Towards the close of business on Friday, Kylisha got a wonderful surprise. All of her colleagues had gathered in the break room to wish her a happy anniversary. As of today, Kylisha had been at the company for one full year. This meant yet another pay raise, a cake, punch, colorful balloons, and lots of presents.
One by one Kylisha’s coworkers presented their gifts to her. Arnaz presented his gift first. It included a dozen pink roses and two tickets to an antique show that displayed rare collectibles and provided appraisals services for attendees.
That gift warranted Arnaz a big hug from Kylisha. When she released him, the smile he turned to Gene was smug.
To Gene’s credit, he successfully ignored Arnaz’s subtle dig. After the heated, albeit nonverbal, encounters he’d had with Kylisha recently, he now felt secure enough in his ability to take her from Arnaz. Gene was just waiting for the right opportunity to make his move.
Gene’s gift was last. His present consisted of a large Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and a few accessories. This way Kylisha could get even deeper into her Bible studies. The highlighters, notepads, bookmarks, and elegant writing utensils Gene included with the gift were there to make the process of studying even smoother.
Gene’s gift not only brought tears to Kylisha’s eyes, it also warranted an even tighter hug than she’d given anyone else. When they finally broke apart, the ardent look they shared was enough to incinerate every dump and landfill in this city and the next.
“Let me help you carry your gifts out to the car, baby,” Arnaz suddenly announced from behind them.
“Th…thanks, Arnaz.” Kylisha blushed crimson at his unexpected endearment. They hadn’t gotten to that stage in their relationship yet. The last time Kylisha checked, she and Arnaz were more friends than girlfriend/boyfriend. In fact, they’d only kissed twice since they started going out.
Convinced that Kylisha and Arnaz had finally become an official couple, a disheartened Gene moved to the rear and quietly left the room.
* * *
Over by the cake and punch table, Rosemary and Mitch smiled knowingly at each other. “Do you think she and Arnaz are going to make it?” Rosemary asked in a discreet voice.
“Once upon a time I did,” Mitch replied. “Now I’m not so sure. She can’t seem to shake the crush she has on my son.”
Rosemary guffawed. “Crush? That girl doesn’t have a crush on Gene. That girl is in love with Gene. She’s just trying to give her heart what she thinks it needs, instead of what it really wants.” Rosemary shook her head sadly. “Too bad, too. I really think they could have something special together.”
Mitch nodded. “Me, too. Especially since he’s finally ready for a quality woman like her.”
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier
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