It was a Wednesday just like any other. I walked down the gray-carpeted floors of the office building, sneaking my head into offices and happily greeting the other employees. I liked most of them, but begrudgingly. I couldn’t help but feel inferior to them in my guard’s uniform. I had such high aspirations during high school, but I’d never quite made it to college. My parents couldn’t afford it, and higher education had never been expected of me — so I got by with odd jobs until I met my wife.
She was working as a checkout girl at the local grocery store. I spent months hiding furtively behind the baking aisle and sneaking looks at her. For a long time, I didn’t have the guts to ask her out. I spent way too much money buying nonperishables I didn’t need in order to see her.
Our first child came shortly after we got married, and the second on his heels. That’s when I got my security job for this large office building, in a place where the worst crime was leaving unwashed dishes in the sink.
I love my wife and kids and couldn’t escape the guilt I felt about not being able to provide for them. I spent the majority of my working life daydreaming about how to move up the corporate ladder, and kissing the asses of the privileged young punks who looked right past me. I resented them for their luck in life — for their cushy jobs and offices, and for their kids who had probably never heard the word “no.”
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