For all those over-active minds out there who forget how to be normal;)
|An Unexpected Visitor
You finish preparing that sandwich you’ve been waiting for since breakfast for just as the doorbell rings. The mailman is here for you, even though he came earlier. You don’t question it, just go down the stairs and answer the door. You swap pleasantries and views on the weather and he hands you a package to sign for. You weren’t expecting anything more today, but you’re curious nonetheless. Greedily you sign for the package, thank the mailmen and head back upstairs. Giddily you think what could be in the package, giving it a little shake as you hit the last step on your ascent. Not being able to infer anything from the jiggle test, you move on to the label.
Who sent it, is it from your mom, maybe your boss finally remembered your birthday!? The questions addle your mind as you set the package down on the table in the room. The package isn’t all that heavy, more than that of a paperback book, but something about the shape gives you the impression that it’s more complicated than a book…
Your sandwich now forgotten, you run to get ready for work. The drive there seems to take forever in comparison to that of yesterday’s venture, but you try to put it out of your mind. Your mind is only on the package. Today all you have is a meeting at 2, nothing too major or worth fretting over. You scan your keycard and enter the building of your confinement from 9-5 each day.
Once inside your office doors, you go to grab scissors off your desk. Then you remember that you lost them after lending them to the mailroom intern… stupid idiot. Now you scour the office, while everyone is at lunch, for a measly pair of scissors. The receptionist coughs into her hand and gives you a letter opener. Silently thanking her with a nod of your head, you take the opener and sit back down with your treasure.
Finally seated you try to find the label again after your failed first glance attempt. You realize that there is only a barcode embedded in the packaging of your current interest. Picking up the package you turn all six sides of the object within your hands, craning your neck this way and that in search of something you know isn’t there. Baffled you decide whether or not it’s a good idea to open this. Maybe it’s not even addressed to you. Maybe this was meant for someone else? You had to sign for it, but how would the postman know who it’s truly for if no name was labeled?
Disconcerted, you turn your computer on and toss the package aside for the moment. You forgot to reply to your co-workers message yesterday so you pull up the email. The email is the shipping label and the tracking for the package she’s sending you for your birthday in a week. You silently thank her for that so that you aren’t surprised by something just showing up at your door… You stop for a moment. Look over at the package sitting askew in the chair beside you… Shaking your head you go back to the email…
“Thanks for the info. I’ll let you know as soon as it comes. Any hints for me?” |
You click send and wait for her to come back from her meeting. You can’t remember if you’ve told her you liked that watch or the thermos… You lean back in your chair trying to guess what she’ll send you… then you see it again. Upside down, the package seems to morph into a million different objects in your mind. Your vision goes faux x-ray as you mentally place objects inside the box… First a calendar, then a care package from your parents, then a new watch, then that new outfit you were looking at, then you turn right side up. The blood rushed to your head too quick and your vision is full of spots as you get up and walk over to the once empty chair, now full of mysteries and questions.
With letter opener in hand you sit down with your back to your cubicle and tap the letter opener softly on the package to the tune that was playing as you drove to work. Staring off into space you weigh the possibilities of the package… If you open it you could find something not meant for you and be disappointed, you could find something for someone that you secretly wanted, then you could also find that sweater your sister said she would get you when you were talking earlier… then again you could find something illegal… the package was unmarked so it could have been sent from a secret location and you accidentally received it! If you opened it you might find anything from illegal weapons to drugs to fake I.D’s or passports! Would people believe you that they aren’t yours if that’s what is in there? Your boss always suspects you of fudging the numbers on the business reports, he might be quick to find an excuse to get you fired…
You look past the edges of your cubicle and see that the receptionist is happily preoccupied with an intimate conversation you probably don’t want to listen to anyways and pop back inside your shielding wall. She wouldn’t believe you if she caught you… she’s never liked your attitude. Now that you think about it only 2 or 3 other people in the office MIGHT believe you if you told them you weren’t guilty.
What if someone called the police on you… then you could get put in jail for having illegal… whatever it is… in your possession. But what if it isn’t illegal? What if someone in the office believed you and tried to help you send it back? Yea, you mentally agree, that wouldn’t be that hard. You could get SOMEONE to help you, you just know it. You reach over and are just about to slit the tape when… what if it’s something really bad!! What if it’s drugs? What if you find a gun in it!? What would you do with it? Would you try to sell the gun? Maybe pawn it so that you can buy that dress suit you were looking at? That way you wouldn’t have to wait till your next paycheck. Yea, yea, you think, that would work. Most of those places don’t care anyways, they just want to make money… but what if they looked it up and somehow found that it wasn’t yours? Could they do that? Is that even possible? Do you think they would arrest you? Would they still take it and not care? Would you really be able to live with yourself if they didn’t find out then got in trouble for trying to sell it to someone later on?
