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Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Don't Stand So Close to Me

“Don’t stand so close to me.” That was all she ever said to poor Paul on their daily commute. The train was always packed and they got on at the same stop everyday. The office Carol worked in was across the court yard from where Paul worked so their daily meetings were inevitable. Paul, polite calm and mild mannered always apologized when Carol would ask the impossible of him. He didn’t want to crowd her but he had no choice. Neither of them knew the other’s name. That was their relationship; she’d bark and he’d ask for forgiveness. Carol’s marriage wasn’t a happy one; Paul’s life was a quiet one. Her anger and frustration with her life situation she vented on Paul every morning. “Stop breathing on me!” Paul held his breath. Three years Paul endured this dysfunctional relationship until one day his life changed. Paul’s family was wealthy but he valued not their prestige and lifestyle. Cast out was young Paul for not accepting his rightful place in high society. He took a simple job and lived a simple life, in his mind there was no need for excess. But now his elders had passed on and poor Paul was due his inheritance. His face was plastered across the local newspapers and television stations. “The Princely Pauper” is what they dubbed Paul. He took it all in stride. Paul never resigned from his job; he kept the same lifestyle and routine, less one thing. He bought himself a car to avoid having to take the train into the city and more importantly to steer clear of Carol. One day in front of his desk there she stood smiling wide with ample cleavage exposed. “Hello Paul, how are you today?” The ever courteous Paul answered the formerly cantankerous lady extending his hand to shake hers. “I am doing well and how are you today? Ahh…” Carol jumped in introducing herself. “Carol, Carol Hanson, soon to be Carol Jensen once again. You know Paul I missed seeing you on the train in the morning.” Paul was nice but he was no fool. “You miss seeing me on the train?” “Well of course silly, why don’t you ride anymore? I miss seeing my little train buddy.” Carol reached out to caress his face; Paul scooted back out of her reach. Her forwardness angered him somewhat. “I believe you already know why I no longer ride the train and please ma’am don’t insult me by acting if you don’t. I know how miserable you are in your marriage by hearing you rant on your cell phone. I felt sorry for you. I had thoughts of befriending you, not in a romantic way, in a plutonic way. But, you were always so nasty and rude to me no matter how polite I was to you. I understood that you were sharing the pain you felt inside but that was no reason for you to be abusive towards me. I only bought a car so that I wouldn’t have to ride the train and be insulted everyday. I bought a car because of you, not because I am suddenly wealthy. But here you stand now trying to pull the wool over my eyes because you lust for money. All you had to do was be kind to me and I would have given you anything your heart desired all because you were my friend. So please Ms. Carol Hanson, Jenson, whatever please back away from my desk. Don’t stand so close to me.”

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