Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and the free days passed without much event. Kaitlin settled in nicely – she jumped right in to our electronic repartee whizzing about the in-office net. All of us – even Chaz – seemed to be holding our breaths for the next Monday. Mikey maintained his stoic silence, for the most part, but there seemed a healthy glow about him that we hadn’t seen before. I shot Patrice a quick message – “Is our little Mikey-poo in love?” – and she agreed that it was decidedly plausible. None of us knew the guy all that well; like I’ve said, there was the rumor that his mom had a little fling with Peter in Management, but that was about it.
The weekend arrived. I’d made an engagement to sit and play Phantasmagoria all weekend, so I didn’t see much of anyone else from the office at all. As usual. There wasn’t much social hanging amongst us company drones, and my friends from college had either moved away or had more serious plans. It was a little sad. No one I knew just wanted to sit around and game, or watch Sliders, or anything else I spent so much time on in college. I guess I just didn’t grow up as much as them. God, that makes me sound so depressing. I have friends. I hang out. Just not the way I used to, I guess.
Monday came. The big morning. We were all at the office early – even Harry, who had heard the party invite through his paper-thin door. Then – the elevator gave its “ping” of arrival and the door slid open like an elevator door in an office building normally does.
It seemed that our Fairy Queen had found her Oberon. She stepped out of the elevator, glamorous as always – and glanced back, waiting for Mikey. This guy. My God, what that weekend had done for Mikey. His hair looked less unkempt, his clothes were not quite as wrinkled and shabby-looking, and that smile! A real smile, followed by a genuine laugh. I could hear Chaz choking on his espresso.
For the most part, we’d never heard Mikey speak a word. So the cheery greeting he offered up just about killed me.
“How are you guys?”
“Splutter.” Chaz’s espresso was still giving him some troubles.
“Pretty good, Mikey, how are you?”
“I’m great, Dawn! Thanks for asking!”
The cheeriness, I could tell, was going to get annoying. At least he wasn’t acting all lovey-dovey; not even Hank and Patrice would dare try that.
“Baby, you want some coffee?”
“That’d be great, Mikey love.”
Clearly, the office had changed. Kaitlin had brought poor Mikey out of his shell. And, as awkward as it was, they were now a couple. However the hell that happened. I made a mental note to shoot Mikey a questioning email. New couples are always happy to discuss their baby-fresh relationship. Chaz shot me a message first, though: “DUDE! What the hell just happened! Must have been some party.” I shot one right back: “No joke. Who knew little Mikey-poo was such a stud? That reminds me: I’m gonna shoot him an email asking what the hell.” And I proceeded to do just that.
Mikey responded in under ten minutes. Here’s the gist:
Kaitlin drove to Mikey’s to pick him up Saturday night for the party. She looked sexy, which he said a great deal. When they got to the party, it was a pretty casual affair – some people hanging out, some drinks, some sweet tunes. The party went on into the night, and got crazier as it went on. Not quite an orgy, but not exactly a piano recital either. He and Kaitlin ended up sitting on a small loveseat together. The lights were low, the mood was right. They started talking, and it turned out that they had a lot in common. He went into great detail on this matter. They both liked some indie band, both agreed that Ferngully meant a lot to them as kids, both remembered the rise of Nickelodeon. Long story short, they made out and drove back to Kaitlin’s house. Here in the story, Mikey only put a winking emoticon and it made me feel sick to my stomach.
A fairly standard “falling for each other in a week” story. Fast, probably wouldn’t last too long, but happy and fun. It got me to thinking, though – wondering about how Patrice and Hank hooked up. So I shot Hank an email: “Hey, Hank, our new lovebirds got me wondering about how you and Patrice got together.” He, too, responded swiftly and happily:
He and Patrice were in neighboring cubicles for a while, so they could hardly avoid talking every once in a while. As it was, they didn’t say much to each other, but he said the right things, apparently. He remembers the one that really won her over, the one that made her take real note of him and get them together. It was a silly little thing – she asked if he had a report, and he replied “Sorry, your report is in another castle” – but it worked. She laughed and asked if he played that game, too. And he did. And they talked. And it just happened from there. To put it bluntly, they shagged ever since then. They were happy.
Later that day, I got up to get myself something from the vending machine down the hall – something nasty, hopefully, nasty and fifty cents. As I stood up, I couldn’t help but glance into Harry’s office. Harry sat at his fancy mahogany desk, executive style, in his wonderfully padded chair – we’d all given it a try one day when he was sick, and it made one feel like one’s ass was made of cottonballs and sunshine. His head was in his hands. It looked like he was shaking. I almost got up to see what was up, but thought better of it. Probably some missed promotion or something. And I had work to get done.
Besides that view of Harry, everything seemed pretty happy. Hank and Patrice were still shagging, Chaz was still Chaz, Dawn was still one of my best friends, and Kaitlin and Mikey were a cute new couple. We were a solid, happy group of people, for the most part. But happiness doesn’t really last, you know. Happiness is the breath of air before you dive back down. Happiness is the save state before the boss battle. Happiness is dust in the wind, man. Happiness just makes me wonder what’s about to happen.