“Frances is the best dresser,” one secretary gossiped to the other,
Under the cover of the grand black umbrella of Cafe North. ”Frances always has the best clothes, freshly pressed and smelling like daisies.”
“Did you see Frances’ new patio?” the other gushed, fanning herself with a menu. ”If there’s a deal, you know Frances will find it!”
Passing the break room, the air was thick with chocolate. ”Thank Frances,” chortled a boss, reaching for a perfectly chewy, never gooey, brownie. ”If only Frances would give my wife cooking lessons!” another manager sighed, picking up a cookie. ”I’d be a happy man every night and day!”
Across the building, one man high-fived another. ”Did you see the game last night?”
“Frances had court side seats.”
“No kidding? Son of a gun!”
The other man nodded. ”Ready for the gym? Frances is waiting.”
“Of course.” The two men hurried down the hall to the gym, stopping by the locker room and remerging only seconds later. ”Hey, you up for raquetball?” An engineer waved. ”Frances got us a room!”
The men whooped and hurried over. ”Hey Frances,” one asked, pulling open the glass door to the tiny cube. ”Can I borrow your truck this weekend? I got to move some plywood.”
“Sure.” Frances turned and blew a tuft of hair out of her eyes. ”Anytime.”
After she showered, Frances dressed and climbed four flights of stairs in her practical flats to the communications floor, as far from the engineers as they could get. She sauntered through the aisles and propped her hip on the desk. ”Hey Frances, great cookies!” a woman called, hurrying by with a stack of papers.
“Thanks.” The man next to her smiled up at his wife. He pulled open a drawer and handed her a tupperware container, which she promptly ripped the lid off of, reaching for the cookies inside. ”Your favorite. Chocolate chip.”
She took a bite and moaned, closing her eyes. ”God this is good.”
“Ready, darling?” He reached for his satchel. ”We have to go to the decorators’ before dinner.”
She groaned, brushing the crumbs off on her pants. His eyes widened but he merely pressed his lips together. ”Now darling, you know we need to pick out the tile for the kitchen redo.”
“Ok, ok.” Popping him a quick smack on the butt, she grinned at his gasp. ”Let’s go. Steaks?”
“I was hoping for pasta and salad. Something light.” Arm and arm, they started toward the stairs.
“Bye Frances!” the secretary called.
Both raised their arms in farewell.
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