Elsie walked through the silent, tidy room. “This is his room. He should be here. I’m not wrong. I know it.”
“Maybe he’s been captured or staked.” Hildreth winced at his own insensitivity.
But Elsie didn’t reply. She trailed her finger along the top of his dresser.
“Maybe he couldn’t make it home in time. Maybe he’s hiding out somewhere till nightfall.”
She opened the dresser, one drawer at a time.
She slammed the bottom drawer shut and walked stiffly to the closet.
She opened the closet.
There was nothing inside. Just empty hangers.
“He isn’t coming back.” Her voice was steady and calm.
He walked over to her. “Maybe he doesn’t keep clothes in his closet.”
“The dresser is empty too. He’s gone, Hildreth.”
“Maybe he sleeps in another room. We did pass by a lot of doors.”
“He’s gone. I know it. This is his room and he isn’t coming back. He’s gone. He’s gone. He never even called to say good-bye.” She wrapped her arms around her chest. “I knew it. I’m nothing to him.”
Hildreth hugged her.
Only then did she start to really cry.
And he let her cry.
“Having my fangs pulled out by the roots would be more fun than this.” Ambrose shook his pen a couple of times and tried to write down his blood type. It still didn’t work.
“Arrraaah!” He threw the pen at the furthest wall. “And die!” He grabbed another pen out of the pile and resumed filing out his work questionnaire.
If I were a tree, what kind would I be? Why would I even think about being a tree? Who sits around and thinks “Gee. I wish I were an aspen or an oak”? Stupid. Do I consider myself a Sahara flower or a West African bloom? What? In all reality, WHAT?
That pen’s ink ran out too.
And it joined its fellow pen by the wall.
Fifteen pens and four pencils later, Ambrose turned in his stack of papers to the receptionist.
She beamed at him. “Thank you, sir!”
“Don’t mention it.”
“We’ll go over your paperwork and let you know our decision in about 3-5 business days.”
Ambrose chuckled. “I see. It’ll take you that long to slog through all those papers.”
She giggled. “It is quite a stack.”
“It is, isn’t it? I always feel bad handing it out to people. So many applicants just give up half-way through.”
“It must be a test of one’s patience. No. Endurance.”
She giggled again and he liked the sound of it.
“Do you want to go out with me?”
She stared at him, completely stunned.
“I’ve never had anyone just blurt that sort of thing out at me before.”
“Does that mean you aren’t interested?”
She tapped the stack of papers into a tidy pile. “I didn’t say I wasn’t interested. I’m just surprised. That’s all.”
She laid the papers on the desk. “So, I get off in a couple of hours. Would you mind meeting me at Habanero’s Burger Dude – the one over on the corner of Westings and Hamrich?”
He smiled. “I wouldn’t mind at all.”