I can barely breathe. First, let me start at the beginning. This morning... Sorry, I just puked into my trash can. All right, this morning, at around 9:01am, I noticed that Derek, the guy I hate the most at work, but whom everybody else absolutely adores because he's a jazz musician, works out and volunteers helping old people (whom I also hate) wasn't in his cubicle yet. It was empty. Everyone has to be here at 9:00am on the dot. I rushed over to my boss' office. Her name is Sheila and she runs the small accounting firm where I work as the photocopy guy.
ME: Derek's late.
Sheila glanced up at the clock on the wall.
SHEILA: One minute late.
ME: What are you going to do about it?
SHEILA: He's on time every day. I'm sure he'll be here any second. Do you have two of his gold medals now?
I clutched the two gold medals around my neck.
ME: These are mine. I trained really hard for these.
SHEILA: I already told you to give him back the one you took from him. How did you get the second one?
ME: You were at the Office Olympics. Didn't you see me win them?
SHEILA: No one did, because you didn't win them. I don't know how you stole this second one, but you are to leave both of those on his desk.
ME: Are you sleeping with him?
SHEILA: What did you just say?
ME: You like him more than everyone. That's why you're so easy on him.
SHEILA: He's one minute late. Get over it.
ME: If I was one minute late, you'd slit my throat, gouge out my eyes and then throw me out on the highway and run me over back and forth, and then for a week I'd never hear the end of it from you.
SHEILA: You wouldn't need to be one minute late for that.
ME: Open your eyes. This place is imploding with all your loose morals and your corrupted, decaying soul.
I went back to my cubicle, but was back in her office within the half hour.
ME: Derek's still not here.
SHEILA (annoyed): Jeez...
ME: Maybe you should call his home. See what's holding him up.
SHEILA: Whether Derek comes in late today is none of your concern. Now get back to work. And take off those gold medals.
ME: Then why do I have to be here, if Derek doesn't? I'm going home!
SHEILA: You get back to your cubicle now.
ME: This place is going to hell in a hand basket! And I'm the only one who seems to care!
I left her office then, but was back ten minutes later.
ME: I've just called the police to let them know about Derek.
SHEILA: Are you insane?
ME: He's been missing for quite some time. They should know.
SHEILA: But the police? And why do you care? He's your mortal enemy. You told me so.
ME: He should be at work! This is unacceptable! What's wrong with you?
SHEILA: Eric, if you do not stop obsessing about this, I will take action. And give me those gold medals.
ME: I found his parents' number on the Internet and gave them a shout, just to give them a heads up. They're looking for him too.
SHEILA: He's barely an hour late for work.
ME: We don't have much time, Sheila. Not if we want to find him alive.