Chapter 4: Cruel Intentions
It was a bright Monday morning and everyone was surprised to see only three folders each on their desks. Peter as usual had his work started as the rest took their time with their reduced work load. Melanie started crumpling papers and Lorna noticed her. “What are you doing?” Lorna asked Melanie but she did not answer but she stood up and threw one at Peter’s head. Peter was distracted and picked up the paper and placed it on top of his desk. Melanie threw another one and it his Peter hard on the head. Peter just picked it up and placed it on his desk and continued to work. Melanie was relentless as she threw consecutive balls of paper and once she stopped Peter picked them all up and placed them on his desk. After a few minutes he gathered all the balls of paper and returned them to Melanie and he smiled at her and went back to his cubicle.
Melanie was again unleashed a barrage of shots at his head and once she was out of ammo Peter returned them to her again. Melanie stood up and looked at Peter as he was crumpling rolls of paper, everyone started to notice and thought a war was going to erupt. Everyone was so excited since Peter made so many balls of paper; Melanie was likewise doing the same. Peter suddenly stood up and brought all the balls of paper to Melanie and said “Here more ammo for you, have fun” and he turned around and sat back in front of his desk. Everyone was looking at Melanie but she suddenly felt embarrassed with what Peter did. “Get back to work!” she yelled as she dumped all the balls of paper on the trash bin.
The following day Melanie was so pumped up and got to work early. Once Peter entered the workplace he saw his swivel chair gone. He went around the workplace looking for it but everyone was already seated on their own chair. Melanie was laughing but she was not showing Peter, Lorna was giggling with her but they were surprised to see Peter back at his cubicle and started to work standing up. Everyone once in a while stood up and peeked at Peter, but he was still standing and still working. Every thirty minutes he would squat and stretch and walk around but he would still go back to his desk and work. After lunch break Melanie returned Peter’s chair but again Peter did not use it and worked standing up to everyone’s amazement. Again for the second day Melanie felt embarrassed for once again Peter turned the situation around in his favor.
The following day everything seemed normal but Melanie was grinning the whole morning. “Hey Mel what did you do this time?” Lorna asked and Melanie started to laugh. “Well at lunch time you will see” she said and Lorna checked the clock and there was two more hours to go.
As lunch time came Melanie rushed towards the lounge and sat on the seat near Peter’s favorite spot. A few seconds later Peter came walking in with his camera but this time the sofa in front of the window was not there. He stood in front of the window and Melanie was giggling with Lorna. Anna came inside and saw the two laughing at Peter and so she approached them. “You have gone too far this time you bitch!” Anna said. Everyone’s attention shifted to Peter who sat on the floor, Anna looked at Melanie and said “whatever you do you can never put a good man down” and she walked towards Peter and sat down beside him. A couple of other employees suddenly carried chairs and offered them to Peter who graciously stood up and accepted. Melanie was so irked that she left the lounge.
It was another Monday morning and for several days there was peace and quiet in the work place. Everyone was surprised to see Peter come in late for the first time. He slowly paced his way to his cubicle and as he took his seat there was a loud thud and everybody stood up and looked. Peter was sprawled on the floor, his swivel chair was dismantled, a lot of people were laughing like children and Melanie was even one of them.
Peter slowly stood up and smiled at everyone. “Nice one Mel!” Lorna said and Melanie shook her head. A lot of people nodded at Melanie and smiled at her but she said “Hey, it wasn’t me I promise!” but no one believed her. She went to Peter’s cubicle and saw him reconnecting his swivel chair. “Hey, I was not the one who did that” she told him. Peter smiled at her and nodded. “How come you have tools prepared for that?” she asked as she noticed him tightening a bolt with a mini wrench. “Well you need these tools in order to dismantle them right?” he said and Melanie squatted to level her eyes with him. “Are you saying you did this?” she asked and Peter nodded. “But why?” she asked him. Peter finished tightening the last knot and sat on his chair and spun around. “Well to make you look good I guess. Your last attempts on humiliating me failed so now everyone thinks you succeeded” he replied.
Melanie pouted and walked back to her desk and went back to work. She could not believe Peter would even think about her that way so she started feeling really awful all of a sudden. An hour later she walked towards Peter’s cubicle and she saw him writing on a piece of the words “KICK ME” and she started to get mad. She silently went back to her seat thinking that Peter was already making his move in retaliation to her antics. Every once in a while she would glance over her shoulder to check if Peter was there sticking the tag at her back. She never could imagine Peter would resort to child’s play as payback.
During lunch break Melanie was still on guard but Peter was simply seated by the sofa holding his camera. She knew he did not have much friend so as long as she had him in sight he would not be able to stick the tag on her. Lunch break was almost over but Melanie waited for Peter to go back to the workplace first. An hour passed and she was so much indulged on her work, as she looked over her should she saw Peter pass by. Melanie quickly reached for her back and check but there was no tag there. She glanced at Peter and saw the tag attached on his back. Everything happened so suddenly and Lorna stood up giggling and rushing towards Peter. Melanie stood up and shouted “No!!! Lorna don’t!” but it was too late, Lorna had already kicked Peter solidly on his back and the new guy fell on the floor on his knees.
Everyone started laughing and cheered on Melanie, Lorna was laughing her guts out as Peter walked back towards his cubicle. Melanie looked at Peter and he smiled at her, she felt so bad and went back to her seat and hid from everyone. “Now you are on a roll Mel” Lorna said and Melanie looked at her with tears on her eyes. “You bitch, he stuck that tag on his own back that’s why I tried to stop you” she said and Lorna was shocked. “Are you serious?” Lorna asked and Melanie wiped her tears from her eyes. “This morning he was the one who removed all the bolts from his chair. I saw him writing that tag a while ago thinking he would attach it on my back. He did it all to please everyone so I can save my face for my failed attempts to embarrass him” Melanie revealed. Lorna could not believe what she said so she went over to Peter and apologized.
The next morning Melanie wanted to approach Peter but there was more than the usual number of folders on everyone’s desk. She had no time to waste so went to work at once. Lunch time came and Peter was already seated at the sofa, Melanie was in her usual table with Lorna and she was just playing with her food and staring at Peter. “Hey Mel, aren’t you going to eat your food?” Lorna asked her. Melanie stood up and approached Peter, “Hi, may I seat down?” she asked him. Peter moved his bag and nodded. She took her seat and looked at the horizon for a few seconds then turned towards Peter. “Peter, I am sorry” she said. Peter looks at her curiously and said “Peter? What happened to newbie?” he asked. “I am sorry for that too” she replied. Peter smiled at her and looked at the window and said “Do you know that you look more beautiful when you smile?” Melanie was surprised and looked at Peter and asked “When did I ever smile at you?” and reality hit Peter, he could not reveal anything about the bar.
“Well you haven’t really but I was just saying that you would look more beautiful if you do smile” Peter rebounded and as he was staring at the glass window he saw Melanie smile.