Jan 16, 2013

Chapter 3

I think this will be chapter 3, it definitely follows Chapter 1 and ??. It still needs some work with grammar and spell check but I wanted to get it up quickly for feedback. Tell me what you think!

“What?” Greta placed her phone back in her pocket, slowly. Her body felt sluggish, her arms felt like ice. The world had become like a dream; a bad dream. The kind of dream where movement is night impossible and where vision is impaired. Stumbling along, it is a struggle for the dreamer to even stand. Eyelids are held fiercely shut. When the dream is finally over, when the dreamer wakes, the memory remains. A dream where life is of helplessness and futility and of crawling along the bottom like some deformed fetus released too early from the womb. It’s chilling and not at all life affirming to be awake.

“That was my mom.” Greta blinked, not hearing the words coming from her mouth. Mr. Wildenblat stared blankly at her, as thought waiting for something more. Instead the arhythmic sound of their breaths settled. It was distant sounding, like wind against the window on a stormy day.

“You’re really not supposed to take personal calls….” He was uncomfortable. Greta may be overly flattering on some days and downright catatonic on others, but she was never defiant. More importantly, Mr. Wildenblat never dealt with defiance. He had HR for that, or the Lead Assistant Marketing and Analytics Director, or whatever over stuffed name they gave the guy that did most of Mr. Wildenblat’s work for half the money. Basically, Mr. Wildenblat smiled and fancied he kept the peace, while sitting comfortably knowing he never actually had to do anything to keep the peace.

He had reached the point in his job where he had become to important to be of any importance. He was too big to be bothered with the day to day things, the things which ran the company. Yet he was too small to be honored with the year to year things. He was stuck. Mr. Wildenblat could not recall how he got stuck, just only that it happened. He had tore his way to the top with shark’s teeth and tiger’s instincts when suddenly there was no more prey to tear through. Instead of fighting against it, however, he let himself be lulled in to complacency. He stopped looking for prey and started planning parties.

“No, not like that. It wasn’t anything… it was about my Dad. He’s dead.”

“Oh.” It was clear in his voice. However sorry he was, however empathetic, somehow Greta’s proclamation made Mr. Wildenblat comfortable again. It wasn’t cruelty, it was comfortability. He knew what to do in this situation. Everything would be okay.


“You’re going to need time off, then?”

“She said not to worry. It’s not really what my family does. Funerals, that is.”

“How did it happen?”  Still in shock from the phone call, Greta reeled. What had he just asked? People always ask that. She had probably asked it in her lifetime. The most inappropriate question at the most inappropriate time. Maybe out of morbid curiosity, to make sure the death could never happen to him. Or maybe because he has nothing better to say. No comforting words. That terrible question is the best thing he could come up with.

“They…” Greta hated that she was telling him all this. Her boss, the guy she saw forty to fifty hours a week. They spent more time together than family yet were less close than the people she lurked on in forums.  He wasn’t a bad guy, but in all the years they had worked together there was no trust bridged. She couldn’t pretend she knew anything about him. She saw him eight hours a day, five days a week, and he had a mask on the whole time, just like she. What he did when he went home, the secrets he thought about in his head, those aren’t things divulged at quarterly meetings. So the fact that he was here witnessing and listening to one of her most intimate life moments was corroding her, but she wouldn’t leave. At this moment, she would rather have a mask of a person than no one at all. “Don’t know. There is no concrete information. From what my Mom said they were expecting it to be anywhere from weeks to months. He’s never been sick before, not like this. At least not that I knew. Not that I would know…. She would call and tell me.”

“You should go home. Take some time off.”

“I’m fine, really. I don’t need to take time off.”

“No we’d rather you go home, synergy and all that. Marketing is taking a big dive from my former mistress, Mad Maddy in accounting. Best you go before you get hit with a love stick up the bully pit, too.” Greta creased her eyebrows, she must have misheard him. That didn’t make any sense, but she was tired and grief ridden.

“Okay,” Greta frowned.


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