“Let’s all toast to another great quarter!” Mitch raised his glass. “To Global Imports.”
Wendy smiled and raised her water glass. She was new and hadn’t made a sale yet, but their confidence was infectious.
Bob frowned at her. “You can’t toast with water. It’s bad luck.”
“I don’t drink,” Wendy said. “But I’m really happy to be here at Global, and in fact I have a couple leads to follow up on next–”
“Why don’t you drink?” Larissa asked. “Are you in AA?”
“You can’t ask her that!” Mitch said. “It’s a human rights violation or something.”
But they all stared at her anyway, and Wendy felt obligated to say something. “I’m not an alcoholic,” she said. “But I just don’t feel well when I drink.”
Bob laughed. “You’re obviously not drinking the good stuff! This is top shelf bubbly, Wendy. C’mon, just have half a glass.”
She waved his offer away. “No really. I’d rather not. Thank you though.”
Larissa rolled her eyes. “Whatever. No point in inviting you to come to the picnic on Saturday. People will think you’re weird and snobby if you’re not having beers like the rest of us.”
“Unless you’re pregnant,” Bob said. “Are ya?”
“Bob!” Mitch admonished. “I told you guys ixnay on the personal questions.”
Wendy felt uncomfortable with the group but gamely stayed until they finished the bottle, which was only another few minutes. She walked slowly to her car, wondering what her future was going to be like at Global Imports. Short, most likely.
“Excuse me,” a man said.
Wendy turned around. “Yes?”
“Hi, I’m Tom, and I’d like to give you my card. I know your coworkers and I couldn’t help overhearing a bit of the conversation where they were pressuring you to drink.”
“Oh, well, they were just being friendly.” Wendy didn’t want to badmouth her new company after only a week of work.
“I’m sure. But consider calling me for an interview. We sell non-alcoholic cider and would love to have you aboard, Wendy. Ask for me.” He smiled. “I’ll remember you.”
“The girl who rejected top shelf bubbly.”
“Has a nice ring to it.”
Fandango’s Flash Fiction 18