all the slackers in the building. He was treated poorly, by management, and fellow employee's alike. He was the one nerd in an all jock firm.
He took a sip of coffee. Jamaican black. It was immensely bitter, yet sent waves of awareness through his mind, stimulating his brain for the task ahead.
He had just put down the mug, which had marker on it saying 'boring guy' written on it. A 'gift' from his co-workers, when something hit his head. Whatever hit him, was light, and was made of a soft, fleece like material.
He snapped out of his work daze almost immediately. He heard a thump next to him, barely audible over the sounds of phones ringing, and people laughing. The floppy hat worn by the woman, who was having a fun time with the guys, had been thrown to far, and hit him in the side of the head.
The girl who had been trying to catch in for the longest time, bounded over, giggling.
"Oopsie! I think they through it a little to hard!" She said, giggling, her tousled blond hair flowing adorably around her innocent head.
"Can I have my hat back?" She asked, still giggling. To be perfectly honest, Aidan would much like to tell this girl, to stop throwing her hat around like a ditz. But he knew better. This girl was only here because her breasts were nice to look at, and her posterior was most impressive.
"Oh, yeah. Of course." Aidan said, quietly. He reached down to pick up the hat, and was about to give it back to her like a gentleman, when one of the men who had been throwing the hat, Michael, snatched it from his hands.
"Hey! Don't ruin all our fun!" He said, laughing. As Michael tried to pull back the hat from Aidan's grasp, he accidentally knocked over the mug of coffee, spilling the hot, dark brew on Aidan's file folder, and worse, his desktop keyboard. Oh wait, it was worse, Aidan's boss, Mr. Leyton himself entered the cubicle maze at the entrance nearest to them at that very moment.
Michael ran back to his own cubicle, and began to speak with his friends as though nothing had happened.
"Asshole." Aidan thought, just as Mr. Leyton walked towards him, a disappointed frown on his elderly face. The blond girl just stood there, shocked.
"Mr. Blackwood, why oh why do you insist on making such a fuss in the workplace? And in front of Mrs. Michelle, oh what a travesty." He said, obviously condescending Aidan.
Aidan tried to defend himself. "Sir, I didn't do this, it was-"
"Do not try and blame this on Michael, again!" Leyton said, loudly enough that the girl, Aidan's only witness left as soon as possible.
"I said don't! Honestly, I give you a job, treat you like family, Aidan, and you repay me with, lies, incompetence and the destruction of my property!" Mr. Leyton said, not noticing the laughing Michael and his friends behind him.
Leyton sighed. Aidan braced himself. He needed this job, after the economy of his hometown of Manhattan had been killed off, along with Aidan's alcoholic step mother, in September, 2001, he had been thrust into a cluster of disarray, and been left jobless. He needed this.
Leyton made his decision.
"Finish your work, all of it, today. I do not care if you have to stay in the building for a full four hours after shift ends, and you are not being paid for any extra time you stay. The computer will come out of your paycheck." Leyton said, coldly. Aidan looked down at his business shoes, he hated this.
But his punishment was not done.
"Also, for wasting my time, I am deducting eight of your vacation days, all of your half days, and three of your sick days." Leyton said, his harsh punishment, and tone of voice left nothing open for debate.
Aidan looked up, into the eyes of the man he hated.
"Yes, sir." He said.
Leyton walked away. If not for Aidan's supreme abilities, he would have been fired on the spot. As Aidan went back to sit down, and begin to work, the guys threw 'hornets' at him. Little crumpled up pieces of paper that had a paper clip attached to it. It only hurt if it touched your head.
Life. He hated it. What good was there in the world? And what small part of the goodness would ever find him?
"I wish I was dead." Aidan said, under his breath.
Hmph. How funny it was that his little wish, wish was uttered by depressed people every day, was heard by an interested set of ears.
It took poor Aidan, the entire day to finish his work. Usually, he had a week. Not today.
The city streets of Newark were okay, he guessed. Unlike the breathtaking nighttime view of New York's sky scrapers, Newark was rather average.
He walked to his apartment. He could not find his wallet for a cab. Probably, the guys at work stole it as a prank.
He felt a little nervous on the way home. He was wearing a suit and tie, and appeared to be a man of wealth in the eyes of a thief.
The dark, imposing and intimidating alleyways, seemed to have eyes, and draw him in, taunting, hoping...
He lived in a decent enough apartment building. Rent was within reason, and there were no pests. However, the biggest drawback was the lack of an elevator.
He had to walk up forty flights of stairs, in a stuffy stairwell, with no AC, littered with forsaken chewing gum and kids toys, in a pair of business shoes that hurt his feet after a while.
Aidan was a young man. 24 years old, and he felt like a tired old widow. He ran his fingers, through his medium brown hair, and over his tired, depressed eyes.
He entered his apartment, and turned the lights on. Revealing the Spartan décor of an unmodified kitchen, a TV, a couch, which was really a chair, tiny bathroom, and his bedroom only contained a futon. He took off his tie, and put it away. Then he removed his shoes, leaving Aidan, in his pants and shirt and socks.
Aidan turned on the TV, something about some disappearance of some army officers in the Arizona desert. (I am referencing a well known story on the site, which is it?)
He grabbed a drink from the fridge, and sat back on the couch. He looked at his drink.
Whiskey. Being Irish, whiskey was a must.
He sat back on the couch, and opened the bottle, and took a swig with his eyes closed and head back as he enjoyed the feeling of being in a comfortable chair.
When he opened his eyes, he looked up at the ceiling.
Something was wrong. At first, Aidan thought it was just the booze, but his vision was spinning more than could possibly be possible by taking a slash of whiskey.
Oddly, he did not feel dizzy, you would expect him to feel his stomach lurching, but it felt normal, not queasy at all.
He did however feel lighter, as if gravity was no longer affecting him as much as it should.
Aidan began to panic as the next phase occurred. He was seeing a white light, in the ceiling, getting larger, as the rest of the room got dimmer.
"What the fuck?" Was the last thing he said.
The bottle fell from his hand, and dropped to the floor, shattering the glass.
And then, as it seemed as if Aidan was floating into the white light-
He felt nothing.
Aidan opened his eyes.
He was not in his apartment in Newark, New Jersey anymore, that much was certain.
He was laying down, on a hard, cool surface. It felt like a table...
Aidan became aware of a presence near him. The light above him was to bright.
"Where am I?" He called out, somewhat surprised to hear his own voice, so loud.
"You're dead." Replied a feminine voice, from far above him.