I stared at
the cookie sitting on my desk.
I grabbed my phone and typed in my secretaries extension.
“Christy, did you put a cookie on my desk?”
“There is a cookie on your desk?”
I rolled my eyes.
“Yes, there is a cookie on my desk. Did you put it there?”
“No. Do you think it is poisoned?”
I sighed and stared at the blank wall across my desk. I should really put something on that wall.
“No. Never mind.”
I stared at the cookie and sat down at my desk.
I pulled my hand through my hair and sat back and logged into my computer. I needed to stop thinking about the cookie and start working. I was getting so jumpy lately.
The next day another cookie sat on my desk. Again I looked suspiciously around. I picked up the phone and then dropped it back into the cradle. I was overreacting. I stared at the cookie that happened to be my favorite–chocolate chip. My eyes closed and I thought about my mom making me chocolate chip cookies. They never got old. A tear streaked down my face. She had died six years ago today. I abruptly dropped the cookie into the trash can and stared out the window. Her laughter seemed to echo through the room.
“Hello Ms. Winters.”
I jumped and quickly wiped my eyes as my coworker, Josh, waltzed into the room. His eyes alighted on the cookie in the trash can and he turned a questioning eye on me.
“Ms. Winters, are you alright?”
“Yes. I’m fine. What do you have for me?” His eyes hooded over. I knew that I hurt him, but couldn’t bring myself to apologize. Apologize? For what? I silently shook my head. At one point in my life I was able to share my feelings, but that was before “it” happened. I could hear the screams and the shots being fired, I felt the pain shoot through my body.
I came out of my daze and realized that I was clenching my side, the side that would never let me forget the horrific moment of my mom’s death.
“Sorry Josh. Can you tell me this later? I need to go.”
I walked out of the door of my office and walked briskly down the rows of desk and to the bathroom. I stared at the reflection and noticed how pale I was. Who knew that a cookie could evoke such memories of terror and sadness?
When I got back a note in bold handwriting sat on my desk where the cookie had sat before. I looked around for the person that left the note and did not see any person in the vicinity of the note. I also noticed that the trash can had been emptied when I had bolted from the room.
“I am sorry” The note said.
At that moment, the flood of emotions that I had kept back for years broke as I crumbled into my chair. A person stood next to me awkwardly rubbing my back the way my mother would have if she was still here.
I blinked back my tears to see Josh standing by desk. He looked contrite.
I rubbed my face with Kleenex.
“Can I do something for you, Ms. Winters?”
He let me compose myself and then I shook my head. He turned to leave.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
“You are welcome.”