Short Story Sunday #55

SSS Glass

            The sound of breaking glass stopped her. She ran into the living room to see what had happened. There she saw her young daughter and their new puppy standing over a broken lamp. The dog and her daughter looked at each other with worried expressions as though they were both wondering how they were going to get out of that one.

“And just what do the two of you think you’re doing?” Anna placed both hands on her hips. She was glaring at her daughter.

“Uh…” her daughter smiled and shrugged her shoulders. The dog laid down at her feet and acted as though he was unfazed by the situation.

“Julie, you and Spot and need to get out of the living room right now,” Anna pointed to the stairs. “Go up to your bedroom and don’t come out until I go up there and talk to you. Watch your step; you’re not wearing any socks. The last thing we need right now is for your or Spot to step on a piece of glass.”

Julie bent down and grabbed Spot’s collar. She pulled him to his feet and motioned for him to follow her. He obeyed and together they walked up the stairs and disappeared out of the room. Anna stood her ground for a few moments and once she heard Julie’s bedroom door close, she then left to grab the vacuum cleaner.

Anna vacuumed up all the glass shards and threw away the big pieces. She looked at the coffee table and shook her head. That was the only lamp in the room. Now she was going to have to buy a new one if anyone wanted to hang out in the living room after dark.

She walked up the stairs and knocked on Julie’s bedroom door. Without waiting for a reply, she opened the door a crack and saw both Julie and Spot lying down on her bed.

“Okay, are you two ready to tell me what happened now?” Anna asked.

Julie sat up in her bed and Spot followed her lead.

“Well, Spot and I were trying to see who could run the fastest. I accidentally tripped over the coffee table and the lamp fell.” Julie explained sheepishly.

“You were trying to see who could run the fastest… in the living room? Where there’s furniture all over the place?” Anna deadpanned.

Julie nodded her head slowly.

Anna sighed, “Julie, do you think that sounds like a good idea? The broken lamp aside, do you think it makes sense to be running around a small area with a lot of objects in the way?”

Julie shook her head and Spot whined.

“I cleaned it all up for you. Please don’t let it happen again. Now we don’t have a lamp in the living room.” Anna explained.

“Sorry,” Julie stated softly.

“If you and Spot want to run around, please go outside next time. In fact, I think that’s a wonderful idea. You and Spot can go hang outside for a little bit. Go on,” Anna stepped aside so Julie and Spot could exit the room.

Julie looked as though she was going to protest at first, but she thought better about it. She hopped off her bed, Spot following her lead, and together the two of them walked out the front door.

Anna looked out the window and smiled when she saw Julie laughing and running around with the dog chasing her.

She walked back into the kitchen and resuming her cooking dinner with a smile on her face. It was quiet all of the sudden so it was nice to have that moment as she cooked. She should have forced Julie and Spot to go outside more often.

Anna turned around to bring something to sink when her elbow collided with her glass mixing bowl. That and all the ingredients inside it fell to the floor, shattering the mixing bowl. Anna’s shoulders slumped down in annoyance. She stopped what she was doing and grabbed the dust pan and broom.

Now only did she have glass all over the tiled floor, but now their dinner was all over the floor as well.

Short Story Sunday #54

OFFICE

            Everyone in the office turned and stared. Of course, he didn’t really understand why. Sure, he was a bit late for work and sure, he was still wearing his pajama bottoms, but was that such a bad thing? He was going to be sitting at a desk all day. Clients would only be able to see his shirt, which was a clean work shirt.

A few of the girls at the office were snickering as he walked by. A few of the men were shaking their head in disgust. However, some men were shaking their head as though they felt sorry for him.

He was carrying a small box tucked underneath his arm. It was all that he could grab at the moment and he was so upset that he didn’t want to leave it in the car. He wanted it to stay right next to him at his desk.

“Charlie, what happened?”

Charlie sat down at his desk and immediately his work friend was peeking over his cubicle shaking his head and staring down at Charlie as though he was in trouble.

“I really screwed up this time, Fred.” Charlie sighed. He gazed into the box that had a few of his belongings. “This was all I could grab this morning before she really lost her temper with me. I have to go home after work and grab the rest of my things… if she doesn’t throw them out for me or something…”

“You know, I feel bad for you, but I’m angry at myself for feeling bad for you.” Fred shook his head in disgust at himself. He ducked away and walked around coming inside Charlie’s cubicle.

“What did I tell you about having a mistress? If you don’t love your wife anymore, then you should have come clean and told her. You shouldn’t have been snooping around her back. You and Marcy are my best friends. I can’t imagine how she must be feeling right now.” Fred scolded him.

“It’s not that I don’t love Marcy anymore. I do love her. I really do.” Charlie looked Fred in the eyes. “It’s just that I met Linda and… we sort of clicked. I don’t really know how that sort of thing happens. We just met a couple of times as friends and then it eventually escalated. I didn’t mean for it to get out of control.”

“If you were just friends in the beginning, then why didn’t you tell Marcy where you were going for lunch every Friday?” Fred glared at him.

“Huh?”

“Marcy called me to talk and ask if I say anything at our weekly lunch dates. I didn’t know what she was talking about, so I told her that you and I never have lunch together on Fridays because you,” Fred pointed to Charlie, “told me that you always went home to have lunch with your wife!”

Charlie buried his face in his hands.

“If you’re going to use me in a lie, at least tell me about it. I hate lying to Marcy, but that was a stupid move on your part.” Fred stated.

“You know, I’m not the only victim here.” Charlie growled.

“Really? Because where I stand, your wife was the one who was cheated on. Not you.” Fred retorted.

“No, I was cheated on too!” Charlie growled standing up. “Linda’s married. I can’t believe she would do such a thing!”

