El garrafón

Hoy por segunda vez en la vida puse el garrafón. Antes de la primera, francamente no sabía que podía. Siempre he sido debilucha físicamente. Sólo cargar el garrafón me dejaba temblorosa y me daba dolor en los conejitos al día siguiente. Además de que afortunadamente en mi casa el agua siempre ha sido potable, así que nada más bebo agua de garrafón en la oficina.

En esta oficina me topé con que seguido se queda sin garrafón la máquina. Ha habido días en que nadie bebe agua durante toda la jornada porque nadie quiere ponerlo. Las mujeres salen con que “ya no hay caballeros” y que los hombres deberían ponerlo. Los hombres huyen de esa responsabilidad por simple flojera, a menos que alguien les insulte “la hombría”, en cuyo caso dicen “yo siempre lo cambio” (cosa que no es cierto, porque todos lo dicen).

La mayoría de estas mujeres están convencidas de que se necesita tener testículos para cargar un garrafón y ponerlo. Están seguras de que no tienen la fuerza física para hacerlo. Yo también lo estaba, pero suena más extraño viniendo de mujeres que son madres y han cargado a sus hijos de hasta más de veinte kilos cuando se quedan dormidos en el carro y los tienen que llevar a la cama. Tal vez es un prejuicio que tengo, que las mamás son más fuertes, y es igual que el que ellas tienen de que las mujeres somos más débiles. Además, las dos o tres mujeres que saben que sí pueden poner el garrafón salen con el “que lo hagan ellos, para eso están los hombres, no me corresponde.”

Lo cierto es que si nunca intentas poner el garrafón, no vas a saber si puedes o no ponerlo. Sí quedé temblorosa (sí soy débil físicamente), pero lo puse y tuve agua caliente para mi café y agua fresca para beber el resto del día. Y así como tú dices “no me corresponde”, lo están diciendo todos los demás. Seas hombre, mujer o quimera, si vas por agua y no hay garrafón, ¿qué te cuesta ponerlo?

En el inicio, todo es confuso

He estado leyendo un blog de consejos. El más importante es documentar, documentar, documentar.

Esta oficina tiene tantos chismes de tantas personas, que es imposible saber en quién confiar, pero posiblemente la respuesta sea: en nadie. Así que decidí documentar. Nadie tiene nombre de color, obviamente.

Ayer estuve indispuesta. Mi jefa Coral, que es la Jefa2 me permitió ir al médico pero con la oportunidad de quedarme en casa a descansar. Oí a mi Jefa3, Marrón, burlarse de lo mal que yo me sentía. No me sentí cómoda tomando el día, así que regresé a la oficina y me encontré con que un documento que debía ser presentado ayer hubiera sido ignorado si yo no hubiera regresado. Simples accidentes oficiniles. Pero lo de que me sentí mal y me fui al médico se regó como pólvora. Hubo quienes parecían genuinamente preocupados, hubo quienes parecían solamente querer el chisme y hubo quienes aprovecharon la plática para contarme “secretos.”

Celeste, que es amiga de Jefa1 (Púrpura, que ha estado fuera de la oficina como dos meses) me llamó a su oficina, me dijo que Púrpura le había preguntado por mí y le había dicho que estuviera al pendiente de mí. Celeste le dijo que Coral no me permite acercarme a ella, y tiene algo de razón. Celeste no parece ser muy eficiente para realizar su trabajo y está la mayoría del tiempo tratando de que lo hagan otras personas. No tiene jerarquía sobre mí, pero invocando su amistad con Púrpura, intentó echarme sus responsabilidades hace un par de meses. Coral me prohibió ayudarla desde entonces, y lo que he intentado hacer es guiarla con el software. Celeste intenta que yo haga toda su chamba en vez de solamente decirle cómo manejar el software.

