"Do your fucking job right, Henry! Jesus Christ, what are you, five years old? If I ever have to call you in here again, you're done! You hear me? You'll never work in this business again! Now get the hell out of my office."
Mona could feel every set of eyes on the floor anxiously awaiting the pile of shit the boss would shovel in their faces now he was in a particularly bad mood. He was a stern disciplinarian and nobody enjoyed working with him, least of all someone as reserved as Henry. Even slinking back to his desk with panic in his eyes, Henry carried a certain charm, something magnetic and beautiful about him. But Mona was never quite sure what it was. He couldn't have been older than twenty-six, but she was unsure.
He had recently transferred from the Ottawa division, but he made little impact upon arrival. Mona had been with the company for years. At thirty-two, she could still turn heads when she wanted to, but never Henry's. Not that she ever really tried: everyone in the office knew she was a lesbian.
She found Henry alone at the table near the coffeemaker. As she approached the break room to get another coffee, she heard small sniffling and wondered if she should retreat.
His head snapped to and he hurriedly wiped his eyes.
"Yeah?" His voice was soft and small, and she could tell he was struggling to keep himself composed.
"How ya feeling, bud?"
Henry's eyes darkened. "He humiliated me in front of the whole office!"
"Yeah, he's a bit of a prick," Mona said.
Henry chuckled. "Understatement," he giggled, wiping his nose. "Hey, Mona? Um... thanks. It's kinda nice someone cares how I feel."
"Sure." She pulled up a chair beside him. "Totally valid being fucked up about it. If it was me I'd have pissed in his coffee," she admitted.
Henry finally smiled, a big toothy grin that lit up his whole face.
"You would not!" he teased.
"Boy, you better believe I didn't go to school for ten years just be treated like a child," insisted Mona. "That right there: belittling? That's pussy-repellant right there! 'Here's your coffee, boss. Drink it up; it's delicious!'"