The following is a work of fiction. This a story I wrote for one of the writing exercises from the past couple months. The problem is that I don’t remember which one it was for or even what the prompt was for that matter. All I know is that when I went in and re-read this piece I knew I needed to clean it up a bit (which I’ve already done) and then just post it. It’s high time I quit writing stories that just sit on my computer and do nothing. At least out here they can be, well um, read.
I had been thinking about quitting this horrible job. The only problem was that I knew how hard it would be to find another that paid as well or had the same type of benefits. The boss was a real jerk, but seeing that paycheck each week made it worthwhile. It was also nice to know that if I needed to see a doctor or dentist I wouldn’t have to pay for all of it out of my own pocket.
As I sat there trying to add yesterday’s receipts to the ledger I could hear my boss screaming into the phone about the price of something. I couldn’t really tell what it was that he was screaming about this time but I knew the rest of my day would not be fun.
“Shelby, I need you in here”. I could tell by the tone of his voice that I was about to become a lot busier than I’d hoped to be. Whenever he needed something done that he just plain didn’t want to do, it became my job.
“Yes, Mr. Moorehouse. What can I do for you?”. I’d hoped that the words sounded at least slightly sincere. I really wanted to tell him to do his latest ‘job’ himself, but I knew better. My car was in the shop and rent was coming around again.
“I need you to jump on that monkey box of yours and find me a decent rate on flower arrangements”. I knew he meant my computer and I cringed at the term. What really took me by surprise was that he wanted me to look for something as frivolous as flowers. Mr. Moorehouse wasn’t a romantic by any means. Anyway I’d never seen a romantic side to him.
“Yes sir. Any specific variety or dollar amount I should take into account?”. I was a little scared about this endeavor as I had a feeling it was a trap. He had tricked me into spending too much money on a business luncheon once and reminded of it whenever he got the chance.
“I don’t know. A flower is a flower. Just choose one”. I knew this was going to turn into something difficult. Just once I wished this man could ask me to do something easy. For that matter I wished he’d be kind enough to simply ask me to do something instead of demanding.
“Uh, yes sir. The problem is that there are more than 4,000 different varieties of flower and I thought maybe you had a preference”. I waited for the explosion that I was sure would happen but it didn’t. He stood there with his hands on his hips and breathed in deep.
“What’s your favorite?”.
I didn’t know quite what to say. Was he actually asking for my opinion? I was so shocked that I had to take a few moments to catch my breath and think about the answer.
“Um, roses. I love roses, sir”.
“Good enough. Find out where I can get a bunch of roses for a reasonable price”.
That was all he said as he seated himself behind his desk. He hadn’t said to order them, he just said to find them. And that’s what I did. I spent the rest of that day going through the phone book, searching the Internet, and looking at ads in the newspaper. I even tried calling friends and family for their opinions. At the end of the day I took the list I’d made up to Mr. Moorehouse’s office.
“Sir? I’ve compiled the list for you. I’ve narrowed it down to about six different florists in the region who all have pretty decent rates for their rose bouquets”.
He took the list from me and studied it as though reading the latest from the stock market. “Exactly what I wanted. I’ll take it from here”.
I knew from the tone that I’d been dismissed and that whatever they were for, it was none of my business.
My evening from there was pretty typical. I took the bus home, fixed myself a little dinner, then snuggled down on the couch for the night. I’d grabbed a newspaper on the way home so I could look at the want ads. I was still thinking about finding a new job but nothing started out even close to what I was making at my current job. I felt trapped in a never-ending cycle. The money was great but the boss sucked.
As morning came around I found myself still on the couch. I thought about calling in sick until I remembered my car in the shop. It was going to cost a small fortune to get it fixed and the first of the month wasn’t that far away. I forced myself get up and get ready for work.
I cringed the whole bus ride there. I didn’t want to deal with that man another day but knew I had no choice. I convinced myself that as soon as I got a few more bills paid off, I was going to find a new job. I didn’t care about taking a pay cut as long as I didn’t have to deal with Mr. Moorehouse anymore. I’d had enough.
I slowly opened the office door waiting to hear my boss screaming because I was about 3 minutes late. As I walked into the room I instantly noticed the beautiful bouquet of roses sitting on my desk. The shock must have been obvious on my face but there was no one else in the room to see it.
I leaned down to smell one of the blooms and saw the card. I almost didn’t pick it up as I was sure that this arrangement was for someone else. I figured that Mr. Moorehouse had either sat it there just to get it out of his hand or that he was going to have me deliver it for him. I couldn’t help it though, the suspense was killing me.
I opened the envelope and pulled out the card. I knew the hand writing immediately. “Thanks for being the best assistant I’ve ever had”.
It wasn’t much but it spoke volumes. I was dumbstruck. He really did appreciate all that I did for him and that meant more to me than all the money in the world.
I walked to his office and softly knocked on the door. “It’s open”, he bellowed.
“Mr. Moorehouse? I just wanted to say thank you for the flowers. They’re beautiful”. I didn’t know what else to say as my head was still reeling.
“Glad you like them. I didn’t know how else to say thanks for all you do around here. I might not say it very often but you do good work”.
That’s when I began wondering whether or not I was still on my couch dreaming.