Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: Sick Day
By Brian Russell
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She was a receptionist at the local hospital and had always told me that it would be sooo nice of me to come see her sometime at work. It was a new job and she was really excited about it. Seems easy enough, except that she worked at the same time that I work. You don't have to think to hard to know that it doesn't line up very often.
But, being the awesome fiancÚ that I am, I called in sick this morning, but left the house as if I was still going to work. To trick her, and thus, to surprise her.
Now, I work at a small office building and it wasn't too hard to convince them that I was really sick and that I needed to go to the emergency room for some drugs. There's no health care through our office, so it's either wait at the free clinic, or wait for a slightly shorter amount of time at the emergency room. They seemed concerned and told me to let them know how I was doing.
Sure thing. Can do. Cough. Cough. Gotta go. Buh-bye.
A little embellishment always goes well with a call out. It's almost as if the work place enjoys it. I'll bet they save all of the best embellished sick day call-in's. They probably have it in a file. There's probably one in there from Jim about how he broke his leg jumping off the roof of his house into a half-pipe over the weekend. That Jimmy, still skating at 52, he's hardcore. Or Beth from down the hall, the time she called in for what she thought was a brain tumor, what was actually just a mole that had always been there.
Either way, this was an excellent plan.
I swung by the local florist, picked up my order, and was on my way to the hospital not but an hour after she had started her shift.
I'm walking to the door to the hospital from my car. What is it about parking garages that there aren't any good spots? I get this phone call from her, she asks where I am.
At work, I lie. Where else would I be? I'm smirking at my own brilliance.
"I just got a call from your office, they were checking to see if you were alright."
Oh, I say.
The key to this moment is to hurry. I fake some static noise be shushing at the phone.
I'm sorry. Can't hear you. Call you in a minute.
I run through the doors trying hard not to throw the flowers as I ran. But as I rounded the corner to the door leading to her desk, I stopped short.
My boss. Was at. The hospital.
I was out of breathe and sweating, but I tried to duck out of sight. I could hear them talking about me and my bride-to-be was explaining how fine I had been that morning. Even leaving for work. She didn't know what was the matter. At this point, I'm squatting behind some chairs near the desk. The only amount of hiding I can do.
My phone rings.
There's no way she didn't hear it ring either. It's on super-loud. It's the only way I can hear it over my car radio. Dang it.
"Ben?" she asks.
I can see her looking at me looking at her through the chairs. Along with my boss. I stand up and hold out my bouquet of flowers.
These. Are for you, I say. Sweating and out of breath.
And my boss, she looks at me with a raised eyebrow and says, "Well, you're sweaty, and at the hospital. I guess your story checks out. But I should expect you in tomorrow." And walks off.
The most I can do, with my sweat and hard breathing and red faced, is shrug my shoulders and hand my bride-to-be her flowers.
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