“What are you doing in here?”, whispers Catherine to her boss Mr. Lawrence who’s situated in her bedroom. “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.

The image of what occurred this evening plays over and over in Catherine’s head. Knock. Knock. A knock on the door interrupts Catherine’s thoughts.“Who’s there?”, says Catherine who’s a little startled. “This is the EMT. Someone called with an emergency?”.  Catherine opens the door. Two men (a tall and short one) and a woman enter.  “Where’s the patient?,” the tall EMT asked. “He’s on my couch”, says Catherine referring to her boss Mr. Lawrence.  “What happened?”, the tall EMT continues. “Well, we were having some wine and he tripped and lost his balance and then hit himself against my statue. Knocked him out cold!”, says Catherine. The woman EMT looks at Catherine strangely. “Alright, let’s see what we can do here!”, says the woman EMT. “Is he a relative?”, she continues. “No, he’s my boss”, answered Catherine. The EMT looked at each other and proceeded to examine Mr. Lawrence.  “It looks like he has a concussion. We will have to take him to the hospital to run some tests. Would you like to come with us?”, says the EMT, the smaller of the two men.  “Um…no…I will call his wife and have her meet him there”, stammers Catherine.  The woman EMT darts Catherine an evil eye. Catherine thinks to herself, ‘Does she think I’m his mistress? The nerve of her! What kind of freakish relationship would I have that I would call his wife to meet him!’ . Catherine calls her colleague, Brenda. “Brenda? Can you call Lilly and let her know that Mr. Lawrence is being taken to Belvedere Hospital? He had a little accident. They want to run some tests”, says Catherine. With a puzzled reaction, Brenda asked “What the heck happened?” “Please call Lilly and I’ll explain later”, Catherine reassures her.  “Um, sure. Right away!”, says Brenda.  After Catherine signs some forms, the EMT leaves and Catherine shuts the door behind them.  David comes out of the bedroom.

“What you did was wrong, Cathy! You should have told them the truth!”, says David. “He man-handled you and I don’t appreciate that!”, David continues. “What people do with me is none of your concern! I can take care of myself”, says Catherine. “Cat! You’re my best friend. Everything about you concerns me!”, says David. Catherine looks at David. She wants to admit that she is madly in love with him. “David, I, I w—“. The phone rings and interrupts. “Hello?!”, says Catherine. “Catherine. This is Mr. Berry! Have you heard? Mr. Lawrence is in the hospital! His wife Lilly called. What in the world happened?”. Catherine sighs. Her direct supervisor is calling her for answers.  “Mr. Berry, I can explain. I’m headed to the hospital now and we can chat there!”, says Catherine reluctantly. “Well I wasn’t planning on going there!”, says Mr. Berry.  “Mr. Berry, it would be a nice gesture if we go and pay a visit!”, says Catherine. Mr. Berry huffs and puffs and says,  “Fine. I’ll meet you there”. Catherine rushes David out the door gives him a kiss on the cheek and says “I’ll call you later!”.  “Cat, are you serious? You’re now going to go visit the fool?!”, says David. “David, my job may be in jeopardy, I have to fix this mess! It’s kind of your fault! You shouldn’t have knocked him out!”, says Catherine.  “You know what Cat. I’ll see you later. Call me when you’re not busy sweating your bosses!”, says David angrily.  David storms off in the direction of the stairs.

Catherine steps off the elevator lobby and runs to catch the cab that just parked outside her building to let someone out.  “Hi Mr. Smith!” says Catherine to her neighbor and jumps in the cab. “To Belvedere Hospital, please!”. When Catherine arrives to the hospital, she sees Lilly and a doctor talking. She overhears the doctor tell Lilly, Mr. Lawrence’s wife that Mr. Lawrence has a slight concussion, however he may not remember recent events. ‘Wow! David really knocked him out! I always told him he should have been a boxer!’ Catherine thinks to herself.  Catherine enters the room and Lilly says, “Hi Catherine! So nice of you to drop by! The doc says he’s going to be ok! He may suffer some memory loss, but he will be fine”. Catherine smiles and says, “That is great Mrs. Lawrence. I’m glad he’s ok”. “Do you know what happened? Brenda called me and said it happened during work?”, says Lilly.  “Yes. Um…”, Catherine stammers. “Lilly! I explained what happened, doll!”, says Brenda as she walks in the hospital suite. “We were all meeting for an important project and Mr. Lawrence slipped and fell on the table”, continues Brenda. Catherine then interrupts, “it was actually a statue that was on the table.  “Same difference!”, says Brenda and shoots Catherine a look.  “Well alright, Ladies. I guess as long as he will be ok”, says Lilly. “You ladies are dedicated, hardworking women. My husband is lucky to have you on his team”, Lilly continues. Just then Mr. Berry enters the room.

