This morning, I came into the office in a pretty jolly mood: feeling sure about the men in my life, feeling good about the upcoming job interview, looking forward to going home and seeing Mum and D. In fact, I was feeling so good I was oblivious to the tension in the air.
I’d only been at my desk for about an hour when Boobs asked me to come to the conference room. I happily put down what I was doing and followed her to the back. Goatee, NFEditor and a man I’ve never seen before were waiting for me. Boobs shut the door and asked me to take a seat. My upbeat mood dissolved.
Everyone else sat down, but Goatee hovered by the door. The man introduced himself as the Director of [London Home Office], and here’s the speech he made:
I would like to thank you on behalf of [London Office] and MNM for all your hard work over the last several months, and we wish you the best in your future endeavours. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say that your services will no longer be needed. We’d like to ask you to clear your desk of any personal belongings and vacate the building.
Then the man stood up and motioned to the door.
I couldn’t figure it out. It sounded like I was being made redundant, but, of course, I’m not paid. So, I couldn’t possibly be made redundant. Maybe he was confused? Maybe he had the wrong person? I said there must be some sort of mistake. I was ‘the intern’. I was here on a voluntary basis.
The man continued to stand and said, ‘Yes. I realise that, but your services will no longer be needed. Now, if I can ask you to please…’
I looked at Goatee. I needed some sign of what was going on. He looked angry, and I was afraid he was mad at me, but I didn’t know what I did. I said to the man, ‘But I’ve only got another week. I may as well stay to the end.’
The man got very stern, and said again, ‘Your services will no longer be needed. If you could please…’
I was so confused. ‘Am I being sacked?’ I asked. I looked at Goatee again for help. Goatee muttered under his breath, ‘This isn’t right.’
I asked what they were talking about, and finally NFEditor spoke up, ‘Listen luv. You’re sacked. We know what you’ve been doing. Now get out before we call the police.’
Goatee flung open the door and stormed out. Everyone else stood up and Boobs said, ‘Now, now. There’s no need for any of that. There’s just been a few errors, and it’s best you weren’t in the office while we sorted it all out. I’m sure everything will eventually be rectified.’
She came around to the table where I was sitting and I naturally stood up. She put her hand on my shoulder, and lightly guided me out the door. As we walked through the office, she said, ‘Personally, I think this is a non-issue, but it’s best for everyone if we just finished your internship a little early.’
HarryPotter and Intern2 were asking what was going on, and Goatee said again and again that this was ridiculous. I had a few things in my desk: some flats, a pair of tights, some tampons, a bit of make-up. But I was in too much of a daze to collect them. I just got my handbag and my coat, and headed out the door.
It was weird. I walked out that door with a crowd of people behind me, but it didn’t feel like I was going escorted. They felt like my entourage.
Outside, Boobs hugged me. I couldn’t believe it. She hugged me. It was a big stilted and awkward, but a nice gesture all the same. Her boobs pressed against me, and they weren’t hard like I thought they would be. They were squishy and soft. Maybe they’re not fake afterall? Weird. Then she said, ‘I’m sure the investigation will clear everything up. We’ll be in touch.’
‘Of course we’ll be in touch. Especially when the police do her in for theft,’ I spun around and NFEditor was outside. Her nasty little face, and her stringy hair, she was smirking at me, and I wanted to hit her. I wanted to belt her straight in the mouth. But I didn’t need to because Goatee was there, and he got right up in her face. He didn’t say a word; he simply stepped up to her, and glared at her. It was frightening.
Boobs pulled NFEditor away and they went back into the office, and I was left standing outside like I’d been evicted. HarryPotter and Intern2 kept asking what happened, and Goatee put his arm across my shoulder. He suggested that HarryPotter take me home. There was no point in talking about this on the street. HarryPotter drove Intern2 and me to the flat, all the way there asking, ‘What happened?’ and me saying ‘I don’t know.’
We were in the flat for only a moment when Goatee was buzzing to be let in. Intern2 let him in then made us a cuppa. I sat on the sofa with Goatee next to me, our thighs touching. He was holding my hand. HarryPotter paced back and forth, running his hands through his hair incessantly. Neither HarryPotter nor Goatee looked at each other, they both acted like the other wasn’t there.
But what’s really weird, I was more focused on HarryPotter and Goatee being in the same room than I was about being sacked. Maybe it was because I was still kind of confused.
Finally HarryPotter asked what happened, and Goatee explained. He said that they discovered someone was transferring funds from certain authors’ royalties and advances into their own bank accounts. They think it was me because:
- The transfers happened while I was here
- I processed the paperwork
- Under my desk, they found original bank statements to the accounts in which the money was transferred. (Remember when TheMentalist broke in and Intern2 and I cleaned the office. We found those bank statements, and I didn’t have time to go through them so I just shoved them under my desk.)
- I was in charge of the petty cash and credit card (which went missing)
- I was paid £200 for a phoney copywriting invoice (remember my Christmas bonus)
- TheThug turned up claiming that I knicked all his money (NFEditor happily told the Home Office about that)
That’s the situation. Goatee had been quite irate in the office, but he was calm when he outlined everything. He said he only found out this morning, although he knew something was up yesterday.
Oddly, I was quite calm. I don’t know why I didn’t panic, but it all seemed a bit silly and farfetched. Like how did authors not notice that they were having money stolen from them? This was just stupid?
So, while everyone was freaking out around me, I was fairly calm. HarryPotter was pacing, Goatee was stroking my hand, and Intern2 was lounged back in the beanbag flipping through an old copy of Hello! Why was everyone making such a big deal over this? I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s all a mistake.
I asked Goatee what MNM was doing about it, and he said that they were investigating further to see if any more money was missing, then they’d report it to the police. Well that sorted it; I had nothing to worry about. If they really thought I was stealing, they would have called the police by now. So, they’ll just investigate and figure out it’s NFEditor. Sorted. And I said just this.
Then Goatee said MNM hadn’t contacted the Police, because he and Boobs talked them out of it. A compromise was made. Goatee and Boobs talked the Home Office into just sacking me. They asked that Home Office look for more information before contacting the Police.
HarryPotter had stopped pacing and asked, ‘Where was NFEditor when this was going on?’
Goatee didn’t answer because we all knew the role she played in this, so HarryPotter kicked over a dead plant in anger, which just spilled dirt everywhere.
I’d freaked out over Goatee cheating; I’d freaked out at HarryPotter lying; I am continually freaking out about which man I should choose. I’m kind of tired of all this. I don’t feel like freaking out any longer. So I told everyone to calm down. The more MNM digs the more they’ll see that I’m innocent.
I told everyone to go back to the office, and Intern2 said that he wasn’t going back. He may as well quit. He didn’t need the job. He didn’t need the reference, and he certainly didn’t need the embarrassment of having MNM on his CV. HarryPotter and Goatee respectively said they needed to do something, they couldn’t just hang about.But I shooed them away. I didn’t want them in the house. I had to think about my plans. I had to think about my options. I’d been released from MNM a week early.
HarryPotter and Goatee were reluctant to leave, but I finally convenced them that everything was okay. But before Goatee went out the door he pressed a little pill in my hand. It was the same kind of pill that he gave Fringe when Marathon went into the hospital. He said that maybe I should take a nap. ‘This would help my nevers.’ First, what nevers? Two, why the hell does he carry these pills around?
They’ve been gone for about an hour. The whole thing seems surrealistic. As long as everything works out. I’m sure everything will work out. In fact, I might just take my little pill and have a bit of a snooze. I don’t need to sit about all day running everything through my head. So, here’s to the little pill.
…0 days to go.