Chapter 2: Autopilot

By: Wing

The thought of Delores's mug followed Herman on his way home. Not paying attention, he went through the motions of driving without actually focusing on the road or the other cars. How could he concentrate on driving with something so important on his mind? Before he knew it, he was pulling into his driveway, turning off his radio, and heading inside. As he walked up his front steps, he tried to think of something, anything else, but he was constantly brought back to this simple act of, what, rebellion? He didn't even know what to call it. All he knew was that this was not right and he needed to get to the bottom of it.

Sitting at his kitchen table, waiting for the ding of his microwave, Herman was trying to come up with ways to casually slip it into conversation.

"Hey Delores! How's your day going so far? And when did your dad get in to town?"
"Hiya Delores! Was it your husband's birthday recently? How are the kids doing?"
"Delores, why do you have a Dad mug?"

But nothing he came up with seemed casual enough to ask of someone he had never really talked to and if he was wrong in his assumption, who knows what her reaction would be? Was her father still alive? Did she have kids, was she even married?

Trying to recall any conversation he had had with her or anything he might have overheard, he methodically stirred his mac n' cheese around so it wouldn't clump together and get covered in that film it always got when left untouched for too long. Three bites in, Herman had a realization. In the eight years they had worked together, he and Delores had not exchanged a single word. So bringing this mug up as the first topic of conversation was out of the question. No, if he was going to find out the meaning of this mug, he had some research to do first.

And in order to do that, he'd have to talk to her.


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