"Hey, Magda. We're off. Going for a drink. Fancy coming with us?"
"Nah. S'ok." I replied, busying myself at my computer screen. "Thanks though."
I waved off my new colleagues, hating the fact that I had to work with such annoying people. There had been a merger - we had bought out some little company and ended up getting a whole load of their workers with it. It meant that we didn't have to do as much anymore, but it meant that every day I had to deal with 'the bar'. At least I knew that it wouldn't be long until they realised that I wasn't going to be going with them. I smiled at that thought.
"Hey Magda. Busy?" It was Tilda , my best friend. We had worked together for more years than I could count and over that time, we had built up a really strong friendship, despite being slightly different. At times, we could be almost exactly the same person but others we could be polar opposites. I thought of her as my sister; she was better than my real sister at any rate.
"Not for you. Anything I can help you with?" I offered, accompanied by my sweetest smile.
"My brother is in town. Wants a place to stay." she looked at me hopefully.
"Oh no. Not at mine." I shook my head fervently. As much as I loved her, I would not let her brother stay at mine, not even for one night.
"But he can't stay with me. Come on, Magda. Just this once." She touched my hand with a little smile. I snapped it back instinctively, knowing a second later that it had been a mistake.
"Sorry. I didn't mean it like that." I got up from my swivel chair, hugging Tilda. Thing is, she is in a relationship that she can't tell her family about. They wouldn't approve, so to speak.
"It's ok. I get it." she looked upset and it was all my fault.
"It's just that I know how you work. You'll emotionally blackmail me and touch is one of your strongest weapons, you." I said, making her laugh.
"So it's a definite no?"
"Sorry, Tilda. Not this time." I sat back down, turning to my computer. Ugh.
"Well I'm off."
I watched her walk away, swaggering as she always did. I knew that I had hurt her and that I would make things better tomorrow. Maybe some chocolates.
I hit the power button on my computer screen, sitting there staring at the blank screen for a minute or two. Part of me wished that the that little rectangle of darkness would just swallow me up. Maybe I should let her brother stay. Do it for her I do owe her a lot after all.
I got up out of me chair and was about to set out of my comfort zone after her when my boss opened the door to his office and called me in.
"Can you give me one minute, Andy? I just need to make a quick call."
"If you must." He grunted, returning into the confines of his little room, slamming the door shut.
I picked up my phone, calling Tilda.
"Hey Tilda. Sorry about just then. I've given it some thought. He can stay. What excuse are we going to use? Give me a call when you get this yeah? Got to see Andy. Uh oh. Ha ha! See you tomorrow!" I hung up the phone, slightly annoyed that I had only got her answer-phone.
"Magdalene. Now please." He hollered through the door.
"Coming Andy." I considered running, but knew that he'd be even angrier in the morning. With a sign, I pushed down on the door handle, pushing until it was ajar and I could see the large man.