Friday, September 7, 2012

The Bet - Chapter 54 (Wednesday – week 8 Part 7 of 9)

The Bet
By Karen Singer

Chapter 54 (Wednesday – week 8 Part 7 of 9)

      “Mel, a package just arrived,” Andrea’s voice said through the phone.
      “The contract?”
      “Looks like it.”
     Mel didn’t reply, she was up from her seat quickly and hurrying out toward Andrea’s desk.  She was just in time to see Andrea hand the delivery man his clipboard back after signing for it.  “Thanks,” she said to the delivery man before he walked out.  The man just smiled and left.
     Mel picked up the package – a box.  A fairly thick box.  But then she knew it would be.  It was heavy.  “Help me open this,” she said to Andrea. 
     Andrea got out her scissors and together they attacked the tape holding it together, finally opening the top.  Mel looked at the cover of the document inside and nodded her head.  “Finally!” she said.  She picked up the whole box and carried it back to her office.  She had a lot of work to do.  There were over a thousand pages to go carefully through.  And it had arrived late!
     But first…  She picked up her phone and called Dick Feinbaum.  “Dick?” she asked as she heard someone finally answer.  “It’s Mel.  I just got the contract.”
      “Great!  We’re still scrambling here to get it distributed to everyone else.  Dad’s called a meeting to go over it on Friday morning at nine.  You’ll need to be here.”
      “Friday!  At nine?  That doesn’t give me much time.  There’s a lot to go through here.”
      “Sorry, but that’s the schedule.  We’re still looking at finalizing this thing next week.”
      “Okay, I’ll be there.  Better let me go and get busy now.  Say hi to your father for me.”
      “You got it.  See you Friday,” Dick Feinbaum returned. 

     They had just a couple of minutes before break time when Chad finished his latest baby bottle.  He was certainly drinking a lot, but for once he was enjoying something other than Mel’s foul tea to drink.  Sometimes it helped to find anything positive at all.  He automatically put his thumb back in his mouth before standing up and putting the now empty bottle back in his diaper bag.
      “Okay,” Robin said.  “While you were drinking, I found a few other things we should look at.
     Chad removed his thumb without thinking and curtseyed – pretty much automatically.  “What’s that?” he asked in his silly voice… curtsey, thumb.
      “Well, starting with this,” Robin replied pointing at the screen.
     Thumb, curtsey, talk like a sissy, curtsey, thumb.  Over and over again.  He and Robin had been talking so much this afternoon that Chad hardly gave the inconvenience of what he had to do another thought anymore.  But since she had insisted that he do it every time he opened his mouth, it was the only way they could discuss anything.  And they had certainly been discussing a lot!
     Robin finally looked at the clock again.  “Okay, we’ll work on those changes… after break.”
     Chad removed his thumb, curtseyed… but he had nothing to say.  So he curtseyed again and put his thumb back in his mouth.  A minute later, he was following Robin through the hallways toward the break room.  At least today he was dressed normally… for what he was.
     They weren’t really late getting to break, but most of the people were already there.  They still had to stand in a short line for coffee though – something Chad still would have rather done without.
     As they had joined the back of the coffee line, Robin quickly spotted Derek’s back again.  He was at the same table as yesterday, talking with the same guys.  Even from where she stood she could see the paperwork strewn across the entire table. 
     She got her coffee and waited till Sissy had gotten his.  “Derek’s here again,” she said softly to Sissy.
     Chad looked, but said nothing more.
      “Give me your coffee cup.  I’ll hold it for you.”
     Chad handed her his coffee, but a nervous knot formed in his stomach as he did so. 
      “Go over and ask him if he wants some coffee again.” Robin told him.  But then another little idea popped into her head.  “And this time, when you talk to him, put your arm across his back real friendly like and whisper it down close to his ear.”
     Chad’s eyes went wide.  “Do what?”  He almost said it too loud.
      “You heard me!” Robin said with a mischievous smile as she walked off toward the women’s table with both cups of coffee.  By the time she got there, nobody was paying any attention to her.  They were all watching Sissy closely. 
     Robin sat down just in time to see Sissy approaching Derek’s back.  Once again, the other guys had noticed Sissy approaching before Derek had.  But Derek didn’t turn around.
      “Let me guess,” Derek said to his coworkers at the table as he saw their attention drawn to something behind him.  “Sissy’s coming.”  He got his answer in the smile from the man across the table from him.  But before he could turn around to look, he felt an arm across his back and a head lowered toward his ear.
      “Can I get you some coffee again?” Sissy asked quietly.

      “Oh my God!” one of the women at the table with Robin uttered.  “Did he just kiss him?”  Robin almost laughed out loud.

     Derek shrugged Sissy’s arm off of him and turned his head.  Sissy was just straightening up and backing away.  Derek looked angrily at the stupid moron in front of him.  At least he wasn’t dressed like a tart today.  In fact, he looked all too much like a real woman – not totally of course, but enough that it startled him for a moment.  He searched for something cruel to say, but Sissy’s more “normal” look robbed any such thoughts from his mind.  “Sure,” he replied instead.  “If you want to get the coffee again, then go ahead – for all of us.  Just like yesterday, one at a time so you don’t spill it all over us when you bring it.”
     Without thinking, Sissy curtseyed and started to put his thumb back into his mouth.  He only stopped himself as his thumb reached his lips.  Only then did he realize what he had just done.  Red faced, he turned to get Derek’s coffee.

      “I know I didn’t see him do that!” one of the women said incredulously.
      “Did he just curtsey?” another woman asked.
     This time, Robin couldn’t stifle the laugh that came out of her. 