“So I hear he’s going to be ok?”, asks Mr. Berry. Lilly nods.  “That’s great. Well given the circumstances we won’t be meeting tomorrow”, Mr. Berry continues.  Catherine and Brenda looked puzzled. “But tomorrow is Saturday”, says Lilly. Catherine and Brenda exchange looks. “We were so focused on the project, we didn’t realize today was Friday. Where are our minds”, Mr. Berry says with a nervous laugh.  “Even I knew it was a Friday!”, says Mr. Lawrence, who just woke up. They all glance at Mr. Lawrence. “Lilly, can you help me up”, says Mr. Lawrence. “Sure, Dear! How are you feeling?”, says Lilly. “I have a headache, but TGIF!” Mr. Lawrence chuckles.  “Why am I in the hospital? Did I suffer a heart attack again?, he chuckles again.  “No, Dear. You had a little accident at your meeting and fell on some statue”, says Lilly. “But you’re going to be ok!”, Lilly continues.  “Well great! It’s nice to have you all here visiting me.  George, Mary mentioned you were going on a trip next week for meetings and I was planning on joining you. However, I won’t be able to join you, given the current situation. You’ll have to go without me, “ says Mr. Lawrence.  “Brenda and Catherine, I’d like you both to accompany Mr. Berry on his trip next week”, Mr. Lawrence continues. Mr. Berry glares at Catherine and Brenda and discreetly shakes his head from side to side.  “For sure, Mr. Lawrence we’d be happy to attend!”, says Brenda. “But, but, who’s going to manage the offices? No one is capable, except Catherine and Brenda,” says Mr. Berry. “Nonsense, George! Amanda and Mary will manage the office just fine“ says, Mr. Lawrence. “Dear you need some rest. The docs want to run some more tests and you need your energy”, says Lilly.  Mr. Lawrence nods.  “Well, alright then. Bye Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence, says Brenda as both Brenda and Catherine wave goodbye and walk out of the room.

“Mr. Berry looks disturbed as if he does not want us to join him on this trip!”, says Catherine to Brenda.  “Well, he can go where the sun don’t shine, because we are going!”, says Brenda. “Besides, it is at Mr. Lawrence’s request! Plus, we’ll get to meet Scarlett and Jorge! This will give us the opportunity to get more information on these secret meetings our bosses have!”, Brenda continues.  As Brenda and Catherine exit the hospital building, Mr. Berry grabs Brenda and Catherine by the arms and says, “You two are ruining everything! You’re not supposed to go on this trip!” “What are you talking about Mr. Berry?” asks Brenda.  “I’m supposed to go alone! Look, Mr. Lawrence has something up his sleeve and I was going to try and figure out why, and I needed you two to be the eyes and ears out here!”, says Mr. Berry. “Well, Mr. Berry, we must go. Mr. Lawrence is expecting us to!”, says Catherine.  “Amanda can be your spy! She’s your goddaughter, Mr. Berry and she’s smart! I trust her.”, continues Catherine. Mr. Barry nods his head in agreement.  “Mr. Berry, what the hell is up?”, asks Brenda.  “I don’t have time to explain right now. We’ll discuss this out in L.A.  I have to head out. Talk to you later. And please don’t share any information you know regarding this merger with anyone! Not until we speak on Monday! Capiche?! “, says Mr. Berry. “Yes. We understand”, says Catherine and Brenda in unison. Mr. Berry storms off. “That man is strange”, says Brenda.  “Who are you telling?”, says Catherine in agreement. “Let’s go to the offices to book our flights and get some files we may need while we are out in L.A.”, says Catherine.  “Alright! Hey!?! You think we’ll meet some celebs?”, asks Brenda. “Like who? Johnny Depp? Girl, please!” says Catherine.

Catherine Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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