Despairs of a Brilliant Girl

The buzz of the dying fluorescent lamp seemed to be tiring her now drying eyes; it was a long night coding Leetcode algorithms; five thick data science books were resting on the left table corner, tired of being in the same chair with the same keyboard for so many weeks. It was a long night; thank God the litter girl was still sleeping, “she thought,” looking at her bed sheets.

Midjourney Generated Image

She headed to the bathroom to take a hot shower; the silence of the morning made it easier to feel the rhythmic flicker of her heart and the erratic pulse of her already failing hope. Another interview, another opportunity, a distinct dream for the same, or sort of the same outcome.

She thinks she has no better alternative than finding another better-paying job.

The morning was over, the interview finished, and minutes later, another rejection email blocked her attention for a few minutes; another pixelated corporate “We regret to inform you…” splashed across the screen.

It was always the same response. For her, 2024 seemed too different than the year before; this time, emails felt different, sentences complete of courtesy words that felt like a boot to the gut. I need one email with the right one to change my life, “she thought.”

She was better at coding than as a mom; her world was entirely of ones and zeros, but her dreams were beyond her reach because her brilliance was still not enough. She could sculpt algorithms with the precision of Michelangelo’s paintings. Yet, here she was, trying to move away from a sea of nonsense meetings, a castaway on the island of the “never-ending roulette.”

Each day was a fresh torment because she could not pay the bill as she used to do it months before; today, her genius was reduced to just a few bullet points of a single-page resume and a wheel of interviews and luck.

The afternoon passed; she was tired; another email blocked her attention and soul; “We regret to inform you…”. The weight of disappointment was physical, a leaden cloak that choked her every breath. Each rejection was a rough reminder of her worthlessness in the eyes of the corporate machine.

She got tired of chasing the never-ending roulette game of luck and was determined to build something independently. This is the only solution to all my problems, she insecurely affirms. It will be a hurricane of pain, but maybe that’s the price to be free.

Many days after, and another cluster of rejection, her fingers still hovered over the keyboard; the litter girl was seated on her left foot; for some reason now, the keys were not cold anymore, the long nights seemed shorter, and the eyes were wet with a million hopes.

Algorithms were more precise and transparent, like water. “I almost finished, and I’m close to launching this,” but should I send another application, just in case? , the insecure voice talks again.

Seconds after, an email stacks her attention, “We are happy to inform you…”.

She closed her eyes with tears; keys stopped clicking and mouse moving, another silent morning, another silent instant, another spark igniting her soul. Is this an offer of the darkness of the never-ending roulette? she asked her daughter, looking into her beautiful, now-awake eyes.

She was there all night encoding her freedom, but now she is immersed in a battle of doubts; a few milliseconds before, she was winning, but now the flickered mind and the magnet of the “never-ending roulette” were inviting her weakness to dance.

A sweet word echoed through the silence, “maamaam,” the daughter said for the first time, but she couldn’t enjoy that moment; she was there but not present at all.  

Another email from the same sender shimmered on the screen, this time with a provocative offer number, a siren song promising escape from his increasing credit card debt balance.

Should I respond? A rapid decision coiled around her behind a serpent of fear. One response and the trajectory of her genius could be flung towards a luminous horizon or dashed against the rocks of dashed dreams.

Her fingers hovered over the reply button, a bridge over a chasm of uncertainty. On one side, the sterile comfort of the predictable corporate mill grinds. On the other, a promising unchained blaze and vibrant launch.

For her, this is a fragile second where life dies or is reborn; the mouse does not move yet, the keyboard is still silent, and the surrender hides in the blink of a click.

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