Describe a way a friend supported you when you needed it.
Lucy replaced the receiver on the base of the phone. The office sounds—clacking keyboards, ringing phones, hushed gossip—were drowned out by her heart beating in her ears. Why couldn’t that phone call have come when she was home?
She stood up from her desk and walked to the bathroom. Her face was paler than usual given her dark hair, and she looked as if she had seen a ghost. She turned the faucet on and bent over it as she choked back a sob. There was no way she could continue to work like this.
When she got back to her cubicle, her desk mate glanced up from her work. Ronnie was a great person to share a desk space with. She was tidy and organized, and she kept mostly to herself while she worked. She would join the occasional water cooler chat, but usually she preferred to observe from a distance.
Lucy had found she could talk to Ronnie about just about anything. The older woman listened politely, laughed where appropriate, and gave advice when asked. They often had lunch together, since they both tended to eat at their desks. “What do you need?” Ronnie asked.
It was such a strange question. The tone wasn’t condescending or annoyed; it was like she had picked up on Lucy’s grief and was looking for a way to help. “I need… I think I need to go home,” she said softly.
Ronnie nodded as if it were the most logical answer and began collecting her belongings. Lucy sat listlessly in her chair watching Ronnie pack up. There was still an hour left yet in the work day. “Luce, your things. Do you want to leave them here or are you taking them home?”
She looked at her notebook-strewn desk. She didn’t need to take any of them home. She wasn’t likely to do any work anyway. “They can stay here.”
“Are you ready to leave then?”
Lucy looked the small woman over. It was too soon for her to be leaving. “Where are you going?”
Ronnie sighed and gave her a sad smile. “Child, I am taking you home.”
“Home?” Lucy’s frown deepened. “I can drive myself.” It would be a long, lonely drive.
“I know you can. But whatever news you got over the phone has left you in no condition to be operating a vehicle.” She picked Lucy’s coat up off the back of the chair and held it out for her to slip into. “I will feel much better knowing you got home safe if I take you there directly.”
The tears threatened to spill again. Ronnie was just like Lucy’s grandmother. The grandmother she just learned had passed away. And she was right. She should not be driving. She let the tears flow once she was in Ronnie’s car. She told her what she had learned, and thanked her for not letting her drive in her grief. Ronnie just murmured support and encouragement until she left Lucy with her roommate. When Lucy returned to work, she would be sure to bring a giant bar of chocolate as thanks.
Notes: I actually did something like this for my work friend a couple weeks ago. I kind of bullied her into letting me take her home because I knew she was in no mental state to drive. It worked for a mini story anyway. I had thought about editing a section of Mika’s story to show a pivotal fight scene where Yuri is her primary support but after reading it over I decided it wasn’t the route I wanted to go.
It’s important to be there for your friends, folks. Check in with them. Make sure they’re staying hydrated. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you to make a difference in their lives. Have a great night! See you tomorrow (Friday, woo!)!
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