Seeing Red

Sharon wished she could be sitting on her couch in a pair of pajama pants and her oversized Stanford sweatshirt drinking a frozen strawberry and lime daiquiri / margarita combination, but that didn’t pay as well as this cocktail party.  She ferried wine glasses filled with an expensive red wine that she couldn’t pronounce, but knew it would stain her white blouse if so much as a drop found purchase.  Luckily Sharon had put herself through undergrad as a waitress, so she had all the skills she needed for the big leagues here in Silicon Valley party land.  This gig paid so well she could turn down the teaching assistant position while working on her doctorate, and it allowed her to network with half-drunk venture capitalists and angel investors.  Much better than babysitting whiny freshmen.

Sharon dropped off the empty glasses and picked up a fresh load before reentering the fray.  She was at the fringes of the mingling people when she felt a hand graze and slightly grope her left ass cheek.  Without spilling a drop, Sharon spun to see her defiler.  It was an older woman, maybe in her late fifties, her bright red chemically altered hair tucked up in a sever bun.  “You work out a lot,” the woman said with a smile.

Sharon held the tray between them as a shield from further advances.  “Would you like a glass?” she asked while her inner voice screamed that all it would take would be a slight break of the wrist and they both would be seeing red.

The woman shook her head.  “No honey, if I have any more I might make a scene,” the woman said.

Sharon didn’t reply, but turned on her heel and quickly put distance between the two of them.  That was the fourth time tonight, and all of them different people.  At least this was different since it was a woman, but you would think she would know better.  Next time Sharon was going to wear depends and watch their faces.  Okay, she wasn’t going to do that, but it would be interesting to see their faces then.

“Hey, what happened?” asked Charlie as he came closer carrying a tray of shrimp cocktail.  Charlie was pretty hot in his uniform and moved with the grace of the dancer that he was trying to be as a day job.  Sharon had been hot for him since he had started, but it had never been the right moment, just like now.

“Nothing,” Sharron said.  “Just one of those days.”  She moved further into the party goers, unloading a few more glasses of wine.

Charlie tried to keep up, but Sharon purposely kept patrons between the two of them.  Charlie wouldn’t give up his pursuit.  “Come on,” he said.  “What’s wrong?”

Sharon gave him her best leave me alone look.  “Are you trying to get us fired?” she asked in a low voice.  I’ll talk to you later.”

Charlie didn’t get the hint.  “Come on Sharon.  They don’t care,” he said.  “Let’s take a break, and you can tell me all about it.”

Sharon looked around quickly.  The party was winding down a bit, so it would be simpler to give in to him then to possibly lose the job.  “Fine, let’s go,” she said.  She spun quickly to go back to the serving table to drop off her remaining glasses and managed to spill a glass on herself.  “What the hell!” she said.  She looked at Charlie with pure hate.

“Damn girl.  That sucks,” Charlie said.  He then noticed her hateful gaze.  “That wasn’t my fault.” Charlie said.

Sharon stashed her tray on the counter and stomped to the ladies’ room, leaving Charlie on the outside gaping like a beached fish.  Sharon looked at the sink, knowing it had little to no hope of fixing her shirt, which by now looked like it had soaked up a ruptured coronary.  She just shook her head and stomped back out of the bathroom, slamming the door into Charlie in the process, catching him in the chin.  She didn’t break stride as she headed for the exit.

“Damn girl.  That hurt,” Charlie said as he hurried to catch up.  Sharon pushed through the exit and let the door swing back as soon as she was through.  This time Charlie was ready and caught it before his face took another blow.  “Sharon, calm down girl,” he continued.  “What has gotten up your ass?”

That stopped Sharon in her tracks.  She turned and began waving her finger.  “Don’t you dare bring up my ass,” she said.  “You have no right to go there.”  She felt like she was vibrating with all the hatred she felt right there.

“Really?” Charlie asked.  “With the way you are over reacting?  So you spilled a drink.  Big deal.”

Sharon stepped from public space right into Charlie’s personal space.  “You want a big deal?” she asked.

Charlie took a step back.  “Not now,” he said.

Sharon looked past him to see their boss coming out of the office.  She pushed past Charlie and back inside.  Charlie followed her, not giving up.  “Look, I’m sorry for whatever I did,” he said.  “Can I buy you a drink after work to make up for it?”

Sharon shook her head and continued to pick back up her tray.  She had been waiting for this moment for three weeks, fantasizing about him joining her on that couch.  Now was not the time.

Charlie finally took the hint and went on his own way.  Sharon watched him ignore her really hard, almost shouting b word in his head.  He just wouldn’t understand.  She watched him jump a bit when that same red head gave him a grab as well.  That finally gave her a smile, until she realized she was being as bad as that woman.
Most of the smile faded.