Charisse found me in the alleyway and we cried and hugged and reminisced for ten minutes, wasting valuable time since I now only had seventeen minutes to find the 3-hole punch before Sheila went home for the day, and I was fired and possibly jailed for attempting to Mace my entire office.
ME: Dino said find one, find them all.
CHARISSE: I wonder what he meant by that.
ME: I bet you he has security cameras. I bet you he knows where my 3-hole punch is, and who took it.
CHARISSE: When you handed it to Sheila, and she put it in her drawer, did anyone else see her put it in the drawer?
I gave Charisse the most detailed description of everything that went down between Sheila and I, right down to the plants in her office and who was in all the pictures on her desk. This took a while, but I took my time. I didn't want to miss anything that could help us. I now only had three minutes to save my job, and my freedom.
I continued to talk away, describing things, including the different shades of colors of all these things, when Charisse suddenly grabbed me by the arm and pulled me back toward our building. I had given her a clue. Next thing I knew, we were both bursting through the doorway of our office.
Inside, a dozen police officers all aimed their guns at me. Everyone else in the office gasped. Melanie, the receptionist, screamed.
COP #1: He's got a hostage!
COP #2: Sir, we are all putting down our guns now. Please, do not hurt the hostage.
ME: Put 'em all down and I won't.
CHARISSE: I am not his hostage. Please. Let me show you something.
Sheila looked at us with deep suspicion in her eyes, as Charisse walked over to my cubicle, looking back at me.
CHARISSE: Let's go over what we talked about, but without the plants and the pictures and colors and stuff.
SHEILA: What is this going to solve, Charisse? You're wasting our time here.
CHARISSE (to me): Who saw Sheila put the 3-hole punch in her drawer?
ME: I'm the one who put it in her drawer. She asked me to.
CHARISSE: Did anyone see you put it there?
ME: I don't remember. I was so steaming mad and upset and dizzy with blinding fury, I don't even remember putting it in her drawer. It's all a blur, really. When I think back, all I see is unadulterated rage.
Charisse opened my top drawer... and pulled out my 3-hole punch! Everyone gasped.
ME: Who the hell put it in there!
CHARISSE: You never put it in Sheila's desk. You were too busy shouting.
I slapped my forehead.
ME: I forgot? I guess I did.
SHEILA (to the cops): Shoot him.
Everyone began to murmur amongst themselves.
CHARISSE: Dino told you to start at the beginning. I'm thinking he meant the beginning to be this morning. What was the first thing you did this morning?
ME: I was really tired. I couldn't fall asleep last night so I came to work early.
CHARISSE: At what time?
ME: Two-thirty AM.
CHARISSE: What did you do?
ME: What I always do when I come in early. I ran tests on both our punches. Which one is sharper. Which one is faster. Which one does more paper. Standard stuff. And I'm proud to say my 3-hole punch won every test.
I looked around at everyone, extremely proud of myself.
Charisse reached into my desk drawer again... and pulled out another 3-hole punch! Her green, metallic one! Everyone gasped.
ME: How the hell did that get in there?
Charisse raised an eyebrow at me. I slapped my forehead again.
ME: I forgot that one too? I guess I did.
SHEILA (to one cop): Give me your gun.
I was still confused.
ME: So no one stole anything?
CHARISSE: You just forgot.
ME: You mean I was put through this entire nightmare of a day by all of you for nothing!
I turned to Sheila then.
ME: You owe me one hell of an apology.