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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Short Story: Part I

She knew as soon as she saw him. Call it woman's intuition, divine intervention, or what you will, but when Tonia's eyes scanned the room of party-goers, she knew she had to meet him. Work Christmas parties had always been the bane of her existence; she would spend two hours getting primped, curled, and plucked only to exit her boss's front door after an hour, one year leaving with wine spilled on her white blouse, another, bored to tears. Last year's Christmas celebration, she crawled out the bathroom window, bedecked in skirt and all, just so she could avoid having to say goodbye to everyone. At sight of the handsome newbie, Tonia mentally signed a contract in her head that she would not leave until after she had at least talked to him, or maybe, if the gods were on her side, she would have some digits in her pocket by the end of the night. Her lull of staring at the beautiful creature across the room was interrupted by Ronald coming into her view. And let's face it, how he could ever be out of one's view was beyond Tonia's comprehension.

God, she couldn't stand her fellow employee. Ronald was fat. There was no other way to describe his rotund girth, so saying he was fat was probably a mild remark in the realm of rudeness. It's not that Tonia couldn't have liked him because of his weight; she had several friends, men and women, who were larger than any of them knew they should be. What put Tonia over the edge with Ronald was his mouth. It was ceaselessly jabbering, the turkey neck below it swinging as words of undistinguishable meaning poured out of his mouth, the flow of which could be comparable to how a toddler dumps sprinkles on their sundae: very few sprinkles make it to the actual icecream bowl, and very few words actually made it to Tonia's ears.

She'd learned in the first two weeks at her job that the jar of MilkyWay Bars could not sit on her desk; they were like the scent of shit to flies. Once Ronald knew the candy bars were there, he would make laps outside of her office until she arrived, burning more calories during that fifteen minute wait than what he did all day. Making his rounds collecting mail overly slow, he would pretend that he had forgotten an envelope at the cubicles outside of her door. Upon her arrival, she would have to open her door with what sounded like a mastiff breathing down her neck, probably due to the exertion he had put forth in parading around the office. Sad as it is true, Tonia's highlight of her day came from the silence as she inserted her office key into the antique doorknob; her guess was that the combination of being out of breath from his "mail run" and the anticipation of the sugary goodness he was about to experience left Ronald speechless.

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