Friday, July 13, 2012

The 13th day

Clark strolled into work like the summer sunrise. He was buoyant and glowing and filled with good morning cheer. There didn’t seem like there was anything that could slow down his easy going gait and song laden heart.

“Good morning”, he smiled at the receptionist.
“Good morning”, he waved at the mail room kid.
“Good morning”, he winked at his cubicle friends.

Even while having to make more coffee he was bubbly and effervescent. He was like a glass of water with an Alka-Seltzer dropped in it. Churning and popping with good cheer.

With fresh made coffee in his hand he returned to his cubicle now ready to make the most of his glorious day. First thing he had to do was phone his wife and wish her a marvelous good morning. Clark had missed his usual good morning with her due to an early morning meeting she had to attend at her work. He didn’t wake up until she was gone. So he was eager to wish her the best on this fine day.

He smiled again at his co-workers, specifically complimented the smart shoes his nearest cubicle neighbor, Maggie,  was wearing and then dialed his wife’s number. Her phone rang. And rang. Clark smiled as patiently as a daisy waiting for rain. The phone continued to ring. And ring. Julie’s voicemail came on. Clark smiled at the sound of his wife’s voice. Sweet Julie at the Beaver Creek Souvenir store. Clark had come into her store for directions and ended up with a wife. He’d always marveled at that.

Julie wasn’t perfect. She’d never had a boyfriend and was nearly a shut in, but her dimpled face and long stingy brown hair was too impossible for Clark to resist. Since they’d been married she’d only gotten better looking, in fact, he was quite sure she was down at least two sizes.

“Darling, it’s Clark. I didn’t get a chance to wish you a good morning”, he said, “I love you very much and I can’t wait to see you tonight”.

Clark hung up the phone and looked over at his co-worker Maggie.

“I didn’t get a chance to speak to her this morning”, he said.

Maggie nodded and looked at the photo pinned to Clark’s cubicle wall of him and his whale of a wife. It was nearly cartoonish. A thin, balding 40ish man being nearly swallowed by a 20 something with big blue eyes and an even a bigger face.

“That’s nice”, said Maggie.

Clark turned his attention to his computer and started his work; sipping on his hot coffee he had a strange flash of memory. While picking out a tie, which he still wore every day even though the office was business casual, he noticed Julie’s suitcase had been moved. At the time he didn’t think anything of it, but now it seemed he couldn’t remember seeing it anywhere else.  He picked up his phone and called Julie again. Her voicemail came on again.

“Hi Julie, my darling. I just was wondering where your suitcase was. I didn’t see it in the closet and I know it’s actually your mother’s suitcase so I just wanted to be sure that you knew it wasn’t in its usual place in the closet. So… if you think of it… let’s just make sure we get that back. Or is your mother going on a trip? Anyway, I love you snookums and I will talk to you later”, he said.

Clark hung up the phone and looked over at Maggie. She had turned her back to him and was looking intently at her computer screen. Clark thought to maybe explain why he called Julie again but then thought better of it because it was clear Maggie didn’t really want to know.

But maybe she did want to know and was only pretending not to want to know.

“My wife must have moved her suitcase. It was weird because she never moves it”, said Clark out loud.
“What”, absently asked Maggie, instantly regretting it.
“I was just saying my wife must have moved her suitcase from our closet. It was just an observation”, he repeated.

Maggie nodded and returned her attention to her screen. Clark was creepy. She could always feel his eyes scanning her, watching her as she crossed her legs or adjusted her posture in her uncomfortable chair. She opened up an e-mail and tried to focus on her work.

Clark sat for a moment looking at Maggie. He wanted her but she didn’t have enough meat on her. She was sexy, but in a thin sexy kind of way. It just wasn’t what Clark liked. He wanted folds on a woman, places to explore. He found that he was getting aroused thinking about Julie’s rolls of womanhood.  He picked up his phone. He got Julie’s voicemail.

“Julie”, he half whispered, “It’s me. I was just thinking about you and I can’t wait to see you tonight. There are so many things I want to do with, to, you. Okay, back to work. Love you”.

He hung up his phone with a little sinful smile on his face. That skinny Maggie had no idea what she was missing by being so skinny. Clark checked his text messages and started to wonder why Julie hadn’t sent him at least a morning message. Maybe there was some emergency at the souvenir shop that she had to attend to. Maybe she was doing inventory. Maybe he’d better check. He called her again.

“Hello”, answered a heavy male voice.
“Yeah, who is this”, asked the voice.
“Um, is Julie there”, asked Clark.

“She’s in the shower”, said the voice.

“The shower… the shower”, trailed Clark.
“Yeah, who’s calling”, asked the deep voice.

In the background, behind this heavy male voice Clark could hear a subtle moaning, a moaning he was familiar with. It was the sound Julie made when he was trying to arouse her.

“Julie, is in the shower”, asked Clark.
“Well, if she keeps doing what she’s doing she’ll be in a shower soon”, said the voice.

Clark froze. He then heard her faintly through the phone.
“Oh my God! Why are you on my phone…”, and the line went dead.

Clark felt a cold shiver run through his body. A sweat broke out on his forehead and he stood up in his cubicle. He dropped the phone to his desk and started to walk out of the office.

Maggie looked as he passed her.

“Are you okay”, she asked.

Clark’s sunny morning demeanor was now replaced with a dark and angry cloud.

“Up yours”, he said to her.

He continued to walk out.

“Up yours”, he said to the mail room kid.
“Up yours”, he said to the receptionist.  

The phone dropped to his desk started to ring.