Bryl R. Tyne
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Copyright ©2010 Bryl R. Tyne
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May. For me, it was the worst month of the year.
"I'm taking the rest of the week off, Sue. And no -- no emergency calls." I couldn't help but notice the look she threw over the rim of her glasses. Of course, every tenant and his or her neighbor would be calling in for AC maintenance before Friday; today was only Wednesday... like I said, it was May. "It's my birthday tomorrow, for Pete's sake."
As she slapped shut the file she was skimming, I hesitated at the door. "Cut an old man some slack, would you?"
"You ain't old, Ed. You just need to get laid."
A hundred needles pierced the back of my neck, and from the heat, I was sure the sudden change in color finding its way to my ears was more than noticeable. But that was Sue for you. Great boss, don't get me wrong. She just never outgrew her tomboy years. From the warmth now filling my face, the flush was nowhere near receding. Damn my Irish complexion. With my back still toward her desk, I asked, "May I have the rest of the week off, Boss?"
Hand on the doorknob, I waited. Her silent deliberations had always irked me, but I'd paid attention enough over the years to know she needed those certain moments to think she was still in control. After all, she was my boss. If she needed something that simple to make her happy, I was more than happy to accommodate.
After clearing her throat, she voiced her decision. "I can hold down the fort until the weekend. Randy'll take it from there, but you make sure you're in ship-shape come Monday morning. You hear me?"
"Yes, ma'am," I said, opening the office door, after a pause to wonder just what she thought I did in my free time. Lord knows, forty-eight -- make that forty-nine come tomorrow -- and still eligible meant only one thing. I may as well start shopping for retirement living -- with a single bed. I reached over and snagged a couple brochures from the table under the curtained window on my way out. Reading material for later, of course.
"And, Ed – Edwin...!"
Body halfway out the door, I popped my head back inside the office.
"Make sure you leave your keys at the bar." Her wink told me either I was a fool for thinking I'd pulled the perfect ruse all these years or she was a psychic. "And happy birthday. Now, go on. Get out of here."
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