Chapter Two – Monday
Anna walked through the double doors of the subway. Stepping over small mounds of week old gum; she finds herself a seat. The bump on her head wasn’t as bad as it was on Friday. She reached her slender hand to make sure her long hair covered the bump.
“Good.” she thought. The Subway doors closed and a woman with a very thick English accent struggles to speak over the intercom. Anna ignores the woman over the intercom, and notices a wad of gum on the floor. At least what was left of green gum, she couldn’t look away from the remains. It reminded her of that day…
Hampton, Virginia 1995
“Oh! Wait a minute Mike…I stepped in something.” The guy stopped and turned around his beautiful blue eyes sparkled in the sun. His medium length long hair was tossed to and fro by the autumn breeze. His warm smiled parted and became a laugh.
“It’s not funny, Mike!” I stepped in some kind of green stuff…”
“Yeah, baby it’s called gum…ha,ha,ha.” Anna looked up him and scowled.
“These are brand new boots, Mike”
“How can u be so girly and so hardcore at the same time?” He asked while looking for a stick to help scrape off the gum. He felt hot suddenly and looked over at Anna. Anna looked at him as if he were the meanest thing…He straightened up realizing that her problem was not the gum or the boots.
“Anna, what is wrong? Honestly you hardly ever get like this.” He looked her straight in the face. Her brown eyes betrayed her. Tears began to well up and slide down her soft brown cheeks.
“I’m leaving Virginia. My dad got a job in Korea.” She put her head down to avoid the brokenhearted look from Mike.
“Okay.” He said looking around…he suddenly felt as if the wind had been knocked out of him. He spotted a bench to sit down on; he took Anna’s hand and walked over to it.
“Okay, Korea…what does this mean for us? How long are you going to be gone? Do you have to go?”
“Too many questions, Mike….Umm, I do have to go. I don’t know how long we will be there. It could be 2 years or 4 years and I don’t know what that means for us. I don’t know.”
Annas' thoughts returned to the present as the subway stopped. She stood up and carefully stepped back over the mounds of old gum and back out through the double doors. She walked past a large white sign that said welcome to Crystal City. Anna followed the arrow up the stairs to emerge in the sunlight. Hailing a cab, she continued her journey to work leaving the memories of yesteryears alone.
Anna walked into the skyscraper that she called work. The automatic glass doors opened for her as if to welcome her back after the weekend. She sighed to herself. As Anna passed by the lobby she slowed down just a bit to remember the face of Charles Fisher as he waited there with her for the taxi to arrive. Memories ghosts were projected on to the furniture and she smiled heading for the elevator to the 5th floor. Anna walked in the office and headed for her cubicle..
“Heya Sexy...what’s going on? You didn’t call me this weekend?” said the disembodied voice of man. Anna looked up toward the ceiling and sighed. Anna made a noise between her teeth as if she were hurt.
“I am so sorry Jake…I completely forgot.”
“Well, you weren’t here…I called. Then when u didn’t answer I caved in and decided to come and rescue you from the evil tyranny of work. All of my heroics were for nothing…because you were not here! Soooo, tell me has another man come to sweep u off your feet?” Jake said very hurt, but masked underneath a playful voice. Anna grabbed the bagel she had bought for him on her way and peeked her head around the tan cubicle wall that separated her space from his. He looked up to see her batting her big brown eyes at him. Her long brown hair falling to the side in curls like a waterfall and he thought…she is so cute.
“What?” he said pouting.
He’s really upset at me…wow.She thought. She decided the 'peeking eyeballs' was not enough…she came around to his side of the tan cubicle. She went behind his chair and slide her hands down his chest and crossed them to end in a hug. Her cheek rested on his. She could feel him getting a bit hot in the face. She faced his ears and whispered,
He moved a tanned hand to the wonderful feeling arms around him and turned his head so now they were facing each other and he whispered, “Of course, my silly Anna.” Anna smiled and looked at him deeply.
“Good, because I bought you a bagel with mild cream cheese!” She handed the bagel to him.
He took it from her and started to eat. Anna leaned against the filing cabinet and crossed her arms while watching him devour the bagel. Her thoughts wandered to when she first met Jake. Jake Vielen, a brilliant researcher at 34; he was recruited from a rival company with the promise of better pay, more benefits and a chance to start his own office in Northern DC where a sister company existed. When he started here a year ago, Anna was just starting her internship through Crystal University. She has been working here for 4 years now and Jake has been here for six years. They meet at a company picnic during her second year working in Research and Recovery. He captured her attention by the simple fact that he volunteered to be the company camera man and film the entire gathering…or at least the important stuff, plus a few candid interviews. Anna was an interviewee.
“Psst! Hey gorgeous…what are you thinking about?” He whispered to her. He watched her gaze off into the distance and slowly returned as if she had been away on long voyage.
“Huh? Oh I am sorry Jake...Me and my daydreaming…” She began but was interrupted by another disembodied voice of a man.
“Hey Anna!” the voice called. She turned towards the office door where the figure of a man who looked a lot like Charlie; was standing in the doorway.
Anna immediately blushed…”Oh my gosh!” she whispered. Jake looked at her and then him…a smile crept across his face. Charlie walked over to Jake's cubicle. Charlie looked at Anna, who was in the middle of a full body blush and Jake who looked like he had just said something quite embarrassing for her to handle. Charlie immediately assumed that Jake was Anna’s man.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt you and your boyfriend, but...” He sentence was cut off by choking sounds coming from Jake and Anna.
“She/he is not my boyfriend/girlfriend!!!” they said in unison; which further solidified his thoughts.
“Seriously, man we’re not dating we are just friends. Good Friends.” Jake looked at Charlie seriously and Anna nodded in silent agreement.
“Oh, I apologize for my blunder. I guess my whole super cool approach is wasted.” Charlie said.
Anna looked at him and said with perfect timing “You can always start again.”
Charlie looked at her and laughed a bit. “Ok, I will.” As Charlie left to literally start over again
Jake looked at her said, “So it’s Mr. Head of the finance division that has you skipping out on me?”
Anna looked at him all big eyed, “Are you kidding me? He is cute but…”
“Anna he is rewinding time, so to speak, for you. Doesn’t he at least deserve a conversation and some coffee?” Jake made sense…he always made sense even when he was being silly.
Charlie looked back at Anna and Jake. He saw how she interacted with him and suddenly found himself wishing it were him she looked at like that. He decided he would talk to her later. Charlie turned around and headed out the door. Anna looked up just as he walked out the door.
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