Rosa me preguntó qué fue del documento. Le dije que lo presentó Mostaza. Me dijo que ella no confía en Mostaza, que tiene 15 años de trabajar con él y no le tiene nada de confianza. Rosa solía encargarse de entregar cheques y recibos de nómina y ahora Celeste le quitó la responsabilidad y se la pasó a Mostaza. Rosa además sale de la oficia con frecuencia y Púrpura, que es la mera jefa de todos, ya se dio cuenta y no parece agradarle. Rosa culpa a Celeste del hecho de que Púrpura esté molesta con sus ausencias. Igualmente cree que Celeste no la considera confiable y cree que por eso le quitaron lo de las nóminas. Además me dijo que Siena es la persona menos confiable de toda la oficina (esto me lo dijo sin que yo le diera pie, de la nada). Me contó que Coral también le prohibió a Siena el ayudarle a Celeste y que Siena inmediatamente le dijo a Celeste, para poder negarse a ayudarle con mayor libertad.

Además Bermellón me contó que Marrón tiene entre sus objetivos lograr que yo renuncie o que me despidan. No sé si Bermellón está siendo honesta o porqué Marrón me quiere fuera de aquí, si soy buen elemento.

Y así empiezan las Crónicas de una Oficina Normal.

Inseguros Anónimos

“Alguien llega y te empieza a tratar bien y te da mucho miedo y quieres correr.- Y empiezas a pensar que no puede ser posible, que no es normal que alguien sea tan bueno contigo y te preguntas cuándo se va a joder todo.- Y te aterra que un día se va a despertar y no te querrá más y te dejará por alguien mejor.”

No lo escribí yo, pero expresa una idea que siempre me ha plagado. Mi nombre es ___ y soy una persona insegura. Dudo de mis capacidades, de mis talentos, de mi atractivo. Dudo que alguien pueda sentir cualquier cosa sublime respecto a mí, porque me percibo demasiado mundana. Dudo de las buenas intenciones porque no creo merecer ser tratada con bondad.

Durante años asistí a terapias y cursos con la idea de que mágicamente iba a conseguir autoestima. Me creí esa de que los hábitos se forman en 21 días, pero una vez pasados me di cuenta de que los hábitos sólo se mantienen si se sigue uno esforzando. Para mí, tener autoestima y sentirme bien, es todavía un esfuerzo. Y no puedo dejar de pensar en la posibilidad de que me pase de la raya. De convertirme en alguien arrogante y presumida, e incluso ya me siento así solo por estar escribiendo estas palabras con la idea de que alguien me considerará suficientemente importante para leerme.

Sigo en la búsqueda del balance. Le puse nombre a esa voz interna que me dice que no valgo la pena, y contraté otra voz interna para que fuera mi abogada contra ese monstruo. La abogada no tiene todavía permiso de hablar con los de afuera, pero es terca y a veces me hace decir en voz alta cosas como “me veo bien guapa,” “soy bastante lista,” “merezco un aumento.” Pero generalmente está ocupada defendiéndome del monstruo. Es un trabajo pesado.

Me considero muy afortunada de haber tenido a mi alcance terapias y cursos que me han dado herramientas para funcionar como adulto responsable, pero ¿cuántas personas en este país tienen esa oportunidad? De entre mis cientos de conocidos, sé de unos 5 o 10 que han ido a terapias psicológicas. De los demás, o no tienen dinero para eso o piensan que es un desperdicio y que uno nomás tiene que “amarrarse los huevos y darle para adelante.”

Pero para quienes no es suficiente “darle para adelante” ya sea porque no sabemos para dónde es ese adelante, o porque queremos encontrarle otro sentido a la vida, o simplemente porque traemos cargando algo que muy apenas nos permite mantenernos a flote, me gustaría crear algo así como un grupo de apoyo, similar al de alcohólicos anónimos. Un grupo en el que nos demos ánimos, nos demos herramientas, nos echemos porras.

¿Sobres o qué?

 

Perra

Estoy jugando un juego de los llamados “otome” que se llama Mensajero Místico (pero en inglés).

Es un RPG en el que el juego es supuestamente una app para “platicar con chicos lindos” y terminas siendo privadx de tu libertad en un departamento al que entraste buscando al dueño de un celular, y ahora tienes que convencer a gente importante de que vaya a una fiesta… Es todo totalmente frívolo.

Pero luego empiezas a conocer la historia de los personajes y descubres maltratos, abuso, y un montón de cosas deprimentes. Y parte del juego es que tienes que “enamorar” a uno de los personajes (a menos que sea la chica, porque tú eres chica y eso es… malo, supongo. A ella solamente le ofreces tu apoyo y amistad).

