Pursed Lips

Lia awoke from her dream and suddenly knew why for months she had been so tired no matter how long she slept.  She had been tensing her back muscles so tightly that in that split second between slumber and full consciousness, Lia noticed her upper torso was actually raised off of the bed. Trying to relax, Lia recalled the dream that induced her to this state of heightened tension: Josephina.

The dream had been almost entirely about that haggard middle-aged woman, who, in Lia’s sleep, had been sporting a mango coloured cocktail dress made out of taffeta.  Josephina had coerced her adoring minions around her at the office, seeking the usual praise and to mete out punishment. Lia as usual was the sole offender.

No matter how much Lia tried to engage Josephina in conversation, the latter ignored the former as if she had been an annoying bug. Not once did Josephina acknowledge Lia’s presence, instead responding to the younger woman’s attempts at engagement with comments directed at the gathered office serfs, but clearly about Lia.

In her overly confident voice, Josephina would state, “I don’t want people working here, who don’t want to be here.” She would then leave time for her followers to agree wholeheartedly to her statement. “There are lot’s of people who would kill for this opportunity.” Again looking for the requisite heads to bounce, Josephina would pause. “I’m not a monster. If you don’t want to work here, leave.” There was always a second of delay after a proclamation like that, even Josephina’s office serfs knew deep down that she was horrible to work for, and as such they didn’t automatically move to shaking their heads in negative unison. Fear for what would happen if they failed to agree with Josephina quickly enough, however, led them to shake heads more violently than when they nodded concurrence. Lia noticed this and promptly suffered the consequences of Josephina’s hard stare.

Just thinking about this dream was causing Lia to purse her lips. That’s how you end up looking like Josephina, she thought remembering that withered upper lip twisted from decades of stress and vengeance. Lia uncurled her lip, and just as is in her dream she tried to focus on packing up her desk, she decided to turn her attentions elsewhere, getting up from bed.

1 Response to “Pursed Lips”

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