     Chad brought Derek’s coffee first.  After he set it on the table, he started to curtsey again, but stopped himself just as he was putting his foot back and reaching for his skirt.  He turned around instead and went after the next cup.

     Robin noticed Sissy’s little slip, but she wasn’t sure if the others did or not.  Still, it amused her to no end.  One by one, she watched as he made a total of four trips to get the guys coffee.

     Chad set the final cup of coffee in front of the last man at the table.  “Can I get you anything else?” he asked, trying to be polite.

      “You can leave us alone – permanently!” Derek replied. 
     Chad was so startled by the rude way Derek had spoken to him that he curtseyed again without thinking.  Only realizing afterwards that he had done it again.  Red faced, he headed for the women’s table.
     All the women were looking at him as he made his way toward them.  A few were openly giggling.  He had no doubt that his face was red.  He stared embarrassedly down toward the floor as he got closer.  He took the chair that Robin had saved for him and reached for his coffee cup.  And the barrage started – all the questions coming mostly at the same time, making them almost difficult to understand.
      “You curtseyed!” Several of them exclaimed. 
      “That was so darling!” another one threw in.
      “What was with the curtseying?” several of them asked.
      “Wow, you’re really going after him!” another one said.
     And the final question Chad heard as the overlapping barrage of questions started to slow down was:  “Did you just kiss him?”
     Chad blushed furiously and looked at the floor during most of it, but at that last question he peeked up a bit.  “No, I didn’t kiss him.  I just asked if he wanted me to get some coffee for him again.”
      “It looked to me like you kissed him!” someone said.
     Chad shook his head.  “I didn’t.  I just asked about coffee.”
      “Why?  He can’t get his own?”
      “Oh come on,” another woman interjected, “You can see he’s trying to get on Derek’s good side!”
     His good side?  Chad knew without a doubt that doing it had only made Derek angrier at him than he was before.  He said nothing.
      “So what was with the silly curtsey business?” one of the women asked.  “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that little trick before.”  She turned to look at some of the other women at the table.  “I don’t think I’ve even done a curtsey since I was a little girl – and that was only for play acting.”
     There was no way to tell them that his curtsey’s, both of them, had been accidents – because he had gotten so used to doing them for Robin.  So what was he going to say?  He shrugged his shoulders.  “I guess…  I don’t know…  Maybe I just thought…”  But he really couldn’t find a decent excuse.
      “In other words, you’re trying to show Derek how much of a girl you can be.” one of them finished for him.
      “Maybe he’s trying to show Derek that he’s willing to be the submissive little housewife for him,” another one added.
     Chad wasn’t sure about either of those responses, but he did still need some excuse.  “Um…  Maybe,” he admitted sheepishly before he sipped at his coffee.  
      “Is it working?” someone else asked.
      “It must be!” someone else replied.  “He did it twice!”
      “Do you curtsey for Derek when you’re at home?” someone asked.
     Chad looked up quickly at that.  He couldn’t tell them about Mel – or about Derek’s visit last night – or about having to curtsey because it was Mel’s requirement.  But…  “Um… I’ve done it,” he admitted.  He heard a small muffled explosion of a laugh from Robin.
      “So are you seeing him every night now?”
      “Of course he is!” someone said.
     Chad shook his head.  “No!  I’m not!” he quickly responded.  Although chief on his mind was the fact that Derek had been there twice recently.  But it wasn’t every night!
      “So are you two officially engaged now?” someone asked.  
     Chad looked up surprised.  “No!  Of course not!”
     But before he could continue, someone else added, “Most likely they’ll wait till after his sex change operation.”
     Chad shook his head.  They just didn’t get it.  And maybe it was better that they thought what they did.  Things would get really bad if they knew the truth.
     Robin was beside herself as they walked back from break.  She was practically singing!  If there was just some way now that she could actually get Sissy to kiss Derek in front of everyone else.  Now that would be something! 
      “Bottle time,” she sang cheerily as they approached their cubicles. 
     Chad knew it was coming, but knowing about it didn’t take any of the frustration off of having to drink yet another bottle of liquid.  His diapers were already very soaked and heavy.  What would they be like by the time he left today?

     Mel’s eyes were beginning to strain a bit.  She sat back in her chair for a moment to rest them.  The office was quiet and had been since the contract arrived.  Andrea had been kind enough to refill her coffee cup twice already – each time, making no sound as she did so.  Mel had barely told her thanks each time as she carefully tried to go through page after page of legal jargon – the very stuff she loved to create herself. 
     So far, she wasn’t seeing any differences that she could remember between this version and what she had finally gleaned out of the last copy she had gotten.  But then, she hadn’t gotten to any of the sections where those changes should be yet. 
     She glanced at the time.  It was later than she thought.  She would be spending all night pouring though the document probably.  But at least Sissy would be there to make dinner for her and…  Sissy!  She forgotten!  And tonight she had to go through his ballet again – and she had told Sandy she would work with her on it too!  Damn.  There just wasn’t enough time lately for everything. 
     And then another little thought hit her about Sissy.  She had promised to ask everyone to judge their bet, but she still hadn’t asked Robin.  But should she?  What if Robin said she wanted to do it?  They already had three judges – a perfect number.  Robin would make it an even number and that wasn’t nearly as good.  But… she had promised. 
     Knowing she had to get it over with so she could get back to the contract, she dialed Robin’s phone number.

1 comment:

sarah penguin said...

Public curtsying, twice! Almost sticking her thumb back in her mouth! Wow she's going to be stewing about that for a while *giggles* :)

I hope Mel can figure out what the deal is with the suspicious contract stuff...