May 4
8:35 a.m.

You know how they say, you know you’re going to have a bad day when you get to work and find a 60 Minutes news team waiting in your office?

Well, I knew I was going to have a bad day, a very bad day, when I found Faith waiting for me in my office.

It’s Monday and it’s very early in the morning by Faith’s standards. It’s midnight by my body clock. Anyway, there she is, leaning against my desk, one deep red painted nail tapping at her teeth, legs crossed at the ankle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she started to foam at the mouth.

Not pretty.

It just doesn’t look very pretty.

For me.

Not going to be pretty for me at all.

I’m debating on whether I could bypass my office and go straight to Kate’s. Maybe I could hide in there until… Until what?

“You.”

Too late. I’ve been spotted.

“Faith! Good to see you. Pretty early for you, isn’t it?”

“You.”

Uhm…yes, me. We’ve already been through that one.

“You. You purposely did this to me…”

I’m wanting to commandeer my desk, but she’s blocking me. Hands on hips, lips quivering, voice getting louder. Is this the same Faith that speaks in husky whispers when Tav’s around?

“Faith, I’m sorry. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Don’t give me that innocent explanation. You know what you did. Who do you think you are? I can have you fired. You do nothing around here.”

I’m sure if anyone was is in any of the offices they’d hear her. But it’s too early for anyone to be here except Pete. But I can see Pete trimming the bushes across the parking lot. Maybe Kate’s here early.

“Don’t try to ignore me…”

I hate loud voices. Screamy voices. They terrify me.

Maybe this is actually a nightmare. This is not happening… Ouch! That hurt. That was stupid. That was me pinching myself to see if I was hopefully asleep.

“Faith, I’m not…”

“Don’t interrupt me while I’m talking to you.”

“I’m just trying to find out…”

Sudden sobs.

What. Even.

“You don’t like me…I’m trying to work with you and you reject every gesture of friendship…” Deep husky tones again, and she sinks into my chair, quietly sobbing.

That’s my chair. Now it’s going to be my stinky chair with her odor…perfume, sorry.

She’s imbalanced. I’m going to have to call Psycho 911. I wonder if they have a Psycho 911 line. I’m sure they do.

“Faith, are you alright?”

Tav!

How did she do that? How did she know? She must have known.

“Tav…oh Tav…” She sobs again, tears streaming down her waterproof make up. Hello, it’s not streaking. I’m almost impressed.

She must have heard him come in the front door. I, of course, am deaf. Should have not gone to that concert. Anyway, I’m in deep trouble. She could get me fired. And I would never know why. Not that would matter if I was fired.

“Faith, would you like to step into my office?”

“Oh Tav…oh Tav…”

Oh vomit…vomit…

Hi Natalie. That would have been nice.

At least, my office is mine again.

And I still don’t know what the whole fuss is about, anyway.

I hate Tav. I hate Faith. I hate Mondays. I hate my life.

“If looks could kill… Hi Sunshine!”

“Don’t even go there, Brad.”

“Thought I saw damsel in distress scooped up in the arms of Prince Charming.”

“Jealous, Brad?”

“Not on your life. I’d rather scoop up arm loads of poison ivy and dog poop.” He grins.

One smile from someone and I’m happy again.

“Don’t let her steal your joy. She’ll never have what you’ve got.”

“That’s so sweet…”

But Brad’s gone.

______

10:15 a.m.

So we’re sipping tea in the kitchen, Kate’s laughing over the whole Faith business. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s a nuisance.

“Tav’s going to be mad. And I’m not going to have a job.”

“Don’t worry, Chick-a-dee. He’s not going to do that.”

“He didn’t even say hi. It was all about, ‘Faith, would you like to step into my office?'” I try my best Tav impression. An overly accentuated Scottish accent that ends up sounding Arabic. “‘Hello Faith, I try to help you—” at this point I was sounding Russian—”you’re soooo beautiful and needy and if there’s one thing needy men need, it’s needy women to feel neeeeeeededdddd lassie—”

“I sound like that?”

Kate’s laughing even more. I have my back to Tav and am thinking it’s probably better to stay where I am.

“Kate, I don’t even get a thank you. I save our secretary from a fate worse than death…”

“But you should have first said hello to her.” Kate tells Tav through laughs.

“Okay thanks.” I turn around and am noticing how his eyes seem to sparkle when he’s happy.

Oh (French word). Oh (French word). I said (French word).

“Here’s what Faith was so…how do we say…hurt about.” He hands me the prayer booklet.

The nightmare prayer booklet.

“Looks fine to me.” I take it from him.

“Check page 15.”

My mind vaguely recalls a busy day. I’m getting this premonition of something very bad going to happen if I open to Page 15.

“See the prayer towards the bottom of the page…”

I really don’t want to, but now I’m curious. I’m saying my own prayers.

Okay, I’m not a big Michael W. Smith fan so I’m not feeling the same vibes when I read:

“We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.”

Then comes the prayer.

Let us pray the words of the great Saint St. Patrick. (Okay, one mistake. But all the fuss over the Saint St.?)

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light…my fire

NO! NO! NO! NO! Not happening.

Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre.

Kate is doubled over in laughter. Tav’s eyes… I like what I see in those eyes.

“Is she going to say anything to Mark?” I really can’t lose my job right now.

“No, I told her how cool it was that she chose that since I like the Doors so much.”

“You did?”

“Yes. And she admitted it was a risk she took in putting it in the prayer booklet. She’s glad I approve.”

“She bought that?”

“Yes. I can be very persuasive, you know.”

“Eeew.”

I left. “And that’s the thanks I get?” I hear Tav calling out amidst more laughter from them both. Weirdos.

______

4:00 p.m.

Can Monday get any worse? The answer, if you’re me, which I am, is clearly no. Or is that yes?

Huge problem. I don’t know how I did this, but I scheduled both Jessica and Faith to meet with Tav at the SAME time!!!

“You really don’t like me.” Faith is hissing.
   
“You did this on purpose.” Why is Jessica here? I told Kate that Jessica wouldn’t leave.

“Jessica, Faith, good to see you both. Sorry for the mix-up, but I have to make a hospital call. Let’s reschedule for another time.”

Two disappointed women have bitterly left the building.
   
It’s official.
   
Both women hate me…in Christ? I think if you take any bad emotions and add “in Christ” it sort of baptizes them and makes them sound not so unChristian.
   
You’re so mean…in Christ. You’re so jealous…in Christ. You’re so proud in Christ. Like the southern phrase, bless her heart. “She’s such a little tramp, bless her heart.”
   
Nah. It doesn’t work.

But Tav said he was happy. And that makes me teenage-girl giddy!! Because why? Why??? Stop it stop it stop it.

His smile.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

Honestly, it wasn’t a bad Monday after all.