Everett took a deep breath, then held his head high and walked into the office. Things had been hard since he had been given a promotion. Everyone he thought were his friends had abandoned him, treating him like he was The Loch Ness monster or something. Although that was being too kind, at least if they thought he was a monster they would be scared, they would show some respect. At the moment, he was being treated as if he didn’t exist. Every time he had to give an order to one his colleagues, he was ignored, dismissed, made to feel like a fool.
He walked over to the coffee machine, he needed something to get him started with the day. Today, he would prove to every one that he could do this job. Today, he would stop being Mr Nice Guy, he would be the guy in charge.
He blew on his freshly made coffee, then checked his reflection in the window. He wasn’t exactly vain, but he knew he looked the part. His short light brown hair fell into a natural style, he didn’t need any products on it, it just always stayed the same. It looked half way between fluffly and spiky. He grimaced as he noted the dark circles under his usually bright blue eyes, today they just looked dull and lifeless.
He had a strong jawline which always seemed to drive women wild, though he had no idea why. He sometimes thought his jaw was too strong, almost as if he were drawing than a real person but not in a beautiful artsy way, just in a harsh outline sort of way.
He stepped back to make room as the secretary walked to the coffee machine. Now he was in a higher position, he never had anything to do with the secretary. Not that he had ever had anything to do with this particular one, she had only been here a couple of months.
“Good Morning Mr Lewis.”
She smiled up at him prettily, her dark eyelashes fluttering as she did so. He couldn’t for the life of him remember her name. He always felt like a complete ass when he couldn’t remember names, it made him feel stupid.
“Morning uh… morning!”
She grins, and twiddled her long red hair with one hand as she nursed a cup of coffee in the other. He wondered for a moment if her hair was dyed, it was so striking that it had to be. Then he noticed a smattering of light freckles on her arms and realised that it was her natural colour. She had really unusual eyes , they were brown, yet light at the same time.
He blinks in surprise.
“Your name is Violet?”
She nods, still grinning up at him. She was a few inches shorter than him even in the ridiculously high heels she was wearing.
“But you have red hair.”
“Very observant Mr Lewis. With you climbing to the top, how can the company go wrong?”
She winked at him as she walked away, out of sight and back to the secretary’s office. He couldn’t figure out if she was taking the mick or if she really did mean it. He shrugged, then decided he better get on with his day.
The next morning, Violet joined him at the coffee machine again. They said Morning, then went their separate ways, just like they did yesterday. He had wanted to ask if she had been having a dig at him when she made the comment about the company, but the moment had passed. Anyway, she had been perfectly friendly this morning, so it shouldn’t really matter.
The exchange at the coffee machine started happening everyday. They never said anything other than Good Morning, but it put a spring in his step. Something had to, work still hadn’t got any better for him, in fact, people were becoming more distant than ever. So it was nice to have a moment to look forward to every day, no matter how small the moment was.
After nearly a month of ‘Good Mornings’, Everett tried to hide his shock as Violet stood opposite him, drinking her coffee and spoke.
“Things will get better for you Mr Lewis.”
He genuinely smiled at that, he couldn’t remember the last time he had smiled in this office. It made him feel great, it made him feel like he did have the ability to smile. He needed to remember that.
“Thanks Violet. And please, call me Everett.”
She laughs lightly, taking a sip of her coffee. Her lips were huge and red, and again he found himself wondering if her lips were naturally that colour or if she were wearing lipstick. It didn’t look like she was , but he knew from his ex girlfriend there were all sorts of clever make-up out there nowadays, where it didn’t even look like any was being worn. He could never see the point of make-up like that.
“Mr Lewis is appropriate in the work place. Maybe one day, a chance will arise outside when I can call you Everett.”
With that, she walked off. He froze. Was she asking him to ask her out? He shook his head. No, he had misunderstood.
Just thinking about asking somebody out made his head hurt. He had only been single for a year after a huge break up. He had been with Cassie for five years, he had believed she was the one. He believed he would spend the rest of his life with her, that they would grow old together. Even after she packed all her stuff up and moved out from the flat they shared , and moved in with his cousin, yes, his cousin, he still believed there might have been a way back for them one day.
He shook his head again to rid himself of the memories, then set to work. The next few months flew by, Violet still said Good Morning everyday, but never anything else. It was only when he realised they had been doing this morning routine for over three months, that he decided he better say something.
Just as she was about to walk away, he cleared his throat nervously. She turned to face him, her brown eyes looking up at him in anticipation.
“So .. uh, I was wondering if you maybe wanted to…. erm.”
He clears his throat again, and looks straight at her so he doesn’t bottle out. She had a look of amusement on her face.
“Maybe one night, you could call me Everett?”
She laughs , she had a pretty girlish laugh. He sometimes heard it from across the office, although he couldn’t see her. He had trained his ears to listen up whenever he heard her laughing.
“Are you asking me out Mr Lewis?”
He nods, then stares at the coffee machine so she couldn’t see how embarrassed he felt about the situation.
