Originally posted May 17, 2013
Man, the wind is howling today. Gina is fighting the gusts as she walks down the street to her apartment struggling with protecting the papers she carries while holding her skirt against flapping around. She once again thinks that she must buy a bag to carry work home with her.
Fortunately for her, another tenant exits the building as she works to open the door. She slips in before it closes. She stops to catch her breathe before deciding to bypass the mailbox. No one ever writes her any way.
She rests again at the top of the third floor stairs. She fumbles for her apartment key but must set her papers down to find it. Just as the door lock clicks, someone opens the front door of the building. The swish travels up the stairwell. Gina grabs at pages trying to save them from utter chaos. Some of them go up and some go down. Arg! It will take half the work time tonight just collecting them and putting them in their files.
Gina hurriedly shoves the ones she has inside her door. She looks up and down before deciding to go down first so they don’t fly out the door. On the second floor, she mets a man that must have just moved in as she knows everyone in the building.
“Are you the one that just opened the door?”
“Then you’re the one that is going to help me gather all these papers I have to work on tonight.”
“Excuse me? Just why should I do that?”
“You’re the reason they all became paper airplanes.”
“Maybe if you ask me politely, I will help. Not because I’m at fault. I have no control over that blasted wind.”
“Grrr. You are arrogant.”
“And you are stubborn.”
“What do you mean? You haven’t known me long enough to make that determination.”
“All you have to do is ask nicely for some help and you won’t. That equals stubbornness.”
“Would you, PLEASE, help me find all my pages that flew everywhere when YOU opened the door?” Gina grits her teeth. She would not have asked if the circumstances were different, but time is wasting.
“I would be happy to help out a neighbor except I am late for an important meeting. If I see any, I will pick them up for you.”
Gina is seething as she begins her search. It’s like an Easter egg hunt only with paper that wants to swoop away with each gust. She takes her armful of crumpled sheets to her apartment.
Before she begins sorting, she pulls out a TV dinner and sticks it in the oven. Sitting on the floor, she begins sorting, smoothing, and recovering every scrap she can. The timer goes off just as she is thinking I need a break.
Not bad work as she looks over the neat stack waiting for her to begin the sifting through them to complete the reason they are here. She has a good chance at a raise provided she can finish this project tonight. Gina hopes she found all the parts to every file. That exasperating man! If he had just helped her instead of playing silly games, she could be much further along. She must try to avoid him if at all possible.
Knock, knock, knock. The light tapping isn’t any of her friends. They knock so loudly that it sounds like the building is coming down. Behind the door stands the stranger that she planned on avoiding. He hands a small stack of paper out to her. She reaches for them when he pulls them back.
“First, I want to apologize. We got off to a bad start. You were obviously having a bad day and I was frustrated from my first day in a new job. I just moved here and don’t know anyone. Some co-workers wanted to show me the town and I was late. Please, accept my apology by letting me help you out.”
Gina stands there puzzled over his behavior. She doesn’t know this man and feels uncomfortable inviting him in.
“I accept your apology, but I have the files in order and the rest, I have to do myself. Thank you for the offer. My name is Gina… Gina Williams.”
“I”m Brent Jacobs. Do you have time for me to buy you a cup of coffee?”
Gina really needed to get to work, but it felt rude to refuse a cup of coffee in a public place. “A quick one.”
She took the pages from Brent’s hand and lay them aside. She pulls her jacket on over her T shirt and jeans. “I know just the place.”
Coffee in hand, they find a table in the corner. Brent begins to tell her his story, then it is her turn. She isn’t sure where to start or what she wants to share. So she keeps it simple and short. She looks at the clock and gasp at how late it is.
“I’ve got to get back and finish my work. Everything rests on it.”
“Can we have dinner tomorrow?”
“Sure. I may have something to celebrate.”
With completed files in hand, Gina walks into the meeting to present the information. She feels her stomach roll when she Brent at the head of the table. Well, there goes her raise. She will be lucky to just keep her job.
(What do think will happen next? Leave me a comment about it.)