perils with writing and whatnot
Did you miss part 1? You can find it here.
Shelly wanted to show her what she found in the bottom drawer, but with Aaron right there, she thought better of the idea. Besides, she wasn’t chummy with Ruth. The woman of thirty-three was her supervisor, nothing more.
She continued through her tasks for the day. At four, she found herself sitting in the cubicle with nothing to do. Truth be known, she’d been trying to keep herself busy for over a half hour. She even scanned documents that she had completed earlier to make sure, for the fourth time, there weren’t any errors. Her thoughts went back to the money in the drawer. This is silly. If I don’t do something, I won’t sleep tonight. That’s become obvious.
She smoothed out her should-length hair and walked around the two other rows of cubicles where Ruth’s office was. The door wasn’t closed but she knocked anyway. “Ruth, can I talk to you for a moment?”
Ruth waved Shelly inside and motioned to one of the chairs while she finished what she was writing on a legal pad. Once done, she asked, “What do you need, Shelly?”
Shelly fidgeted with her hands that laid in her lap. Her feet wouldn’t stay still on the floor. “Uhmm… Ruth… When I came in this morning, I was going to put my purse in the bottom drawer just like I always do. Yet this morning, the drawer wasn’t empty. It had an envelope laying in it.”
Ruth became rigid for just a second, then placed her forearms on her desk and clasped her hands together. “Do you know what was in the envelope?” she asked calmly.
Shelly looked down at her hands as she answered. “Yes, Ruth. Dollar bills are in it. I haven’t counted how many though. I don’t even know what the denominations are.” She looked up expectantly at her boss.
Ruth kept her pose. “Shelly, where is the envelope now?”
“Still in the drawer.”
“And the content is still there, I presume?”
“Yes,” Shelly answered as confusion swirled through her head.
“Okay. Uhmm… Shelly, bring me the envelope.”
Shelly stood and stopped expecting Ruth to say more.
“Go on. Bring it back in here,” Ruth said with moderate impatience in her tone.
Shelly hastily sprinted to her desk, retrieved the envelope, and rushed to Ruth’s office. Upon reaching the doorway, she said with labored breath, “Here it is,” and held it out to her boss.
Ruth grabbed it and peeked inside. Before she could stop herself, a gasp of relief escaped her lips. Taking the clasp out of her hair and letting the waves of amber tumble over her shoulders, she leaned back and closed her eyes.
“Is everything all right, Ruth?” Shelly asked.
Ruth opened her eyes and looked toward her subordinate. “Yes, yes, I’m fine. It’s almost quitting time. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
To Shelly’s disappointment, Ruth said nothing to shed any light on the reason the envelope was in her desk drawer, yet it seemed obvious to Shelly that Ruth knew all about the entire incident.
When she arrived home forty-five minutes later, she saw the light flashing on her phone. She pressed the button and heard Ruth’s voice.
Text+Sound by Wayne Mason
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