Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson
Connie typed anxiously on her keyboard, looking up from her cubicle every few seconds, waiting for Sharon from Khloe’s Flower Shop to come through the glass entryway doors. She had checked her email first thing that morning, and like always, once a week, there was a confirmation about her order.
Dear Connie Albright,
Your order to CONNIE ALBRIGHT has been created by one of our team members and is on its way to the recipient.
If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please call Khloe Harper at 1-800-555-1212.
As always, I wish you a bouquet of happiness! Khloe Harper Owner of Khloe’s Flower Shop
With a sigh, Connie looked back down at her keyboard and continued entering patients’ data into the Excel spreadsheet. Six years ago, to pay for her college education, she had started the medical data entry job, where she found mundane tasks enjoyable, and had been looking forward to making new friends. However, these days, she was now a college graduate with a degree in marketing who hated her job, finding it boring and repetitive, nor had she made friends with any of her co-workers. In fact, they barely noticed her.
Compared to the thin, sexy bombshells she worked with, Connie wasn’t anyone to be desired. She was tall, frumpy, wore glasses, and, thanks to a conversation she overheard, was known in the office as “the ugly girl who wore tacky sweaters.” With the exception of a few that her grandmother had sent her for her birthday, having crocheted each one, Connie didn’t think the sweaters were tacky.
So, after hearing enough of what was being said behind her back, and after complaining to her best friend—her diary—she came up with an idea to change things, and, so far, it seemed to have worked like magic.
“Connie!” Mia, the office receptionist, squealed. “They’re here!”
With a slight pause to get ready for the weekly act she performed, Connie popped up from her chair and watched Sharon approach. After signing her name to the page on the clipboard, she gave Sharon, the only other person besides Khloe who knew her secret, a quick nod.
Suddenly, Connie found herself in the center of a circle of women hovering over her desk, eagerly waiting for her to read the card that came with the bouquet.
“Well, what does it say?” asked a co-worker. “Yeah, come on. Tell us,” begged another. She took in the moment, wishing she had a real man who would say the things she had written to herself. “Your beauty captures me more each day, and my love for you grows each time I touch you. I’m looking forward to this weekend...in bed! Walt.”
Holding the card close to her chest, Connie forced tears from her eyes, forcing herself to blush in front of her co-workers. “Oh, I love that man so very much.”
“Seriously, that has to be the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard,” Mia said, dramatizing her voice and placing her hands on her chest. “Oh, Connie, you’re so lucky to have a man like him.”
“Yeah, Con, that’s cute,” began Nicola, the bitchiest of them all. “But the last time I got flowers, just yesterday as a matter of fact, they certainly weren’t carnations,” she joked, motioning her hand like she was shooing the flowers away from her. All the co-workers joined in her laughter, and then shuffled back to their desks.
Connie looked at her flowers and smiled, her feathers not ruffled by Nicola’s comment. She felt accomplished and desired. For a few moments, she’d been the center of attention of a group of women who she knew despised her. Even back in high school, she had been a female nerd, which crossed her out from being friends with the beautiful and popular girls, and in college it was pretty much the same story. It’s not that she didn’t try to make an effort, because she did, but after failing time and time again, whether it be at orientation, working together in groups for school projects, or the few times Connie went to a pub near the university in hopes of meeting up with a few girls who she thought she could be friends with, it never worked. They either laughed in her face, said that the empty seat next to them was already taken (when it really wasn’t), or simply ignored her.
Though it was beginning to get expensive and difficult to keep the lies about Walt straight, Connie had no other choice but to continue the weekly charade.
It’s just the right thing to do!, she told herself, taking a seat in her chair before continuing to enter the endless data, while thinking of what Walt’s card would say the following week.
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