Inspired by a conversation with a friend about their writing group.
It was a Monday when it all began, I think. It was definitely early in the week, certainly no later than Wednesday, possibly Tuesday, but it makes more sense if it was a Monday.
After all. Terrible things usually happen on Mondays.
I came into work late that day, at once anxious and utterly indifferent. There was a team-building exercise that we were all expected to be present for, but said exercise was not real work. If I arrived too late to learn how to properly give my coworkers the warm hugs and camaraderie du jour, I was fine with that. This was not the first team-building exercise my company had undertaken, and it would certainly not be the last.
I slipped into the meeting room as quietly as possible, grateful that the company and the room were both large enough that my opening the door to squeeze past its frame would go unnoticed. Save for the people closest to the door. And anyone at the front of the room who happened to be facing the crowd as I opened it. Like the executives of the company and whoever happened to be leading the meeting, for example.
Lisa was there at the back of the room, an empty seat next to her and a bored look on her face, the old habits of college and high school before it dying hard. I squeezed a few people that I worked closely enough with to know their names and some I had never seen before and would likely never see again and sat down next to her.
“You’re stating the obvious again.”
She smirked, amused at herself and at my humility and at how sharply attired she was relative to myself (and, to be fair, the majority of the office) all at once. I settled comfortably into my seat and took a deep breath. It was a Monday like any other despite the team-building nonsense. The day would pass and others would follow it and soon enough it would be the weekend and then the whole cycle would repeat. There was something comforting in the banality of it all.
“So what I’d miss?” I whispered to Lisa.
Her smirk grew into a grin. “Oh, God. Just wait. You’ve got to see this guy to believe it.”