CHAPTER 2  (36 Hours Earlier)

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

Every time she walked by John’s cubical, his eyes fixed on her until she was out of sight. He tried his best to avert his gaze when he thought he would get caught staring, but she ended up catching him a few times anyway and smiled awkwardly when it happened.

Today she was wearing those long boots that reach up to the knees. Some people call them “fuck-me” boots, but Jordan made them look respectable and classy. She had 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, expensive loft apartment in SOHO. The sun is shining in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s morning. John is reading The New York Times Magazine and Jordan is sipping on a coffee. Last night they went to dinner at Daniel followed by drinks at Bed, and then came home and had a night of lusty, animal sex. Jordan is the perfect mix. She’s uninhibited and very sexual, but she’s also the girl next door - smart, funny, cute, kind-hearted, and the kind of 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 7 or 8 times and then looks lovingly at him and says, “So, what should we…”

“HEY!... MARTIN!... WAKE UP!”

John’s fantasy ends abruptly and he comes back to real life.

His boss, Paul Massoni is standing there in John’s cubicle with a big pile of papers and a pissed-off look on his face. He drops the papers on John’s desk and says emphatically, “What the fuck, Martin!?!”

He continues, “How many times have I told you to double, and then triple check these numbers?”

John’s face goes white and looks terrified; then he says, “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.”

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

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 class or some stupid internship… this is the NFL, so sack up. This is your last chance. If you fuck up again, I’m recommending to Steve that he fire you.”

John said nothing. His body was now filling with a potent mixture of humiliation, self-loathing, and anger.

His boss stared at him for a second, and then raised both of his 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,” and then he walked away.

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 © 2017 by Chris Davis. All Rights Reserved.
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