The mobile rings at 7 a.m., as ever, but she is already awake for five minutes, and now (as ever) stretches like a cat, to get rid of the last remnants of sleep.
In the bathroom, she carefully plans (as always) the day ahead: the board meeting at 9 a.m., the work on the two new projects, the business lunch, the call to maintenance to arrange the repair of the broken window latch, the dinner, the film before going to sleep.
She has breakfast quickly, the usual bowl of cereal, puts on a light (as always) makeup with measured, routine movements. Only a hint of makeup, just a touch of lipstick - small details, simply emphasizing her face, but not hiding the fact she is at the border between maturity and old age.
The car moves slowly out of the underground parkade and she (as always) takes the familiar route.
And then she sees them at the crossroad. A boy and a girl with backpacks, with equally long hair, tied in sloppy ponytails, carrying sleeping bags and plastic water bottles, but without crumbled maps in the back pockets of their jeans - they have GPS in their mobiles now.
She sees herself 20 years ago and either because of the bright sunlight, or because of the aroma of the linden trees, creeping into the car despite the closed windows, she is wondering if tonight, in bed, when she analyzes the finished day, she will permit herself (as never before) to doubt the choice made so long ago.
She hears the angry claxons hooting from behind, she knows she is blocking traffic, she knows that if she does not move on immediately, her carefully organized schedule will crack and may even disintegrate completely, she knows that if she is late for one thing, she will be late for everything, impossible to return to the path, the path abandoned so long ago. Yet, she mentally examines herself for one more second. That is enough. She steps on the pedal and jerkily speeds up just before the traffic light changes.
© Blagovesta Kirova