The air was light with laughter and good talk. It was the first time the work friends had gotten together with Sam after he left the office, and everyone seemed to be enjoying him or herself. They talked about old time, old friends, old enemies, and it seemed that no time at all had passed since Sam had said his farewell.
Somewhere during this conversation, Sam asked if anyone had come in to take over his spot, and the spot of Ralph, who had left earlier. That led to yet a new round of conversation and laughter. It seems they were interviewing for Sam’s spot, but for now they had a temporary worker there. They also had a contractor come in to teach some classes.
The contractor was familiar to them all. It was Audra, who had once been with the department, but had left — twice — after claiming she could not juggle both work and home responsibilities. Audra had come back often to the department, mostly due to her status as FOS. For those not in the know, that means Friend of Sarah. Audra and Sarah had developed a fast friendship during Sarah’s early years with the department, and whenever someone was needed to fill in, Sarah suggested Audra get the call. As everyone knew to translate Sarah’s ‘suggestions’ into ‘mandates’, Audra would get the call.
That was a good thing as well, as Audra would not be called by anyone on their own accord, for one simple reason. Audra was a knife thrower, and her primary targets were her co-workers’ backs. There was very little that Audra wasn’t willing to do in order to get what she wanted. She was frequently in Sarah’s office gossiping about the latest tidbit she heard in the department, or hurling a knife in the back of someone who supposedly ‘offended’ her, or was making her do some work she didn’t want to do. Her targets were many and numerous, and she implanted knives with the skill of an assassin.
Someone at the table volunteered that Audra had added a new trick to her portfolio. It seems, before one of the managers came in for the day, Audra would request that her office be opened so Audra could sit there. Why she did this caused the table to toss around some speculations. Was it because she was looking to snoop around for something to run to Sarah about? Was it that she thought herself too good to sit with the rest of the employees? Was she doing something that she didn’t want anyone else to see? The sad thing is that nobody, including the manager, would really know, as they could not ask Audra without her starting to sharpen the latest blade and aim for that person’s back. Heaven forbid they ask Audra not to sit in the office. The extra large knife would be unsheathed for that one.
The conversation at the table drifted to more pleasant things, but there seemed to be some seriousness in one question that a few people asked Sam. Were there any openings at his new place of employment? Sam smiled, and thought that, at least for now, he was able to put away the Kevlar vest, as he didn’t have to worry about anything Audra did anymore.