Me he divertido horrores con el juego. Es estúpido y divertido y hay intriga, romance y aventuras, y no tienes que jugarlo continuamente para avanzar. Te roba de 5 a 10 minutos cada 3 o 4 horas.

Me metí a grupos de facebook del juego y no pude evitar notar el odio que existe entre los jugadores hacia los personajes femeninos.

Una de ellas, la única cuya historia he visto, es manipuladora, mentirosa, y está acostumbrada a que siempre se haga su voluntad porque tiene pechos naturales D, y mucho dinero y fama. Hay un momento en que le dice al “guapo” que cómo es posible que se resista a sus pechos y que seguramente es homosexual. Mas adelante, y porque el “guapo” no cedió, lo acusa falsamente de abuso sexual ante los medios (el “guapo” es actor). Esto sucede solamente si en tu juego estás “enamorando” a ese personaje.

Y le dije perra. Y la odié y me dieron ganas de pegarle. Y me quedé pensando en la cantidad de mujeres que fueron educadas de esa manera. Para usar su físico como tipo de cambio, para insultar a quien no quiere aprovecharlo, para manipular, mentir y controlar a todxs a su alrededor.

A pesar de que estas mujeres tienen todas una historia, y tienen (como todos) derecho a la redención y a vivir su vida como les plazca, les juzgo. Les digo perra. Les culpo de la mala fama que nos han creado al resto de las mujeres. Les atacaba (hoy día me alejo) pensando que por causa de ellas una mujer decidida, firme y ambiciosa es siempre catalogada como ese otro tipo. Mucho más que un hombre decidido, firme y ambicioso. Mucho más que un hombre manipulador, mentiroso y controlador. Una mujer ambiciosa es siempre pensada como una perra.

Y ¿cómo acabamos con ese estereotipo?

¿Cómo podemos convencer al mundo de que NO, una mujer ambiciosa no es necesariamente una perra? ¿Cómo les digo a las chicas que creen que tienen que mentir y manipular, que no es necesario, que hay otro camino?

No tengo idea. Lo intenté en una ocasión. La chica me dijo “el mundo no es así.”

Por lo pronto evito atacarlas. A menos que sean un personaje ficticio.

 

Foodie Goodies

Marla could not stop smiling.

It wasn’t entirely appropriate when a distraught woman came into the station asking for help from the Ghostbusters. But oh well. They had gone with her and Marla was left alone to get lost in the memories of the night before.

After the best first kiss ever, Marla hadn’t been able to open her eyes for a moment. When she finally looked at Holtzmann, she could only gaze at her lips, they were a little plumper and red from all the roughing, and there was a faint trace of lipstick smeared all over the place. Holtzmann smiled a little and kissed her again, except this time it was that romantic kiss that Marla had wanted. Slow and gentle, with a hand that started on her cheek and then sank into her hair and held her in place, and the other hand around her waist, pulling her close.

Thinking back, Marla got lost in the memory of those sensations.

I try to rationalize that we are in the lab, which is a dangerous place for sexdoing which is after all the only thing I can actually think about at the moment. I whimper a little when she lightly strokes the special spot that unites neck and shoulder, because it’s a huge erogenous zone for me and she notices and does it again, which gives me shivers and makes me remember without minding that I’m not even wearing a bra.

She stops, because of course she can stop. She surely doesn’t like me as much as I like her. I pull myself together. Of course she likes me; she’s kissing the life out of me.

“We should go to the back room… unless you don’t want to go to the back room and I’m just assuming things,” her voice is even thicker than usual and it sounds that much more erotic to me. Yes. She likes me.

“The things are not assumed.” I manage to choke out. I thought I knew the whole building. “There’s a back room?”

“I sleep there sometimes. Cozy place,” she says while pulling me towards the north corner of the building, near the stairs to the roof. She skips a little and I giggle. “Not at all uncomfortable,” I make out the door under the stairs. “It does need some sorting out.” She opens the door.

The cupboard under the stairs. I had never noticed the door before. Thankfully it’s bigger than Harry Potter’s. There’s what looks like a Japanese futon, a very warm looking bedspread in a heap over it, and a stuffed gorilla in the pillow place, with a little tray on the side of it that carries a Rubik cube, a kindle, a portable video game, a lamp and a bottle of water. There’s Christmas lights on the slanted part of the wall that carry the stairs, in the shape of a spiral. The place does look cozy as hell. I could live there. I feel a rush of warmth towards this woman. She lights up the Christmas lights, pulls me inside the cupboard and closes the door behind me.

