Julie unlocked the front door of her apartment.  It was her birthday, but she didn't expect to walk in on a surprise party.  She knew she wouldn't walk in to see the table covered in a Greek feast, balloons tied to all the tables and chairs.  She wouldn't walk in to see beautifully wrapped boxes, or huge gift bags overflowing with treats.  Her husband wouldn't be in there, nor her sister or her five year old daughter.  Her parents wouldn't be in there either.  This is how Julie not only spent her birthday every year since the fire, but this was how she spent everyday.  She did the same thing, not breaking her routine, for fear that she would shatter if one thing really changed much.  But of course, her birthday was the hardest day, the day she hated more than any other day, because it was the day the fire happened.  So since then, Julie's days had blended together, no real beginning or end to any of them.  Her business was prospering, only because Julie had nothing else to pour herself into besides her work.  She wasn't even sure she cared much about that anymore either.  Every night Julie walked in the door at six o'clock, rarely earlier or later, unless she was at the lounge down the street drowning herself in countless glasses of shiraz.  She woke up with hangovers more often than not, but Julie embraced the nausea and headaches and sore muscles because, well, atleast she felt something.  The rest of her was numb, she only went through the motions of the day because there was nothing else for her to do.  She had grown accustomed to cooking herself extravagant, delicious cuisine from around the world just to use up some time in the day.  She did this almost everyday as not to break her carefully constructed routine.  Needless to say, poor Julie had too many leftovers in the fridge.  But she would find something to do with those leftovers. 

The End

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