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LIFE, LOPSIDED - 2

by  Deborah

Posted: Monday, June 09, 2008
Word Count: 1539
Summary: Does this still work or is it too slow, too much info dump and not enough action?
Related Works: LIFE, LOPSIDED • 



2. WORKING IN ACCOUNTS could possibly be the single, dullest job in existence. Accountants are famed for being the most boring people alive, aren’t they? and I would imagine that working in an Accounts Department would run a pretty close second. Or third. But definitely Up There, living in a suburb of Boresville. Though it does have it’s upsides. Working alongside Carly is a bonus. And the rest of the guys here at E.P.Roses (one of the oldest established department stores in town - “Where Nostalgia meets Tomorrow”) are a pretty O.K. bunch too, really. It’s just a job, though. Nothing serious and certainly nothing akin to a real career like they used to try and get us to think about having in mind for when we left school. It’s almost like a second home now. In fact it IS a home – of sorts. When you walk in one of the sets of doors, you’re immediately into the Handbags, brollies, scarves and nylons (as my Nan calls them) then there’s the cosmetics counters next door to that, with ladies and gents fashions butterflying the back of that – with some very posh names and high fashion trends I might add. Upstairs on First you’re straight into the Kitchen Wares. Pots, pans, china dinner services, canteens of cutlery, cuddly toy (joke) but you get the picture. Then the next one through is the Novelty gifts, cute little figurines, clocks, jewellery boxes, greetings cards and canteen. Sorry, restaurant. And it’s staffed by five sweet elderly ladies and gents and a couple of teenage work experience girls (currently). There’s also a bed and bath department round from this – great sales items. Luggage, Loos, Hair and Beauty are up on on Second… oh and Accounts. So, just like being at home. You get to know everyone’s name (made easier by lovely silver-blue ID badges). After nearly two whole years of driving the same route, wearing a two-piece trouser ensemble on a Monday, cross-matched with a blouse and tank top for Tuesday (no jacket – unless chilly), swapping the trousers for a skirt on Wednesday, teaming the blouse and tank top with the trousers on Thursday and then throwing caution to the winds on Friday and wearing whatever falls out of the wardrobe first – that’s my idea of recklessness (Of course I do change with the seasons… what do you take me for? Woollen-mix suits in winter and cotton/linen blends in the warmer months. I’m not totally mad.) it does feel like I have another family and it’s a lovely, comfortable place to turn up to of a morning. Even if you have just been dumped. Which I’m trying not to think too much about. Instead, focussing on which blouse to wear with which tank top tomorrow – unless it’s inordinately warm for a March morning of course. Which it could very well be. Why didn’t I pay more attention to the Weather last night? Ah, probably because I was too preoccupied listening to soothing words of a healing nature from Jude and trying to work out whether the Ming vase the dear old lady on the telly had handed to Michael Aspel really was… well, Ming.
Which it wasn’t.
But the look on her face had been priceless. And that kept us amused for most of the evening.
It had kept my mind off Trent, too. But now I’ve just told Carly all about it, I’m beginning to feel strangely… What’s the word? Bereft? No. That’s too melodramatic. Lost? Not really. I’m pretty sure I can cope alright without him. Lonely? Nah. Ditto previous reaction. In fact the only thing I think I’m feeling at the moment is irritation. Trent’s demise… no, passing… no – absence? Nope – Trent’s departure. Yes! Departure, has left me with nothing but a deep sense of irritation. Isn’t that weird? Is that why there’re no tears issuing forth? No body wracked with heaving sobs? No thoughts of a suicidal nature springing vividly to mind? Irritation. Ha! I won’t be getting much sympathy at this rate if this is all I’m feeling. So much for Cathy and Heathcliffe/Romeo and Juliet. Mind you, if the only emotion Juliet had felt on Romeo’s departure had been irritation, the story would have had less of an impact. She’d have seen him, slumped beside her, on awaking from her drug-ged sleep and thought ‘Oh no! My