Cat was not a cat. She was a woman that worked a boring job in a corporate hell. Catherine, or Cat to her friends, wasn’t a sociable woman. In fact, she actively tried to avoid people as much as possible. However, her time came to move from company to the Company. A new job in a new city. She was alone in a townhouse that didn’t seem to fit her. She often left it in a mess the same way she left her apartment, however, it wasn’t a mess of clothing or junk food wrappers. It was a mess of books.
After working so long in the Company her salary afforded her the ability to buy as many books as she wished, especially since she was a homeowner and not paying any rent. However, there was a day that came along that she never thought would happen, but was always glad it did. Cat wasn’t the only loner in the Company. On the day she arrived she arrived with two others who had joined the Company on the same day. She didn’t know their names, but she knew their faces. The Company had a large cafetaria, one that held a hundred or more tables easy, but there only seemed to be twenty employees that worked on that floor.
In such an open room it was easy for Cat to spot the two others. One seemed normal enough, but unlike most he didn’t seem to be taking advantage of the Company not having a uniform policy. He always wore a white collared shirt, maroon pants and a black tie to wrap it all together. The second was in a wheelchair, with sketchpad hand throughout lunch. All three sat apart for a few weeks until it seemed the one with the tie couldn’t wait any longer. He collected his bag and walked over to the one in the wheelchair. The two guys greeted each other with smiles and a handshake. Cat watched them curiously, but soon realized they might look over at her soon enough, so she just lowered her eyes to her book and continued reading. Well, she pretended anyway.
She could hear the two make their way over to her and she was already thinking fast on what to say or do. Eventually she settled on standing up and walking back to her office, but it was too late.
“Hey, do you mind if we join you?” the one in the tie asked.
Cat didn’t have the greatest personality.
“Depends on how much you talk,” Cat chirped with a bored face. Why did she say that?
“Uh...not much,” the tie said thoughtfully.
“And I’m really just gonna draw,” the wheelchair added. “My name is Henry Martyn, by the way.”
“Michael Valentine,” the tie added pointing to himself.
Catherine took a moment to look at them, but not too long or else her awkwardness would set in.
“Catherine Clare,” Catherine answered.
“So, like Cat?” Michael asked, cocking his head to the side thoughtfully. Cat replied with a shrug and lowered her eyes to her book.
Catherine was afraid that if she said anything else her voice might betray her, so she kept quiet and ignored them. The two men took their seats, distancing themself from her a little. Clearly they picked up on the hints, but Cat wished they didn’t.
Michael ate his lunch and eyed Henry’s pad while he drawed. Henry didn’t seem to mind, which Cat found curious. The two behaved so casually around each other despite only meeting each other in that moment. Was it just easier for men or were there two the most relaxed people Cat had ever met?
Cat didn’t notice Henry’s eyes kept darting up to look at her until Michael nudged him with his elbow while taking a bite from his sandwich.
“You should probably ask her, you know,” Michael told Henry.
“Ask me what?” Cat added before she could stop herself.
Henry immediately became bashful, which Michael seemed to find amusing. Cat couldn’t help but think he had a sweet smile, but her attention was still focused on Henry.
“Um...yeah...do you mind if I draw you?” Henry asked.
Catherine was thrown out of her comfort zone completely. Not only where there people talking to her, but one was asking if he could draw her.
“Can I see what you’ve drawn?” Cat replied without saying ‘no’.
Henry handed her the drawing pad after flipping to the first page. His drawings were amazing and show so much emotion and realism. Cat flipped through pages of faces she didn’t recognize, but felt for. Finally, she found a semi-familiar face. It was hers, at least, the beginning of her face.
“These are really good,” Cat told Henry without looking at him. She handed his drawing pad back, her head still facing down. “You can draw me...I guess.”
Henry and Michael looked at each other and Michael’s smile only grew wider.
“Uh, cool, but...uh…” Henry began.
“I think it is a little hard for Henry here to draw you when your head is beneath your scarf,” Michael chuckled.
Catherine, still silent, lifted her head from her scarf and continued reading her book. For a long a moment she was stuck on the first word, but with time she herself relaxed. Michael continued to eat his lunch, Henry did the same while drawing in-between and soon she was flipping pages and nibbling at the lunch she prepared.
Everything seemed to move on from awkwardness so quickly, a lot quicker than Catherine was expecting. These two felt so easy around her and she was beginning to feel the same. Something about the three of them together felt so casual and meant to be that the simple, befuddled human interactions that everyone goes through were all skipped. The three had become friends and would sit together at every break from then on.
However, Cat felt something strange when talking with them. Often enough the conversations felt familiar, as if she had them before which was doubtful. Perhaps this is why the three got along so well, because she knew somewhat of what to expect.
Be sure to follow!