Finding Daniella: Chapter 1 – The Hardest things

23 Mar

This is the first novel I’ve started in a long while, so I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out. It’s chick lit, so readers be warned…


There’s an irritating buzzing going off next to me and the pillow over my head isn’t helping. I pull the pillow off – it’s not doing much good where it is anyway – and start the search for the incredibly annoying buzzsaw.

I’ve just found the snooze button (I guess it was the alarm clock going off) when someone starts knocking on my door.

“What?” I groan, wishing that the rest of the world – my world – would disappear temporarily.

“Daniella?” A voice comes through the door. “Daniella, it’s time to get up. You’re going to be late!”

Late for what? Is the first thought that goes through my head. It’s not like I have somewhere to be. It’s not as if I have a job or…

Oh, shit. Now I recall. I have a job interview today. I spit out those words in my head as I take inventory of my body. Well, my head feels like a dump truck just backed into it. The rest of me doesn’t feel too much different either.

“Daniella!” The voice is getting more insistent now. Prodding. Somewhere in the back of my mind, it registers that I know the owner of the voice, but it doesn’t seem to relevant right now.

“I’m up, I’m up,” I mutter groggily, pushing myself up and climbing off my bed. At least it’s my bed this time, I suppose. It could be worse. I chant that mantra in my head as I try to drag my ass off my bed. I seem to be saying that to myself a lot lately.

I glance at the clock and realize that I have less than an hour to get ready. And I still smell like a walking hangover. I grab clothes and stump off to the shower.


Hot showers can work miracles. The dump truck in my head has shrunk into a cargo van. I run through the kitchen, grabbing a tube of yogurt from the refrigerator on my way out. I deliberately walk faster than I typically would, ignoring the questioning glances from my mother and the grunt of “Where were you last night?” that issues from my father’s chair.

Yes, that’s me. Twenty five and still living at home. And jobless. Still jobless. Apparently a college degree doesn’t guarantee career success in any way. Maybe I should’ve listened and not majored in journalism. Sure, it’s interesting and it’s what I wanted to do. But the job options are somewhat limited that you have a limited portfolio and you’re picking about where you want to write. Although all of my “pride” and “integrity” is running out now and I’m just about ready to take any job I can get.


At least i got to the job interview on time. I suppose it’s important, as my Aunt Gisele pulled some strings or something to get me this interview. They seemed excited to meet me, and I think I was sufficiently coherent during the interview. I’m not really sure. I had my hands full ignoring the cargo van in my head and trying to stay awake, so my mouth was sort of on autopilot. It has a mind of its own, I swear. And it’s not the same as the one that’s attached to my real brain. You know, the one that resides in my skull.

Maybe the drinking last night wasn’t such a hot idea, but of three things I am certain:

1) Drinking solves all problems;

2) Turning 19 was the greater day of my life; and

3) No one says no to free drinks.


I decide to walk home rather than taking the subway. The fresh air is helping me to clear my head somewhat, and at least, I’m getting exercise. I need it in a rather desperate manner, having been putting on the pounds and going up in sizes in a rather exponential way. I’m sure it’s not healthy, but sometimes, I’m not sure why I care so much anyway.

The walk home is refreshing, and seeing the city in daytime seems so different, having spent so many days walking home in the dark, in the wee hours of morning.

I return to an empty house, four hours from my run – or deliberate walk, depending on how you look at it – looking forward to catching up on my sleep. The walk has made me tired and sweaty, despite the fact that it’s spring and it’s less than 20 degrees (Celcius, of course) outside. I don’t recall walking being so painful when I was younger.

When I was younger. I guess this makes me an old woman or something.

The phone is ringing off the hook. I fumble my keys and barely get them into the keyhold before I run into the house to pick up the phone.

“Howard residence,” I gasp.

“Hello,” a voice comes over the line. Too perky for the morning – I guess it’s 1pm but it’s still early. Really. “This is Karen from Creative Ad Agencies. Can I speak to Daniella please?”

“Speaking.” This may be the fastest rejection I’ve ever received.

“It was lovely meeting you this morning.”

“You too,” I mutter perfectly insincerely.

“I’m calling to offer you a job with us. You are free to start tomorrow, is that correct?”

“Sure.” Why not. It’s not as if I had plans other than circling “help wanted” ads and watching the latest episode of “Judge Judy” and “Doctor Phil” anyways.

“Great! We’ll see you at 8:30 tomorrow then. I’m so looking forward to reading your research on the use of derivatives in hedging. You’ll be working under Chantal Bresau, the manager of our finance ad department.” Click, and I hang up as well.

Derivatives? In hedging markets Not only am I unsure of what those terms mean, but I definitely did not do research on it. In my dreams, maybe. That’s the perfect example of my mouth’s own mind. It definitely was not communicating with my real brain.

I groan. I’m going to need to do something about those derivative things. Because apparently, my alter-ego or my evil twin has promised research. And I can’t lose this job on the first day. How mortifying would that be? Worse than dancing on pool tables singing loudly to “Heartbreaker” so wasted I wouldn’t have recalled if the video had not been posted on Facebook. That bad. And I’d never hear the end of it from my family and of how ungrateful I am.

But I have a job now. And i can move out. Into an apartment. Without parents looking over my shoulder.

The price? My soul, apparently.


One Response to “Finding Daniella: Chapter 1 – The Hardest things”

  1. marika March 24, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    Cool story! How do I subscribe to your blog?

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