I suddenly lose all my nerve. We have known each other only a few weeks, I didn’t even shave my legs, and I’m wearing my ugliest pajamas, a very old hoodie and the laundry day panties, besides I just can’t afford to fall in love right now. She seems to shy up too. We look at each other, laugh a little and sit down cross-legged on the futon with our backs to the wall. It’s cold. I remember that I’m bra-less and cross my hands over my chest.

“So… you sleep here?” I ask, while she covers our legs with the bedspread.

“Sometimes it’s too late to go home, so I fixed this up.” She seems quite proud of herself.

“You turned it into a beautiful place,” she looks at me as if I’m kidding her. “Really! I love a small, quiet place. Makes me feel safe.” She smiles. That smile that always makes me lose my train of thought.

“Thanks… You are doing the staring thing again,” she tells me. I feel my cheeks heating up and look away. “No, do it. I like it. You always look away and I don’t get the chance to stare back and creep you out.” I giggle.

“You want to creep me out?”

“It’s a gift. But I never get the chance to do it to you, always either too busy or avoiding me. Or both.”

“I’m sorry. I do that, the avoiding thing. It’s just…” I can’t decide what to say.

“I get it. Well, I get it now that you kissed me back and came with me to the back room, right? Right?” She winks at me. I instantly blush and start to look down, but instead look at her directly in the eyes. She sits upright and stares back. I want to keep a straight face and win the staring contest, but it’s impossible. I start smiling and she responds by crossing her eyes.

I chuckle. “That’s not fair!” I tell her. “You made me laugh!”

“Well, you smiled first!”

“That’s what happens if I don’t look away! I get all gooey inside and smile…” I stop myself because I feel I’ve said too much. She raises one eyebrow and gives me a lopsided grin.

“Whaaaaaat… Gooey where?” she asks, making a funny voice and poking briefly my ribs. I am embarrassed about the possible double entendre. I think about explaining that I meant ‘corny’ instead of the other thing, but that smile is my undoing, her eyes are twinkling and her cheeks are a little red. I remember how hot and bothered I was just a moment ago. I lean over and start a kiss, which she responds enthusiastically for a moment, a very brief moment.

“Just to clarify quickly, are you giving me your consent?” I frown a little. Nobody had asked me that. Ever. Seemed unnecessary.

“Yes,” I finally answer when I see her widen her eyes in apparent fear.

“Consent to do all the Things?” she asks, puzzling me beyond belief. What could that mean? Is she going to tie me up or beat me or something worse? I decide to agree, but I’m not an idiot. I’m informed about that kind of stuff.

“All the Things,” I answer nodding, and after she lets out a small breath, I continue, “But my safe word is Dakota, just in case,” that seems to surprise her, cause she looks at me as she usually looks at Kevin when he does something smart. “What’s yours?” I ask.

“Wow. Erm… It’s Hollywood.”

We have a small moment of agreement. I’m sort of scared that she might indeed mean S&M, but at least I could stop her if I don’t like it. She awkwardly takes her lab coat off without standing up while I duck to avoid injury. Then she cracks her head, stretches her arms, and pops her knuckles, to my bewilderment. I start to lean back onto my arms when gets on all fours and kisses me again, a strong and heavy kiss, and as I feel her push my hoodie down my arms with one hand so it rests on my elbows, I slowly stretch my legs on the futon, which drives her to kneeling over one of them, all the while kissing me fiercely.

I then get rid of my hoodie completely and rest on my elbows, she’s on all fours over me, and breaks the kiss to get rid of the bedspread which has tangled between us, frowning at it and then smiling at me. I feel a little tickle on my arm and thinking of bugs I turn sharply to thankfully only find her stuffed gorilla there. It’s wearing an MIT shirt.  I wonder briefly if it was a gift from a partner and decide to place it on the tray, with its back to us. She turns it the other way.

