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Music Box

Chapter 2

It's been ten days since Ms. Hart's party. Mr. Harlow has not yet called about the job, which seems a little strange to me. Something else that has been bothering me is Dorothy's behavior. I know that she is capable of lying, and it seems to me that right now she is putting it to good use. She has been scattering around the house more than usual. She's beginning to worry me. Maybe she's seeing ... Wait, why the hell am I bothering to care? She doesn't love me, she not capable of loving. Why should this bother me?


"Norman."

"Yes, Master Roger."

"I'm going out to meet a new client."

"Yes, sir. Shall I prepare dinner then?"

"Sure, but I'll be late." Roger stepped onto the elevator. The gate closed, and he descended into the temporary darkness.

"Is he gone, Norman?"

"Yes, Miss Dorothy."

"Good. Now I can finally put this in the broom closet." She walked past Norman with a small pink box.

"What is that you have in your hand, Dorothy?"

"A box of chocolate-covered candies. I have no use for them." Then she thought for a moment. "Would you like to try some, Norman?"

"Why thank you," said Norman with a smile. He opened the box and took one happily. He placed it in his mouth, closed the box, and read the note on top of it as he chewed through the caramel. He swallowed.

"Well, this Tomas-fellow seems to have quite an appreciation for you. You could say he has a crush on you."

"I don't understand, Norman. I do not know this man, yet he knows my name and where I live, and sends me all these flowers and candies and poetry that I have no use for."

"Well Dorothy, that is how love works. Sometimes people feel they have to work hard at making a relationship work, or even spark. For others, love just clicks between them. Get it?"

"I sort of understand..."

She paused for a moment, then something came up. "Norman, have you noticed Roger acting a little different lately?"

"Well Dorothy, I have sensed a change in him these past few weeks. Is there anything troubling you?"

"Well, at first I thought it was the piano playing finally getting to him, so I stopped for a few days, but he still kept on acting strange."

"Oh."

"He was rude to a young man I met at the party the other night. He almost choked a homeless man asking me for spare change, and cursed at a saxophone player on the street when he asked to play a song for me. He never curses at anyone."

"I believe he is suffering from a case of the little green monster."

"I don't understand."

"He is jealous," he said with a chuckle. "He is afraid of losing you."

"Does this mean he has a 'crush' on me too?"

"The way he has been acting lately, he may even love you."

"How do you know this?"

"Ha, would you have expected me to be here for such a long time and not know much about Roger Smith? I'd say you were ridiculous!" He chuckled a little more.

Something in her sparked, and it wasn't her circuitry. If Roger loved her, then...what she had been feeling...was it true? Was this really the time to be bold? Yes. Well not today, but one of these days. Today she wasn't feeling particularly up to doing it.

"Norman, thank you for not telling Roger about Tomas. I don't want him worrying about someone else in my life."

"No problem, Dorothy. You know that your secret will be kept safe with me."

"Oh, and Norman?"

"Yes, Miss Dorothy?"

"Everything I get from him will be yours."

"Even the beautiful flowers?" he asked with a grin.

"Yes, the flowers, the candies, and the poetry."


Hours later, it began to grow dark. Apparently, Roger's client hadn't shown up. He was pretty ticked off, asking himself why some people bother to call and make an appointment, and then back out in the end. Driving in his Griffon, he passed by a flower shop.

Maybe I did act like an idiot the other night. He parked the car and walked inside. He stayed there about ten minutes deciding which bouquet would be best, ending up with the bouquet of small sunflowers. He paid, and walked out the glass door. To his right he noticed a light-haired young man coming his way. It so happened to be Max, giving him a friendly wave. Roger shook his head and walked to the driver's seat of the Griffon.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed something strange about Max. He took a quick glance and saw him talking to himself. Yes, he knew people tended to do that every once in a while, and even he did it. But the way this was going, he was holding his own conversation.

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