“It’s not the right time. It’s not the right time for you. You’re not ready.”
His mouth falls open as he looks at her. He had just been about to protest, when she smiled, grabbing his hand lightly. Her hand felt soft in his. He looked down at it, mainly because he couldn’t meet her eyes, and noted she had a light smattering of freckles on her the back of her hand.
“Things always work out Mr Lewis. If it’s meant to be, it all works out.”
She let go of his hand, and walked out , sipping her coffee. He felt humiliated and yet strangely peaceful as he rubbed his hand. He could still feel her touch. He felt her touch all day. It was like she had burned a piece of her into his skin.
It was astonishing to Everett how fast the days could go. Violet still came for her coffee every day, and still said Good Morning. She always looked the same, always happy, always smiling.
Before he knew it, seven months had passed since he had asked her out. They hadn’t spoken since then, other than the usual friendly greeting, and each day that passed just made him want to ask her out more. How can you say Morning to somebody every day for ten months and still not know anything about them?
Just as he was pondering the thought, Violet walked over to the coffee machine, not quite looking her usual self. Her brown eyes that were usually littered with little bits of gold, looked dark and heavy. And her usually immaculate red hair looked ruffled. Even her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Good morning Mr Lewis.”
He smiled at her, even though his face was creased in concern.
She went to walk out, but he held her arm gently. She looked down at his hand on her in shock, then looked up in to his eyes. She looked like she had been crying.
“Are you OK Violet?”
The smile disappears from her face, and she looks away.
“I will muddle through. Thank you for asking Mr Lewis. Have a nice day.”
She shrugged his arm off, then walked away. He had just been about to go after her, when his boss called him in for an urgent meeting. He would get to the bottom of it tomorrow.
Except, tomorrow never came. Violet didn’t greet him at the coffee machine the next day, or the day after that. He decided she must have been unwell, and would ask how she was when she returned.
When she still hadn’t shown up a week later, he hoped she must be on holiday. His heart got heavier everyday as he realised she wasn’t there. She wasn’t coming back, he felt it.
After two weeks, he walked over to the secretary office, trying not to be annoyed at the young blonde sitting where Violet usually sat.
“I need to know if Violet will be coming back?” He knew his voice sounded urgent, but he couldn’t help it. He all of a sudden felt desperate without her. The blonde called out to someone in the back, he recognised Maureen, the elderly telephone assistant as she came shuffling into view.
“Mr Lewis is asking after someone called Violet, I thought you might know.”
Everett tried not to be surprised at the young girl knowing his name when he didn’t know hers. Everyone in the building appeared to know his name, and he still felt like an ass when he didn’t know theirs.
Maureen smiled at him kindly.
“Violet left the company a few weeks ago now Mr Lewis. Natalie here is her replacement, can she help you with anything?”
Everett shook his head a little too aggressively.
“No, I need Violet. Can you tell me where I can contact her?”
He felt guilty as Natalie scoffed and walked away, then he looked at Maureen. If desperation were a smell, he would stink of it right now.
“I’m sorry sir, she had to leave immediately, she had an emergency. I believe she left the country.”
He didn’t think it would hurt that much. Knowing she had left was one thing. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to get in touch with her again was a whole different ball game all together. His heart felt as heavy as lead as he thanked Maureen and walked away.
It was a beautiful summers day as Everett walked through a beautiful French market place. The market was heaving and he was smiling as he picked out some vegetables at a stall.
It had been three years since he had been promoted. Three years of working his ass off, working to be respected. It had paid off, and he had recently been made financial manager of the international branch of his company. He felt at home in France. He felt peaceful.
He noticed a coffee stall on the other side of the square, and went to get himself a pick me up. He smiled to himself as he drunk the coffee. He could never drink a coffee without thinking of Violet. Maybe that was why, as he took a sip, he thought he imagined the flash of red hair he saw through the crowds.
He walked through dozens of people, desperate to get where he spotted the shock of red hair. His heart was racing as he told himself it wasn’t her. It couldn’t be. Not after all this time.
Suddenly, the crown parted , and there she was.
Her hair was tumbling over her shoulders, and she stood there, staring at him. He dropped his coffee and his brown paper bag of vegetables, and ran to her.
He was almost certain he was dreaming. This couldn’t be real. He had resigned himself to never seeing her again. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he looked into her brown eyes. She was obviously having the same trouble as him, the huge grin on her face not quite matching the watery eyes.
He reached out, taking both of her hands in his, and it was like they had never let go of each other. He still felt her hand in his sometimes, when he closed his eyes and thought about her.
His voice was almost a whisper.
She giggled shyly, her cheeks turning pink. He had never seen her flustered.
He beamed as she said his name.
She touched his cheek softly, then searched his face.
He nodded, kissing the palm of her hand , then clasped her hand a little too tight, afraid to let her go.
He took a huge lungful of air, then started walking through the market place, his fingers entwined with hers.
“It’s Time.” He agreed.
copyright – Laura Edwards mysticmonkey86 Mystic Musings 19/02/2014