“Cat! Cat! Catherine!!! Wake up, Cat!,” says Brenda as she is shaking Catherine. Catherine opens her eyes and in a blurred view sees Brenda’s worried face as she is hovering over Catherine in despair.  “Cat, are you alright, Hun? What are you doing on the floor?”, Brenda asks.  “Wh-Wh-What are you doing?,” asks Catherine. “Cat! You had me worried!”, says Brenda.  “When you didn’t answer your phone, I rushed over to see if you were ok!”, says Brenda. Catherine looks at Brenda confused and gets up to sit on her bed. “Where is Mr. Berry and Mr. Lawrence?, asks Catherine.  “Sugar, they were waiting for us in the restaurant, but after you didn’t show up, they left and I rushed over! Are you ok?” asks Brenda.  “Wait. What?”, asks Catherine confused. Was it all a dream? Catherine thinks to herself.  “I said that -, Brenda starts to repeat herself when Catherine interrupts, “Brenda, I heard you, I’m just confused. Did they cancel the meeting?”, says Catherine. “Well, lucky for you sleeping beauty, they rescheduled for lunch tomorrow. It will give us more time to plan!” says Brenda. “No, no, no, Brenda!”, says Catherine as she gets up. “Tonight, was perfect! Can’t we just call them up and tell them to meet us now?”, says Catherine. “No can do, Cat. Mr. Lawrence ran off with his wife who happened to have dropped by while we were waiting for you at the restaurant.”, say Brenda.  “And Mr. Berry was flirting with some tramp waitress and ran off with her when her shift was over!,”, Brenda continued. “Darn!”, says Catherine.  “We can’t do lunch, because we can’t intoxicate them during a work day! It has to be a dinner meeting!”, says Catherine.  “Says who?”, asks Brenda. “They are executives! Have you not seen them drink during lunch with their clients before? What’s the difference? Plus, tomorrow is Friday, so, more than likely it will be a long lunch and who knows? They may say that we can take the rest of the afternoon off!” says Brenda happily.  “You’re right!”, says Catherine.  “We weren’t completely prepared for tonight anyway!”, Catherine continues. “Before our meeting tomorrow, let’s ask Amanda to give us access to the financial files”, says Catherine.  “Are you kidding Cat? That’s classified information! Why in the hell would she do that?” asks Brenda.  “We need it to see what Mr. Berry and Mr. Lawrence’s transactions have been! It may lead us to the information we seek!”, says Catherine.  “Amanda is just not going to let us have access!”, says Brenda.  “Brenda, you’ve been friendly with her! I’m sure you can find a way to get us access to those files!”, says Catherine.  “Alright, Alright! I’ll try and think of something!”, says Brenda. “Maybe Scarlett can help us?”, Brenda suggests. “Who’s Scarlett?”, asks Catherine. “She works out in the LA office! I met her when she visited here and we’ve been friends since”, says Brenda.  “Alright, in the meantime, let’s go with the same plan tomorrow for lunch and we’ll wing it from there, but I’d like to have as much information as possible so that we know what questions to ask!”, says Catherine.  “Alright smarty pants!”

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz goes Catherine’s cellphone. [ARE WE STILL ON FOR TONIGHT?]. It’s David! Catherine’s heart skips a beat. Catherine responds to her best friend’s text: [Yes! I’m at the apt. Swing by! HEART U.]. Cellphone buzzes again with David’s reply: [K. I’LL BE THERE IN ABOUT A HALF HOUR. BYE]. “Why are you so smiley!?”, asks Brenda. “Nothing. It’s David. He’s coming over. You need to leave!”, says Catherine.  “Dang girlfriend! It’s like that now?”, says Brenda playfully.  “Yes! Get out!” Catherine blushes.  “Oooooh, look at you, blushing?!”, says Brenda jokingly.  “Stop it Brenda! He has some information we may need! You know he works for the competition and he’s wanted to tell me something!”, says Catherine. “Alright. I’ll leave! And stay in that dress! Your friend will give you even his social security number if he sees you In that dress!”, Brenda smiles and winks at Catherine.  “See you tomorrow in our cube, bright and early! Bye, Chica!”. Brenda lets herself out.

Catherine gets up from the bed to look at herself in the mirror. You are one hot chick! Catherine thinks to herself.  I need a drink! Catherine thinks. Catherine is so nervous to see David. But, why? She questions herself.  Catherine heads to the kitchen and pours herself her favorite red wine.  Two drinks later, Catherine hears a knock on her door. With her heart beating, Catherine walks over to open the door. There she finds Mr. Lawrence. What the hell is he doing here? Catherine thinks to herself.  “Hello, Beautiful!,” says her sleazy boss.  “Um, hello, Mr. Lawrence”, says Catherine. “Well, are you going to leave me out here? Or let me in?”, asks Mr. Lawrence.  “Oh. Um. So sorry, Mr. Lawrence. Come in. Come in, “ says, Catherine.  Catherine looks out in the hallway. No sign of David. Where is he? She thinks to herself.

