Aside

Ch 2; pg3

She took a deep breath and stepped into the huge building. Mellvin followed, as was becoming the usual.  The inside was just as ornate as the outside, maybe even more so.  The tiles they stepped on were quartz, inlaid with intricate marble designs. The lobby echoed as they walked toward the main elevator.  Near the elevator door was a sign listing all of the offices that occupied the twenty-one levels of the building.  Third Floor: Halberd Industries, that was it. They stepped into the elevator and pulled the lever to number three. It was a relatively old building, for a high-rise, built at least twenty years ago, and Brit could hear the squeaking of the pulley system and the crunching of the mechanical crank that pulled them upward. Finally the doors opened to reveal a bustling office with a center reception desk and workers that could be seen typing enthusiastically, drawing plans or generally carting files back and forth from different cubicles in the background. This whole time Mellvin was, for once, speechless. Brit walked toward the receptionist, a young man with glasses and slender fingers typing away while taking messages from a headset with large earphones that seemed to almost swallow the sides of his head.

“Hi,” she said, “I..uh, we are new hires?” she was very nervous so her statement ended up sounding  a little unsure.

Without even looking up the receptionist scoffed just slightly before commanding, “Name?”

“Uh, Brittany G-” before she could even say her last name the receptionist interrupted her.

“Got it, and the other one?”

“My name is Mellvin!” he said finally stepping up, “Wow, you don’t waste time around here, do you?”

His comment was met with silence until the receptionist had finished printing off documents and fishing out keys from a drawer in the desk.

“These are your new hire forms and keys to your rooms. You may stay in the twenty and twenty-first floor dormitories until you find suitable housing in the city.  Fill these out and bring them back here at 2pm today. Someone will be waiting here to take you to your assigned cubicle and get you started.” he said with an ever so slight roll of the eyeballs before shooing them away and going back to his typing. Brit and Mellvin continued upward to drop their things off in their respective rooms.

“Which floor?” Mellvin asked cheerfully. Brit looked at the little tag that was hanging off of her key.

“Twenty-one.” she said.

“Me too!” his response filled her with a strange combination of a cringe and happiness. “What if we’re neighbors?” Mellvin grabbed her key right out of her hand to take a look at what room she was assigned in. She began to think that she was getting used to him and settled into a reluctant acceptance of their friendship upon the realization that she didn’t really know anyone else within a hundred mile radius of the city. She began to think that maybe she was actually lucky that she happened to sit across from such a persistent annoyance on the train.

The door of the elevator opened onto the twenty-first floor as Mellvin was saying, “Guess we’ll just have to find them and see!” He returned her key and they started walking down the hallway, scanning doors for numbers. “This is it!” Mellvin said, just a little too loud and very triumphant. A few steps later Brit found her room as well, diagonally across from Mellvin’s.

“We are neighbors,” she said.  He smiled at the small sign that she was perhaps, happy to have met him, and they entered their rooms for the first time.

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