“He likes to watch the shenanigans,” she tells me friskyly, and I start to laugh but she interrupts me with another kiss, this time I decide to lay down on the futon, pulling her slowly so we rest side by side, entwining our legs, my right arm trapped between our stomachs and my left holding her close, our breasts pressed together and my mind spinning out of control.

The phone gave a deafening ring. Marla was startled out of her memories.

“Yes? No, I mean… Ghostbusters, how may I help you?” she managed to utter, voice a little croaky. It was Abby.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

“Yes! Yes, of course. I’m sorry, I was just distracted. Are you guys alright?” Marla was still breathing heavily.

“Yeah, it went well. We are bringing Foodie Goodies, want some?”

“Yes, please, the bolognesa sandwich,” that meant they were coming back quite soon, that restaurant was only two blocks away. Holtzmann had asked her the night before, giggling, to hide what happened between them. Marla thought it was for some sort of joke, so she agreed without question. She braced herself to see Holtzmann and act as if nothing had happened. Unconsciously singing and with a big smile, she went to get the table ready.

Project Holtzwell

A few weeks had passed and they had had a lot of work. It was after midnight on a Tuesday. Abby had gone home to write her new book, Patty had a date and had taken a very reluctant Erin with her to a blind one.

Holtzmann’s eyes were watering a bit, but she had wanted to finish the shotgun. Too many ghosts, and too many updates and repairs to their current equipment, along with the perfecting of the containment unit had resulted in a slow development of the shotgun. It should work like the grenades, but with better aim and not deflectable. Even though the impact of the grenades only hurt the ghosts, the mist was all but healthy, and it had an awful smell.

She took off her goggles, yawned and stretched, considering taking a nap. The past weeks had been fun. Lots of cases, lots of spirits for study, great food, funding for everything, a new family… and then there was Project Holtzwell as she had decided to call her attempts to get into Miss Halliwell’s pants.

The receptionist had been a lot less nervous around her lately. Holtzmann had wanted to flirt with her, make her blush, but they both were too busy. And the girl seemed to be more talkative in her presence now, and even had stopped staring. Holtzmann didn’t like that. She liked the stares.

She took her shoes off and walked barefooted towards the switch by the door, only then noticing that the lights from downstairs were on too. Could only be Marla. The other had said their goodbyes. But why was she there past midnight? She had never been alone with the pretty brunette, and making up her mind, she marched over to the intercom, giggling.

“Marla, could you come up a bit?” she said in her most bossy voice.

She heard a crash from downstairs. It made her chuckle. After a bit, a response was heard, “Sure, be right there.”

Holtzmann felt the tingles again and decided that although flirting was fun and she didn’t get to do much of it, this was an opportunity. She could finally do something about Project Holtzwell.  She didn’t quite know what yet, but something. She turned off the main light and stood by the lamp on her work table, without turning it on.

“Hello?” Marla was in the threshold, seemingly reluctant to get into the workshop. She was for some reason wearing red tartan pajamas. Weird girl. Turning the lamp on, Holtzmann grinned her wickedest grin. “Hi there. Like the pajamas. How come you are here so late?” she asked.

“Oh, sorry” said Marla, walking in, all subordinated and business like and hiding behind Holtzmann’s work table “I asked Abby if I could stay here today because the radiator at my apartment broke. And the manager can’t fix it till Thursday… I thought you all guys left. Do you mind? Should I leave or something?”

It was indeed very cold outside. Marla had always dressed very sharply, like a secretary, but she definitively looked better in pajamas. Holtzmann walked around the table to her. Marla almost jumped out of the way but was stopped by a box on the floor.  She seemed nervous again which made Holtzmann wonder briefly if it was out of fear. They were completely alone. “A broken something, eh. Can I take a look at it?” said Holtzmann, getting as close as she could without actually touching her. Marla was looking down at the tools on the table, and was blushing as she used to, which encouraged Holtzmann.

“You want to go fix my radiator?” she asked meekly, almost inaudible. She licked her lips. Fixing stuff and cute brunettes were Holtzmann’s favorite things.

“I would have to bring my tools and maybe stay over if it’s too broken. Or I could offer you my apartment if I can’t fix it. I have a comfy couch. Fine, a comfy bean bag. Fine, it has no lumbar support whatsoever. So, what do you say?”

