Thursday, August 7, 2014

Writing Prompt

Day 4
Sent to the Wrong Printer
You’re at work and you print something personal (and sensitive). Unfortunately, you’ve sent
it to the wrong printer and, by the time you realize it, somebody else has already scooped
it up.






It was early in the morning when she got the call about her test results. She didn't want to believe it at first, but doctors didn't usually lie. Jezabelle had Cancer and it was only a matter of time before that Cancer killed her. Unable to bring herself to tell anyone, she decided to go through her day as if everything was normal. She imagined that if she didn't think about it, perhaps it would go away. So from the very moment she hung up the phone she made sure to act like it was a perfect day. She did so by doing her hair, nails and make-up as though she had a date. The thought was always there just on the edge of her mind though, like a nagging voice that reminded her that no matter how good she felt now that it would be over all too soon. The C word floated around and through her head as if it were an annoying little bug buzzing in her ear. Jezabelle fought the urge to cry and instead kept her head held high.
It was on the way to work that she began thinking about writing a will. She didn't have much to leave behind, but the thought of leaving her family without anything to remember her by bothered her. Jezabelle chewed on her nail while she waited for her light to change and thought about the things she might leave to her family. Perhaps she would use her savings and buy them all a nice gift before it was too late or maybe even a--
A loud honk jarred her out of her thoughts and she realized that she'd been sitting in a trance even as the light had turned green without her notice even though she'd been starring at it. After blinking several times she began to drive again, forcing herself to focus on the road. Through her stereo, the sweet sound of violins filled her car as she pulled in to the parking lot of her office building. She gave herself the luxury of sitting back and letting the song play through while she tapped her hands on the steering wheel. Normally, she wouldn't have dared to show up late for fear of making her boss angry, but now she felt like she had a ticking time bomb inside of herself. Jezabelle didn't feel like she needed to answer to anyone but herself anymore. In a sad and bittersweet way it felt good to feel that way.
Heads turned when she walked in to the office that day and she didn't even care. Everyone seemed to see how great she looked, yet only a few actually noticed her eyes and the sadness they held. Normally, Jezabelle was the girl who was always smiling and always finding a bright side to every dark situation. Today, even she couldn't find the silver lining, though it didn't stop her from keeping her dignity. When she arrived at her cubical she sat down with a heavy sigh and clocked in. Ignoring her work pile, she opened up a blank word document and started typing a heartfelt letter to her family. She told them everything she felt that she would want to say if she would be dying later that day.
When she was done typing she hit print and looked to her printer, but nothing happened. With wide eyes she looked back to her monitor and saw that she'd sent the document to the wrong printer by mistake. Her blood ran cold as the sound of at least twenty printers around the office sounded off. Luckily, she knew she'd only sent the letter to one of them, but the problem was.. How was she going to get the letter back without having someone read it? The only thing her letter would illicit would be pity, and that was one thing she was sure she wanted none of.
She looked around the office, all the boring gray maze of cubicle walls, each one containing a printer and God only knew what each one was named. She chewed her thumb and knew that waiting was an awful idea, but the room finally went silent save for ringing phones and hushed voices answering them and carrying on conversations. Thinking slower than usual due to her panic she decided to print another copy. If she could find the printer they printed to she could grab both copies and tuck them away safely in her purse. Hitting print, she waited and then rushed out of her cubicle nearly clobbering Larry from Accounting as she did.
“Sorry, Lar!” she said quietly as he nearly toppled over several cubicle walls. She tried not to run as she figured out which cubicle the printing was coming from, but pushed passed several of her co workers who all gave her disgusted looks before stopping in the cubicle as the printer finished printing the second copy. She grabbed it quickly.
“Sorry.. I accidentally printed...” her words got lost in her throat as she realized she was only holding one of the letters, and that the other was in Brad's hands and his eyes were scanning it as he read it, his face unreadable. She snatched the letter out of a startled Brad's hands and clutched it to her chest. Her eyes burned, but she fought to control herself. “You weren't supposed to see that.” She said quietly, hanging her head so that her blonde hair covered her eyes. Brad simply looked up at her, too stunned for a moment to speak.
“You have Cancer?” he asked at last, looking to her with the exact same sympathy that she didn't want.
“It's not any of your business..” She said angrily, shaking her hair out of her face just enough so that he could see the first tears land on her cheeks before she crumpled her letters and turned on her heel back down the narrow hallway. For a second, Brad debated not going after her, but his body moved on it's own and before he had a proper second to think about what he was doing he caught up to her in the hallway just before the outer most exit.
“Jez.. I'm sorry. I didn't know.” He said as he moved around her, blocking her way to the exit. Jezabelle frowned, looking around to see if there were any other options and then turning back toward him and glaring when she realized there wasn't.
“No one knows.” she said finally. “I only found out this morning.” Her arms were crossed and as Brad looked at her he realized just how beautiful she was.
“I'm sorry.. That's a seriously crappy way to start the day, huh..?” he said trying to go for a bit of humor. Jezabelle offered a mix between a laugh and a strangled sob.
“Biggest understatement of all time..” She mumbled, wiping at her eyes gingerly as she tried not to mess up her make-up, though it was already totaled. She looked up to Brad, her eyes bloodshot. “I'm scared.” She said before finally allowing her self to break down. Jezabelle was thankful when Brad held her. If there was ever a moment she needed anyone, it was then.


“We'll figure it out.” He whispered in to her hair. “If anyone is a survivor, you are.”

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