Challenge: Finish a story with the line, “Nothing ever felt easier to say.”
“Can you get this to me by five?”
The heavy folder thudded onto Suanne’s desk without apology staring up at her like a smug bully. She looked up at her boss who hadn’t even hesitated as she strolled by in her pointy toed kitten heels. The order still hung in the air with all its indifferent bitchiness as the sleek glass door to the sprawling executive office closed.
She looked over to Thing 1 who responded with a wordless eyebrow raise and a non-discernible eye roll. They were convinced the lady had enclosed her office in glass so that she could pounce on any sign of insolence. A text came to her phone a moment later. The assistants had perfected the art of looking like they were typing on their computers while communicating through phone text, the only way not to be traced.
I can help.
Suanne opened the burgeoning folder and revealed the latest samples and notes that would need to be painstakingly filed in the look book before the meeting of creatives the next morning. It wasn’t something she could hand off so she responded with a head shake. For a long moment she glared at the files knowing the urgency of this task had been escalated because her boss had hear her talking to Thing 1 about the date she had that evening. It was the first date in over a year for Suanne. She was excited about something, someone, finally and that didn’t happen often. Now it seemed she would have to cancel. She glared a moment longer no, she could work later when she got back home and have the file ready by morning which was when she knew her boss would look at it. The woman was a creature of habit and Suanne knew the following morning one hour before the meeting the woman would rise from her desk go to her long glass table and flip through the book making sure everything was ready to be presented.
With a cleansing breath, Suanne dug into work with her head down for the next few hours. It didn’t matter how hard or fast or efficient her work, there was no way to complete so much before five and that woman knew it. Normally this task would be shared between Thing One and Thing Two, as the ladies like to refer to their positions.
At five her head was deep in the task when the waft of expensive perfume hovered over her. She didn’t jump in surprise because the feline quietness that her boss moved around with had long ago ceased to jar her. She looked up slowly meeting the woman’s satisfied smile plastered into the preternaturally frozen face then she looked away quickly trying to conceal her sneer.
“There is no way to finish this right now. I’ll do it tonight but I have a six o’clock appointment I need to make.”
“A date is not something that you need to make. A date can be cancelled but your priorities those cannot be cancelled.”
“Corrine this isn’t something you even look at before morning. I’ve given this position every free hour of my life for two years. I’m going to dinner and I’ll finish this at home tonight.”
“Do you like your job, Suanne?”
She swallowed knowing she was deep in dangerous territory with her boss. People did not push back against Corrine VonSantis. “Yes, you know that I do.”
“Then I suggest you cancel your plans and have these to me before you leave.”
It was the last straw and Suanne stood up tossing the sheets and fabric she had been holding at the woman. They fluttered down between them like butterflies.
“Do it yourself. I quit you frigid, spiteful witch.”
After some awkward shuffling where she tried to gather her things and storm out of the deadly silent room with as much aplomb as she had told off her boss, she managed to round the corner and storm toward the elevators. A stunned designer, arms filled with large binders stared slack jawed having witnesses the full meltdown spoke as she passed.
“I can’t believe you said that to her.” There was marvel in his voice.
Suzanne didn’t hesitate stomping away awkwardly in her unmanageable stilettos. “Nothing ever felt easier to say.”