Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'The Greeting Card Princess' by Markee Anderson (Chapter 6)

Chapter 6:

Violet went to work the next day, but stopped when she reached the entrance to her cubicle. Six huge vases filled with all different colors of roses covered every inch of available counter space.

"Someone loves you," Chet said, entering his cubicle.

"No." She approached the first vase filled with yellow roses and read it. 'Yellow Roses aren't just for Texans. You're adorable, darlin'.'

The roses were from John, making her smile. Each vase had a different phrase on them, giving her an idea for her greeting card messages. But first, she had to write to John and thank him. But she'd never asked his last name.

"Excuse me, Chet," she said. "Do you have John's email? I need to um…discuss the dog pictures."

Chet laughed. "Or is he the one who gave you all those flowers?"

She bit her lips. He didn't know anything. "I just need the email. Do you have it?"

"I'll send it to you." He chuckled and sat down. "But you didn't deny it."

She sat down and rolled her eyes. Chet was a jerk.

She had an email within minutes, but the email address was different than everyone else's. They usually had a first letter for their first name and a last name, with an identifying number. But John's email was random letters and numbers, and she wondered why. She figured he'd gotten that email in the San Antonio office, and emailed him instead, dismissing the thought. She thanked him for the flowers and told him to have a great day.

He emailed back within minutes with the following message. 'I guess Chet gave you my email, and I'm glad you liked the flowers. Tonight, five o'clock, and have your parents keep the dogs. I'll pay for them to do it. I might have to stop by to see you today, to look at the pictures. I went to the bosses and they want you to write the oakies, in either prose or poetry. But they want the oakies to be pithy, because those dogs have attitude. Every picture came out great, and they're labeling you our Greeting Card Princess, since you're so beautiful.'

Great. She was named after a piece of cardboard.

Wait. Did he write she was beautiful? She had to re-read the message just to make sure.

After thanking him, she got to work with a few remaining greeting cards, making up the poems really fast. She emailed them to her boss, and asked for more to do, then waited, checking over her work one last time.

"You need more work?"

Violet turned, seeing her boss in front of her. "Yes, sir."

"I thought you were being given those dog cards?"

John worked fast. "You heard about that already?"

"Yep. Came from the big boss, himself. You must've done something right." He chuckled. "You'll hear about it soon. Go get yourself some more coffee, because it might be a late night."

"Sure, sir," she said, but was confused. She stood up and grabbed her mug, just in time for Chet's 8:30 meeting. She didn't want to go, but she couldn't stay to listen to John today. It would be too obvious, especially with the flowers surrounding her.

When she got back to her desk, John was sitting in her seat, talking on his cell phone. "Yes, and it'll work out great. I'll make sure of it." He nodded and laughed. "That's the plan. Get ready for it." He waited, said goodbye, and ended the call.

"Enjoying yourself?" she asked, entering her cubicle.

"Yep." He stood up. "I want to have a meeting with you, but don't want to do it here. I've signed out a workroom." He glanced down at the coffee in her hand. "And I have better mojo to eat and drink than that."


"Yeah. A mocha cup of coffee, or Joe. Mojo."

"Mocha? I've never had that."

He took the cup from her hand and walked with her out the door. "You'll love it." He stopped at a water fountain and poured out the coffee. "Trust me. You're going to enjoy workin' with me today."

She smiled at him. "Are you so sure of that?"

"Yep. And we're not playin' backgammon, either." He walked with her to the conference room at the end, used by the bosses.

But she backed away. "Here? I'm not allowed to be in here."

"I am. I cleared it." He opened the door and there, on the table, sat a big platter of breakfast foods and two huge cups of coffee from the really expensive coffee shop around the corner. "Grab a cup, because we're going to be really busy."

She sat down and grabbed a cup of coffee. As soon as she took a sip, she blew out a breath. "Chocolatey. Delicious."

"That's the plan." He sat down, opened a laptop beside his seat, and showed her twenty pictures of her and the dogs. They did turn out great, she had to admit, because she had fun. It really showed on the photographs, too, and John was very talented in his job.

"Now, these are just the pictures. The art guys are going to soften the sides a bit, so they look more romantic or something. But that's not our problem. I need you to help me figure out the oakies for each of these things. We want sass and we want pith. I'll show you what they have in mind."

"Wait," she said. "I thought you were in sales?"

He chuckled. "I do everything in this business. I'm a…fixer. I fix things and it seems that everything I touch turns to gold. So work with me here and help me. We want to get these all done this morning, because the team wants more pictures, but this time, they want an older couple, so the dogs can sass their elders."

"Yeah? Who did they have in mind?" She took a sip.

"Your parents."

She choked on her coffee.

John got out of his seat and patted her back. "You okay?"

She coughed a few times and finally caught her breath. "Yeah. But did you say my parents?"

"Yeah. A group of people went out to see them this morning while your team was there. They loved your dogs and your parents would love to help. They know all about this, and they'll be shooting pictures tonight. Today, the group is redesigning your parent's downstairs for a good setting." He paused. "You didn't tell me your sister is getting married this weekend. And your other sister is due with her third child any minute."

"Wow. My parents told a lot."

"They also worry about you, being the only one not married. I'm to ask you if you want a date for your sister's wedding."

She sat closer. "They asked you that?"

He nodded. "I was with that group of people, and told them I took the pictures of the team yesterday."

Weird. "What did you say to that?"

"I said I'd be honored." He smiled. "I haven't been to a good weddin' in years. They're always fun."

"Are you for real?" she whispered. "Weddings are horrible."

"Just because you were alone before. It'll be fun. You'll see." He turned toward the dog pictures. "Now let's get this done fast. We're going out for lunch and have a deadline."

Stay tuned!  Chapter 7, Friday, November 15!

Copyright Markee Anderson, 2013

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