CHAPTER 2  (36 Hours Earlier)

Jordan Quinn was the redhead John couldn’t stop thinking about.

Every time she walked by, his eyes fixed on her until she was out of sight. He tried to be cool about it, but she caught him staring a bunch of times, and usually just smiled awkwardly when it happened.

Today she had on a short skirt with vertical pleats that showed her thighs but didn’t even hint at unprofessional. She wore a white tank top underneath a thin, cream-colored sweater that laced up in the middle at the top, the top two holes empty and the strings hanging down. 

Her hair was long - down to the middle of her back, and a striking red color - not orange like you see on most Irish girls, but a deeper color, closer to red, but not the kind of red that looks like it’s a dye. 

Ugh was the thought/feeling John had every time he saw her. It was a combination of “I can’t believe how beautiful she is” and “there is no way I’d even have a shot with her.”

He started fantasizing about what it would be like to be with her. He pictured himself lying next to her in bed, in some cool, renovated loft apartment in SOHO.

It’s morning. The sun is shining through the floor-to-ceiling windows. John is skimming The New York Times Magazine and Jordan is sipping on a coffee. Last night they had Spanish tapas at Toro in Chelsea, got a few steins at Houston Hall, and then came home and had some pretty damn good sex. Jordan is the perfect mix. She’s beautiful and sexy... but she’s also the girl next door - smart, funny, quirky, cute, kind-hearted, and confident. She's the girl you want to bring home to meet mom. Jordan puts her coffee on the nightstand, wraps both arms around John’s neck and playfully kisses him on the cheek seven or eight times. She looks at him lovingly and says, “So, what should we…”

“HEY!... MARTIN!... WAKE UP!”

John’s fantasy ended abruptly and real life rushed back in.

His boss, Paul Massoni stood there in John’s cubicle with a fat pile of papers and a pissed-off look on his face. He dropped the papers on John’s desk and said, “What the fuck, Martin!?! How many times have I told you to double, and then triple check these numbers?”

John’s face went white as he said, “What’s wrong? Did this go to the client yet?”

“No, asshole. I fucking saved your ass again,” said his boss, “apparently that’s my job.”

Paul just stared at John expectantly. John didn’t know what to say - he was caught off guard.

Paul started again, “Look man, I don’t know what the hell’s going on with you, but you need to get your shit together. I don’t have time to babysit your ass. I need to be able to rely on you and your numbers. I need to know that when you submit your work to me, it’s perfect! This isn’t your college finance 101 or some stupid internship… this is the NFL, so you need to sack up. This is your last chance. If you fuck up again, I’m recommending to Steve that he fire you.”
John said nothing. He felt his body filling with a potent mixture of humiliation, self-loathing, and anger.

His boss stared at him for a second... then he raised both eyebrows, put a smirk on his face, shrugged his shoulders and lifted his hands up at either side, as if to say: “What the fuck? It’s up to you, stupid… get your shit together.”

John swiveled his corporate swivel chair around to face his corporate cubicle desk so he could look at his corporate computer monitor to check the time. It said 11:42 AM.

“I gotta get outta here,” John whispered to himself.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Chris Davis. All Rights Reserved.
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