Looking at the Offices of Polder and Swale

She had dressed up for the appointment. She was wearing work clothes, although for work she would have made an effort to remove the cat hair. She glanced around the room noting the posh furnishings. The chairs were all designed to swallow you. They would be the kind of chairs that would require assistance to extricate oneself. She opted to stand. There was a large coat rack with fancy wooden hangers that could hold even the heaviest coat with ease. She decided that she would rather wear her coat just in case she wanted to leave quickly. She had turned her back to the reception desk but spun around quickly when a perky voice piped, “Oh! It is so good to finally meet you!” There stood the body that went to the annoying voice on the phone. She was shorter and rounder than she had imagined. Perky voice was speaking and it was difficult for her to focus on the words. All she heard was static. She felt hot and damp. Her forehead was sweating. Concentrating, she locked her eyes on the shorter woman’s scarf tied around her neck with a jaunty bow on the side. She thought that it looked like she was trying to hide a scar. Perhaps someone had tried to slit her throat. Soon she regained composure and had the strength to ask the woman to repeat her name. “I’m Ms. Przybyszewski but you can call me Lily.” Her head started to pound. She asked herself why she even bothered to come. She could have cancelled or even just not shown up. Her mood was darkening in anticipation of the inevitable hand shaking. She jammed her hands into her coat pockets. The perky woman led her into a conference room dominated by a huge table. It would have easily fit a dozen people comfortably around its perimeter. She took a seat and waited. The perky one came back. “I took the liberty of fixing you a cup of coffee. Do you want any cream or sugar?” Lu slowly turned and fixed Lily with a steady gaze. “I don’t drink coffee.” She paused and added, “Thank-you.” The perky woman was unflustered and merely moved the tray to a side table announcing that the lawyer would be in shortly. As she left the room she placed a large bowl of wrapped chocolates on the table.

Poor Lu. She just can’t accept that there are nice people in this world. In case you are wondering about the pronunciation of Lily Przybyszewski’s last name it is p SHIB ih SHEF skee.

12 thoughts on “Looking at the Offices of Polder and Swale

  1. So many out there like Lu. It’s understandable that for some, trusting anyone is a real stretch, especially when they have suffered in abusive relationships or been the victim of some form of discrimination. Great story!

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  2. There is something comical about Lu suspecting this perky woman’s scarf is hiding a sinister scar, as if someone had tried to slit her throat. And her name, Przybyszewski, is an ethnic mouthful, huh? (Thanks for the pronunciation lesson, btw.) Lu doesn’t drink coffee? Maybe she’s just afraid it’s poisoned. An escape plan seems to be always at the back of her mind–leaving her coat on, not sitting down in a chair that might be difficult to rise from. I’m not so sure about the lawyer and his staff being “nice people.” C’mon, Lu wouldn’t have been summoned for an appointment here unless they had something to gain. My advice? Don’t eat the chocolates. 🙂

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    1. I was suggesting that Lily was a nice person – not the whole of the law office. And of course they have something to gain but I assure you Lu will not be responsible for payment of any fees. Good advice re: chocolates. Not to worry, Lu is going to escape unscathed!

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  3. Hey, wait a minute… Is Lu based on me? Doesn’t drink coffee, hates to shake hands, doesn’t trust perky people… If she is, the chocolate will be her undoing. 😀

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    1. Hehe! No I was taking a little from many people (I’ll admit the hand shaking is drawn from your dislike of that convention). The coffee drinking is all me…

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  4. Hi Val, I cannot believe how many of your posts I have missed. I don’t know why you do not appear in my Reader list. I went to Janet’s post and saw you there. Loved reading all these posts and the dark poem too.
    There are so many people, women mostly, who are in a situation like this where trust becomes a major issue. Looking forward to reading more of your wonderful words Val. You weave them so beautifully.
    Love.

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    1. Zakiah! I love when I see you in the comments. You always say the most wonderful things! (and it makes my day) I will be posting new episodes on Wednesdays. I’m so flattered and pleased that you like this story!

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