one true love…whatever shall I do? Ah well… there’s always Vesuvio or Memorandum or Triclorium who could provide me with a shoulder on which to cry’ – something like that… and Cathy? Well, pretty much the same I guess, only she was the one who died first I think – wasn’t she? And Heathcliffe was very probably irritated by her departure I would imagine. Only it was shown in a much more wild and windswept fashion – purely for the sake of literature. I must stop trying to find the hero for my own story. It can’t be healthy. He’s out there somewhere. No really, he is. And he won’t be named after a Northern-town-and-or-river. He'll be called something like Brandon or Nicolai or Marco or...
‘Biscuit?’ Carly’s back with a cup of hot, sweet tea.
I nod and take it from her. Bourbon cream. She’s great.
‘Mr Sylvester wants those orders put in by half ten, Lise,’ Carly says, mopping up a bit of chocolate from her chin with a Post-It.
I scowl. But it’s only for show. I don’t have a problem with Mr Sylvester. I don’t have a problem with getting the orders put on by half ten. That’s an hour and thirteen minutes left to tap in about 30 minutes worth of numbers – if I can stretch it out that long. And if Carly’s sitting opposite me, that should be a piece of cake. Or a chocolate cream. Both would be nice.
‘Then there’s that meeting at eleven. In the board room.’ She reminds me.
Of course there is. I check my diary and tap the note with my pen in a professional manner. ‘Ah yes,’ I reply.
‘I wonder what that’s going to be about?’ She says in a semi-hushed tone of feigned adventure.
‘The usual I shouldn’t wonder,’ I quell her animation, ‘Figures and sales and puppy dogs tails…’ I muse, shuffling paper efficiently and tapping in an order for cream Egyptian cotton pillow shams with a burgundy piping.
Carly’s brow knits and I can feel her staring over, waiting for me to explain. I can’t. So I don’t.
‘Doesn’t matter,’ I smile back without meeting her eyes.
‘Oh. Kay.’ She mutters and we continue with our Key stroke and Mouse movement symphony for another twenty minutes in silence.
I like moments like this.
The beauty of amiable, productive silence.
When the rest of the Accounts Department are going about their business – the Sales Team in their respective offices, the Reps being buzzed up from the reception desk on the second floor and the cleaners popping in to collect their little brown envelopes. All feels right with the world. Even though I’ve just been dumped. And it’s continuing to rain. I can still find pockets of bliss like this occasionally. And I try so very, very hard to keep hold of them for longer than actually transpires – but they fade. All too quickly. It only takes one unexpected phone call or one missed digit on the keyboard or one red-stamped overdue invoice to tip me from Harmonious to Harassed. Ridiculous isn’t it? I think I can safely blame it on my genetic make-up. My mother’s slightly At Odds with the world one minute and the next she’s At One with almost everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if alcohol hadn’t a small part to play in her Upsy-Downy state of mind to be honest, but I’ve never actually been able to find her in a position of compromise to warrant such a supposition so I’ve never voiced this concern. My personal state of mind is therefore tainted by the weirdness of my mother and I consequently can do nothing about it but accept and live with it. It must drive my poor father mad. But he doesn’t show it, bless him. He’s an Accountant. Tax Office. We don’t hold it against him, though.

A deep, rich voice appears from over my left shoulder. The air thickens by it’s very presence, or at least by that of it’s owner. Instinctively I look up slowly and over towards my desk-friend. Her eyes are huge and dark and I can make out a large gulp of nervousness beginning to form inside her throat even from this distance.
‘Carly,’ The voice acknowledges.
‘Simon,’ She says back, managing to hide the gulp; a flush creeping over her cheeks.
I’m always Soooo tempted to break into ‘You’re So Vain' whenever this happens (which it has on, oh, about three occasions now), but a) I’m worried no-one will Get It or b) It will be Got but people will be horrified at my lack of musical taste and/or secretly admire me for my knowledge of seventies popular music. Oh and there’s a c) too. I quite like it. But don’t let on.