Harold smiled and said good morning to the woman he sat next to on the train. She mumbled a good morning back but seemed annoyed Harold had decided to sit next to her. It didn’t bother Harold though. He was just being nice for the sake of being nice and he wasn’t offended if people didn’t get that. He just wasn’t one of those people that expected people to be nice back to him. He refused however to stoop to their level and be rude for the sake of rudeness.
The train pulled from the station. Harold’s cell phone started to ring, which was odd because Harold’s phone never rang. He answered it quietly, not sure of the societal rules regarding cell phone usage in public. He still had an old flip-phone, no text ability, a crude voicemail. He never needed to upgrade, no one really ever called him. Plus he liked the idea of being, “Old School”, and slightly unreachable in this modern age. So it was very strange for him to be getting a phone call so early in the morning.
“Good Morning, this is Harold”, he said happily.
“Harold, you dumb son of a bitch”, said an angry voice.
“I’m sorry, what”, questioned Harold.
“You’re one sorry son of a bitch you know that”, said the furious voice.
“I’d like to know who this is if you please”, said Harold.
“You dumb happy bastard. It’s Mr. Ross, your boss”, said the voice.
Ross the boss. Harold hadn’t ever made that rhyme before and he was tempted to snicker. He always rhymed things and he was shocked he never made that one. Harold cleared his throat.
“Yes Mr. Ross. How can I help you today?”
“Harold, you’ve got us in a pickle. A real fucking pickle. I’d fire you but I have to give you a written warning first. Stupid HR”, said Mr. Ross.
“I’m sorry Mr. Ross, but I’m not sure what you’re talking about”, said Harold.
The woman sitting next to Harold tried to cross her legs and move a little further from him. Harold turned to look at her and he smiled.
“Where’s the money Harold?”
“The money Mr. Ross?”
“Yes, the fucking money. $800,000.00 has gone missing from your account ledger and we want to know where. The stockholders will be here in five minutes and if we don’t have an answer for them this company is done”, screamed Mr. Ross.
“Mr. Ross, couldn’t this have waited until I got to the office? This hardly seems appropriate to do over the phone”, said Harold.
“No, you rotten ball licker!”
Harold brushed his fading, graying hair off his forehead. He took a deep breath.
“Well Mr. Ross. I don’t know what to tell you. I certainly would never think of doing anything to harm the company or the stockholders. I love my job Mr. Ross and I can’t imagine where those funds went. I’m on my way into the office now and we’ll get this all sorted out. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding”, said Harold.
“Well, you better get your ass in here and find it or so help me I’ll have you arrested and thrown into the deepest darkest spider hole prison we can find”, screamed Mr. Ross.
Mr. Ross hung up on Harold. Harold clipped his phone back onto his belt. He cleared his throat and sat back calmly.
“You took it didn’t you”, asked the woman next to Harold.
“What makes you say that”, asked Harold.
“This train goes to the airport, not downtown”.
Harold Smiled at her again.
“What do you think of Aruba this time of year”, he asked her.