Read Chapter 27 here with Cupcakemummy
I snuck a chocolate into the package for Winter. I had to buy Michael lunch to get him to tell me what Winters favourite sweet is. I figured her life needs some sweetness. God knows she must have her hands full with Michael. Although I can see what she sees in him. Not so much the looks. He is a bit too clean cut for my liking but he is rather cute. He has these little habits he thinks no one sees. I guess we all have those. Michael must be working from home or be at a client today. His desk is vacant. The thought of messing with him is just too tempting and I grab my post’it notes and go to town on his cubical. It’s starting to look like a highlighter puked on it and I get lost in the tedious task of pasting each little note at the last ones edge. As I paste the last one I give it a swipe with my index finger to insure it stays put and stand back to appreciate my work of art. It is perfect.
Mark is also not in today but I know he is on a deadline with his client. A magazine has so I am sure he has his hands full. Flat White Magazine. I mentioned it to Winter a few weeks ago. They needed some illustration work done. I hope she got into contact with them.
It feels strange to have the office so quite. I wonder if this is what Winters world feels like? Nothing but a little muzzled noise coming from somewhere outside. My mind is a little all over the place today. As you can tell. I keep thinking it’s time to tell the Mateo’s about the book. It is party about their son after all. But how am I supposed to bring it up? “Oh hey, here is a children’s book about the child you lost and oh, your son’s character is a sad duck”. The might just throw me with a loaf of bread. Not really a topic I think they want to crack back open. I am perplexed though. I can’t NOT tell them. I have to do it before we go to print. Or before the launch. Part of me never wants them to find out. It would just be easier.
I have been doodling on the back of an old calendar on my desk. I might be a novelist but part of thinks my soul has always been a poet. (Albeit not a particularly good one)
Silent was her world. But not cold nor dark.
Grey were her eyes. But not her heart.
She lived in colours unseen by others. Beautiful thing that smothers
Her soul was green, Spring. Her name was Winter.
I scrounge up the piece of paper and throw it into the bin in the far corner of the office. When I look up Mark is standing next to the bin clapping hands, with the biggest grin on his face. Gosh he is edible.
Mark: Nice shot.
Me: You sound surprised.
Mark: I didn’t know you were so…athletic.
Me: I am very athletic. You should see me run
Me: Yes, I am exceptional at shot distance running.
Mark: Oh really? What distance.
Me: Couch to fridge, I am the record holder.
Mark smiles and shakes his head. He walks over to my desk and leans over my cubical with folded arms. I can smell his aftershave. It smells of sweet pears and the ocean. It’s rather intoxicating and I struggle to focus on what he is saying.
Mark: Wake up.
Me: I am awake.
Mark: It looks like your dreaming somewhere far away from here.
I smile at him.
Mark: I assume you went to town on Mike’s desk?
Me: He needed some colour. Don’t you think?
Mark: I agree. He seemed a bit lost lately. So pasta?
Mark: can you cook pasta?
Me: yes, why? Well define cook.
Like you, I think.
Me: In that case yes.
Mark: Done, dinner at your place. 7ish?
I try to argue but he leans over the cubical divider and plants a kiss on my cheek. I immediately Google easy pasta recipes and get lost in words like “parboil” and sauté. I appreciate good food but couldn’t be bothered to cook fancy food for myself. Maybe things will change when it’s not just me anymore. A smile makes it way from my heart to my face. I have been alone so long the thought of coming home to someone is as good as my fairy tale gets. And I am completely ok with that. I don’t need swooping, white horse, flowers every night might kind of love. I need someone else on my couch that laughs at the same parts in a movie as I do. He fits. It fits.
I finally set on a super easy recipe with chicken and bacon in it. Everyone loves bacon. Well, everyone should. I hit print and before I make my to the copier room to pick up my print I hit send and receive and get a mail from Winter. I hit reply.
Email To: Winter
RE RE: BIG NEWS
Hey Sweet pea,
SO glad the chocolate made its way there. Figured you would want something sweet to celebrate with. Enjoy it. When you have a chance please go over the last details of the beta copy. I would like to submit it to the printers as soon as possible. Once we are happy with the colours etc we can do the first print. I would be honoured if you were to sign one for me? I will treasure it forever.
I want to ask you some advice. I need to tell the family (of my brothers friend) that I used their child in book. I don’t know when to tell them or if I should tell them at all. I feel a little lost here. If it were your child, would you want to know?
I am so thrilled about you and Michael. Also good to know the man is good with gardening. He is husband material. Hold on to him.
I am cooking for Mark tonight. I am SO excited. I even Googled a recipe am hoping he wants me for dessert.
Listen I have to run. I still need to go shopping for tonight. And shave!
Courier the copy back with your notes as soon as you can.
I log out of my computer and grab my bag on the way to copier. As I approach the printer I see Mark leaning against the table with the guillotine. I am flooded with a warm desire to take off where we left it in there the last time. That room is hallowed ground to us. I open my mouth to say something sexy I haven’t quite formed in my head and suddenly my breath is stolen. As if vacuumed from my body and I freeze. Breathless. I see Pam lean in and kiss Mark on his stubbled cheek while she says “Thanks for the other night Marky. It was…fun.”
I let out an audible sigh and Mark jumps back from Pams grip as if she was poisonous.
“Iris! Please… it’s not what you think”