Posted by: fictionopia | January 16, 2009

1.10 – “Let’s see you do this twice.”

Max’s office door was open when Sarah arrived Monday afternoon for their scheduled counseling session. She walked in carrying two cups of coffee from the café across the street.

“Black with two sugars, right?” Sarah asked, offering a cup to Max.


Max smiled as he accepted the coffee and Sarah caught herself staring. She turned away, not too quickly, but just quickly enough to bump into a second desk added to the room since Sarah’s first visit.

“Redecorating?” Sarah asked as she sat down, hoping she sounded nonchalant.

“Something like that,” Max answered. Max sat at his desk opposite Sarah. He took Sarah’s emailed resume out of a folder with a tab reading “Neel, Sarah S.”

“First off, Sarah, your resume looks good,” Max began, “but I had a couple of questions.”

“Fire away.”

“Well, you have a few jobs here where I wasn’t sure what business you were in. For instance, “Basket Cases,” what kind of business was that?”

“They make gift baskets.”


“For pets.”


“Dogs and cats mostly. But they dabble in rodents, and the occasional bird.”

“And “King Media” produces movies?”

“Documentaries. Mr. King won an award for his film about a man campaigning to get Pluto named a planet again.”

Max smiled again. This smile around Sarah kept her cool, simply returning the gesture. Sarah thought she saw Max blush.

“You have a lot of small business experience,” Max continued. “It looks like all of your employers have been self employed. Is starting your own business something that interests you?”

Sarah leaned over to examine the resume Max held. “Funny, I never really noticed that.”

“It’s something to think about. Whatever your next step, you need a plan. That’ll take some time.”

“I’ll be sure to give it some thought,” Sarah managed, trying not to show her disappointment. Right now her ‘plan’ consisted of the combined conjecture of Melody Neel and one Astrid Knowles.

“You’re more than welcome,” said Max, “to do your thinking here.”

“Say what, now?”

“I’ve wanted some help around here for a while. The pay isn’t tremendous but I could definitely help you with your planning.”

Sarah looked over her shoulder at the new desk. Indicating the desk, she asked, “Is that for me?”

“Well, it’s for my new assistant…”

“I do!” Sarah blurted. “I mean…I accept.” This time Sarah was sure Max blushed.

It was nearing lunchtime and Sarah and Max decided to discuss the job’s requirements and modest pay over sandwiches. They walked to a nearby deli that Max recommended and Sarah asked Max to grab a table, telling him she’d join him in a minute.

A couple of doors down Sarah saw a newspaper dispenser on the sidewalk. Emblazoned on it were the words “NY Weekly.” Sarah opened the door and pulled out a copy of the free weekly paper and scanned the index. She flipped to the horoscope page.

“Alright,” she said, “let’s see you do this twice.”

Walking slowly back to the deli, Sarah began to read.



  1. do you plan to post more than once a week? Beside Sarah Weekly, is there any other stories that you post?

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