I don’t believe you. You break our date even before we have a chance to meet? You seemed pretty eager to get together a week ago when you made the date (yes, that’s right – you made it). I don’t get it, what’s your problem? We exchanged e-mails, we talked on the phone, we had a few IM conversations – I thought we were all ready to go. Now you pull this “I don’t feel like we’re connecting” crap on me? Of course we’re not connecting yet! That’s what we were going to try to do on Saturday!
Fiction: May 2008 Archives
They sat across the table from each other, unblinking. The one on the left was glaring at the one on the right, who was glaring right back. They weren’t engaged in a glaring contest (a close cousin of the staring contest, only with more ire), but they might as well have been.
They both sat rigid in their chairs, their hands resting on the table between them. One could imagine the two of them starting a shoving match with it, but neither of them seemed inclined to instigate one. Each appeared to be waiting for the other to make the first move.
Bobby Ryan was as surprised as anybody when he was named Employee of the Month at the data entry center. He had been on the job for a little over a year and didn’t think he’d distinguished himself too much one way or the other. He showed up on time every day, never called out sick and carried out his duties competently and without complaint. If that was enough to qualify him for Employee of the Month, then so be it.
The perks enjoyed by the Employee of the Month were minor, but Bobby wouldn’t have wanted a whole lot of hoopla anyway. He received a $20 gift card to a local eating establishment and a display with his photo and a brief write-up on the office wall (if they had an in-house newsletter, he might have been interviewed for it, but they didn’t, so he wasn’t), but the most tangible benefit was the use of the Employee of the Month parking space, which was right across from the building’s entrance. The trouble was he never got to park in it.
What time is it? Five after? Don’t fret; he could just be running late or something. Maybe he’s having a hard time finding parking. I know how difficult it can be around here at this time of day. I even showed up ten minutes early because I didn’t want to risk being late.
At least I know he can’t be lost because he’s the one who picked this place. I don’t even drink coffee, but, as I figured there would be, there’s hot chocolate or fruit juice if I want to go either of those routes. I’ll wait until he shows up to order, though. There’s nothing more pathetic than sitting in a coffee shop and drinking hot chocolate by yourself – if you don’t have a laptop, that is. I suppose I could have brought mine, but frankly I didn’t think I’d need to.
Even as he took the first bite of his sandwich, Earl knew he was making a phenomenally stupid mistake. It was the latest in a string of mistakes he had made in the last few days and the one that was likely to cause him the most immediate grief.