Nothing Can Be Done

“I’d like to request a transfer,” she said.

She was Shandy Rains: kindhearted, attractive, and one of the top sales reps at her firm.

“What? Why?!” he said.

He was Nathaniel Harris, her immediate supervisor.

“It’s Gil. I can’t work with him anymore.”

Nathaniel leaned back. He had known Gil for some time. Wasn’t the best worker in the biz, but a good man nonetheless.

“Gil? What’s wrong? Did he say something to you?”

She shook her head.

“No. He’s never said anything. Never done anything. I don’t know, he just- he unnerves me.”

Nate laughed.

“That’s the nature of the biz. We all get on each other nerves. That’s how we know we’re being effective.”

She looked down and away.

“Not like this. Now and again I’ll catch him… looking. I mean, don’t get me wrong, lots of guys look, but with him… it’s different.”

Dammit, he thought as he leaned forward, fingers interlocked, resting his weight upon the desk.

“Give him some slack. His wife just passed.”

Charlotte, Gil’s wife, had died in a car accident several months previous. Nate had attended the funeral.

Shandy fidgeted and scratched the back of her neck.

“I know that, and I thought it would go away after he had time to… mend,” she said, “can’t be easy after all those years to go back to an empty home. But it’s gotten worse. Usually I can take it, no prob, but it’s gotten worse lately. I can’t pretend anymore.”

He drummed his fingers on the desk.

“Worse, how?”

“I’ll see him. He’ll come by… accidentally. Sneak a peak. I’m tired of it.”

“So you want me to tell him to get lost?”

“I want you to fire him.”

He stopped tapping.

“You know I can’t do that. I’d have nothing to stand on. The firm would get sued for wrongful termination.”

She stared him down, but she also knew he was right. There was nothing in the books to throw at him. No official harassment. Just a feeling.

“I quit.”

“Shandy-“

She threw a hand in the air.

“Him or me, Nate. You decide.”

He couldn’t lose this fight. Then again, he couldn’t win it either.

He bit his bottom lip and said, “I’ll put in a good word for you.”

Her eyes blazed with an all-consuming, incandescent fire. The fire raged and then died, leaving only the blackened smear of a soul behind.

“I see. Consider this my two weeks then.”

He sighed and nodded.

“Okay,” he said emptily.

She turned to leave.

“There are more of me out there, you know,” she said with her back to him.

“I know. I’m sorry. Nothing can be done.”

She sniffled and stormed out.

Nate slammed his first upon the desk as his own words rang through the empty room.

Nothing can be done. Nothing can be done. Nothing can be…. done.

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