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I work as an intern for a relatively small for profit organization. It’s unpaid, time consuming, and patience draining but it  was this or accept a C in my Intro to Business class. I don’t know why Professor Torellini had to go above and beyond. None of the other Intro classes had to get an internship for class and my dad was no better. When I told him about the injustice of it all, my dad, the man who by parental duty is supposed to be on my side, told me get to it or he’ll make sure my nightlife is hell.

I’m nineteen with a decent bunch of friends who so happen to like partying it up at least once a week. Depriving me of  a social life would have been cruel and he would have followed through too. There’s the junior prom night incident I refuse to speak of to this day that killed any doubt that my dad made hollow warnings.

“Taylor, other people need to use the fax.”

“Sorry,” I mumbled instead of snapping at the department’s head director, Sheryl Pierce.  It was by a miracle I got the job, unpaid or not. I couldn’t lose it because I lost control of my tongue. 

When it came to Sheryl I had mixed feelings. On some level I wanted to like her. I’ve been around long enough to witness an office party – which is a sad example of a party – and she seemed okay but outside of that, Sheryl was on a high horse that I often imagined her falling off of.

Slipping into my seat, at my desk that I’m very proud to have, I wondered who Sheryl had to step on to get her position. That was when I saw it. There, on a cheap plain white napkin was a cookie. I leaned forward to inspect it more and to my delight, it was a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.  Picking it up, I sniffed it and did a look around. Nothing was out-of-place so I ate it.

The next day, after doing a mail run, I came back to find an oatmeal raisin one. The day after that was chocolate chip, then double fudge, then a sugar cookie, and so on. It went on like that for a month. I should have stopped eating them but it would have been rude. I mean, somebody obviously liked me enough to surprise me in such a cute way.

I  tried doing some sleuthing, like on those cop shows, but that turned up nothing. All the hint dropping,  my not so subtle mentioning of my love for a fellow cookie addict, and the amateur level of spying just became draining by the second week and annoying by the third. I didn’t take it out on the daily cookie though. They were too yum for that but then, one day, just like that, there were no more cookies.

I stood over my desk turning the finely pressed leaf over and over as I read the note left with it.

Gluttony never looked so good. Will you enjoy my token of affection even if it’s not edible?

“Ass,” I cursed under my breath in case somebody walking by would hear. It was a cookie a day. There wasn’t anything remotely glutton like.

I ripped up both leaf and note to throw in the waste bin. It was a cute joke while it lasted. Much like my internship. By the second week of leaves I was over my mystery admirer, the job, and my desk looking like autumn came early. I told Sheryl I had to leave for family reasons. She expressed no interest in knowing more than that so I spared myself the extra lie.

Unfortunately, the leaves kept coming. Every day I’d find one on the front steps under a rock. The annoying office joke had become a worrisome fear. This person knew where I lived and when I was alone. They never left the leaf during a time when my dad would walk out and find it.

Like with the cookie, when the month ended and a new one began, there was a new item to usher it in and another note. Mystery Cookie Leaf guy picked those kiddie rings you get for fifty cents at the grocery store to start leaving me.

Wrath suits you better than fear. Wear a ring for me. Your fingers are meant to be adorned by such things.

So he liked me wrath? Fine. I stomped over to the garbage bins, tossed his latest surprises in, and hurried to get out of there. This had to be a game. A very demented, sick game I wanted no part of it.

 

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P R O M P T

One Day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful
to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find
another cookie. This continues for months until one Day a different object is left—and this
time there’s a note.

(prompt from The Writing Prompt Boot Camp)

 

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