Marla was frozen on the spot. She had been able to handle her crush the past weeks, but they had never been alone before. She had been told by Abby that Holtzmann had something to do tonight, and thought she had left with the others when Marla went to get dinner. But she stayed. Working quietly, too quietly, because Marla hadn’t notice her. And now she was too close, looking her in the eye, talking nonstop and… did she just offer to take her to her apartment? Marla decided to stop being a freaking teen.

“Do you want to go out with me?” she blurted out, interrupting.

Holtzmann was apparently and for the first time since she knew her, taken aback. She blinked twice and scrunched her nose. But she seemed to recover quite quickly. “Go out like on a date?”

Holtzmann hadn’t move. She smelled of fresh peaches and gasoline and something metal. “That would be the general idea,” answered Marla, nodding but at the same time losing nerve. She looked away. Yes or no she could handle, but a Q&A session? Yikes.

“Why do people go on dates?” asked Holtzmann, now looking down at Marla’s lips.

“Erm… What?”

“Fancy meal, fancy entertainment of some sort… why do people do it?”

“Erm… to get to… know… the other person?” Marla took notice of how she was starting to sound breathless. There was absolutely no space between their bodies now, but they were not pressed together. It was somehow arousing.

“Well, you already know me. Why would you want to go on a date with me? I’m not the fancy type” Holtzmann sounded like her usual self. Chipper and a little too fast.

Marla summoned what was left of her wits. “There are other things that happen on dates.”

“What kinda things?” asked Holtzmann playfully, still not moving away.

“There’s usually a kiss at the end,” uttered Marla. Why were they still talking, she asked herself, still unable to make a move.

“So you want to kiss me?” said Holtzmann, as if she wasn’t at all affected by anything, so Marla took a deep breath and prattled on.

“I totally want to. Have you seen you? My strategy was to ask you out and do it at the end of the date, but you didn’t say yes, which makes me do my best not to kiss you, even though you are so close and so freaking alluring, but at least you managed to distract me with questions.” Marla had to shut up to take a breath.

“So you -do- want to kiss me?” Holtzmann smiled. For a moment, Marla had to pause. She had a beautiful smile.

“Fine. Yes. And I’m gonna.” Marla gave Holtzmann two seconds to push her away and when it didn’t happen, she decided to kiss her boss, the mad scientist. She had fantasized about this for weeks, and had always wanted it to be a slow, tender, romantic kiss. She closed the gap between them and gently caressed Holtzmann’s lips with hers, trying to live her fantasy, but managed to do that for just a brief moment. Holtzmann made a noise of pleasure that broke Marla’s resolution, and unable to contain herself, she pulled Holtzmann as close as she could, furiously kissing her, sucking at her lips, opening them with her own, and was about to break it and apologize when Holtzmann bit her lower lip and made Marla utterly lose it.

“So, we kissed,” said Holtzmann to Abby the next afternoon, after lunch, looking down at her fourth shotgun.

“What!?” Abby’s outburst made the others look in their direction.

“We kissed,” answered Holtzmann.

“And you waited all day to tell me?” somehow, Abby seemed annoyed.

“Holtzy sorry,” she said in the baby voice Abby hated. Erin and Patty were with them now.

“But how? When?” asked Erin.

“We had lunch together all of us! You two didn’t act any different!” exclaimed Patty.

“Yeah, we agreed to do that, it was worth the shock, don’t you think? We didn’t agree to shock you, we agreed to hide it,” answered Holtzmann.

“You are making a bang up job of hiding it,” said Abby.

“She won’t mind, I bet, we didn’t agree too strongly, actually I asked her to do it, for the shock, but we can always ask her about this” said Holtzmann, walking over to the intercom. “Marla, do you mind that I told them?” she asked, pressing the button.

Abby shrugged. Patty face-palmed.

“Erm. No. It’s ok, just please don’t tell the things,” came the voice from the intercom.

“I wont,” said Holtzmann, smiling fondly.

“Jillian… Hollywood. Please don’t tell the things,” Marla’s voice was very final.

“Right. I wont,” answered Holtzmann, while the others looked at each other.

“The things?” asked Patty.

“There’s things,” said Holtzmann, winking at her and smiling again.

“Things,” repeated Abby and Erin together while Patty guffawed.

“Wait, so now you two are dating?” asked Erin.

