Story Time: Red Velvet Cake

David is at his desk actually doing some work. It feels good. It feels right. He enjoys the sense that he is completing something that is necessary for some unknown person that he has no affiliation with. This, he thought, must be how it feels to fulfill the American Dream. His boss, Bill, comes to his desk.

“Come with me, we’re meeting someone.”

“But I have a meeting in ten minutes.”

“Oh, then you can’t come.”

“He can come,” says Isbalda, coming from an adjacent cubicle and having no connection to the meeting.

“Okay, then you can come,” says Bill. And so, David, Bill, and Isbalda walk down the aisles of business people.

“Do you know who he is?” asks Isbalda to David.


“He’s Jeff. He’s worked at the company for more than two years.”

“How long?”

“More than two years, and he is leaving and it is his birthday so we got cake.” David turns around to see Arnold, a coworker he doesn’t know, holding a boxed cake.

“What’s your name?” asks Isbalda.


“Okay.” They reach the escalators and David forgets how escalators work so he places his feet side by side between the steps. He takes half of the trip down trying to rearrange his feet. They reach the second floor and go down another escalator, which he is fine with given his previous experience. They walk over to the kitchen and see Jeff sitting at a table surrounded by Dop, the supervisor, and Sylvester, who is like Arnold, but with less cake.

“I’m glad we could all make it,” says Jeff.

“Do you know everyone here?” asks Dop.


“This is Isbalda, Bill, Arnold, Sylvester, and David.”

“I’ve worked with some of you.”

“But you don’t know everyone.”

“We brought cake,” says Isbalda. Everyone is smiling.

“Oh, good,” says Jeff. Arnold opens the box. It is red velvet cake. “What kind of cake is this?”

“Red velvet,” says Arnold.


“We need forks,” says Dop.

“Where are they?” asks Arnold.

“Next to the coffee.” Arnold goes towards the coffee, missing where the forks are.

“It’s over ther…” Bill adds.

“No, he found it,” says Dop. Dop starts cutting the cake. “Which part do you want?”

“The one with the rose,” says Jeff. Dop cuts a slice with a rose, puts it on the plate and passes it down to David. “Well, you know there’s lot of people…not a lot of cake.”

“Okay,” says Isbalda.

“It’s an Office Space reference. Has anyone seen Office Space?” Arnold comes back with the forks and sits next to David, who is noticing that he is running late for the meeting.

“Hey Arnold,” says David. “Are you in the same meeting with me?”

“I’m not going to it. They don’t need us.” Jeff checks his phone.

“Would you look at that. Guess what my daughter just texted me? 4.0.”

“What does she want to be?” asks Isbalda.

“Physical Education teacher. She doesn’t like when I call her a gym teacher. It’s not a gym teacher. It’s a Physical Education teacher.” A cake reaches Arnold and David. There a less plates than people and cake.

“We need more plates,” says Bill.

“I’ll get some,” says Sylvester as he leaves for plates.

“There are no plates, there,” says Dop.

“We can share,” says Arnold to Bill.

“No, have it.”

“We can share.”

“No, have it.” Dop starts placing the cake on napkins and passing them around. Everyone now has cake. Arnold eats the whole thing. David gets some cake on his pants.

“Will you miss this place?” asks Isbalda.

“Probably in a couple of weeks,” responds Jeff.

“You’ll look back and remember,” says Dop.

“I will.”

“Okay, I think we’re done,” says Jeff. “Thank you for coming.”

“Who takes the cake?” asks Sylvester.

“Arnold,” says Bill.

“No,” says Arnold. Everyone leaves, except for Bill, Arnold, and Dop, who brought laptops.


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