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Alison Meets With Simon Part One

Alison sat down. "I hope you weren't waiting long."

Simon shrugged. "I came pretty early."

"How long have you been here?" They had agreed to meet at the coffeeshop after the morning rush.

"Well... All night."

Alison sighed. "You're not sleeping again."

Simon sipped his coffee. "Yeah."

"Can you tell me what's going on?"

He looked around awkwardly. "It's... It's like before. I guess. Different though, too."

"I'm sorry, Simon. Do you know... I mean..." She struggled to find the right words, to be concerned, gentle, but persistent enough, otherwise she wouldn't reach him.

"It's frustrating," he said. "Things have been going so well." She was equally relieved and disturbed by his willingness to respond.

"How's the work?" she asked. Sipped her coffee.

"I don't know... It feels like a job. Everything's been about the office, about politics. About policies and paperwork. I've forgotten what the actual work is supposed to be about, I think."

"What's changed?"

"Some positions in management have shuffled around. I don't know. I don't think it's just me. Everyone seems disillusioned there right now."

"Are you upset you didn't get that other job?"

Simon shook his head. "I'm glad, I think. Given how I'm feeling, it probably wouldn't have been a good fit."

Alison fixed him with a look. "And how are you feeling?"

He didn't avoid the question, or deflect it. His answer surprised her.


"How come? At what?" Simon was always pretty laid back. She knew that the field he worked in was stressful; she had seen him work through burn-out a few times. He'd never been angry before. Or at least he'd never been open about it.

"I don't know. Everything."

She made her voice soften. "Are you feeling lost?"

"No," Simon said. "I feel found. And it feels wrong."