Tompa Bay and Arizona also won, and one of them would surely pound the Pack in the NFC title game. The Cardinals probably wouldn't even wait that long. Green Bay had to head to the desert this week, on short rest, and take on the undefeated Cards without their two top receivers Thursday night.
Also, my mind was somewhere else - as it had been pretty much all year.
I had not seen Office Girl in nine days. All of that momentum from
the night at the Cantina had evaporated. Happens every time.
would it be like seeing her now, after her vacation? I
felt a little sheepish for texting her (twice) since saying goodbye at the bar, but
it's okay because she's definitely leaving in 12 days and I wont ever see
her again. Right?
I caught my first glimpse of her Monday morning when she walked past me on her way to the owner's office. I noticed her festive outfit - black dress, black cardigan, black tights, and black buckle shoes. She looked like the prettiest witch in all of Salem.
"Hey stranger." I smiled when she returned.
"What's that?" G asked me. "What did she give you?"
"Now I know she hates me." G shrugged. "I didn't get anything." You got all those million dollar bills, G.
Fortunately I caught her in the hallway a couple hours later, just as she was exiting the ladies' room. She hadn't seen me and was on her way back to her desk when I called for her. "How was your vacation?"
"It was amazing!" Office Girl beamed. It was her first vacation in five years, the first since she had her daughter, and she really needed a week away from the office.
When we were at the Cantina she showed me the tattoo of her daughter's name on her left wrist. She'd planned to get a pentagram tattoo on her right wrist while in Salem. I asked her to show it to me. "That was my favorite part." She said, rolling up the sleeve of her black cardigan. OG had decided to get more ink on her lower forearm, some kind of globe design with energy waves on either side. I didn't get a good look, the ink hadn't settled in yet, and I didn't want to be too nosy.
"Oh! I have another gift for you." Office Girl led me to her cubicle and rifled through a cream-colored tote bag underneath her desk. She handed me a piece of Palo Santo and explained how she uses it. "You light one end, wave it around, and it cleanses all the negative energy in your house."
Around 3 p.m. I shot Office Girl a quick text. I probably should have thought this through, but...
"Now that you've had some time to recharge have you decided to stay here or are you still leaving in 2 weeks?"
I'm not sure, I mean I already gave my notice but we'll see. I will talk to them and see where I stand this week.
At the end of the day no matter what I do I just have to do what's best for me and my daughter.
Less than five minutes later another prescient song played on G's Pandora: "To Love Somebody." Shut up!
"Thank you for the gifts." I indicated the sage stick. "What's the stone for?"
"It's for self-love."
My immediate thought was to keep Office Girl's gifts in my pocket and not mention them to Di. But it felt wrong to keep it from her, and I wanted to get Di's reaction.
"Weirdo." She scoffed.
Yup. Coulda bet money on that.
It confounds me how people become more narrow-minded and intolerant with age. Aren't we supposed to mature as we get older? My co-workers could easily think I'm a weirdo for not drinking or driving. OG could dismiss me for being older and not very attractive or interesting. But they don't and she doesn't because this isn't high school.
On Tuesday our girl started doing leg lifts as soon as she got in the office. That bothered G as we were expecting a nor'easter
and a busy day. But no, by all means, get your workout in first. G asked Hebert if he had scheduled any interviews for office help. "Not for today." He replied.
Wednesday was G's birthday. JR offered to buy her a Cuban sandwich for lunch. After he left Baldy and Hebert discussed doing something for his last day as he's moving to the Buffalo area next week. They were under the impression that he'd be around for a few days while he packed up and that we could have cocktails next Friday. That would also be Office Girl's last day. I was already preparing myself.
Option #3 would be to tell everyone I'm going to the bar, not go, and then text G or OG that "Something came up. Family emergency. Very sorry."
I can't just give her a hug and say "Nice working with you" though. It's either some kind of confession "I adore you, and I will miss you, but I'm relieved that you're leaving because..." or the coward's way out. No in between.
Temperatures were finally dropping into the 50s. The heater was on in the room and OG looked all cozy and adorable in her camo hoodie and black leggings. I wanted to snuggle in the worst way.
Friday was JR's last day. Those of us in the back office were not aware of this. He was packing up and moving out this weekend. G was very upset that she didn't have more time to plan a send-off. JR had told her about a month ago that he was leaving "in about a month." If she was ever aware of the exact date, she'd clearly forgotten.
There were things she wanted to do, and she was trying to get more information. She considered bar tending and asked her mom if she would watch her little Poppy at night. Her mom had declined twice before finally throwing up her hands and saying "fine." It seems to me that OG doesn't have the most loving or supportive family, but she denied that was the case when we spoke on the phone.
The two slices of pizza on my plate stayed untouched for the duration of our conversation. Office Girl noticed and apologized. I shrugged it off. "No, it's fine. I'm sorry for interrupting your meal." Whenever I talk to that woman I never want it to end. I was too focused on her and those feckin freckles.
I was a ball of nerves by 3 p.m. Work was the farthest thing from my mind. I kept checking the monitor and not seeing JR. Did he leave already? Did I miss my chance to say goodbye? And where the hell is Office Girl?
It occurred to me that she needed to step out of the office to clear her head, as she had during her vacation. At 3:20 p.m. she texted me:
I decided to stay
"And you." I said to Office Girl. "I'm glad you're staying."