Monday, May 31, 2010

Harter Union: Part Four; Chapter 4 & 5

“Oh…my…God!” Heather said, staring down at me and Emily sitting asleep on the couch and wrapped in a blanket. I opened my eyes and looked at Heather and then at Emily who was still asleep.

“What?” I asked quietly.

“You and Emily slept together!”

“Yeah,” I slowly got up, removed the blanket, softly laid Emily down and covered her back up, “and if you’ll notice, we are still dressed in the clothes we wore last night.”

“What is she doing here anyway?”

“Can you keep your voice down? She’s asleep. Come into my room, I need to change.”

Heather followed me into my room and shut the door behind us. I began unbuttoning my jacket. “Now, what is she doing here?” Heather demanded.

“She wanted to talk after our date so we came back here, I fixed her some coffee, we talked and ended up falling asleep. Now, unless being a nice, sensitive guy is suddenly a crime, you shouldn’t be interrogating me about this.”

“Emily is evil! You told me that yourself and here you are cuddled up next to her in a blanket!”

“So what? Why do you even care?”

“Because I am your friend, and I don’t want to see you get hurt, especially by her. She is evil!”

“She’s not that bad when you get to know her. When we were locked in the freezer together…”

“You two were locked in a freezer?”

“Yeah, I thought I told you. Anyway, since then, we’ve been almost like friends and I am starting to really like her,” I took off my shirt and pants and put on a pair of sweats and an old football jersey.

“Remember when we had sex, Jefferson?” Heather asked.

“Of course.”

“How much did it mean to you?”

“What? You know how much it meant to me. It meant a lot and it was, honestly, the best sex I ever had, now what’s your problem?”

Heather crossed her arms and sighed heavily. “I love you, Jefferson, I have loved you from the moment you kissed me,” Heather sat down on my bed.

“You do? I…guess I hadn’t realized it or maybe I didn’t want to admit it but…”

“What are you saying?” Heather asked.

“What I’m saying is…” I wanted to finish my sentence but Emily suddenly knocked on the door. “Come in.”

Emily entered and saw Heather on the bed. “Whoa, I’m not interrupting anything am I?”

“No, no. We were just talking. What do you want?” I asked.

“Can you drive me home? I need to get ready for work.”

“Of course, come on,” I slipped on my shoes and left the room. I looked back at Heather who was smoothing out my bed sheet. As I drove Emily home, both of us were completely silent.

“Thank you,” said Emily.

“For what?” I asked.

“For listening last night…you were the first guy to ever do that. Thanks.”

“I’m always here if you need anything. Always,” I offered. I dropped Emily off at her house and she got out of the Jimmy. “Emily, if we hadn’t fallen asleep, would you have had sex with me?” I asked, smiling.

“Of course,” she smiled back.

“Damn it!” I cursed. “Oh, well, I’ll see you at work…” Emily shut the door and I drove off.

Chapter Five
It was Thursday when I arrived back in the dining area where everyone was sitting and I noticed Nathan and Alyson sitting at opposite ends of the table; Jason and Chrissy weren’t being all touchy-feely and both Heather and Emily were sad-looking and quiet. Aaron was once again trying to fix the soft serve ice cream machine and Wendy was nearly asleep. The only people actually enjoying themselves were the new workers: Wanda, Katie, Stephanie, and Kepler.

“What’s wrong with everybody?” I asked.

“Nathan and I are fighting,” Alyson said.

“This machine has been a problem since Monday night!” replied Aaron.

“I’m having an abortion tomorrow and I’m starting to have second thoughts about it,” Chrissy said softly.

“We never finished our conversation from yesterday, Jefferson,” said Heather.

“Okay, since when did you people start having all of these problems?” I asked.

“What are you doing here?” Wendy asked me.

“My vacation started getting too real so I’m cutting it short. Now, if all the new people and Wendy will come into my office,” I directed. We all went into my office. I offered Wendy my chair and I leaned against the wall; Katie sat in the extra chair and Kepler and Wanda sat on the other desk.

“What’s up, Bosco?” asked Kepler.

“Well, the reason I…Bosco?” I shook my head and shrugged it off. “The reason I called you in here is to learn more about yourselves. Maybe share with us an anecdote.”

“Then why am I in here?” asked Wendy.

“You are now the assistant supervisor so you are going to be integrated into everything I do from now on. So who wants to go first?”