“I’m dating the receptionist,” answered Holtzmann, nodding.

“That’s accurate, at least,” said Abby. “What does -Hollywood- mean?”

“That’s a tale for another time, children,” said Holtzmann, then whispered: “It’s part of the things I’m not supposed to say,” then in a normal voice, she added, “Back to work,” and grabbed a screwdriver. They didn’t ask anything else for the time being. Project Holtzwell, baby!

Jillian

 

 

Before Abby could text back, the new receptionist called via the intercom, causing Abby to drop her phone, startled. Holtzmann laughed… speak of the devil, they say! She decided to do the staring thing at Abby while she mumbled about weirdos, knowing well enough that Abby didn’t get the tingles from her.

“Just a bit!,” Abby answered pressing the blue little button of the intercom and started downstairs, to check Marla’s findings, but backtracked to whisper “This is not over,” in Holtzmann’s face.

Erin was cute, yeah. But she was not interested and although that could be both a challenge and a nuisance, at this moment, when the pretty and weird receptionist was paying her so much attention, Holtzmann thought the Erin thing to be a total drag.

But this was not the time to be torn between two lovers. Clearly Marla called to say there was a case. She was very efficient and only bothered them in quiet times when she found a case online that didn’t look too fake, after she went through all the youtube comments, the emails, the message board, and the forums she could manage; and she could manage quite a bit. The ley lines had been left a little open, and they had a lot of work, but there were many prank calls either way. Prank calls that made them lose time and resources and that Kevin fell for most often than not. They did miss him and his antics, but he was better off as an actor, and they were better off with an efficient receptionist.

Still, if there was indeed a case, Holtzmann had to gear up. She felt the adrenaline rush building already. No time for tingling!

It had been over two hours since the Ghostbusters left Headquarters. Marla was taking a break from all the reading by cleaning up the half drunken cups of coffee and almost finished bagels that the girls had left behind. She usually didn’t come up here, only to bring and pick up coffee and food. She hoped the Ghostbusters were alright and that the poltergeist was real but not too dangerous. She hated sending them on a goose chase.

When she went to pick up Holtzmann’s cup, she noticed not only the coffee cup and a bagel wrapper, but a half-eaten can of pringles and a piece of a muffin too. The woman had an appetite and was maddeningly messy and odd and gorgeous and it was almost impossible for Marla not to stare at her. It didn’t help that she was always up in the lab and Marla was always down at the reception desk, making it so that any contact made her nervous as hell. And she was almost sure that her boss noticed it, and enjoyed the attention. But enjoying attention does not equal reciprocating, so she was determined to try her best to get over her crush.

Precariously holding two cups in one hand, two against her chest with her elbow, the wrappers in the other hand and the can of pringles in the other elbow, she opened the door to the stairs only to almost crash into Holtzmann, who grabbed her by the upper arms to steady her. The blonde gave her a half smile and then gently and slowly took the can of pringles from her, while looking her straight in the eye. She had a bruise on the forehead.

“Sorry, not finished with those yet,” she said with a wink, and then walked backwards to her work table, not breaking eye contact up to the moment she absolutely had to turn away. Marla couldn’t help it: she gaped after her, mouth dry and slightly open and completely oblivious to everything else, until Abby cleared her throat, startling her back to her senses.

“I – I trust everything was fine?” Marla asked Abby while blushing furiously.

“Little poltergeist, nothing urgent yet but it might have snowballed pretty soon. Good catch, Marla,” said Abby kindly.

“Thank you, will you be having lunch here?” Patty was climbing the stairs and she had bags of food.

“We brought sandwiches!” answered Patty; Erin came in after her and went straight to the old boom box, she did like to dance after a bust.

“Bon appetite!” called back Marla at them, closing the door; leaving them to the celebration, while mentally scolding herself for blushing, for staring and for generally acting like a timid virgin.


“You are right, she stares,” said Abby to Holtzmann, as soon as Marla was out of the room, while Patty and Erin were busy with a celebratory dance.

“I told you, but does she like me or does she think I’m sociologically worthy of observation?” answered Holtzmann. It wouldn’t be the first time.

