“I hate my job,” I heard her mutter and my lips curved with pure pleasure. I wiped the expression from my face before she entered my office, updating me on a project that had her all aflutter.
You’re worse than I am, I told her silently, cocking my head as I evaluated her. Equally melodramatic and with a strong evil streak, she had the detriment of having an ill-defined role and time enough to self-destruct.
Conversely, I have many responsibilities and a penchant for control. I’m honestly either too busy or too tired (or, well, too hurt from falling down while trying to walk around) to work myself into a proper fit. My last one, I decided, continuing to ignore her in favor of my thoughts, was when she hurt and offended me. I meant to work at getting her fired, I recalled and nearly shook my head. I need to start writing stuff down or these important projects fail to see sufficient progress.
“She was looking for you the other day,” BestWorkBuddy said earlier and I rolled my eyes as she nodded. “I told her you were out and she got very…” she paused while looking for the right word.
“Shrill?” I offered. “Angry? Annoying as hell?” BWB nodded her agreement at my final answer and we returned to the notes we were reviewing after I patted her knee with satisfied affection.
When WWE (worst work enemy) left, having failed to elicit a response from me apart from an impatient stare, I grinned again before returning to my documentation. She deserves to be miserable, I decided. And until I can get some traction on making something bad happen to her, I’m glad she’s being unhappy on her own.
“Hello, dear,” I offered in greeting, having hobbled to a nearby office to drop off some paperwork. “You look good,” I decided after the older woman turned around to acknowledge me. “A bit more rested. How are you?” I asked the last question absently, mind already skipping ahead to the next task at hand while calculating how long it had been since I’d had Advil.
“Oh, no,” I stilled and reached to enfold her in a hug when she said she had to travel home. “I’m so sorry,” I whispered into her shoulder while I rubbed her back.
“We knew it was coming,” she sniffled and I blinked back tears as I nodded, for she'd told me as much weeks ago. People I loved have died after long illnesses though. It made the loss no less shocking or painful. I stood there, holding most of my weight on my right leg, wondering what to say or do and feeling positively awful.
“I’m so sorry,” I said again and she nodded. “Please let me know if there’s anything at all I can do,” I requested softly, wishing I could feel less useless, knowing she was hurting and lost as to how to ease that pain.
I hobbled slowly back to my office, lowering myself carefully into my chair and staring blankly at the screen of my computer. I picked at the cuticle on my thumb and worried the left side of my lower lip between my teeth as I fretted. I was near a revelation along the lines of not wishing misery on others when so much of it was unavoidable. But then WWE pranced by, trying to get the attention of a visiting executive and taking credit for work not her own.
I still hope she gets fired.