The Things We Created
This one might actually last. Sandra could always tell the ones who were just there for a paycheck. Then there were those looking to truly support something, whether it was a lifestyle or a family. This girl had that look to her. The directness in her gait, the way she was taking everything in, the obedience in the way her hands moved all said that she was focused on succeeding. Sandra could respect that.
The office had grown quite a bit. More and more offices were added every year. Desks were shoved into places where they were never intended to be. New hires came and went in regular tides. Still, the powers that be tried to give the space a sense of style. The lighting was low, the workers were expected to provide their own office lamps, preferably with green glass shades, for proper illumination. All the desks were solid and sturdy. No piece of pressed wood would be allowed.
“So this is the main office. You probably won’t spend too much time here. Richard tends to keep his assistants tied up around town with errands.”
“Don’t worry sweetie. He’s a good guy. Just doesn’t have the mind for little things. He calls them distractions.”
It only took one night with him to teach Sandra that lesson. He wasn’t a bad lover just a little too focused on his goals and the endgame. She desperately wanted him to linger a bit on the “distractions” but she was more than happy to be a vehicle to his desired endings.
She continued to usher the new hire through her new workplace. It hadn’t been so long since she had been the one being escorted around. She rose quickly through the ranks. The typical rumors accompanied her ascension. She didn’t deny the allegations, just the frequency. It wasn’t as if she could hide her actions anyways. The growing child in her womb was proof enough.
“This is the lunchroom. We have fridges, microwaves and-” Sandra left her sentence hanging as she tried to remember if there was another item to the list. At one point she was certain there was, something that made the other two seem vintage on her tongue.
A man walked into the lounge. His shoes scuffed across the floor as he lazily poured himself a cup of coffee. His suit was wrinkled, and hadn’t seen a drycleaners in over a week. Those who didn’t know him, figured that this was simply a sign of dedication. A clear image of someone who was willing to burn the midnight oil to accomplish a job, everything else could wait, it was admirable. Those who did know him though, knew admiration wasn’t on the man’s mind.
“Hey there honey.”
“Hello, Jessie.” The man said before shuffling out of the room.
“Poor man.” Sandra said.
“Why’s that?” The new girl asked.
“He’s on his way to a partnership, we all know it. But just a couple weeks ago, his brother went missing. Just up and disappeared. I think he got himself wrapped up with some girl he shouldn’t have and something happened. He’s the type you know? Anyways, now all Peter does is sit here all day, and most nights too. He tries to make it look like he’s working, but we know he’s not. He barely knows where he is half the time. He didn’t even get my name right. Although, if did know where he was, he’d probably remember how badly he wants to leave. That’s my guess though.”
There had been plenty of talk about Sandra and peter when he first took the job. Just good old Sandy latching onto the new hotshot, looking for another promotion. The problem with that was that his tryst had happened before she ever met him. At least that’s what she had heard.
“Most don’t think he’ll make it. He’ll probably crack eventually, can’t fake things forever. I never realized how close to his brother he was. Anyways, I’ll show you the mailroom next.”
Sandra was thankfully spared the whispers of gossip that seemed to center around the mailroom. More than a few late night affairs had been given to the light of day in that room. Still, others still went there for their sins, they still thought it had privacy to spare.
“So, I have to ask. How far along are you?” Sandra asked her new coworker.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh come on, a fellow mother always knows.”
She had wondered about the sisterhood that being a mother brought, before she was pregnant. She hadn’t met another expectant mom since she had become pregnant. She worried that maybe she was projecting her want of kinship onto the new girl, but there was certainly something growing in that woman.
“Just a couple of months.”
“Boy or girl?”
“Keeping it a surprise eh? You’re a lot stronger than me. I had to know about this little guy as soon as I could.”
“It’s not that. I just don’t want to get my hopes up for one thing and then have it change on me.”
Sandra stared at the woman, perplexed.
“Sweetie. I don’t think it works that way.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“Right, so this is the mailroom, usually everything is sorted by noon. But, if you get in good with the clerks you might be able to get Richard’s done early.”
There was no reason why Sandra should do what she could to make Richard’s life any easier. He denied his role as a father. There was nothing she could do to convince him that the baby that would be there soon was his. Not to say she didn’t keep trying though.
Eventually though, she’d have to face the realities of being a single mother. Even if she couldn’t admit those realities existed.
If she did give in to her more vicious side though, they’d probably all talk about her. They’d whisper about how sad she was, how bad of a person she was. Yet, when they found moments to think and not speak even they would probably admit to themselves that she was justified.
“So you really think that guy will burn himself out?” The new girl asked.
Sandra smiled, she felt she knew what the curiosity meant.
“Well, the other guys have been picking up a lot of the slack. Especially
Richard. But if they ever stopped, he’d be toast.” Sandra said as she began to lead the rookie to the exit.
“That really would be a shame.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Alright sugar, that’s the office. You start Monday. I have to say, you seem like a really good girl. I hope you make it. It can get pretty crazy here. You know what? I’m just going to come out and say it. I like you, I think you’ll do just fine.”
Sandra waved as the new girl walked out of the building.
“So, that’s my new assistant right?” Richard asked as he walked up behind Sandra.
“Yep, she’ll be here Monday morning ready to go.”
“She’s pretty. It’ll be nice for the office.”
“Yeah, a real breath of fucking springtime air.”
“Jesus, what got into you?”