Basic Needs

Tristan turned away from his desk to glance at Amy, her back turned. His mouth opened, then closed. Brow furrowed, he circled back to his work.


Amy looked across the shared cubicle at Tristan, bogged down in folders, head inches from his desk. She took a step toward him and paused. Frowning, she sat back down back in her chair.


Tristan threw his pencil into the air. “I can’t take this anymore.”

Amy whirled around. “I’m so glad you said something! I was losing my mind. I spent all morning looking online for ways to poison her coffee. Then I just drew this picture of me gleefully doing it.” She held up a sketch. Tristan laughed.

“Hey!” A shrill voice surged into the cubicle from around the corner, quickly followed by a collapsed bouffant, which in turn was followed by the rest of a wrinkled head. “I said I don’t want to hear a peep until this project is done! Get back to work.”

They smiled wistfully at one another before swiveling back to their desks, the burden of silence resumed.

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