It was 10:30am at our small accounting firm and Derek, the person I hate the most in our office, still hadn't shown for work. Meanwhile, our boss Sheila could not care less (I'm starting to think there's something going on between them). Meanwhile meanwhile, a million scenarios were running through my head. Where's Derek? Did something happen to him? Is he playing us all for fools and having a great time eating cotton candy on a Ferris wheel somewhere? I'd like to be on a Ferris wheel somewhere, perfecting an evil laugh. In my cubicle, I took matters into my own hands and called up his condo. A woman's voice picked up at the other end.
ME: Who's this? What have you done to Derek?
WOMAN: Who is this?
ME: It's his work calling. Why? Did I interrupt something? Were you just chopping him up?
ME: This is serious. This is his work calling. He could lose his job over this, and then be homeless and have no money to buy you presents and take you out to stuff your face. That's how serious this is, young lady. Now you tell me where he is.
WOMAN: Listen, he drove to work about two hours ago.
ME: Funny, 'cause he ain't here? How the hell are you, anyway?
ME: And who the hell are you?
WOMAN: I'm his girlfriend. You're being rude.
ME: Girlfriend? What are you doing in his condo? Don't you have your own place? What are you? Some kind of girlfriend-slash-squatter hybrid?
WOMAN: We live together.
ME: Live together? But you're not married.
WOMAN: That's none of your business.
ME: Does your mother know about this? I have Derek's mother's number. I have a mind to call her up right now.
WOMAN: I'm hanging up.
ME: Just between you and me, I don't think Derek's been on the up and up with you. He's sleeping with our boss, Sheila. Keep that on the down low.
ME: Yep. Looks like you're not the only trollop in town.
WOMAN: What's your name?
ME: Uh... Edwardo.
WOMAN: Eduardo who?
ME: Mongooba. Eduardo Mongooba.
WOMAN: Eduardo, you are a despicable human being.
ME: I'm not really Eduardo Mongooba so I don't really care what you think.
ME: Wait... About Derek... Has he ever said anything about this guy he works with? This guy named Eric.
ME: Like what he thinks of him?
WOMAN: Eric who?
ME: Eric the photocopy guy.
WOMAN: Never heard of him.
And with that, Derek's girlfriend hung up.
Sheila walked by my cubicle then, and I stared at my computer screen, pretending to work.
ME (chanting under my breath): Derek has a girlfriend... Derek has a girlfriend...
SHEILA: Did someone just say something?
I didn't acknowledge her.
ME (still chanting under my breath): And it's not Sheila... it's not Sheila... even though they're totally doing it... even though they love to do it... in all of our cubicles... wash your cubicles...