It was 1:35pm and again I found myself dashing down a hallway in the building where I work, the two gold medals around my neck jingling and jangling. The small accounting firm I work at is on the eleventh floor. I was now on the tenth, having fallen through the ceiling with a bunch of smokers.
I burst into the stairwell and started racing and leaping down the stairs, almost tripping a few times. I finally made it to the basement. Derek, the guy I hate the most in the office, hadn't come in for work yet today and the cops wanted to throw me in the slammer for doing away with him, which I didn't recall ever doing. If anyone would know what was really going down, it was Dino, our building handyman. Hopefully, he was now in his vast, cavernous, basement office.
I knocked on the door. It opened a crack and there he was, peeking at me from the other side: Dino, 50s, gruff, and wearing his navy colored, building technician uniform.
DINO: I told you never to come back here again.
ME: Everyone's always warned me that you're a complete psycho and that you probably have dead bodies down here. But you're my Boo Radley, and I know I can come to you whenever I need someone to fix something, require information found only on our security cameras, or I want to give somebody a hug who desperately needs it.
DINO: I'll slice you up.
ME: Listen to me: people have been talking about your attitude ever since I started working here. You should know that. They're scared of you. They're scared you're going to saw them in half and it won't be part of a magic show, and there won't be any magic. But I know you better than that. You've helped me in the past, and I know that deep down you are a caring, loving, completely gorgeous man. I'm married and straight so it's okay if I call another man completely gorgeous, because I mean that they're gorgeous on the inside. Where it counts. Just let me put my arms around you. Please. It'll feel good once I squeeze and rub my hands all over.
DINO: I'll burn you in the incinerator, like a marshmallow.
ME: Or a weiner. You need to know... that someone cares, Dino. I have never kissed a man before, but I will peck you on the cheek if need be.
DINO: With my bare hands, I'll rip your face, right off.
ME: Why do you push everyone away? Why? Be honest for once in your life. Let's be friends and we'll just hold each other. That sounds really nice to me.
I saw something behind him.
ME: Hey... is that a cage? Is that Derek?
Dino grabbed me by the arm then and yanked me inside the room.
ME: What's going on here?
Inside Dino's dark, cavernous office, Derek stood inside a large cage, gagged and gripping the bars while staring pleadingly into my eyes.
DINO: Now I'll have to imprison you both. You know my secret.
I turned and saw Dino holding up a large hunting knife toward my neck.
ME: Trust me, your secret is safe with me.
DINO: I don't trust you. You're too lovey dovey.
ME: That's just because no one cares about you, and I do. Because I know the real you. And the more I get to know you, the more I love you, Dino.
DINO: Shut up!
ME: Are you telling me to shut up, or your heart to shut up, as it's telling you to reach out to me and show me how you really feel?
Dino violently waved his knife around.
DINO: You! You shut up! I'll disembowel you!
ME: All right...
I made a zipping motion across my lips, and then locked them with an imaginary key. I then grabbed Dino's free hand, placed the imaginary key into his palm and lovingly closed his fingers onto it.
I smiled at him then, silent for a moment.
ME: Now what?
DINO: I thought I told you to shut up.
ME: You didn't say anything about being curious.
DINO: I'm putting in the cage.
ME: I don't want to be in there with him. I really don't like him.
DINO: Join the club.
ME: Really? You don't like him either?
Somebody else didn't like Derek? This was unusual.
ME: How come?
DINO: Because he's perfect.
I knew I liked Dino.
ME: I know. I totally hate that bastard.
DINO: And because Charisse was about to ask him out.
Charisse is another accountant in our office.
ME (excitedly): Oh my God! Charisse! I can't wait to start teasing her in front of everyone while she's trying to work. That's hilarious.
DINO: He thinks he can just steal her away from me.
ME (more excited): You like Charisse! Oh my God! I can't wait to start teasing you in front of everyone while you're trying to work. What a laugh that's going to be!
DINO: Well, let's see how everyone feels when he's not around. Let's see if everyone still loves him then.
ME: They'll love the memory, Dino. You're just making him a martyr right now. It's like Obi Wan Kenobi. By getting rid of him, you're just making him stronger. He'll actually become better looking in their minds. And by comparison, you'll get uglier. It's sick, I know. People like you and me, we're not the same as people like him. We're small. Invisible. Worthless. Dino, you're pathetic, ugly and worthless. You should be the one in that cage, really. Like a freak. The world would be a much better place without you.
And that's when Dino charged at me with the knife.
DINO (battle cry): Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!
I was petrified, as I tried to move out of his way.
ME: Miss me, miss me. Now you have to kiss me.