Phil strode from the elevator to the open doors of Curtis, Anderson, Sideman & Turner, LLP carrying a bouquet of red roses. He wore a grey three-piece suit and approached Angie, the grey-haired receptionist who conspicuously covered her teeth with her lips; they were dentures. “Can I help you?” asked Angie.
“I’m here to see Ms. Ganti,” Phil said, discreetly.
“And you are...”
Phil smirked, “I’m her fiance.”
“Oh my,” Agnes replied. She smiled, revealing her dentures, despite her best efforts. “I’ll see if she’s in her office." She picked up the phone, “Ratika, your fiance is her to see you.” Phil couldn’t discern what Ratika was telling Agnes, but from the tone of her voice, she was clearly freaking out. “He said he’s your fiance.” She paused. “I don’t know. He’s wearing a suit, carrying flowers.” Agnes replaced the phone. Turning to Phil, “So you say that you’re engaged to Ratika?” She looked at Phil with a hint of skepticism. “Ratika is utterly confused; she says she isn’t engaged....yet.”
Ratika walked, nearly ran, to the receptionist’s desk. Her confusion soon turned to disbelieve and excitement. She laughed. “You bastard! When did you start calling me your fiance?!”
Phil joked, “Wait, are you saying I never proposed? I guss I must have dreamt it.”
“I’d punch you if I weren’t a lady,” Ratika snapped, chuckling.
“Well, you sure don’t talk like one anymore. When they hired you here, did they buy you a new vocabulary?” Ratika rolled her eyes. “Remember in law school when you tried to tell a dirty joke but you took out all the profanity? You kept saying ‘the F-word.’ “
Ratika motioned towards the roses, “are those for me?”
“They were, but that’s when I thought we were engaged. You can carry them if you want.” Ratika never knew when Phil was joking; she had learned to assume that he always was.
“I haven’t had lunch yet,” Ratika said. “Want to catch-up over lunch?” The two suit-clad lawyers entered the elevator. Ratika hugged Phil, fondly, as soon as the elevator doors closed, then glanced awkwardly at the unknown woman standing in the back of the otherwise empty elevator. Phil smirked, and the trio: Ratika, Phil, and the unknown woman rode the elevator to the lobby in silence.