A semi-sequential (growing) story.
She doesn’t work near here. It’s a twenty minute walk to and from her office, which leaves her about twenty minutes to eat her salad. Some of the girls at work have started giving her shit about her taking the full hour lunch break - Sheila likes to whisper how “that’s not our office culture” when she gets back.
It’s okay. Sheila looks like a crack whore.
She comes out every day, sits right in front of her statue. She’ll eat her lunch, talk to him. He can’t really talk back, but that’s okay. She’s more talkative than he is, anyway.
It’s nice out today, which is a plus. Sunny weather means more people walk through the square. It always makes him happy when there are people out. She doesn’t quite get it, but that’s the price of loving genius. As she gets closer to her statue, heels clicking on the cobbled square, she looks at her spot. There’s a small boy sitting in her spot. Someone took her spot.
Who the hell sits right in front of a statue they don’t know?
She sighs. It’s a change, but that’s okay. She’s good with change. That’s how she got her job. That’s what her job really is, anyway. She manages the changes for someone who really wasn’t able to. At least, not without her.
Some people say that she rode her boss’ coattails up to her current spot in the company. She doesn’t disagree. Most people don’t realize how important she’s been, anyway.
That’s okay. It just makes it easier to change things around them.
She sits behind him today, pulls out her salad. It’s cooler where she is, sitting in the shade. She starts talking to her statue.
A few people look at her, but she’s gotten used to that. Most people just assume she’s schizophrenic. She’ll never speak to most of them again.
He moves slightly, which is new. He wasn’t expecting her there. He doesn’t do change so well. That’s okay. That’s why they work so well together.
Usually she points out interesting people she notices in the square, sees if he wants to write them. Today she can’t see them. She doesn’t speak for a minute, stabs some lettuce.
“Looks like you’ll do well today,” she finally says.
He barely turns, looks at her. Slowly he raises an arm, extends a finger. One sec.
Then he turns back, slowly crouches. Puts his hands on his knees and smiles his best Cheshire Cat grin. Then he shouts.
The little boy screams even louder, jumps a mile into the air. By the time he turns around to see what came up behind him, eyes wide as doorknobs, the statue is back in position. The boy runs to his father, grabs him, doesn’t let go.
She finds this funny enough to burst out into laughter, and after a moment the statue starts smiling, too. Picking her lunch up, she slides over into her spot, starts eating her lunch again. It’s warm in the sun.
She’s eating a little slowly, going to be a little late to get back to the office. Sheila is going to give her shit.
But hey. She got to see her statue.
So long as that happens, she’ll be okay.
An America Story