This is a work of fiction. A short story of 1160 words.
Sonia brushed her teeth for the full two minutes. She had an app on her mobile phone that connected to the electric toothbrush by bluetooth, and told her exactly when to stop. After brushing, she reached for the spray can of cleaner, and a disposable cloth. The sink was then cleaned thoroughly, before being dried with a second cloth. She then cleaned the toothbrush with a third cloth, before replacing it on the charging unit. Brush head facing out, of course.
Sonia planned to go out today. That had meant getting up very early, to allow plenty of time to prepare.
In the kitchen, the long row of switches by the sockets were all switched off. She switched one of them down to turn it on, then picked up the kettle, preparing to boil some water for her morning coffee. Running the water at the sink for just long enough to be sure it was clear of any pipe residue, she filled it to the quarter mark, as shown by the gauge at the side. Then she swirled the water around inside, and emptied it out, repeating the process before switching it on. She checked that the blue light had come on, so she knew it was beginning to boil.
Filling the kettle had caused some tiny droplets to splash onto the stainless steel surround of the sink. Sonia took a cloth from the cupboard underneath, carefully rubbing at the marks, until the surface gleamed once again. When the kettle boiled, she made her cup of instant coffee, standing at the sink to drink it slowly, rather than create the chance of any spills on the floor. It took a long time for the coffee to cool, and she drank it down quickly as soon as she could. She then washed the spoon and cup, dried them on a kitchen towel, and replaced them in the correct sections of her unit. The kettle had to be emptied of course, then shaken carefully, to remove all drops of water left inside. That done, she reached over to the socket switch, and clicked it to off.
On her way up to the bedroom to get dressed, she suddenly stopped. Turning to go back into the kitchen, she looked along the row of switches once again. She flicked each one down to on, them slowly pushed each one back to off. With no chance of leaving one accidentally activated, she was happy to continue with getting dressed for the day.
In the bedroom, she examined the clothing options. The dresses and jackets, skirts and tops. On the right hand side of the large double wardrobe, she looked at the black and grey selection. Darkest on the left, going down to light grey at the far right. The left hand side held the lighter coloured clothes, running from pure white on the inside rail, through to beige and brown at the front. Sonia decided that a grey dress and jacket would be in order this morning, taking out a matching combination, before closing the door, and locking it carefully with the small chrome key. Walking over to a tall chest of drawers, she opened the top one, where she knew the black underwear would be found. Bras on the right, panties on the left. Each matching pair laid side by side of course, to avoid having to put on any that didn’t go together. Underwear chosen, she laid the dress and jacket on the bed, before walking across to a low cupboard on the far side of the room.
Inside, her shoes were stored carefully, each pair in its own shoe bag. A small plastic window in each provided a view of the shoes inside, to save opening each bag to check. She decided on some matt-black flats. Taking them from the bag, she reached inside the left shoe to find the microfibre cloth she knew would be there. Using it to buff the shoes free of any dust, she replaced it in the bag, zipped it up, and put it back into the cupboard. Sliding out a fitted drawer above the shoes, she inspected the tightly rolled pairs of tights, each in a small box section of the drawer. They were arranged in colour order, the darkest pairs at the front, light colours at the back. Then each colour was arranged by thickness. Warm woolen tights further back, then ribbed or opaques, moving to sheer at the front. Sonia selected some barely black tights, and took some white cotton gloves from their own section. She would wear those when putting on the tights, to avoid getting any runs or snags.
Finally dressed and ready, she checked the contents of her small shoulder bag. She yawned as she did so. It already seemed like a long day, and she still hadn’t left the house. Examining the inside of the bag, she mentally ticked off the contents. Wallet and cards, mobile phone, tissues, compact mirror and lipstick, folding hairbrush, a ballpoint pen, just in case, and the house keys. She wan’t sure, so emptied out the bag onto the bed, and carefully replaced every item in order. When the bag was full, she checked through again. Just to be certain.
Sonia looked at her reflection in the hallway mirror, adjusting the shoulder strap of the bag so it sat just right above her left arm. She had one last look around the house, and turned to open the door. Once outside, she retrieved the keys from the bag, and began to lock up. The main lock had to turn twice to the right, with a secondary lower lock requiring just one turn, from the larger of the two keys. She used the larger key first, listening for the click as the lock secured. Changing to the normal door-key, she rotated it twice in the lock. Once both were done, she pushed hard against the door, just to make sure it was secure.
She was sure there was some give in it, so had no option but to unlock both, and repeat the process. Finally satisfied, she turned to walk along the path to the gate. But as her hand touched the latch, a frown came over her face. Something was niggling in the back of her mind. Sonia turned around, and unlocking both locks once more, she walked back into the house, carefully hanging her bag on a hook in the hallway. Back in the kitchen, she checked the row of socket switches. They all seemed to be off, but just to make sure, she switched them all on again, before turning off each one individually. She then noticed a water droplet at the side of the sink, and reached for a disposable cloth to mop it up.
Standing in her kitchen, Sonia blew out her cheeks. It was going to be a long day indeed.