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Work Hard and be Kind

by Nicholas McKenna 17 days ago in Short Story

You never know who you might Impress

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

John was working as a Janitor when he met heather. She was a business woman in the building John was hired to clean. Every day their paths would cross on the elevator at 3 p.m., Heather holding her briefcase and John standing there leaning on a garbage can, plastic gloves covering his hands. One day, Heather dropped some of her papers. "Oh shoot.".

John bent down and picked them up for her. "Here you go." She looked at the papers with a gross look. She did know why John was wearing gloves but it made her feel like he was just touching something dirty. 

"Um that's OK, I just reprint it." The elevator doors slide open and Heather ran out onto the next floor. John looked down and threw out the papers.

The next day, Heather was waiting for the elevator. When it opened, she saw John again, leaning on the garbage can. He moved to the side to give her room to get on. 

The doors closed. She felt awkward after how she acted the previous day. All red and sweating. She turned to John to apologize.

"I'm sorry about yesterday." John looked at her confused. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean." Heather looked down and remained silent. John laughed. "I'm' joking with you. It's OK." 

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out the papers from yesterday. "I didn't know how important they were, so I held onto them for you."

Heather blushed. "That was very sweet of you. Thanks." She took the papers from his non gloved hands. This made her feel better.

"Why did you run off yesterday anyway?"

Heather chuckled "Because you touched them with your dirty hands."

John's eye squinted. His head tilted to the left.

Heather turned red again. "Oh no. He thinks I'm calling him dirty because he's a janitor."

The door opened and Heather jumped off. "Bye."

She saw John beginning to laugh as the doors closed in front of him.

The next day the elevator ride with John was all Heather could think about. She knew she had made a fool of herself the last two days and now he probably hates her. 

Waiting for the doors to open, her breathing increased, and she began feeling a little light-headed. The doors opened but there was no John. No one was in the elevator.

She got on and the doors closed. While going up, she felt some relief but also felt disappointed. She wanted to apologize for her behavior and didn't know why she was acting the way she was around him.

The elevator doors opened, and she stepped out onto the floor. Walking to her meeting, she tried to shake the image of him out of her head. She needed to focus. 

This was an important day for her. The new CEO was coming in, and she need to make a good first impression.

She took her seat and took a deep breath.

"Good Afternoon everyone!"

Heather turned around with the other ten people in the room to greet the new boss but what she saw was John. Only now he was wearing a suit, and he wasn't leaning on a garbage can. He was carrying his own papers in his hands.

"How is everyone today?" John turned and noticed Heather was stiff as a board at the table. He walked by her and dropped some papers.

"Whoops, clumsy me. Could you get that for me?"

Heather nodded and reached down to pick them up.

"This is it." She thought. "This is how he is going to get his revenge on me or at least start to." She handed him the papers.

"Thank you."

He leaned in to grab the papers and whispered to Heather. "I guess this makes us even now."

He smiled and proceeded to the front of the table.

Feeling better, Heather relaxed and went on with the meeting.

When the meeting ended, she gave off a sigh of relief. Heading for the door Heather heard her name.

"Could you stay back for a moment?" It was John.

Her nerves spiked again. She stood there holding the door for a moment and then turned back into the room.

In her hastiness she blurted out "I'm sorry, please don't fire me. I'm normally good to people with jobs below mine. I swear."

John waited until the last person had left the room and then started laughing.

"That's not why I asked you to stay back."

Heather was taken back. "It's not?"

John responded after a chuckle. "No. I wanted to say that I really liked your ideas."

She smiled. "Thank you. Though I have to say, today's weren't my best but tomorrow…"

"I don't just mean today's. What you wrote on those papers you dropped should have catapulted you to a higher position long ago."

Heather dropped her pad and pen. "Really!?!? So you're not mad at me?"

John went to pick up her belongings.

"Why would I be mad at you? Because of how you were on the elevator? I can see how you get nervous in certain situations and this meeting only solidified that thought for me."

He handed her back her pen.

"Thank you for understanding and again I'm sorry I acted that way."

He handed back her pad.

"Not a problem but could you do one favor for me?"

Heather stood at attention. "What's that?"

John leaned in and pointed down at her blank pad.

"Could you write down your number, so I can ask you out on a date?"

Heather giggled and looked away. Turning back she had to ask him.

"That depends. Can you tell me how you went from cleaning this place to running it?"

John smiled. "Only over drinks."

Short Story

Nicholas McKenna

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