Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 -

The Weekend

by John Benson
Published: Dec 20, 2013
Words: 23,277
Category: fantasy
Orientation: M/F
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The Weekend

Carla stirred the creamer into her coffee and threw the stir stick away. She sighed.

"Weekend less than stellar?" Marc asked from behind her.

He was standing at the entrance to the coffee room, not crowding her, giving her some space. For all his darklord reputation, Marc was a gentleman. At least at work, he was.

"Pathetic," Carla said. "Shopping. Cleaning. Watching old movies. Look at me. I look forward to Monday. At least when I'm working, life is interesting."

"You wish you had a boyfriend."

"Yes." It was so obvious it couldn't be called prying.

"I've watched you at TGIF," Marc said. "If you get hit on you go all prickly. You have to learn to let go."

If she wanted something she had to offer something in return, and in your twenties the currency is almost always sex. "Maybe I'm afraid," said Carla. "Look at me. I'm a risk manager, for shit's sake. I'm not afraid of risk. I quantify it, decide when the price is worth it. In my personal life? I freeze up. Pathetic."

"Afraid of change," Marc said. "Or the downside seems too steep."

"Makes me sound like I'm twelve," said Carla. She took a sip. The coffee was lukewarm.

"Give yourself to me for the weekend," Marc said. "I may be able to help you change."

Now there's honesty to the point of being gross. Not 'I think I love you' or even 'want to go out with me?' just 'give yourself to me.' She should think of some cutting turn-down, but nothing came to mind. "I'll think about it," Carla said instead. She really was getting that desperate. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.


No use. She couldn't concentrate. She took the elevator down to Personnel. Agnes was on the phone so Carla waited patiently until she was done.

"Sorry," Agnes said. She placed the phone back in its cradle. "What's up?"

"It's personal," said Carla. She felt a little furtive. She almost never goofed off at work. "So if you're busy, I'll understand."

Agnes had a sparkly smile. "I have at least until the phone rings again," she said. "What's on your mind?"

"You were with Marc for a while, right?"

"Yeah?" Agnes seemed a little careful, but not angry or defensive.

"What broke you up? Is there something I should know?"

Agnes relaxed, leaned back in her chair. "It wasn't like that," she said. "He helped me move on. Marc's like this tour guide to an alternate reality. It's intense and scary and exciting and if it's not for you, you don't have to keep visiting. Marc helped me become the kind of woman I wanted to be and then helped me find a man who wanted a woman like that. We're getting married when he gets out of law school."

Intense, scary and exciting. What did that mean, exactly? But Carla was shy about pushing people to reveal personal details, and then the phone rang, and she just waved and smiled her thanks and slunk quietly away.