“She blushed! A lot! And you were just being your normal creepy self,” Holtzmann was a little relieved that Abby’s opinion concurred with her own. Getting Marla all flushed like that could be a very playable game, and now that the poltergeist was gone, she could think about the tingling bits again.

“What? Who blushed?” asked Gilbert while making an awkward and a little endearing rowing movement with her arms, ‘dancing’ she called it.

“Apparently, our new receptionist has a little crush on Holtzmann,” said Abby.

“Really? Do you – do you like her, Jillian?” Erin made a pause. She had been acting as if the moment when Holtzmann told Dr. Gorin that they were dating had never happened. Had ignored it completely. And now she seemed awkward and interested.

“Wait, how can we know she isn’t just scared or freaked out?” interrupted Patty, celebratory dance forgotten, and voicing exactly the possibility that could as well be fun, but not as satisfactory.

“I don’t know if I like her that much that way, but I might like her,” answered Holtzmann to Erin. “And I’m pretty sure I freak her out but you haven’t seen my best work yet,” Holtzmann answered wiggling her eyebrows.

“You don’t know if you like her? What about the tingling? Tingling means you like,” said Abby.

“What tingling? There’s tingling? Where tingles?” repeated Erin, she seemed flustered.

“If you have the tingles then she doesn’t stand a chance! Freaked out or not, my girl here will make her …” Patty whistled the rest of her sentence, meaning implied.

“I don’t know about that whistling, have no idea what it means, but I do have a plan and I sort of need your observations because the last time I made a plan in this area it didn’t work and it’s now on pause. Possible cancelation,” interrupted Holtzmann.

“Are you gonna blow her up?” asked Patty. Holtzmann blinked slowly at her. It unnerved Patty.

“Is that why you ordered two sandwiches?” interjected Abby.

“I think ahead,” answered Holtzmann with a shrug and touching her tender forehead. The bruise was getting bigger.

“I thought you was just that hungry,” said Patty.

Erin had been too quiet. Suddenly, as if making a conscious choice, or at least that’s what it seemed like to Holtzmann, she got up and went to the intercom. “Marla, care to come eat with us, there’s plenty.”

“Alright, thank you, I’ll be right there” they heard.

“Holtzy and Marla sitting on a tree…” started singing Patty, stopping abruptly when Holtzmann lit up the blow torch. “Ok, ok, I’ll shut it, geez.”


When Marla arrived upstairs, Erin, Abby and Patty were already seated and digging into their sandwiches. Holtzmann was nowhere to be found. Marla went to sit but noticed that there was only the one booth left, and she felt weird about taking Holtzmann’s seat. She could swear Kevin used to eat with them, so there had to be another booth, but where? She decided to stand on the left of Holtzmann’s place.

“Oh, take that booth, Holtzmann is not eating with us,” said Patty.

“She’s not?” asked Marla, a little disappointed.

“She said ‘be right back,’ and that could either take hours or days,” answered Abby.

“Oh, ok.” Now Marla was very disappointed. She had already spent time with the three of them, and they were all awesome. She felt comfortable enough around them, but Holtzmann was another story. She was elusive, always working up here or off somewhere, and she looked so sexy when she was concentrating that Marla had never had the heart to interrupt her, least of all for small talk or chitchat.

Her bosses started talking about the case, so she went to sit down, but out of nowhere, she felt a hand on the small of her back, which then slid to rest at the side of her waist. Holtzmann rested her chin on Marla’s shoulder.

“I brought you one, that’s mine, it has my butt print.” Holtzmann was holding her. She had whispered in her ear, and was too close and was grinning and had a faint singed wood and apples smell on her and a wicked gleam in her eyes. Marla nodded, standing up and feeling flustered and utterly mute, and then sat down on the offered booth. “Attagirl,” said Holtzmann, slapping her lightly on the back, giving her a sandwich and a squeeze on her shoulder.

The others welcomed Holtzmann but didn’t seem to see anything out of the ordinary, so Marla convinced herself that Holtzmann might just be that familiar with everybody and convincing herself that NO, Holtzmann wasn’t making a move on her, even tho she spent the rest of the meal sitting too close, which made Marla hot and bothered and she just knew she was blushing all the time, and couldn’t keep up with the conversation. But again, nobody reacted in any way, not even a flinch, so surely that was just how Holtzmann was, right? Right?