“Beep, ….beep, …. beep….” Wil woke to his alarm. Smacking the off switch with his hand, he put his feet on the floor. Looking between his legs with his head in his hands, he begged for his headache to subside. “Ten to fifteen mornings a month is just too much to wake up like this,” Wil said to the floor. Grabbing the bottle of water and aspirin on the nightstand he had for these occasions, he swallowed four pills down and waited for his headache to subside. Looking over to the other side of the bed, Wil realized Airia was already gone but couldn’t remember what appointment she had this morning. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to cost a small fortune,” he mumbled to himself.
Okay, I’ve got to see the doctor today. This is too much. I’ll have Beatrice make me an appointment with Dr. Chapel when I get in. He shuddered at that last thought, knowing how much Dr. Chapel hated him. He dragged himself out of bed before his headache subsided because he had to get going. Today was the semi-annual board meeting, and he had to give his report on the company’s payroll.
After showering and dressing, Wil headed for Kasey’s Coffee Shop. Upon entering, he accidentally pushed the door into a stranger with a derby hat and handlebar mustache that was leaving.
“Watch it!” The man said. “If you aren’t careful, I’ll add this to your tally, Mr. Marks.” The last part the man said with a laugh and a smile as he turned and walked away.
Wil was taken aback. Who the hell is that? How does he know my name? I’m positive I’d remember someone that looked like that? He giggled a little now recalling the silly hat and mustache the man wore.
Inside the coffee shop, Wil said, “Good morning Kasey. Latte please.”
“Yes sir Mr. Marks,” Kasey said. Wil fumbled for his wallet as she smiled at him and opened it.
“Damn it! Airia emptied my wallet again.” Wil mumbled under his breath. He hated swiping for his coffee because he knew that it cost Kasey $.50 for a $2.50 cup of coffee, and he wouldn’t be able to give her a tip without her having to claim it on her taxes. Looking at her, he frowned. “I’m so sorry, Kasey. Airia took all my cash again. I’ll have to swipe. I’ll make up for it next time and leave a bigger tip.”
Kasey laughed. “Mr. Marks, you always leave a huge tip, please don’t worry about it. I’ll tell you what, today your coffee is on me.” She quickly gave him a little smile and turned to the latte machine.
As she worked she asked, “How are you feeling today, Mr. Marks?”
“Splitting headache again, Kasey. I’m going to see the doctor later,” Wil replied.
The shop was empty except for him so his coffee was ready in no time. As Kasey handed it to him she said, “It’s about time. You’ve been having those headaches for months.” Then she smiled at him and handed him his coffee, touching his hand as she did.
“Thank you,” Wil said awkwardly, smiling back and took his first sip. The coffee started clearing his head more than the aspirin had and he smiled as he walked to the Aspire building.
Wil had forgotten his security badge so he took the elevator to the fiftieth floor and waited for the next one to take him to the sixty sixth. His head was still pounding from the headache he woke up with despite the four aspirin and the coffee. As he waited, he couldn’t help but think of the rude gentleman at Kasey’s coffee shop. Wil didn’t mean to bump him with the door, and in fact, if the man hadn’t been standing so close, Wil wouldn’t have. It’s what the man said that really bothered Wil.
“If you aren’t more careful, I’ll add this to your tally.”
What the hell does that mean, add to my tally? He got on the elevator and pushed the button for the 66th floor.
“Mrs. Clay, can you get me an appointment with Dr. Chapel this afternoon around four? I should be out of the board meeting by then,” Wil said as he walked up to his secretary’s desk.
“Yes Mr. Marks,” she replied. “As you requested, your calendar has been cleared for the day but Mr. Abrams wants to see you in his office at 12:30 before you go into the boardroom.”
“Thank you Mrs. Clay,” Wil said, turning to his office. As he did, he noticed an extra door along the hallway and asked, “Mrs. Clay, am I losing my mind? Hasn’t my office always been five doors down from the elevator?”
“No sir, you aren’t losing your mind. If you remember, maintenance was partitioning off the conference room for the new clerk. They added a door,” she said, looking at him over her glasses.
“So you are telling me that I’m on the sixty sixth floor at the sixth door?” He asked, smiling now. “I’m the devil then!” He laughed then winced from the headache as he turned and walked into his office.