“You’re as white as a sheet,” Mark says.
You do feel a little pale, devoid of energy. “I do feel a little… well, beat,” you reply.
“Oh yes,” you reply, feeling stupid.
“Your skin’s all…” he continues. “How do I put this nicely? Doughy.”
He’s made his point, you think, and wonder whether he’s hinting at you to go home. But he’s the boss, he could just say so. Tell you to your white doughy face.
“There’s something on your top,” you say, hoping to feel better by pointing out one of his flaws. You feel this to be the most innocent of a very long list.
He looks down at the speck and blushes. A dark contrast to your pale hue. “I’m trying a new shampoo,” he says and you realise now what the white speck is.
“Well, your hair looks very healthy for it,” you lie and want the ground to open and for your size 8s to take you down into the void.
You see a vein pop out on his neck and realise that it wasn’t blushing that was making his face go red. “Areyou alright?” you ask but before he can reply he slumps to the floor.
Scraping your chair back, you crouch down beside him and put a hand above his mouth, palm down, to check for breathing. You’re relieved when your palm feels warm.
Having established that he’s conscious, you get up (even in his condition you don’t feel well enough to leap) and phone for an ambulance. Your office is near the hospital so it doesn’t take long.
By the time it arrives he’s sitting up and talking but he’s got a nasty rash on his neck.
If I knew that, you start to think, but then tell yourself off for being so mean.
“Oh dear,” the paramedic continues, “nasty rash you have there.”
Mark smiles at her, looking somewhat embarrassed.
“New shampoo?” she asks.
You watch in silence as the couple gaze into each other’s eyes. If you didn’t feel queasy before then, you certainly do now.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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