Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Running with Scissors
Running with Scissors
Engrossed in columns of numbers, I didn’t hear her walk up behind me and was somewhat startled when she spoke.
“Do you have a pair of scissors I can borrow?”
My head jerked up and I stared into Marion’s wide face, her lips curved in a polite smile.
“Sure.” I pulled open three drawers before I found a pair. I crunch numbers for a living; the only time I used my scissors was when I opened a bag of Skittles.
I handed them over to Marion, holding the blades in my hand, pressing the blue plastic handle into hers.
“Thanks,” she chirped, widening her smile. “I’ll bring them back as soon as I’m done.”
I nodded and put my head back down, already engrossed in my numbers. I had a meeting that afternoon with the head of marketing to discuss the budget for the next quarter. Management wanted a report on write-offs, and three clients needed accruals for the current month.
It was well beyond lunch—and I hadn’t yet eaten—when I was pulled from my numbered reverie.
“Thanks, again,” said Marion, holding out the scissors. I’d forgotten she’d stopped by that morning.
“Oh sure,” I said, taking the scissors from her. She walked away before I could finish with, “Any time.”
I made a face as I tossed the scissors into the top drawer of my desk. The plastic handle was sticky and I was more than a little annoyed that she hadn’t taken care of something she’d borrowed from me. I know they’re not mine—they belong to the company—but it’s the principle of the thing. When you borrow something, you return it in the same or better condition. It’s just good manners.
Maybe she’s careless with her own things, which may explain why she couldn’t use her own scissors. The blades are probably so coated with whatever is now on the handles of mine, that she can’t open them; rendered useless by her negligence.
I wrenched a few tissues from the box on my desk and wiped my hands. The thin paper was useless and it infuriated me that I had to stop my work and go wash my hands. I had a deadline—several, in fact—and Marion was messing up my schedule. I was determined to have a word with her, tell her that she needs to take more care with things she borrows, impress upon her how much her careless behaviour affects others.
Needless to say, I never got around to that.
It seemed as though seconds after I registered that it was blood I was wiping from my hands, the police were arresting me and I was being questioned and fingerprinted. At first, I denied any knowledge. But when they told me who I had stabbed in the chest fifteen times with the blue-handled scissors, well, I just shrugged.
“He was a jackass,” I said. “He hit on me, hit on all the girls in the office.”
My lawyer assures me that I won’t be in here long. A few years, at best. It’ll be worth it. That son-of-bitch got what he deserved. I’ll be a fucking hero at the office when I get back. And Marion? She may have done the crime, but I did her time.
I think she owes me one.