Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Arnold Palmer 3

Steve slammed his fist against the railing, and instantly regretted his decision as his pinky finger stung with pain.

"Idiot," he muttered as he put his finger to his mouth and kiss-sucked on it to ease the pain. It was a habit he picked up at 7 years old, the first time he stubbed his finger on a basketball.

The elevator continued upward. Steve's mind berated him with a singular question, over and over: "Why did you come back here?"

"I don't fucking know," he sighed.

The doors opened and he stepped forward. As he put pressure on his foot, the pain was almost unbearable. Was a broken toe supposed to hurt this much? Maybe he broke his entire foot? It sure felt like it.

He decided to risk the embarrassment of any remaining employees seeing him and hopped his way to his office. He got to his door, opened it, and hopped to the couch in his office. He had never used the grey eyesore in the 3 years he worked there. It was a left-over from Paul, the guy who had Steve's job before he decided to take a swim in the Hudson River, after he dove off the George Washington Bridge, of course. He hated the couch, but right now he was glad he never had it removed. He plopped down on it, put his legs up on the armrests, and let out a loud sigh.

He wanted to take off his shoe and sock to look at his toe, but he was hesitant. His foot was throbbing like speakers at a rave, and he was a little scared to see what it looked like. Plus, what if he took off his shoe and couldn't get it back on?

He shut his eyes and tried not to think of the worst. Maybe he could get worker's comp out of this? Of course, that would require him telling people this story, and that wasn't happening. Besides, he wasn't on company grounds, and it was somewhat his fault. Ok, it was entirely his fault, but he shouldn't have to pay for it. Maybe he could say he fell inside the building? If he crafted a decent story and stuck with it, nobody would be the wiser.

Except he had a way of getting caught in every lie he ever told. Ever. A life of crime was not for him. His friends and family knew him as one of the most honest people in the world. He appreciated the thought, but the only reason he was so honest was because he knew he'd get caught otherwise. He was practical and realistic more than anything else.

And as a practical realist, he knew he had to get his toe looked at by a professional. These things didn't just "get better".

But he was so tired all of a sudden. The pain was draining him of all energy. A little nap wouldn't hurt. Five minutes was all he needed, then he'd mail that damn letter and drive himself home. He'd go to the hospital first thing in the morning. Right now he needed a nap, and tonight, he needed that Arnold Palmer.

He envisioned ice cubes swirling around in a light brownish liquid, the sugar from the iced tea and lemonade mixing perfectly with the vodka to create the refreshing taste of a summer breeze by the ocean.

That was going to taste good. He drifted off with a smile on his face.

"Ahhhhhhhh! Dammit!" Steve shot up straight on the couch and screamed as his foot hit the ground. In his sleep, he had turned over on his side, causing his legs to fall off the armrests.

"Dammit!" He yelled, reaching down to his foot.

He was still a little out of it from his nap. It took him a few seconds to recall everything that happened, and when it all came back, a wave of depression washed over him. He envisioned the future hospital bill, the constant pain and discomfort for the next few weeks, the awkwardness of walking in a cast on crutches, the inevitable conversations with every single person in his life about what happened.


He got to his knees and crawled to his desk. He felt moronic, but it was easier than hopping. Besides, hopping around was equally moronic. He reached his desk and pulled himself up so he could rest his elbows on its surface. He looked at the small clock on his desk.

It read 8:30.


Had he really been asleep for that long? How was that possible?

He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. Its screen read 8:29.

"Well, that's much better."

He pulled himself up on one foot. He needed to get the damn letter and get home. CSI was coming on soon, and that Arnold Palmer wasn't drinking itself.

He reached for the envelope.

Which wasn't where he left it.

Of course.

-end part 3

I Love You All...Class Dismissed.

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