Unrequited Love

The green sludge sits before her, daring her to take a sip. This isn’t natural, Lily thinks. Nobody should be subjected to this torture. She fights to keep her gag reflex under control as an unidentifiable glob floats to the top. Death to whoever invented kale smoothies.

Lily checks to see that nobody in the office is watching, and then pinches her nose shut and swallows a mouthful before she loses her nerve.

And it’s so much worse than she imagined. Her body swiftly sounds the alarm and calls in the troops to banish the enemy. Never again. If this is what being healthy entails, she’d rather live on chocolate and weigh six-hundred pounds.

Without a second to spare, she yanks the trashcan from under her desk and throws up the vile concoction.

“Geez, are you okay?”

Lily looks up to find Bryson, the world’s finest male specimen, standing there. She dreads these encounters, not only because he causes her to break out in hives, but also because she has a tendency to blurt inappropriate terms of endearment at him.

“Honey bunch,” she replies.

“Pooh bear,” she adds.

He’s used to it after three years of working with her, but she’s resigned to the fact that he probably thinks she suffers from a mental disorder.

“Right. Going to take that as a yes. So… can I bother you for the Cardellini file?”

Lily clumsily flips through the stack of folders on her desk, and hands it to him.

“Thanks, you’re the best.” He smiles, and she feels her heartbeat kick up a notch.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. She imagines the two of them kissing in the rain. She imagines them saying “I do.” She imagines them walking along the beach until age wrinkles them beyond recognition. Their whole future flashes before Lily’s eyes, and then he’s leaning in, his lips so close that his breath tickles her ear.

And he whispers, “You’ve got vomit on your chin.”


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