Your important meeting is important.
rating: +8+x

You enter an important meeting. The person at the desk is important. You are here for an important matter. The person at the desk thinks you're important. No. They think your wellbeing is important. You are not important.

"Asher. Take a seat."

Asher is not your name. You do not tell them this; neither you nor Asher are important. Only Asher's wellbeing.

"Now, Asher, I've been noticing some reclusive behaviour as of late. Are there any issues with your colleagues that I should know about?"

Your colleagues. The type of people you prefer as a red smear on the wall. The type of people for whom the Geneva Convention should make exceptions. The type of people who think themselves a failure if they have not worsened your day to some degree. You have been inundated with their kind for the past four years. Contrary to comments from your first weeks, you have not gotten used to them.

"You seem a bit quiet. I'm open to conversation if you're struggling in your current environment."

No. The person at the desk is one of them. It thinks itself above them, it is not. It's a wolf: forgiving when isolated, merciless in its pack. It won't help you. It can't.

"Well… that's alright. I know you think your colleagues are nothing more than a distraction, but I think you'll find there's more than that to them. So I was thinking - and you can say no - but, would you like to host the upcoming office Christmas party? I think it'd give you a real opportunity to get to know your co-workers."

The office Christmas party. An unbearable circumstance where various 'smart casual' individuals absentmindedly cradle plastic cups of eggnog for approximately four hours and thirty-seven minutes. The only agreement between you and your colleagues is how rebarbative it is to host. You had to say no. Your 'reclusive' reputation is the only thing keeping you together, and you simply wouldn't be able to handle this level of attention. You open your lips, draw in breath, touch your tongue behind your teeth, and just before a definitive "No" comes out, you notice a timetable on the back wall. Written in black texta is an Asher assigned to host the office Christmas party. Asher will be hosting this year's Christmas party.

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