TWO FINGERS (Word Count: 504)
Susan was slim. No, change that, Susan was thin. She shared an office with my friend
Stella and I in the 1980’s when computers were in their infancy, at least in our engineering company, and we spent our days bashing away at the keys on a manual typewriter. Susan was the quiet one in the office, I was the noisy one and Stella had a voice that could be heard two corridors away. Surprisingly we all got on reasonably well although it must be said that Susan often failed to raise a smile at the jokes and quips Stella and I shared. The days usually passed by relatively uneventfully with the three of us sharing the work and only occasionally were we so overloaded with typing that our frustration would be taken out on the typewriter keys. Our boss was Mr Hughes who took little notice of what we got up to as long as he had lots of letters to sign at the end of the day. He spent much of his time dashing between different departments trying to sort out manufacturing difficulties.
However, there was always a tricky time for Stella and I during the morning coffee break. If there was one thing that Susan loved it was a 4 stick chocolate bar. She would remove the wrapper with the skill of a precision watchmaker, gaze at the chocolate coating of the biscuit and slowly, very slowly, would she eat it. Presumably one of the reasons she was so thin was because she only ate half the bar, just 2 sticks. After sensuously enjoying the chocolate, Susan would carefully wrap the remaining 2 sticks and put them away in her desk drawer for the following morning. This never ceased to amaze Stella and I, both of whom were only able to shop for clothes in the Plus Size section. We asked ourselves how could anyone not just go on and eat the whole lot? Who had the willpower to eat just half and save the rest? The answer of course was Susan.
The days passed calmly by in the office until one day Mr Hughes seemed to be around much more. He was in and out of the office the whole day on the pretext of looking for something, chasing unpaid accounts, a whole host of jobs. Stella and I got on with our work as usual but we did notice that Susan seemed a little flushed and not quite herself. Not agitated enough to eat more than 2 sticks of the chocolate at coffee break though. At the end of the day Mr Hughes rushed in, went over to Susan, kissed and caressed her in the most dramatic fashion, pulled her towards him and led her out of the office. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Whatever was going on?
The answer was in Susan’s exit from the office. She had one hand behind her back and put up 2 fingers. Not chocolate ones but her own!