Jane Summers groaned with annoyance as she turned in her bed to turn off her alarm. She had woken briefly 45 minutes earlier, considered rising but had closed her eyes and almost instantly had fallen back into a light sleep of pleasant dreamery, images of childhood friends and favorite places emerging from her subconscious. But the alarm had interrupted, banished those fond images, and as she turned the alarm off she realized she was far more tired than she would have been had she gotten out of bed earlier.
She forced her legs over the side of the bed, made her feet touch the floor. The fake wood paneling was cold — it was late September, time for Chicago apartment residents to dig out their slippers from where they had been buried in the closet that spring. Warm today, she remembered from the forecast, upper sixties, but it would take a couple of hours to reach that high. Right now it was in the upper forties. A hot shower would feel good.
Jane Summers lingered longer than usual under the warm spray from the showerhead, knowing she’d feel a chill as soon as the shower ended. Mondays were always difficult for her, and she knew there wouldn’t be anything urgent waiting for her at the office. The Route 20 drawings were nearly complete when she’d left on Friday, and they weren’t due until Thursday. Gary had done a good job managing the project — unlike most jobs at Crasob Engineering, the Route 20 Storm Sewer Improvement project was on time, and under budget.
She turned off the shower, toweled herself dry briskly, rushed to her bedroom and dressed with chill-induced alacrity. She walked into the kitchen, was about to open the refrigerator — and then suddenly stopped, as the sound of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik burst from the kitchen table.