A Very Short Story About the Little Things by Pepper O’Brien

Every morning, right around 11:00, I have… a moment with the FedEx guy.

I estimate he’s not much older than I am and that he works out on his own aside from hauling boxes up and down the stairs to various offices. He strikes me as a dog person, and perhaps someone who owns and rides a bike. I don’t know any of this for sure. We don’t exactly chat.

What I do know is he has a tattoo of a tiger on his arm. I only see it in the summer and only ever half of it as the rest is hidden under the sleeve of his polo shirt.

I also know he likes pizza, because the one time I had pizza and was too hungry to wait until noon to eat lunch, he’d pointed to my plate and simply said “jealous” with a smirk and a longing look in his eye.

I don’t know what his favorite pizza topping might be. I don’t know if he has any other tattoos. I don’t know what his favorite color is, as I have only ever seen him in black and purple.

I do know that every day, he comes right up to my desk, my simple, tidy desk, and shares a moment with me.

Anyway, each morning, he strolls through the office doors with a bright smile and says “morning” before setting down whatever parcel and handing me the keypad for my signature. Each morning, right around 11:00, he does this and looks at me with that handsome smile while I blush and scribble my name with the attached stylus. Sometimes I take longer than I need to handing it back just so I can see his eyes crinkle at the corners.

I smile at him and take his delivery, and he says “thanks so much” and gives me a wink, which (naturally) makes me blush harder.

I’d been at my job for less than a month when I first saw him. He was new, too. I liked that.

“Hey, there,” he’d said, looking right at me, probably because my desk just happened to be the one closest to the door. For the record, none of the packages are ever for me, nor do I ever open them. As soon as he leaves, I walk them right over to Kelly, who works in the very back corner.

“Hi,” I’d replied, a little confused and a little nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to sign for anything at that point. I did it anyway, because when a good-looking guy hands you a keypad and asks for your signature, you give it.

“Last name?” he’d asked, taking his keypad back from me.


“Perfect,” he’d said. “Thanks.”

He has never asked for my last name since. He remembered it was Campbell after only one visit. I try not to dwell on that too much, assuming that he perhaps just happens to have an excellent memory. I try not to think it has much (if anything) to do with me.

My moment with the FedEx guy is easily the best part of my workday.

This morning, right around 10:55, I rushed to the bathroom to make sure my hair was okay (yes, I know how that sounds – sue me).

When he strolled into the office five minutes later, though, he didn’t have his usual bright smile. He didn’t look up at me at all. He didn’t say “morning”.

“Morning,” I said brightly, hoping it would be returned.

He looked up quickly and gave me a half-hearted smile. One that didn’t reach his eyes.

“Sign here, please?” He handed me the keypad and I scribbled.

“Sure,” I said, and then, dropping my voice a bit, “um, is everything okay?”

As I handed back the keypad, he looked up again and held my gaze.

“Yeah, thanks. Last name?”

I paused, and let myself stare for a second too long. He cleared his throat and raised his eyebrows, still waiting for an answer. I tried to ignore the sinking feeling as I took in another breath.



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