“I will,” began Wanda. “I live in a trailer park on Second Street and there’s a fugitive hiding out next door. And I’ve slept with him.”

“We really need to have psychological evaluations for this job. And why did you sleep with him?” I asked.

“He’s a criminal! It’s not everyday you get to sleep with a fugitive from the law,” Wanda shifted her weight on the desk.

“Please, someone else go,” I pleaded.

“All right, I’m Katie Nickerson, I like Italian food, long walks in the outdoors and small animals.”

“I wanted a story, not a brief dating intro,” I said.

Katie smiled. Katie was short and had mid-length blond hair and I just couldn’t imagine a cute girl like that needing to beg for a boyfriend.

“I’m Stephanie Caldwell, how old are you, Jeff?” asked Stephanie, who had long blond hair, a crooked nose, and sort of crossed eyes.

“I’m 28…” I answered.

“Do you want to come over to my place sometime?” she asked with a lilt in her voice.

“How old are you?” I asked, realizing Stephanie was fairly young-looking.


“No.” I turned to Kepler. “All right, Kepler, your turn.”

“Okay, you know that body they found hanging from that tree in the cemetery?” everyone turned and looked at Kepler.

“Oh, God, you didn’t kill him did you?” I moaned.

“No, but I poked him with a stick.”

I sighed. “Well, that went horribly wrong. Please, everybody leave, get ready for work and let us never speak of this again.” Everyone left the office and I slumped down in my chair.

“Can we talk now? We never finished our conversation from yesterday,” asked Heather, who suddenly appeared in the doorway.

“No hablas Englaish,” I said.

“That was the worst Spanish I ever heard.”

“That was Spanglish but thank you.”

“You can’t avoid the subject forever,” Heather taunted.

“I can at least try,” I got up and began flapping my hands behind my ears. “Look, I’m a moth!” I climbed on top of the desk and flailed around the fluorescent light.

“Stop it, Jefferson, I’m being serious!” said Heather, trying not to laugh.

“I’m serious, too so you better climb up on a piece of furniture because the floor just turned to lava.”

Heather looked down as if to check and then back at me. “I know what you were about to tell me.”

“Meow!” I interrupted.

“You love me but you’re afraid to say it.”

“Mew-rowr!” again.

“Because you still love Melissa and Maggie!”

I hissed and batted my hand at her.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Mr. Jolly Pussinwhiskers does not wish to discuss Jeff’s feelings at the moment so if you will excuse him,” I hopped off the desk, pushed past Heather and bounded into the kitchen.

“The floor is still lava you know!” she hollered at me.

“Meow-rrowhhrr!” I screeched.

Wanda and Heather were in the stock room folding laundry. We had our own washing machine and dryer to do the towels, aprons, rags but somehow everything remained dirty. “So you live with Jeff?” asked Wanda.

“Yeah. He’s a great roommate,” Heather answered, folding an apron.

“Have you and him knocked boots?”

A guilty look came over Heather’s face as she leaned closer to Wanda. “You can’t tell anyone but yes, a couple months ago.”

“I figured you did. How was it?”

“It was wonderful. Everything I imagined and more,” Heather gushed.

“Have you done it much before Jeff?”

“Yeah, several times but I haven’t since Jefferson,” Heather revealed and took the last apron out of the basket and folded it.

“You need to come out with me. Get a little drunk, get laid. I know guys who are so hung that it’s like they might rip you in half!” Wanda exclaimed.

“I may just do that…” Heather smiled. She and Wanda gathered up the folded laundry and left the stock room.

I was working on my courage outside of her apartment. I got out of my car and headed up to her door. I knocked and waited for Melissa to answer. The door locked shuffled and clicked, then the door opened.

“Jeff, what are you doing here?” she asked.

“I was wondering if you’d like to grab a bite to eat.”

“Well, I’m kind of busy right now…”

“Hey, Mel? Who’s at the door? The meat is getting cold,” said a male voice from inside Melissa’s apartment.

“It’s just my supervisor, Mike,” Melissa yelled back. She looked at me. “I’m sorry. Maybe some other time.”

“Yeah, sure, it’s not important. I’ll see you at work tomorrow,” I kept the smile on my face until Melissa shut the door. I walked back to my car, started it up and drove off.

Nathan and Alyson fight while Jeff goes missing.