What is wrong with you, you think. Let’s cool down a second and think. You get up and pace your 9 x 9 work space quickly and decide that you need a fourth coffee, after all it’s only 12:30, you have 1 ½ hours till your meeting with your new intern and co-workers. You mentally tell yourself to re-evaluate your co-workers and their trustworthiness.
But what if you go to jail before you even get to go to that meeting? Then you’ll never know who would stand behind you and who would be quick to call you out in front of authorities… You think all this as you quicken your pace to the coffee maker. You run through a picture in your mind of you being forcefully dragged out of the office with your hands restrained as your co-workers sneer and laugh. Shaking your head of the disturbing image, you realize that your cup is way too full, spilling over, sugary coffee now on your brand name shoes… You quickly try to look for napkins as you fumble through drawers and cabinets and dishes. Finding none, you simply walk out of the kitchen, knowing you have Kleenex in your drawer. Trotting back to reach your desk before anyone returns from lunch, you see that the woman you just emailed a half hour ago is trudging up the walkway…
Frantically you try to hide the package to keep her from seeing it and suspecting anything. You never have anything delivered to your work so she would wonder why you brought it all the way from your home to here. That would start a whole volley of questions that you aren’t ready to answer. Nervously you go to open the door for her and envelope her in a hug, trying to dissuade her from her usual path which goes by your office. She looks up at you with surprise, but allows you to walk her to her office anyways. You’re nervous as she stops for a moment because you can’t see what she’s doing. You immediately feel nervous and tense thinking about the package and what could be inside. Maybe you should have just told her so that she could help you hide it till you could figure out how to send it back. Maybe you should have just left her at the door and stayed in your office to yourself, you wonder.
Now, you think, my cover is blown, she’ll find out, she’ll think that I’m guilty and report me to her boss and he’ll call the police and then you’ll never get a good job again. Then you’ll have to explain all this to your parents, not sure if even they would believe you. They’d be so disappointed… And your sister, she would back you up, she’s even got her law degree now that you think about it… but would she risk it for you? Would she even want to? Would you even have a fair trial? Would there be too many naysayers that your case wouldn’t hold water? What would you even say to defend yourself? Would you try to even defend yourself or would you just go along with it, serve your sentence and get out of there quickly? You fear that speaking up might increase your chances of a longer sentence, so maybe just staying quiet and admitting that you are guilty (as if ), might get you along faster that way maybe in ten years you could get out, find a minimum wage job and never speak of it again? Or should you speak up, tell the people that it wasn’t you and spend even longer in court to try to justify yourself?
Then again, it could just be a harmless package, something you wouldn’t even think about like a magazine promo. You never know with all the advertisements and ads you go through on a daily basis, maybe you just signed something without realizing it and then that’s all that it is. You breathe a sigh of relief for a second.
Then you look over and see that your co-worker is nowhere to be found. Frantically you do a spin around to scope out where she went as you hear a rustle and your name being called from what appears to be the direction of your office. In hysterics you turn around to find that she went the path that goes by your office and is now seated inside with your package on her lap!
You quickly go through your head of the script you’ll tell her as she goes to open it for you. You put on a falsely calming face and start with
“It’s alright, it’s not even mine, you see it just came to the door, and yea I did sign for it, but I wasn’t thinking at the time, so now I’m just going to give it back to the postman when I see him tomorrow and none of this will have ever happened you know, it’s not like I knew what was going to be in the package, I mean of all the things why would I get THAT, you know I researched it and it’s not the openers fault, they can trace the package back to the sender and they’ll get accused and found out for sending something like THAT, so it’ll all work out you know, just pretend you never saw it and we can go back to being mindless co-workers and neither of us has to go to jail, I mean, my sister’s a lawyer and she would probably defend us anyways you know, but there’s always a chance that the jury won’t believe you so it would be easier just to send it back and pretend we didn’t open it okay? I mean, you’re in this now too, so it will have to be a group decision, but I think that would be best you know… You’re not saying anything, what are you thinking… tell me!!
She continues to stare at you, mouth agape and a look of bewilderment on her face. You mentally prepare for her to say that she’d rather figure this all out in court and that it’ll be fine, she has the best lawyer when…
“Um… you know that’s why I send emails right, for you to read them… If you had looked at it and read it, like a normal person you would’ve seen that this was that group gift we were all getting for National Boss day, you were supposed to finalize the paper work to make sure that everyone put in an equal amount for it and I sent the tracking number so you would know that it’s the right package because I had it shipped internationally… You were the only one I trusted to make sure it got here on time because this was really expensive… now what were you talking about… jail?”