See Part 1 for info
Can this day go any worse? Can this year? I know I'm not exactly Jolly old St. Nick this year. I can't help it. I'm exhausted. It has been such an emotionally draining few months. I have the scar on my chest as a constant reminder of what could have been. I know I should be thankful to be alive, grateful that I have the opportunity to share such a magical time with the people I love. But for some reason I can't. I can see Donna sitting outside at her desk. She's typing furiously away at the computer but her mouth is moving. I can only imagine she's singing Jingle Bells to herself. She loves this time of year. And I love watching her this time of year. The way her face lights up with excitement. She turns into a five year old. I wish I could muster up some of that wide eyed innocence. As a kid I loved the holidays. My father is Jewish but my mother is Catholic so I always got the best of both worlds and double the presents. God how I wish things were still so simple. When I hadn't had to experience the horrors of the world. When my sister was still alive. Before I was shot. My thoughts are interupted by what sounds like someone being strangled down the hall. A million thoughts flood through my mind and the first thing I check is to see if Donna is unharmed. She is still typing and singing away.
"Do you hear that?", I ask.
"What?" She stops typing.
"That sound. That screeching."
She is quiet for a moment, straining to listen.
"Well maybe if you weren't out here performing your own one woman show you would have heard it.", I snap at her. I am imediately sorry when I see her expression turn hard.
"What is the matter with you? Your even more unpleasent then usual." I want to tell her she's right and that I'm sorry. But I don't because I hear the screeching again. Donna goes to speak again but I put my finger up to her mouth to signal to be quiet. Her eyes go wide at the intamite gesture. Normally I would be concerned about an awkward moment but I can tell where the sound is coming from so I turn to follow it. Donna is close on my heels.
"Josh....it's coming from in there." Donna tip toes quietly in front of the door to Sam's office.
"Do you think he's hurt?"
"Well go in and see."
"What if someone's in there. I need to be armed." I'm not going to take any chances.
"Good Idea." She grabs a stapler and a hole puncher.
"Oh Good I can staple the possible murders hands together and poke holes in him until he bleeds to death."
"Well, I'm working with limited resources here. The other options were a highlighter or a paper weight shaped like an Eagle."
"Fine." I grab the stapler from her. The two of us are now pressed up against the door. "Go on.", I tell her.
"First? You want me to go first?" She looks shocked.
"What the hell is going on?" CJ comes up behind us and we jump out of our skin. Or atleast I do. Donna just grabs my arm and tries to use my body as a shield.
"We think Sam's being killed." I say.
"And Josh wants me to go in first.", Donna emerges from behind my body.
CJ thinks we've finally gone insane. I can tell by the look she's giving me. It's her "I'm actually doing important work here, while every once else is goofing around" look.
"Joshua." She says in her most condescending tone.
"Okay then you go in."
CJ flings the door open and Donna and I follow behind her holding the stapler and the hole puncher out in front of us. You can never be too careful.
"SAM! What the hell are you doing?!", CJ yells.
Sam's standing in front of the mirror practicing the scales at the top of his lungs. "..Me, Fa, So, La, Ti..." He turns around without even a hint of embarassment.
"I'm warming up my voice."
"For what? Breaking the sound barrier?" I can't believe I was ready to kill a guy with a hole punch and it was only Sam warming up his voice. I wish the holidays would end already so people can go back to normal.
"I have a good voice." He sounds so convinced of this I'm starting to worry about him. He couldn't possibly think that that noise coming from his throat was actually good. Could he?
"Why do you have a hole puncher? And Donna, what's with the stapler?", Sam wonders.
"We felt we needed to be armed." Donna tells him matter of factly. She wears a hat with ears and nobody blinks an eye but she carries an office supply and suddenly people question.
"Armed from what."
"Long story.", I say.
"Can we get back to work now?" CJ's standing in front of the door motioning for Donna and I to leave.
"Uh, Sam...Maybe you should warm up at home from now on. You know, keep your golden voice under wraps until the big day of Caroling, when you can finally unveil it and get the praise you deserve." I say over my shoulder. Sam obviously likes this idea.
"Good point Josh. I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone."
"See tomorrow buddy." I can hear strains of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as I close the door. I could kill the President for creating all this madness and forcing us to sing in public.
"Bah Humbug." I mutter under my breath.
"I heard that." I forgot Donna was standing there. I think I'll go home now. It's obvious that the actual business of running the country has been put on hold until somtime after New Years.