Updated: Feb 8, 2021
(Been feeling VERY crappy about working in my office lately so here is a nice office short story!- Enjoy)
It was like the first day of school all over again; scary big kids that knew everything, intimidating faces so stunning it was enough to make you feel ugly and small, and lastly, the dreary dress code.
He was lucky to get the placement he had been fighting so very hard for. The last slot was the toughest of them all, what with his competition being the son of the CEO. Had his son not been caught out for drink driving that week, he would have lost yet another placement chance. Thank goodness his competition was a moron.
After facing what felt like a lifetime of missed opportunities and crappy soul-sucking jobs, Luke was on this way to the big boy's playhouse; An office complex working in publishing. His star shining role.
It was an internal maze to the offices, dodging the many bodies and sluggish, soul destroyed zombies walking in the same directions. The bags under their eyes were almost like the rings on the trunk of a tree; you could tell how many years they were suffering from the various jobs they wished they never partook in. Gulping as his doubt was kicking him hard in his backside, he was on the doorstep of the building, more bodies shuffling around his motionless figure. After the crisp and disgustingly sharp October air cut his cheeks like sharpened glass, he yanked open the door, followed the crowd and braced the 'air supply cut off box' that was the elevator. Being an asthmatic, the 9 flights of stairs was never going to be an option. He was able to breathe again as the doors opened, the rush of sweaty skin peeling away from his own and out into the grand open box desks, stretched down to the end of the mile-long complex.
His clutch on his bag was ludicrously tight, knuckles turning to the shade of ghost white. He sidestepped around others, fearing to look at anyone directly in the eye or reach for his inhaler due to his unnecessarily brewing panic attack. His eyes found the side doors, leading to the private offices of what he guessed was the supervisors and directors' rooms. He found Director Hart's door - the man he was to make himself present to at the start of his shift. He knocked gently, a small voice telling him he'd be out momentarily. He groaned internally at having to endure the stares from all the longtime workers for a few minutes longer, scared but knowingly guessed they were making a judgment about him already.
Sitting on the spare seat outside of the director's office, he finally looked out amongst the people and just like that, he felt his stomach flip at the sight before him; How blindingly beautiful she had to be, how evil the world was treating him. She was quite literally ‘the Lois Lane’ to his Clark Kent. Disgustingly clichè. She walked in his direction, two coffee's in her hand and lingering laughter from what previous joke was made by her equally stunning colleague. The world was suddenly stroking him with kindness as her dazzling, lethal and pure smile shot in his direction.
"Do you drink coffee?" She bent slightly, placing the second mug on the tiny, ugly architect piece of crap table beside his chair and sitting on the other chair beside it. He nodded, bowing his head a little as an unspoken thanks. "Good. I'm Emma. The first day is always the worst but you look like you'll make it through.. uhh, name?" She chuckled, sipping her coffee. He was breathless from her words and to top it off, her laugh had practically made his heart stop.
"Luke.. thanks" He choked out, trying his hardest to pass it off as a cough, which to his luck the world continued to stroke his way to success with her. The question was how long was it going to last. "Thanks for the coffee... I was already feeling the jitters but at least I can explain that it was the coffee doing it instead" She blossomed a great and genuine laugh, Luke feeling the slow heart attack creep in. He sure was going to suffer in this place and not for the reason of how hard he'd have to work...
"Thompson; you can come in now. Ms. Booth, I'm still waiting for that fantasy edit. Chop chop!" Director Hart stuck his head out of his office door, his floating head catching them off guard. His head shrunk back into the room, leaving the two strangers chuckling together at how peculiar he looked.
"You’re working for publishing?" Luke was hopeful in his questioning, secretly wanting to have a reason to see her again on more than the occasion of passing each other once in a while to the break room. Nodded her head with clear intention, her grey tinged green eyes locked into his, her own thoughts swimming away with what was luckily the same as his; how unbelievably stunning they were. She sat up in her seat, remembering quickly that the desk opposite hers was cleaned out the night before, the old owner's stuff tossed from the sudden firing they received. Luke was to be her new desk buddy. Captivated by the new information she figured out on her own, she stood quickly and promptly scurried back to her desk to hide her loud heart beat and obvious grin. Luke frowned at her sudden disappearance, running his fingers through the curly, messy mop on the top of his head before standing and began his first-day meeting with the director.
He was now prepared and informed of how it was to work around here, his shrouding fears subsided a little as the hours wore him in. Now leaving the meeting, he was directed to his desk by his new supervisor, his feet slowly down more and more as his eyes met hers again, a smile shared between the two of them. He settled down, unpacking everything and began his pile of literature he would begin to correct and publish. He tried his hardest to stay focused but knowing that this lovely girl was less than 40 centimeters away from him, a thin stall wall blocking his view of her sweet, pale, freckled face was driving him more insane than he imagined. He was supposedly still in rebound stage having just been cheated on by his fiance and next door neighbour but it had been months now, almost a year and after seeing Emma's face, he had lost all care for the past heartache, his vow to swear off women forever was finally over.
"Hey, Emma?..." He cleared his throat, peering his head over the desk wall. Her crimson cheeks lifted up, her blushed lips gracing him with a smile.
"I'm new around here, as well as this city. Fancy showing me around sometime?" He was sure that it was a dangerous game; mixing work and pleasure together but he was doomed to damnation anyway after seeing her face.
"Meet me downstairs after work" She raised her coffee mug in a cheering fashion, not skipping a beat in answering his question.
He didn't come to work to meet a woman but he wasn't fighting it. After all, office romances usually end on a happy high note... At least, most do!