“I cannot believe what you just said…” Fred’s jaw dropped. “So it’s okay for you to cheat on your wife with another woman, but it’s not okay for someone else to cheat on their significant other with someone else? That’s basically what you’re saying.”

“No, I just mean…”

“No, you’re pissed at Linda because she chose you as the ‘other man’ when you were using Linda as the ‘other woman’. I can’t believe you!” Fred’s voice escalated.

A large man stormed down the hallway and turned into Charlie’s cubicle. He was glaring at Fred and Charlie.

“What is going on here?” he growled. “I can hear Fred all the way down at my office. Charlie, why are you not dressed? Why were you late today?”

Fred took a step back not wanting to get into a tiff with his boss.

“Sorry, Charlie and I were just sorting something out. I’ll get back to work.” He stated and walked away.

Charlie turned on his computer and didn’t say a word to his boss. He just pretended that he was wearing h full work suit and that he had all ready been at work for the past two hours like he was supposed to be.

“Charlie, what happened?” his boss asked.

“My wife kicked me out of the house. That’s why I was late because I was trying to get back into my own home. That’s why I’m not fully dressed because she kicked me out before I was able to finish getting dressed.” Charlie explained.

His boss stared at him as though he knew exactly why Charlie had gotten kicked out of his house.

“I heard your conversation with Fred from my office. I know what happened.” He said quietly.

“Yeah, well I’m not really in the mood for any sympathy at the moment. I’ll just get back to work.” Charlie said arrogantly.

“Sympathy?” his boss glared at him. “I don’t give sympathy to anyone who cheats on their wife; especially when they cheat on their wife with my wife!”

Charlie stopped typing on the computer and looked up spacing out with wide eyes.

Oops.

Short Story Sunday #53

KNOW-IT-ALL

            He just wouldn’t shut up. Everyone in the class was getting super annoyed with him. The professor was even getting frustrated with him as well. No matter what anyone said or did, this kid had something to say. He always had to have the last word.

He was older than myself and the rest of the kids in my class. I wasn’t sure how old he was, but he had to at least be in his 40s or 50s. I didn’t understand why he was back in school; or still in school. Of course, he was coming back to school to learn something new or to prepare for a new career, than more power to him. However, in order to learn in class you need to keep your mouth shut and listen to what the professor was saying.

Every time the professor began a lecture, he would raise his hand and interrupt without waiting for her to call on him. It always related to what we were learning in class, but he always had something to say. Whether it was a statement or a question, he had to let everyone know that he knew exactly what was going on and that he was… well, smarter than everyone else.

I wasn’t sure if he was trying to be a know-it-all or if that was just his personality. However, he was giving the professor and the rest of my classmates the wrong impression. Every time his hand rose into the air, everyone rolled their eyes. Every time he opened his mouth and began to speak, people groaned.

Most of the time he was asking questions as though he was trying to challenge the professor. It was almost as if he didn’t believe anything she was saying to us about the subject matter and he was trying to prove her wrong. I wasn’t sure if he knew what he was talking about or not, but he certainly acted as though he knew everything. The professor felt the same way, I think.

Whenever this man raised his hand and began to speak, she would glare at him. Professors are supposed to want their students to be engaged in a discussion about the subject matter and ask questions. However, that was just not the case for this guy. She knew that he was trying to be a know-it-all. She knew that he was trying to challenge her and question her knowledge about the subject matter.

I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to learn more about the subject matter and the only way he felt he could do that was to be difficult and challenge the professor or if he was just trying to be mean and rude. I wondered if he felt as though the professor didn’t know what she was talking about so he just kind of tried to take over the class.

The problem was, if he did say anything useful to myself and the other students, we would never know. Once we hear his voice, we just end up tuning him out until we hear the professor get back on track about what we were talking about before.

Some of the questions he ask are probably useful information that we need to know or we’ll need to know eventually. He might bring up some pretty good points that the professor needs to explain further and none of us know what those points are because we don’t pay any attention to when he speaks. He might even end up teaching the professor something and none of us would ever know.

The class is an hour long, so it’s tough because I end up having to listen to my classmate for about 45 minutes of the time while I only get to listen to my professor for about 15 minutes of the time. Since he talks so much and the professor speaks to little because of him, you wouldn’t think that we would be learning much in class. You would think that the entire class time is wasted by listening to the old man ramble on about everything that the professor was supposed to be teaching us. Sometimes I wondered if the professor and my classmate should switch spots for a day… he would teach and she would be one of the students. I wondered if that ever happened, how much would we learn? If we paid any attention to his monotone voice, that is. How much would the professor learn? Would we learn more from him or more from the professor herself? I wondered just how much this guy really knew. According to him, he seemed to know a lot.

I went home from class that night and began to study for the final exam that was going to happen in two days. It was a lot of material to study and I hoped that the professor was able to talk to us enough without being interrupted that she was actually able to teach us something. I flipped through all my notes from her lectures and from my textbook. I re-read the chapters in the textbook. There were many things from my notes and from my textbook that I couldn’t remember actually going over in class. I grunted to myself because I figured that was probably because I had to keep tuning out my classmate because he was probably busy distracting the professor from explaining more as he wasted all our time.

It was a lot of study and it was a tough exam, but I managed to get through it. In two days, I went into class and took the final feeling a little confident, but also feeling a little nervous that I didn’t know enough. The test was easy enough as it was only 100 multiple choice questions. Multiple choice is easy because you can easily narrow down your answer and also see the correct one; even if you don’t know what it is. Something, though, by seeing the right answer it comes back to you.

I passed, but barely. The rest of the class barely passed as well. Mr. Know-It-All had a perfect score.