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11th August
posted by amber

Jessie Reconsiders

I didn’t sleep very well the night that Jonah stood me up. Stood up by a guy in a wheelchair – how much worse can it get for a girl? But I dragged myself to work the next day, and that creep Steven made yet another play for me. I’d told him in no uncertain terms, the night he tried to force himself on me and Jonah dealt with him, that he had to stay away from me totally, even at work, or I’d make a formal complaint.

Yet, there he was again, asking me to go for coffee with him at lunch. I was too tired for this crap. I turned on my heel and went directly to my boss, and told him about the harassment.

But Steven had been there before me, complaining about Jonah assaulting him, showing off his bruised neck, warning that I might try to trump up some grievance against him. “It seems as if this is more of a personal issue, not a work issue,” Mr. Brooks said. “I did ask around, and no one in the office has noticed Steven behaving inappropriately toward you.”

As I stomped back to my desk, I realized I didn’t want to have to leave this job, and the person I most wanted to discuss this with was Jonah. Why did he have to be a no-show for our date?

Steven was leaning against the wall, near my desk, a gloating expression on his face. “Not what you expected, hey, Jessie? The police won’t take you seriously either, so don’t bother trying. And that boyfriend of yours isn’t going to-”

He stopped suddenly, frowning, as if he’d said too much.

“Isn’t going to what, Steven?”

“Um…believe you, he won’t believe you ‘cuz I told him you asked me to go out with you. He doesn’t want to see you again.”

“And I don’t believe you!” I shouted, gathering up my jacket and purse.

“Where are you going?” he asked as I rushed out the door, but I didn’t answer. There was a cold cold feeling in my gut. I drove as fast as I could over to the gym where I knew Jonah went for climbing practice, hoping there was someone there who knew his friends, his routine, where I might look for him this time of day. And if anyone had seen him today at all.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

The Jessie and Jonah stories are written every Thursday.


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