Week 6 Word Aversion
Word Count 273
By Anne Nassar
Upon opening the door to Michelle’s office, she gagged. She’d developed an aversion to the smell of microwave popcorn.
Michelle said, Shut the door.
Her tone of voice meant that Regina was in trouble.
She pushed the door closed and sat down in the chair facing Michelle’s desk.
Michelle demanded, Did you give Cowboy a bike?
Cowboy was a “lifer” – a schizophrenic who would always need services. He cut quite a figure: tall and skinny, he wore a ten-gallon hat and boots and he had long, white hair and a tobacco stained beard. He usually smelled of piss, but Regina liked him. He had once had a sister and she had taken care of him and he often spoke of her wistfully, and this was enough to win Regina’s sympathy.
Regina said, yes.
Michelle said, You can’t do that.
Regina protested, My family was throwing it away.
Michelle shook head her and said, if you give him a bike, you have to give Baby Jane one, and Rainbow, and Jheri, and so on.
Regina said, his bike was stolen. He got beaten up by a bunch of teenagers, they broke his jaw.
Michelle said, I know all about it. Listen. You cannot give the clients presents. If I have to speak to you again about this same issue, you’re fired
Regina was stunned, livid, hurt. I’m the only person in this department who actually cares about the clients, she wanted to say. I’m the only person who doesn’t hate them.
She blurted out, I have a dentist appointment.
Michelle said, When? Today?
Yes, she said. Her cheeks burned. She wasn’t used to lying.