Since my last author’s note was a little on the long side, I’m going to keep this one short…
Stats: 535 words. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
“What a Week”
Friday was shaping up to be an uneventful night. Lying on the couch and watching a movie sounded like my best option, and a good one at that. Popcorn with a bourbon chaser. I checked my calendar to make sure I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere. I could just imagine someone calling to say, “Where in the world are you? We need the stuff at the thing.” I’d missed my dental appointment yesterday morning and wouldn’t be surprised if I’d forgotten to pick up my paycheck as well.
Crap. I did.
Whatever. George already had passed off my project idea as his own. Maybe our boss gave him my wages as a bonus.
When I went to the kitchen to pop that delicious sounding bag of corn, the box was empty. I could have grabbed the pretzels on the other size of the tomato soup, but they weren’t the right kind of salty and I doubt they would have heated well.
So, I grabbed my keys and drove to Ralphs.
A crowded supermarket wasn’t what I had in mind for my night alone. I measured the time to the cashier, then the distance to the door, my car, and home. The math said I needed to come out of here with movie snacks to make this trip worth it.
Finally, after the woman in front of me counted out nine dollars in quarters, I paid for my popcorn and Red Vines (an impulse buy). I popped a piece of licorice in my mouth and made for the exit without making eye contact with anyone. This was a bad idea because I bumped into someone on my way out.
I apologized. Had I known who it was beforehand, I would have bitten my tongue.
He didn’t look good. His face hung down so far it could have slipped right off his bones at any second. I might have smiled a bit.
“Everything okay?” I asked.
He shrugged. “I got fired.”
“Oh, no. Why?”
“It turns out there was some clearances that weren’t obtained before the MacMurray project launched. Now they have to push back the release, which is going to cost them a fortune.”
He must be referring to the legal clearances I was about to obtain right before George removed me from his project. I told him what was required.
I don’t know why I expected him to fess up about what he’d done. This guy believed his own world so thoroughly he actually thought he created the MacMurray venture all on his own. I gritted my teeth and was about to unleash a hellstorm of obscenities when his expression changed. His eyes perked up as they looked at my hand.
“Are those Red Vines?” he asked. “Would I…? Could I…?”
“Here,” I said, handing him the box of licorice. “It’s the least I could do.”
George smiled as he took such a simple gesture to heart. “Thanks. You’re a good friend.”
We parted ways with the vague plan of grabbing coffee some day soon. As I reached my car with my desired popcorn in hand, I couldn’t help but feel glad I gave him the candy.
They were quite stale.