Speaking in Tongues 9

A look of resigned sadness swept over her boss’ face as he accepted the letter from Claire. As he turned the letter in his hand towards him and sat back in his chair, Claire thought of her years at the company. Her boss had only started a few months ago, and Claire liked him enough to regret depriving him of her knowledge and experience. Of course she would train her replacement . . .

Her boss’ face contorted in confusion. He looked up from the letter, eyes squinting at her. “What is this?”

Her boss was too straight-laced to be playing with her. Claire extended her arm again, her boss handing back the letter like it was contaminated. She scanned it quickly, confirmed it was indeeed the resignation letter she had printed the night before.

“What exactly do you mean — ” his voice darkly sarcastic — “by, Crocodille linguini blasts orangefully sedans under football?”

Claire stared at the opening line of her letter with eyes widened in surprise. I regret to inform you that my last day  . . . What game was he playing? And then she blinked, remembering her sudden ability to converse in the native language of whatever person she spoke with.

She stuffed the paper back into her fabric briefcase. “It’s — some experimental writing I was doing last night. Just goofing around, on my WordPress blog.” Claire acutally didn’t have a blog, but her friend wrote in his daily. “Its unusual, I know. But I thought, I don’t know, you might like it.”

His shoulders relaxed. “Well, your writing style is certainly — unique.”

Claire thanked her boss, and backed quickly out of his office. Turning swiftly, she saw Purva walking in her direction, a broad smile beaming onto the young Indian woman’s face when she saw Claire. “Good morn — ”

“Purva!” Claire nearly pounced on her. “I need a favor.” She nearly draged the contractor into her cubicle, then retrieved her now mysterious letter. She offered it to Purva, who took it as Claire pointed to the first line. “Could you tell me — what that says?”

Purva suddenly looked too embarassed to speak.

“Just tell me — ” Claire regretted speaking so sternly to her soft-spoken friend — “what language is it in?”

Purva blinked. “It is — English.” Her confidence seemed to come back. “Yes, it is English. Just very — I am sorry, I do not know the word — ”

“What does it say?”

Purva looked back at the letter reluctantly. “Crocodille — I am sorry, I do not know the next word — “

“Linguini?” Purva nodded, then excused herself to attend a meeting.

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