by B.C. West
New super hero in town thinks he is hiding his identity but the whole office is helping
You work in an office with a super hero who thinks he’s hiding his identity. Everybody knows and covers for him, even when he regularly lets it slip by accident.
Weary from looking at a computer for the last four hours, I sit back in my chair and let out a heavy sigh. I crack my knuckles and glance at the clock on the wall to my right, still got a ways to go girlfriend. Several movements in my peripheral vision grab my attention and I glance over the top of my computer to watch as the man sitting at the desk not ten feet away starts to fidget with everything on his desk.
Oh God, here we go, I think to myself and bring a hand to my face in a poor attempt to hide the roll of my eyes. Not that it matters; Greg is about as observant as he is subtle. How his evil counterpart hasn’t found him yet is beyond me. Greg wipes his sweaty palms on his slacks underneath his desk, leaving light streak marks on the tan garment. This dude is a mess. After a minute of rubbing his neck and deep breaths in a futile attempt to calm himself down, Greg shoves back from his desk and succeeds in knocking his pencil holder over. Ignoring the new mess, he takes long and purposeful (albeit jerky) strides towards our boss’ office and turns the corner.
After ducking my head around to the right to make sure Mr. Subtle-sweaty-palms was out of sight, I swivel my chair around to witness the rest of the office jump to their feet and look at me expectantly. With one last quick look to confirm our resident Super’s absence, I clear my throat and address the group. “Alright guys, remember the plan. Accuracy and speed are key! We don’t want a repeat of Thursday”.
The collective group turns to glare at Sandra who suddenly finds her footwear to be of extreme interest.
“Anyways,” I wave my hand in the air dismissively “Aaron is on suit duty, Amelia you keep a lookout, and Tim is going to try and buy us a little more time but we need to hustle. Let’s go people!”.
Aaron takes off at a jog towards the break room as Amelia snatches up a paper from her desk to pretend to copy at the printer around the corner. I scramble out of my chair and slide into Greg’s as I try to save all the documents currently pulled up on his computer. Sandra runs past me on her way to the fridge with a sharpie and two servings worth of food.
As I am finishing my task, Warren leans over my shoulder and reminds me to clock Greg out. I glance up at him, whisper some hurried thanks, and shut the computer down.
Spinning, I see Aaron darting towards me with eyebrows pulled down and a light sheen of sweat on his forehead. “I can’t find it, it’s not there!” he spoke quickly, verging on panic. My eyes shoot to Warren and back to Aaron, both faces held confused expressions.
“Well was it-” as I get out of the chair and attempt to step forward, my foot catches and my life flashes before my eyes. Luckily Aaron catches my arms and steadies me. Not today, death! Turning to glare at the offensive object, I see bright orange material spilling out of the bag. I quickly bend down and snatch up the missing garment, shoving it into Aaron’s hands. He spins on his heel and dashes back to the break room.
“What idiot forgets to put their super suit back in it’s ‘hiding spot’?” I use air quotes here since duct taping ones super suit to the back of a vending machine each and every morning could hardly count as a hiding spot.
Warren chuckles and rolls his eyes to the ceiling, “Maybe he washed it this weekend?” I shoot him a withering glare, the outfit smelled like a farm and a half on a hot summer’s day. It’s actually how we first found the damn suit. A few months ago, the break room started to develop such a vile smell that I sent Sandra in to investigate. When she came back to report her findings to me I was shocked. The emblem and color of the suit was instantly recognizable. No one knew the true identity of the new Supers in town, they don’t do interviews or interact with the public much outside of saving our hides a few times a week. That being said, it wasn’t exactly hard to guess who the suit belonged to. There was only one weird new guy who constantly ducked out of work early for any and all reasons.
Sandra scuttles past me and falls into her desk chair releasing a relieved sigh. I meet her hazel eyes and give her a nod of approval, her smile grows and she grabs her water bottle to take a long swig. Apart from Aaron, the rest of the team has managed to complete their tasks and make it back to their desk chairs. Amelia comes around the corner with a few papers in her hands, meets my eyes and widens her own as the signal. Where the hell is Aaron? I can hear Tim now, trying to stall Greg as he attempts to leave.
“Uh, well, good work today Greg, uh…bring it in.” I whip around and grab Warren’s shoulder for balance as I lean to see around the corner and witness a hug so uncomfortable that I get a raging case of second hand embarrassment. Face burning, I turn back and see that Aaron is still MIA. I squeeze Warrens shoulder and mouth “stall” as I take off towards the break room. Using one arm to grab the frame, I swing into the break room and see Aaron struggling behind the vending machine.
“What the hell Aaron?!” I whisper-shout.
He stands up, moving forward to show me a roll of duct tape with scissors tangled in the end, “I had to get another roll of tape! The other one was out and now this one refuses to be cut!”. I lunge forward and grab the mess from his hands.
“What did you do to this thing?” The mess needed more time to fix than we currently had.
“It’s harder than it looks!” Aaron’s eyes shoot behind me, “oh hey Greg!” the greeting comes out a little high pitched. Aaron grabs my waist and pulls me forward, effectively hiding the mess of tape and scissors between us. I turn my head to see Greg standing in the door way, looking a little flushed and confused.
“Hey guys…what’s going on?” There was a long pause as Aaron and I both realize how bad our current situation looked. I’m not usually at a loss for words, but this had caught me off guard. Did Warren not even try to stall?!
“Well, we were, uh…” my amazingly insightful reply was cut short as I realized Greg was sharing a knowing sort of glace with Aaron who was in turn giving him a small thumbs up. I swivel my head back around to give Aaron a look that could kill.
“Hey I won’t tell anyone, but you guys should probably try to be a little more subtle about this kind of thing.” I barely manage to hold back the world’s biggest snort at his words. “Are you two going to be long? I need to grab my uh, get a snack before I head out.”
Rolling my eyes at HIS lack of subtly, I push the tape-scissor mess at Aaron and turn towards Greg, “We were just about to head out, thanks for keeping our secret!” I chirp.
Greg-the-oblivious walks towards the last vending machine as Aaron and I duck out of the room and head towards our respective desks. As I walk past, Warren meets my eyes with a questioning look. I turn to glare at Aaron who at least has the decency to look sheepish. I plop down in my chair and throw out a reply of my own as Greg says goodbye to everyone in the office. The office is dead silent for a hand full of seconds before we erupt into a chorus of cheers and high-fives.
“Hey Teegan…?” I spin to see Warren holding up a familiar death trap of a bag.
“Are you kidding me?!” I groan as I grab the bag and take off at a sprint towards the stairwell, jogging down the three flights of stairs. I push through the building’s glass front doors and spot Greg getting into a cab. “Greg, wait!” I shout. Greg sees me and pauses with one foot in the yellow car. His face grows red as he takes the murderous bag from my hands.
“Thanks Teegan, it would have been awful to forget my bag,” I slam my lips together to stop a laugh from escaping and give him a, what I’m sure was slightly crazed looking, small smile.
He bends down to sit in the car and I put a hand on the door, “Sure thing Greg, go get em’”.
“Thanks Teegan!” He smiles, not even realizing his slip. I shut the door shaking my head and watch the cab drive off. My mouth twists into a wry smile as I think, This guy and his damn bag are going to be the death of me.