a very short fairy tale
Not so this day when his call was routed to her desk. Watching a cobweb float around on the ceiling above her she waited while he told her he was back in town, looking for a job and had a lot of experience. Nice voice, fairly articulate and following the procedure outlined in ‘how to win over your prospective boss 101’ to the letter. Unfortunately there were no openings, but he was welcome to send that stellar resume to her. He said he would.
In that drowsy time after lunch, absent-mindedly wiping up the spilled tea on her desk she saw the receptionist motioning someone toward her desk.
He reminded her of Sinatra entering the Sands after hours-- swagger, sly charm with hair slicked back on the sides. There he stood at her desk, with a look of surprise, as if he’d seen her before. Tossing the tea soaked napkin she looked up from the waste can contents, into his eyes, then coughed. She knew she was blushing. Shortly they both returned to business, handshakes, names, a mini interview ensued. He had come from the semi-conductor world in Seattle but wanted to re-locate to be near his son.
She felt oddly sad when he shook her hand again and said with a wave—a hometown giveaway—that they’d be in touch. No one needed to know that in her research she discovered he lived near the river in those rentals that once comfortably housed railroad workers. Nor would she tell anyone how she had scoured her yearbooks at home that night.
His face was stunningly familiar and that confounding look of recognition at seeing her was loosening her hinges. Because she figured he was a con artist, she dismissed the high school reunion being held in her mind and carried on, until Friday. He called her at the plant, asking for her by her first name. She told him how she had dutifully sent his [impressive] resume up the cattle ramp. Signing off he said, ‘I hope we can talk again.’ She meant to say that she would keep him posted…. but instead she said she hoped so too. They only spoke by phone one more time.
He didn’t get the job. Even now as her memory dims when remembering the faces of friends and family, his appears as vivid as ever. But she still doesn’t know who he was.
My very late contribution to Sunday Scribblings' prompt 'chance encounter.' See more writing or join in here.