t'd been one the shittiest nights that Lauren had lived through. And, like most shitty nights, its poison had bled through into the veins of the morning. Sleep was stingy with her; she couldn't silence the tumble of Amy's words in her head. They'd been together for long enough that fights were to be expected, but that one had stung more than most. There'd been tears and flushed faces and chapped throats. The sofa had been Lauren's refuge for the night, meaning that even if she'd been in the mood to sleep, she wouldn't have. It was lumpy, and full of crumbs from the toast that Bella had been snacking on a couple of evenings ago.
Lauren rocked up at work three hours early, looking like one of the living dead. Her clothes were crumpled from already having been worn once, yesterday. She hadn't bothered trying to conceal the purple tiredness under her eyes.
The station was a neutral environment. The heat that lingered at home would be just that - at home. Lauren intended to find a quiet workspace to sit and go over her notes for her's and Morgan's slot. They were going to be interviewing a local garage band, and talking about LGBTQIA+ representation in music videos. She'd been especially excited about discussing the former, but now she wasn't so sure that she cared.
The station was so still that reality felt crooked, somehow. Lauren could hear the early morning hosts working on the other side of the rickety building, and there was the muffled whir of a vacuum cleaner somewhere. Pale morning light streamed in through the narrow staff room window, highlighting only things of importance: the kettle; the table and chair set; the pinboard covered in photographs. Lauren already knew that it was going to be a beautiful day, but she wasn't in the mood to smile about it. Instead, she wriggled further into the beanbag that she'd collapsed into and draped an arm over her face. The sunshine could wait until she was done feeling upset.