“What a beautiful little apartment, Catherine”, says Mr. Lawrence.  “Um. Thank you, Sir!”, says Catherine. “Um. May I ask, what are you doing here and how do you know where I live?”, asks Catherine confused. “Oh yes. Well dear”, Mr. Lawrence begins and then looks over at the counter where the wine is placed. “Did I interrupt something?”, asks Mr. Lawrence. Catherine looks over at the wine. “Oh! That?!”, asks Catherine with a nervous chuckle. “No, no. I was just unwinding”, says Catherine. “I’m sure you were!”, says Mr. Lawrence as he looks at Catherine from top to bottom. Catherine begins to get nervous.  “Do you mind pouring me a glass?”, asks Mr. Lawrence. “It’s my favorite! 1952, isn’t it?”, asks Mr. Lawrence. Catherine nods. “Yes. It was a gift from my parents”, says Catherine. “Well they certainly have great taste in wine. Among other things”, Mr. Lawrence drifts off. “Mr. Lawrence, what are you doing here? If you don’t’ mind me asking?” asks Catherine.  “Well, I was hoping we would meet at the restaurant and when you didn’t show up, I became worried”, says Mr. Lawrence. “Yes, Brenda  actually checked in on me and told me that you all rescheduled for tomorrow and  even mentioned you left this evening with your wife?”, added Catherine.  “Lilly? Yes, I sent her home. She just wanted to get some money to hang out with her ‘friends’,” says Mr. Lawrence suggesting friends may not have been her friends.  “Anyway, I thought I’d stop by to have a chat with you before our meeting tomorrow,” continues Mr. Lawrence. “Oh, sure, um. Ok.”, stammers Catherine. Where is David? Catherine thinks to herself and begins to worry. “Would you excuse me, Mr. Lawrence?”, asks Catherine. “Sure, Lady!” says Mr. Lawrence as he sips his glass. Catherine dashes to the bedroom and picks up her cell phone. David did not call. She begins to text him  [David, where are you? You are never going to believe who’s here! HEART U].

Catherine, heads back to the living room and sees Mr. Lawrence has made himself quite comfortable.  “So, Catherine. I came by…” Mr. Lawrence begins to say and Catherine cuts him off with “Mr. Lawrence, with all due respect, I thought the meeting can wait until tomorrow? And I’m a little confused as to how you found me?”, asks Catherine. Mr. Lawrence chuckles. “Catherine, I have my ways. I know all when I need to” He looks at Catherine up and down again. “Well the thing is Catherine. I know exactly what you and Brenda are up to!”, says Mr. Lawrence. “and I have a proposition for you…” He continued “Wait. What?”, asks Catherine confused.  “Don’t act innocent, Catherine”, says Mr. Lawrence. “I always wondered why the sudden interest in meeting with me.” He continues.  “Um. Well. Mr. Lawrence. The thing is. Well.”, Catherine stammers. “You want me, don’t you? Catherine?”, asks Mr. Lawrence. Huh? Thinks Catherine to herself. “Want you?”, asks Catherine confused. “Yes. From the moment we met. I just knew you’ve developed some sort of crush. I figure I come on by and make it easy for you!”, says Mr. Lawrence. Has this guy lost his mind? Catherine thinks to herself.  “You want a promotion, don’t you, Catherine?”, asks Mr. Lawrence. “I can make that happen. For one small price”, says Mr. Lawrence as he looks at Catherine up and down. Catherine gets up and says, “You need to leave, Mr. Lawrence!”, says Catherine.  “Leave? I just got here”, says Mr. Lawrence smiling. “Have I made you uncomfortable?”, Mr. Lawrence asks. He leans over to grab Catherine. Catherine dips back. There’s a knock on the door.

“Excuse me, Mr. Lawrence!”, says Catherine as she dashes to the door.  Catherine opens the door and to her surprise, she sees David.  “Cat! Finally!”, says David and hugs her. The hug must have lasted five minutes because they just stood there or at least that’s how long it felt to Catherine.  David smelled so great! He looked very handsome too. “David…”, Catherine begins to talk when David walks in.  “What is this?”, asks David as he screened the living room. “I can explain…” begins Catherine and sees that Mr. Lawrence is gone. Where is he? She thinks to herself.  “Wine? For me?”, asks David. “Oh Cat! You’re too funny!” he continues. “We could have just thrown back some beer, ya know!” says David. “Anyway, we need to talk. Like now!”, says David. “Um. Yes. We do!” says Catherine. “But, um. Could it wait. I want to get out of this dress!”, says Catherine. “Sure. Knock yourself out!” says David. “I will be right here”. David makes himself comfortable and turns on the television. Catherine shoots over to the bedroom and when she opens the door she finds Mr. Lawrence.  “What are you doing in here?”, whispers Catherine. “I didn’t want your friend to find me here so I made myself comfortable in your room. I hope you don’t mind”, says Mr. Lawrence. Catherine cannot believe this.  “Mr. Lawrence. You have to leave!” Catherine says. “There’s a fire escape out the window. You can leave through there”, says Catherine. “We can continue this conversation at our meeting tomorrow.”  Mr. Lawrence smiles. “Fine. I may have been aggressive this evening.  We will leave this for tomorrow”, says Mr. Lawrence.  He brushes her shoulder and went to lean in for a kiss, when David enters the bedroom and surprisingly asks, “What is this?” “David, I can explain!”, says Catherine.  But in an instant David jumped over to Mr. Lawrence and knocks him out. “David!!”, screams Catherine.

Catherine Stay tuned for the next chapter!

CCC Is a fictional comic relief story dedicated to those who work in an office cubicle.