Delta was in shock. He couldn’t remember how long he’d been sitting. He was just sitting, not moving. His shock wasn’t from pain, though. He knew he had all his limbs and extremities. His shock was more like he was a computer struggling while trying to load up a very large program. He was stuck. He needed someone to come along and give him a smack on the head…to start everything over. He just kept thinking about what Charlie had told him. That was what had caused the shock. Charlie had dropped a bomb. And Delta was trying to come to terms with what he’d been told. Maybe it was a silly prank, he thought.
He simply sat in his chair for what seemed like an hour. He stared out the window. He fiddled with a pencil. He tried to contemplate how the situation had gotten so bad. To his credit, Charlie had admitted he was no better adjusted to what the news meant to all of them than Delta. He’d just had a little longer to mull it over. Plus, he’d been there to see it first hand.
Charlie had come in to Delta’s office and told him a story. The day had changed dramatically as a result. That story meant that nothing would ever be the same.
Bravo had slept with Oklahoma.
Bravo was the boss and Oklahoma was a female employee.
It had all happened two days before. Delta had been out of town and unable to return Charlie’s calls. The day he returned to the office, Charlie came to Delta’s office to tell him the story first thing. Charlie had explained that he hadn’t witnessed the actual “sleeping” of course. He’d just been a witness to the events leading up to the apparent point of no return. And, then, Bravo had bragged about it the next day.
They had all gone to a basketball game. Charlie, his wife, Texas, Oklahoma, and Bravo. It had been a nice little group. Charlie’s wife was in the business also, so there had been no awkwardness for her. Everyone had been cozy. Everyone had just wanted to have a good time. It was a work function, but it wasn’t. At halftime, they’d gone to the arena club and had a couple of drinks. Charlie said Oklahoma had let it be known she wanted to have fun that evening. The rest had laughed it off as idle chit chat. If Texas had said it, everyone would have believed it. Texas was loud and brash and confident. Oklahoma was the exact opposite. She was the quiet type. She didn’t drink heavily, with coworkers or anyone. No one thought of her as the fun type.
At the end of halftime, they returned to their seats. Charlie said he realized later Bravo had been spending a lot of time talking to Oklahoma. But, he figured they were talking about work stuff. After the game was over, they went back to the club and had planned to stay until traffic died down. They didn’t stick to that plan, though.
They stayed too long. Charlie said that after the fourth or fifth round of drinks had been delivered, he looked over and realized Bravo and Oklahoma were whispering, smiling and flirting with each other. Charlie said his wife noticed it too and privately told Charlie it was time to leave. Then, Bravo started kissing Oklahoma…on the lips. Texas and Charlie’s wife both saw this and immediately got up from the table. Both were mortified. Both wanted to leave right away.
Oklahoma and Bravo were oblivious.
Charlie said he cleared his throat a couple of times and finally got them to notice the party was over. Charlie’s wife and Texas had already started walking toward the exit. Bravo told Charlie he wanted to stay a little longer and would take care of the check. Bravo then asked Oklahoma if she wanted to stay. She indicated she did. So, Charlie said goodbye and headed off in pursuit of his wife and Texas. As soon as he caught them, the screaming started. Neither woman was happy they’d been involved in the situation. Both wanted to go back and get Oklahoma. Charlie told Delta he didn’t argue with the women. Nor had he told them what to do or think. In fact, he was just as upset about the situation as they were. They looked to him to make it right, though. He admitted to Delta he failed in responding to their request quickly enough, however. So, Texas decided to go back pretending she’d left her phone behind and ask Oklahoma if she needed a ride home.
The ruse worked. Oklahoma told her that Bravo was already providing the lift. She thanked Texas and happily turned back to Bravo. As Texas returned to where Charlie and his wife were standing, Charlie saw the two start kissing again. After Texas told the two what Oklahoma had said, they left and went to the car.
Charlie said the two women yelled and hollered the whole way home. The incident had sobered them all up quickly. And, after they’d dropped Texas at her place, his wife had told him he needed to quit and find a new job. She was not pleased he was working for that type of person. Both Charlie’s wife and Texas knew Bravo’s wife, even though she lived in a different city.
The next day, Oklahoma arrived at work late. She was obviously hung over. She sat in her darkened office and said very little to anyone all day.
Bravo, on the other hand, was chipper and fresh the next day. He’d immediately started talking to Charlie about the incident and the ‘game after the game’, as he called it. He’d told Charlie that Oklahoma had gone home with him and they’d had sex. Charlie told Bravo he didn’t want to hear about any of it. Bravo persisted. He’d said Oklahoma had been drunk, but willing. He said she’d been eager to go home with him. He said they were two consenting adults. Then, Bravo made some disparaging remarks about her…that Charlie said he would never repeat.
Charlie said he then launched into a verbal tirade. He slammed books on the desk. He gestured wildly. He cursed. He told Bravo he was being very stupid. He told him that he was the director of the office and his behavior was unacceptable. He told him he better hope that no one decided to file harassment charges, because he was not going to get any help from him. Bravo smiled and laughed it all off, telling Charlie he was being overly dramatic. And, soon after, the conversation ended.
Charlie told Delta he was telling him the details in case there ever was a lawsuit. Charlie said he wanted there to be an unbiased account based on his recent memory shared by another manager in the office. Finally, Charlie admitted he’d written down the entire sequence of events.
Delta was in shock.
In the end, there was no complaint. There was no lawsuit. There was no HR investigation. Three months later, Oklahoma requested and was given a transfer. Six months later she was married. And, Texas never allowed herself to be alone in the same room with Bravo after that incident.
Copyright (c) 2005/2006 The Jamoker. All rights reserved.