“Big plans this weekend, Larry?” She forced herself out of her reverie with a rote question void of sincerity, and prepared herself for his legendary preview of a football viewing booze filled weekend.
“Sure do,” he said boastfully, “unlike you, Amani, I have plans. Matter of fact, you are welcome to join me and my boys at our get-together; bring your own beer!”
“Thanks for the invitation, but I have stuff to do.” She preferred her mind-numbing chores to potentially tedious hours with her amply endowed cube-mate Larry and his bruisers; and their mouths, vessels of slipshod utterances passing from one to the other like an award winning ping pong competition.
“You guys have fun,” she said merrily, returning to her cubicle, certain she would be regaled with the events of the weekend the following Monday. In the meantime, Ramona, the new secretary was on her mind. And the ‘idiot’ attorney Pete, who by chance walked by her cubicle at the exact moment he crossed her mind.
He appeared less impressive after Larry’s remarks, annoying even as he heralded her in his usual manner.
“Amani, Amani, Amani,” he said, nearly shouting. She met his proclamation with her habitual smile, more crooked at the corners today.
Ever since she had told him the meaning of her Kiswahili name, he had taken to propounding its significance around the office, or so it seemed, proclaiming it now as if the good news had finally come to man.
“Peace, Peace, Peace,” he said it three times. And after Larry's awful hints of the fruition of a hanky panky scandal in the office, maybe he was not such a fool after all. Maybe the gods moved him this morning, in this invocation of peace.
"Good morning Pete," Amani's eyes lingered on him this morning, as she tried to piece together how the story could have come about, the two together, Ramona and Pete?
Pete, whose toes pointed outward when he walked, and who cracked his knuckles sporadically through out the day, as if he moonlighted as a pianist after work, drafted legal documents with National Public Radio playing in the background, every day.
Ramona, a leggy fair-skinned brown bird from Newark, with long black hair that rested comfortably on her shoulders, and a slow-moving figure eight for a body that could tie anyone's imagination, man or woman to pleasant thoughts, or more, had moved to Atlanta just over a year ago.
“To be closer to my baby’s daddy,” she had shared the tidbit freely with Amani. “So he can see his kid more often.”
Just yesterday, she and Ramona had gone out to lunch. And even though it was not the lunch date they had agreed upon a week earlier, she had enjoyed it nonetheless.
“Something has come up, Amani. Do you mind running a couple of errands with me?” She had asked her after they were ensconced in her new Audi R8 sports car.
“Sure, no problem, we can stop at a drive-through on the way back,” Amani responded from the supreme comfort of a leather seat.
"We'll go to T.G.I.Friday's tomorrow," Ramona said as they dropped off her prescription at the pharmacy and picked up her dry cleaning. Amani welcomed every opportunity to get to know Ramona Lai.
Sorry dear readers, I lost of track of time.