Cover image courtesy of Feni Rathod: http://www.fiverr.com/fenirathod
William Fitzpatrick was annoyed enough he had to work as a janitor at Ferris, Callender and Goldberg. Now, his boss, Peter Ferris, wanted him to wait for Neil Callender at another law office for some papers that were not important. Dorrestein, Gladwell and O’Brien was located in a nice looking part of town but, whenever William walked in that neighborhood, he felt awkward as if he would be questioned by a police officer. He accepted the janitor job on a temporary basis, so he could escape the chaos of his uncle’s house and buy healthier food than what his uncle prepared.
Uncle Raymond, from William’s mother’s side of the family, was obese and depressed, at least from William’s observation. That side of the family, the Gold’s, grew up under strict Jewish traditions. William’s mother, Hannah Gold, never officially gave up her beliefs but she did not practice them either and neither did her brother, Raymond, who became a Christian just to make his parents angry. George and Yvette Gold, whom William never met, were known to be tyrants. There was a lot about that side of the family he did not know but he knew his mother and uncle both became obese. Hannah died a year ago and Raymond was in bad health.
William’s father, Patrick Fitzpatrick, left the family when William was five years old and never visited him but William talked to him on the phone during Williams eighteenth birthday and then his twenty-first birthday. William would have been angry at him but, knowing how screwed up Hannah was, he figured his father was smart to stay away.
When Hannah died, Raymond offered to let William live with him. That was nice of his uncle to do that but Raymond’s living habits were enough to annoy the most patient person on earth. Now, William did not want to think about it. He wanted to get the papers from Neil Callender and then get back to mopping the floors where he worked.
He had not entered the law offices of Dorrestein, Gladwell and O’Brien before and he was impressed. Too bad he had a stomachache from eating a cheap turkey pot pie Raymond served him. Not only that but Lily Lowell, Raymond’s next-door neighbor who always wore huge sweaters that smelled like cigarettes and mold, visited. Her voice was extremely loud and gave William even more of a stomachache. That was probably why he was upset now. He wanted the security of mopping floors without having to talk with many people.
The woman at the information counter looked like Lily Lowell and that made William angrier. Seemingly, he was surrounded by the type of people he wanted to avoid. She asked, “How may I help you?” Her voice was pleasant. That was a relief.
“I’m here to see my boss, Ned Callender.”
She nodded. “Yes. I know Ned. I suggest you ask to see him where he works. If he’s your boss, wouldn’t he be there? Wouldn’t you be, also?”
He was getting angrier by the minute. “I’m supposed to refer to either Mr. Ferris or Mr. Callender or Mr. Goldberg as my boss because I’m just the janitor working part time and I’m not a part of the union. My real boss, Peter Ferris, said Mr. Callender was here.”
She smiled. “Oh. In that case, he’s probably talking to John Gladwell. I don’t think they want to be disturbed. You should go back to work. Your boss is probably wondering why you wandered off.”
Jonathan was about to scream but, suddenly, he felt calm and he had no more stomachache. That never happened before. At best, his stomach might feel fifty percent better over a gradual period of several hours but he always had a pain of some sort, even if less intense than on other days.
Another woman’s voice said, “It is okay, Gladys. He is here to see me.”
He turned his head and noticed a woman with very long hair. That intrigued him. He remembered when long hair was in fashion and considered a sign of beauty. Most of the women in his neighborhood were getting what was called summer cuts. The women looked like men. He was noticing someone different. She was wearing her sweatshirt tucked in which was another rarity. He liked how women looked when presenting neat and tidy appearances, especially considering most of the women he knew were his uncle’s age and looked like him. Her sweatshirt had an unusual design of eyes all over it, as if the eyes were watching him. He did not know why but he smiled and said, “Thank you.”
She nodded. “Come with me.”
Gladys made a face that looked like a failed smile.
The woman opened a door and walked inside. William followed her. She shut the door and asked, “What is your name?”
She held out her hand. “I am Anusha Cheema. I will help you with your problem.”
He walked towards her and they shook hands. He said, “I am supposed to see Ned Callender and get a paper from him.”
“I understand. What good is the paper?”
I was told the paper was not of any importance.”
She nodded. “So you were looking for something that is not important.”
He felt embarrassed. “That’s not exactly what I mean. My boss, Peter Ferris, told me to come here. I’m doing it because it’s my job.”
She was still gripping his hand. He just noticed that. He was not bothered by it. She had taken away his stomachache, somehow. She said, “You have loyalty to your boss. That is decent, even if he is putting you on a wild goose chase.”
“How is he doing that? He is merely telling me what he wants done. I do it so I can get paid.”
“He pays you by having you do things that do not need to be done.”
“No. He pays me with money.”
She smiled. “There are more ways of getting paid than money. That is what I can show you.”
He was not sure how she meant that but he became nervous. “Can I see Mr. Callender?”
She shook her head. “I do not believe you really want to see Mr. Callender.”
He looked at the eyes on her sweatshirt. They seemed to be speaking to him also. They were telling him he did not want to see Mr. Callender. He asked, “What’s going on? What are you doing?”
She said, “You looked frightened. There is no need for that. Your eyes see everything. It is called The Eye Command. It is when you get the feeling from what you see. Right now, your mind is controlling what you’re thinking. We will work together on how to remove the fright.”
He tried pulling his hand free but her grip remained tight. “I believe I should go now.”
“That is fine. We will go where you want to go.”
“No. I want to get away from you. I’m going back to work.”
“What is your concern about me?”
He sighed. “We can’t stay like this. I have things to do. The eyes on your clothes are making me nervous.”
“That is only because you have not dealt with inner issues of yourself. Your feelings are a mirror of your interpretation. You see the eyes as causing nervousness. They are not. You are causing your own nervousness by what you are telling your mind.”
He tried paying prying her hand open with his other hand. He could not do so. “Can you please let go?”
“I can’t let go. It won’t come off.”
“I hope you don’t mean you’ll be holding on forever.”
She smiled. “I won’t answer that right now because you might panic and that is not good. You will learn everything in the time it takes for you to learn it. I will not steer you wrong. I will be your healer. I am your good luck.”
He realized the situation was unusual and he had no clue how to make it normal again. First, he was sent to see a boss in an office where that boss did not work. Next, he dealt with a secretary who acted like he was not telling the truth about why he was there. Finally, he was physically connected to a woman who was making his pain go away and who was good-looking and dressed attractively but refused to let go of his hand. He felt like he was in a puzzle he could not solve. He asked, “What will happen when I go back to work and you come along with me?”
She nodded. “Everything is connected in the universe. There are solutions in things we do not see. Nothing is out of harmony. You will discover this.”
He figured he might as well see what happened. She did take away his stomach pain. Maybe there was something truthful in what she said. He nodded. “Okay. I’ll go along with it, for now.”