PLEASE NOTE: I am no longer writing this story as I have moved on to other
projects, but I want to keep this story up for archival purposes. Who
knows, I may return to it in the future.
The days never seemed to go any faster, not even when he was kept busy. He
would still find his eyes being drawn to the wall clock, and the thin black
hand would tick rhythmically – 1...2...3...2...3...2...3...He blinked his
eyes once, twice, but no time seemed to pass. Every minute felt more like
an hour – and with 480 minutes to kill in one day, he could feel the grey
hairs beginning to sprout and he had half a mind to take measurements for
his own coffin. He'd be dead by the time 5pm arrived.
Dennis Finch dropped his pen onto the table and rubbed the bridge of his
nose, sighing loudly. One of these days, he was sure of it, his head would
swell and throb so much that it would explode. It never got any better from
Monday to Friday – Monday would see him at the brink of Hell and it would
go downhill from there. It wasn't that he hated his...OK, he DID hate his
job, but not the people he worked with. Maya, Jack, Elliott...and alright,
even Nina - they were all crazy in their own unique ways, and he loved them
for it. If nothing else, he'd leave this job with the knowledge that he'd
made some unique, firm friends during his time in the Blush offices. But
despite having their presences, they would only be able to offer a short
period of distraction before he would have to return to his regular mundane
tasks that his job as Jack's assistant required.
"Monday morning is so bad...Everybody seems to naaaag meee..." he crooned
to himself, hooking his blonde hair behind his ears. A Backstreet Boys
ballad was on the small clock radio sitting on his table, but he wasn't
listening to it – whenever a bad song was on the radio he liked to sing a
song of his own choosing until the song on the radio ended. He'd heard the
song 'Friday On My Mind' by The Easybeats during his recent vacation in
Australia and it seemed to suit his life perfectly. Putting aside the fact
that he'd had to drain his bank account dry to take that vacation, and was
now trying to nurse it to health again by working overtime, Australia had
"Finch!" Nina scurried towards his desk clutching an item of clothing in
each hand. One was a skintight, neon orange sweater and one was a leopard-
print faux leather jacket.
"I must be crazy asking for fashion tips from the style-impaired, but what
do you think of these?" She asked, holding the clothing up in the air.
Finch raised an eyebrow, gearing up for one of his famous sarcastic
"You mean as clothing?" he asked. Nina frowned and stomped her narrow heel
on the floor. If Nina happened to step on a bug in one of her nosebleed-
inducing shoes, the bug would surely be impaled on it.
"Finch, i'm serious! I have a date with Steven Seagull tonight and I can't
work out what to wear!" she moaned.
"Nina, dearest, I'm sure Steven Seagull isn't the least concerned about
what you have on...but, rather, what you DON'T have on." Dennis skipped a
beat before asking, "What are you doing, going out with Steven Seagull? As
in the actor?"
Nina blinked. "Steven Seagull acts?...No, no, he's a banker...BANKer," she
elaborated upon seeing the amused expression on his face. "You know, as in
the guy that gets to tell you that you're broke." She gave him a taunting
grin. "You'd know him, right?"
"I'm not listening," Dennis dismissed her, turning his back to slide papers
into Jack's pigeon hole. However, Nina wasn't through with him, and leant
forward over the table.
"You've had to work so hard to try and fill up your bank account again. In
fact, I commend you. You've been doing the work of three men – Larry, Curly
"I used to think that you were a colossal pain in the neck. Now I have a
much lower opinion of you," Dennis shot back without hesitation.
"I bet you've had to give up a lot of things in order to save money. Which
reminds me – 'Juggling Jubblies' called about your subscription."
"A smart mouth doesn't necessarily equal a keen mind. Nina, if you
seriously want a beauty tip from me, then here's the best I can offer:
Nina narrowed her eyes and began walking away, but suddenly turned back to
Dennis. "Oh, a guy dropped in to see you a few minutes before you came to
"Oh, really?" Dennis mumbled, his head lowered as he picked up his pen and
went back to work.
"Yeah, some guy named Ethan."
Dennis's hand froze in midair and he lifted his eyes to Mina. "Ethan? Are
you sure his name was Ethan?"
"Unless he stole someone else's name tag, then yes, his name was Ethan. He
left his card on your table. Good luck finding it beneath that mess."
As Nina strode towards her desk, Dennis dropped his pen on the table, where
it rolled onto the floor, and he began lifting papers and folders
frantically in search of the card. By the time he'd been through
everything, he had more of a mess than he had to begin with. He growled and
pressed his palm against his forehead at the same time as Maya rounded the
corner. She eyed him curiously.
"Dennis, what's the matter?" she asked, approaching the front of his table.
"Someone I know left his card on my desk before I got here this morning and
now I can't find it." He fumbled through the vase in the corner and lifted
the desk phone in the air.
"Is it Ethan's?" Maya asked.
"What? You know Ethan too? How does everyone know Ethan? Has someone been
talking to you?" Dennis said quickly.
"No! No, I don't KNOW Ethan, I just know his name from the card."
"The card?" Dennis spun around the side of the table to meet Maya at the
other side, clutching her shoulders. "Think very, very carefully. Where did
you last see the card?"
Maya shrugged him off and took a step back, shaking her head. "God, what's
gotten into you? All this excitement over a CARD. It swept off the table
and onto the floor while you were flapping in and out of the office."
"And it was vacuumed up?" David concluded in a panic.
"NO. I picked it up and put it in your pigeon hole."
"My pigeon hole?"
"Yes, that little slot where we put your papers and your letters and your
cards that drop onto the floor," Maya replied sarcastically, pointing to
his pigeonhole. "Look, it's right at the top."
Dennis glanced back and heaved a tremendous sigh of relief when he saw a
small white business card sitting at the top of the pile in his pigeonhole.
He held Maya's shoulders again.
"Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU," he said gratefully, shaking her
shoulders gently. "I could just kis...I could just - just shake your hand!"
He whirled around Maya and went behind the table once again to retrieve the
card, leaving Maya dazed and confused. She shrugged and decided to let his
excitement slide. "I'm off to do an interview. Don't forget, we have a
meeting in a couple of hours."
"I've already got it written down!" he called after her. Once she was out
of his sight, he picked up his pen from the floor and scribbled into his
daily planner 'Meeting', mumbling the word as he wrote it. He slid the
business card out of his pigeonhole and held it between his fingers,
staring at it with another sigh. His excitement withered away. Ethan. He
hadn't wanted to hear that name again. The mere mention of the name
conjured up thoughts and memories that he'd been trying to bury. He'd been
to the Blush offices. He'd come to see him after...after everything. And
he'd left his card. Now that Dennis had the card in his hands, he couldn't
pretend that he didn't exist. His name was there, printed in black ink
across the tasteful white card: Ethan Corrigan.
"You had to come back NOW, didn't you, Ethan?" he said aloud, stuffing the
card into his pocket. He took his pen once more and tried to continue
working but after a matter of seconds he was rubbing his nose again, his
stress multiplied by the reappearance of the man he'd been trying to forget
about. He knew Ethan would be expecting his call, and he was tempted to
throw the card away, but he couldn't – partly out of courtesy and partly
out of curiosity. What did he want? He had to know. He WANTED to know.
The clock ticked on – 1...2...3...2...3...2...3...