did the clock stop working?


i went to turn in a reimbursement request, but the business woman wasn't there, so i left it at her desk. as i turned to go, the woman in the cubicle next to hers said, "did the clock stop working?" i had no idea what she was talking about. was it a riddle? "what's that?" "when we were proctoring last thursday, the clocks stopped. did it stop in yours, too?" "no, i don't think so," i said. she had a soothing voice, the kind of voice that belongs on npr. "don came down and said the clocks stopped working, so the students got four extra minutes. and we didn't want to turn on our cell phones to check the time because it would be distracting." i didn't know why she was telling me any of this, but i was intrigued. her hypnotic voice could very easily put me to sleep.

"oh. that's weird," i said. "well, our test was only an hour." "our test was shorter, too," she said. i felt like i had to say something else. i couldn't just leave her hanging after telling me so much detail about something so trivial. "are you still proctoring this week?" "yeah," she said, "until thursday." "cool." i was expecting an are you? but i got nothing. "what's your name?" "natasha," she said softly. "tasha?" why would i guess that? who's named tasha? "no, natasha," she said. "oh." i said my name and extended my hand. "i know," she said, "i see you everywhere." what are you, my guardian angel?

what a strange thing to tell me. but i'm glad she did. otherwise, this day would've ended up just like all the others.

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