Too bad there wasn’t a box for desperate and broke. I scanned the screen for the last time. It was all there: name, age, address, occupation and employment status. Unemployed. That ten-letter word seemed to light up the box with a fluorescent hue. I scowled at the application. I never cared before, but it seemed to carry more weight flashing in front of me.
By hitting submit, I was actually going through with this. I scrolled to the top again even though I knew I hadn’t skipped a single box. I could do this. I needed to do this.
I was officially out of options.
I was broke. I was going to lose everything. My business bank account was going nowhere. My pantry cabinet contained two packs of Ramen Noodles and a half-empty jar of peanut butter. If that didn’t scream desperate, I didn’t know what did.
The pipes rattled behind me, and I sighed. Sometimes I was awakened at night when they creaked and hissed. I had nightmares that I’d wake up in a pool of water, flooded from the ceiling to the floor. And what then? How would I ever survive a financial crisis?
The truth was I couldn’t. That’s why this was crucial.
I had no choice but to lie.
It went against my instincts. It defied every vow I had made. It broke an oath I pledged.
I sank in my seat and pushed my cold coffee mug away from laptop. How had I let things end up here? I should have accepted defeat a months ago. But I wasn’t the kind of woman who could crawl home to her parents.
I didn’t have time for second thoughts any more. I needed to accept that this was as low as it got.
I moved the arrow back to the application and hit submit.
It was either a wave of defeat or guilt that hit me. I had just done the unthinkable. I waited for something remarkable to happen. A sign. An instant message. Anything. Maybe I was waiting to be saved from the sin I had just committed.
I stared at the screen, praying for a miracle.
“Please, please, please,” I whispered, knowing I was being completely and utterly ridiculous.
But then it happened. I clicked refresh for the tenth time and there was a message in my inbox.
“Holy shit.” I was stunned.
My fingers twitched as I tapped the email to open it.
If it was a prank, it was a seriously good one. There was an email from the HR director of Nichols Development. I scanned the contents several times before letting myself believe this was real.
I had a job interview. An actual job interview with the director of one of the largest consulting firms in the country. Suddenly, I didn’t care about the lie. I didn’t care about anything but landing that job.
There was only one problem. I had no idea what I was going to wear. I dug through my purse, searching for my wallet.
I had one credit card with a few hundred dollars I could spend. That was it. The last little bit of spending money I had, if I could call it that. If I was going to land a job I had to dress for the part. I decided to hit the consignment stores. My budget would only take me so far.
I had to believe this could change my life. Something had to.