Home > The Bachelor Society Duet

The Bachelor Society Duet
Author: Sara Ney

1

 

 

Brooks

 

 

“Eeny, meeny, miney, mo…”

I knock one of the tiny model cardboard houses off the development community layout I’ve been working on. Flick it with my forefinger until it flies off the board and onto the floor, landing in a corner with the rest of them.

“Catch a tiger.” Flick goes another one. “By.” Flick. “The.” Flick. “Toe.”

Flick, flick.

Five more fly off the flat board. It’s large, square, an exact replica of a subdivision the architectural firm I work for is developing. Or…proposing. Or…was going to?

I’m not on the project anymore, thank God. I’ve been promoted—fucking promoted!—and moved to the project I’ve been salivating over since I started here. Literal drool comes out the side of my mouth when I talk about it.

I’ve only been at this company for one year; I rose up the ladder quicker than I’d planned, not because of nepotism or favoritism or sleeping my way to the top, but because I’m a great fucking architect.

I’m not just good at my job.

I’m great at it.

I love it.

Dream about it.

Architecture isn’t only what I do for a living. It’s my passion.

I’m not sad to see this development project leave my hands and my office. Now, if the intern, Taylor, would get his ass in here to remove this goddamn model, that would be swell. It’s cluttering up all the space—I may have been promoted, but my office is still small as fuck.

Leaning forward, I hit the button on my phone’s intercom and buzz the front desk. “Hey Taylor, can you come to my office to grab this community model?”

He clicks his tongue. “Will do.”

“Thanks.”

I swivel in my desk chair, plucking a sheet of loose paper from the printer. Fold a piece in half once, twice. Fold down each corner into a triangle, smoothing it down with my nail.

The paper airplane I’ve folded is a crisp, dynamic flying machine. I press it between my thumb and forefinger. Squeeze my left eye shut like I’m a four-year-old, aiming for a spot on the window in my corner office. The spot where I have the small, orange and white basketball hoop suction-cupped. My mom gave it to me as a gift, hoping it would distract me from work during the day, saying I’m too keyed up, but I don’t know what good she thought a toy fucking basketball hoop was going to do for my stress level.

Whatever.

She shouldn’t be spending money she doesn’t have on junk.

Still. I plastered it on my office window anyway—as she intended—when I should have thrown the dumb thing in the garbage.

Waste not, want not…

I squint again, aiming the airplane toward the target, pull it back before launching, and let it fly in a smooth arc.

Instead of hitting the backboard of the hoop, it ricochets off the glass, bounces, and falls to the ground amongst the tiny white houses.

I leave it, a heap in the graveyard of my shitty ideas.

Fuck.

I need inspiration for this new project I’ve been assigned to before my promotion turns into a demotion. Need to prove to my bosses that they didn’t make a mistake when they trusted me with this assignment. It’s a lot of pressure.

I need a fucking drink.

I need to take a piss.

Standing, I grab my cell before exiting my office to hit the restroom at the end of the hall, pushing through the door and unsnapping my jeans. There’s one urinal and one toilet, and the latter is occupied—dammit. The toilet has a stall and is the perfect place to text, unlike my office, which is a veritable fishbowl of repression with its massive glass walls.

After I pee, re-zip my pants, and wash my hands, I pull out my cell, slanting against the cool tile wall for support. Tap out a message to my idiot best friends as I walk back to my office: What time can you meet at The Basement?

Phillip: Yeah

Yeah? What kind of answer is that? I’m looking for a time the bastard can meet for drinks tonight, not whether he can commit or not.

Me: What time, dude?

Blaine isn’t responding, but if Phillip and I are going for drinks, he’s going to have the fear of missing out. No way will he not show.

Phillip: Six.

Fine, six o’clock it is. I’ll be fucking starving by then, but The Basement is the closest pub to my apartment, located in the middle of my neighborhood. It’s convenient, old, filled with tons of character, and in the basement of an ancient building that used to be a national bank, which is pretty fucking cool.

The Basement has appetizers and I can eat more when I get home if I’m still desperate, but actual food would be great. Either I eat or I get drunk on two.

I might have been a member of a fraternity in college, but I’m still a lightweight. Cannot handle my liquor. Have always been that way, always will be.

I return to my office, and just as I’m about to construct another paper airplane, a jaunty little knock sounds at the door; Taylor is rapping his knuckles on the glass wall, eyes trailing to the pile of houses and planes littering my carpet.

“Stressed?” He pushes a pair of black frames up the bridge of his nose.

“Very.” Why lie to the kid? If he wants to be an architect once he graduates, he oughta know it’s not always ribbon cutting ceremonies, fundraisers, networking, and champagne lunches.

It takes actual work.

It takes engineering, long hours, lack of a social life, and countless sleepless nights to meet deadlines.

Taylor? He still has years of hopes and happy hours and bullshit dreams ahead of him.

“I don’t mean to sound bitter, I’m just having a day.”

The smile he gives me is sympathetic. “We all have them.”

I look over at him. “When do you have shitty days?” The guy radiates unicorns and rainbows and happiness.

He considers my question. “I have shitty days when, like, Starbucks gets my order wrong.”

“Get the fuck out of here. That’s not an actual problem.” I laugh, bending to help him retrieve all the pieces of paper discarded on the ground.

“Where should I take this model?”

I blow a strand of dark, hair out of my eyes, mentally noting the need for a haircut, or a trim at the very least. “Conference room B, maybe? I don’t think anyone is using it. Then Daniels can decide what he wants to do with this.” I hand Taylor a stack of teeny houses with three-car garages. “This development is his brainchild, but I don’t think he has space in his office for one more model mockup.”

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