It’s only for a couple of days. We’ll be fine. That’s what I keep telling myself over and over as I wave goodbye and go into Osbourne Corp. It’s Wednesday morning. I can make it to Saturday. A little distance might do us some good.

Before I enter the elevator, my phone buzzes, and I take it out of my bag to see a text.

Oz: I’ll email you today, in case you can’t keep checking your phone at your desk.

I scan my pass at the elevator, sending back a bunch of kisses to Oz. I smile at how silly we are being, but life is short, so why not?

I’ve come to realize that things in life aren’t guaranteed, and I’ve had to work for all that I’ve gotten. But what’s the point if there’s no one to share it with? I’ve got Paige, who is like a sister to me. But having someone like Oz is different. Everything could be gone tomorrow, so I want to live in the moment and enjoy what I’ve got. And if that means letting myself fall for a guy I hardly know, then so be it. We’ll get to know each other as time goes on. And along the way, I want to have fun together.

I’m confident and sure of myself as I make my way to my desk and get ready for the day.

Not long after I arrive, Skyler comes in.

“Good morning,” I offer as she passes by my desk to her own, but she makes a sound like a grunt.

Thinking maybe she’s having a bad morning, I go back to my stack of paperwork and get started. After about fifteen minutes, I hear Eric at his desk. Late again, as usual. He says hello over his cubicle wall, and Skyler says, “Good morning,” to him over the top of my head. What the hell? She doesn’t even like Eric. “Morning,” I say, and go back to what I was doing. Maybe she needed a few minutes to wake up.

I hear a ping on my computer and look up to see a new email.


Subject: Testing…

Hey, baby

Just seeing if this works okay. I’m at the airport waiting on the tarmac to take off, but I’ll have in-flight Wi-Fi all the way to London. I hope your day goes well and you have something tasty for lunch. Can you do me a favor and eat in the cafeteria again today? I know you mentioned the food isn’t great, but I worry about you when I’m not there. If you don’t want to go down there, I can have something delivered to your desk again. Be as safe as possible while you’re out of my arm’s reach. I’d go crazy thinking something might happen to you while I’m away. I’ll send you another email this afternoon once we are in flight and I’ve taken care of some business.

PS I left a package for you with your doorman. I thought since I stole your shirt, I’d give you one of mine to sleep in while I’m away.

Love, Oz

Giddy excitement runs through me while reading his email, and then gigantic butterflies as I see how he signs it. Love. He can’t mean he loves me. Right? It’s only been a few days. You can’t be in love with someone that fast. Maybe he means it like a term of endearment. You know, when you call someone “love.” Like a pet name. That’s got to be what he meant.

As I look at it for far too long, I finally decide to shake it off. Live in the moment, right? Isn’t that what I was telling myself to do?

From: MSullivan@OsbourneCorp.Net

Subject: RE: Testing

Hello to you! I like the email address. Did you come up with that?

Glad you made it to the airport safe. Now I need you to make it safe to London, and then safely back to me.

I’ll grab something in the cafeteria today if it will make you happy.

I’ve never been to London. Are you going to bring me back a surprise?

xoxo, Mallory

I read over my email and debate changing the end of it to “love,” but then hit Send. I’m sure I’ll get another one from him at some point today, so I get back to work.

After about an hour of correcting Eric’s forms, I gather them up to hand off to Skyler. Walking around the wall that divides our cubicle, I hope she’s in a better mood.

“Here’s the next round,” I say, holding them out.

“Put them on the table.”

She doesn’t look up from her desk as she says it. She barely even acknowledges me. I put them down, but think maybe I should try again to engage her. We’ve only worked together a few days, but this isn’t like her.

“Cute shoes. Those must be so hard to walk in all day,” I say, looking at her black platform stilettos.