The break room was finally quiet as Frank entered. He needed his usual morning cup of coffee to build up his strength. The room had been too busy earlier and Frank didn’t want to deal with the cluster of all the others crammed in there, reaching for creamers and sugar and stirrers over each other. It was like pigs at a trough. So he waited a little until the coast was clear. As he entered he saw a lone figure sitting at the one available break room table, staring blankly at an empty coffee mug. It was January St. August, one of the chosen.
“I woke up this morning and I couldn’t find my wings,” said January St. August.
Frank did a double check of the room to see if there was anyone else present. January St. August had never spoken to him before.
“What do you mean,” asked Frank.
“I opened my eyes, rubbed the sleep off my face, threw the covers off myself, stood up and stretched and I realized that my wings were gone. They were just gone!”
Frank noticed that indeed January St. August’s giant angelic wings were missing.
“I had to take the bus here this morning. Do you know how embarrassing it is for me to have to take the bus,” said January St. August.
“Well, no. I mean, I take the bus every day. I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal. I’m sure no one noticed,” said Frank.
“Not. A. Big. Deal,” said January St. August, “Well, that’s just rich. You’re some kind of funny guy hm? The office comedian? You’re the wise cracker,” questioned January St. August.
“No, no, not at all. I’m just, you know, saying that it probably wasn’t… you know, that it wasn’t anything that anybody noticed,” stammered Frank.
January St. August looked back down at the coffee mug on the break room table. Frank paused and lifted the coffee pot off the warmer. It had barely a sip left in the bottom. He’d forgotten that along with being pigs, his co-workers refused to make more coffee. Frank cringed and looked at January St. August.
“Do you want the last little bit of coffee before I make more,” offered Frank.
January St. August nodded. Frank stepped toward the table and poured the last remaining coffee into the empty mug.
“Thanks. Sorry I blew up at you,” said January St. August.
“No problem,” said Frank.
Frank went to the cupboard and took out the coffee filters and the coffee grounds and started to prepare a new brew. He didn’t want to make any further acknowledgement of January St. August, look in that direction or make the mistake of engaging in any further conversation.
“I mean, where could then have gone? I looked under the bed, through all the blankets, the closets, the kitchen; I just don’t know where my wings could have gone. There weren’t even any feathers left in the bed when I got up,” said January St. August.
Frank looked back at January St. August and just sort of nodded. He didn’t know what to say. Frank had never lost his wings so he wasn’t sure how to relate.
“I mean, what did I do to make Him so mad,” asked January St. August.
January St. August’s eyes were wet with tears and Frank really felt the sadness that was filling the room. He looked at the coffee maker, slowly drip filling the coffee pot. Frank shifted his weight back and forth on his heels and tried to avoid January St. August’s sad eyes.
“Yeah, I’m sorry to bother you. I just, you know, just haven’t said anything to anybody about it really,” said January St. August.
“It’s… it’s okay,” said Frank, “I’m sure it’ll be okay.”
The coffee maker gurgled as it dripped the last of the fresh brew into the coffee pot. Frank took it off the burner and filled his mug. He added a little cream and sugar and stirred it all together.
“Well,” said Frank, “I hope you’re day gets better. Talk to you soon.”
Frank exited the break room, leaving January St. August to stare sadly at the coffee mug on the break room table.