Professional, a little bored with his occupation, seeks more satisfaction and happiness in his life.

"Tell him that I think he drinks too much," the woman said without looking up from the paper.

The others shifted in their seats. Two hours in a room with feuding ex-lovers could feel like an eternity. Sherman had trouble concentrating in springtime anyway. There were distractions, beauty, for one, just outside these walls, beckoning. Come on, come on, they called to him, scratching gently at the window. Sometimes he mouthed along with their chant so that his lips moved as though he might be about to say something aloud or to sneeze.

"Mr. Creech?" The others’ dull eyes fell to him, expectant. Slowly, his attention returned to the stuffy little room. He adjusted his shoulders to release a little tension before he spoke.

"I think that would be fine. The details need work, but generally, I think, yes. That sounds fine."

His client looked angry. Was that her permanent look, he wondered. How old was she anyway? Thirty-two, was it? Forty-one? The details, features of the individuals melded together these days. Only one or two stood out so that he would even recognize them outside of the office setting, outside of the oak panelled conference room where futures were sliced up, decided. Surrendered, fought over. Won or lost.

Who were the winners in these negotiations anyway?

"MiSTER Crreeeech," Mona Windermyer said in her serious voice. "Are you with us?" She had a habit of checking her watch at regular intervals. The Guilty Time Check is how he thought of it. Look down, turn left wrist slightly to check time with casual interest and raised eyebrow, bring left wrist up against nostrils as though to curb an impending sneeze. Sniff. He was onto her.

 "Yes, I think we can agree," he said, closing his file suddenly. "Darla will get the minutes to you forthwith. He pushed his chair back, glancing briefly at his sour-faced client.

"Beth, I’ll see you next week then? Speak to Darla about an appointment and we’ll go over what we’ve discussed here. I’m off then. Another commitment, sorry."

Before the stunned attendees could protest, he was vapour. Outside, in his car, Sherman stopped only long enough to slip off his socks and shoes, then spun out of the parking lot toward some destination not yet decided.

The End

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