Workplace Differences

Greg's scared of what his dad would think if he found out about his infatuation with Ricci, a boy who works as a mail man for his dad's company. Can he keep his secret to himself or will it destroy him trying to do so

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I was trying my best to be 'chipper' as my dad said but it's hard to be full of energy when you've had barely any sleep. I was so used to getting up late that getting up at 6:30 was taking a real toll on my body. I was drifting off back to sleep when dad slammed my door wide open and pulled my curtains open, letting bright light into my room and my eyes. 

"Get up, get changed, be downstairs in ten. Also, wear something smart, no sweat pants shit, okay?" I nodded, rubbing my eyes as I staggered towards my wardrobe. I searched for about 5 minutes for something smart and the most I could find were some black trousers and a navy shirt. I didn't know if that was enough but it was all I had so I slipped it on and walked downstairs. "What the fuck are you wearing?"

"Smart clothes," I responded and he shook his head at me. 

"Here, wear this tie," He said, handing me a black tie. Now, I hadn't tied a tie in like 2 years and in my sleep deprived state I was very confused at how to get this around my neck unless it was in the shape of a noose so dad had to help me with it and he was not very pleased about it. "Come on, we're gonna be late." He picked up his briefcase and we exited our house and entered a taxi. 

We arrived at the offices at about twenty past seven and everyone who was there at this time greeted him warmly. I didn't understand why anyone would like my father so I assumed that they were being friendly because he was their boss. I followed him through to the elevator and we made our way up to the fifth floor. There were a lot more people on this floor and it was a bit overwhelming to be navigating through men and women in suits running to get files and photocopies or whatever. Dad was explaining something but I had zoned out a long time ago. I was just there because I had to be I had no interest in whatever my dad's job actually involved.

"You're gonna with my good friend, Stewart, in his office. I'm too busy to have a newbie to find a job for so do everything that Stew says. He's very important to this company so whatever you do reflects on him so don't fuck up, you hear me?" I nodded. "Follow me." He walked down a corridor before opening a door and pushing me inside. "Stew, this is my kid, Gregory, show him around and shit, see you around." And like that he left. 

"You're the spitting image of your father, kid."

"Really?" My dad was a tall, pudgy fellow with greying hair and a bad fake tan that he didn't think anyone knew about. I liked to think I looked nothing like him.

"No, I'm messing with you," He said, smiling. "You can sit down, he basically wants me to keep you busy and not mess anything up until you learn enough crap to be useful."

"Sounds like my dad." Stewart laughed and nodded.

"Yes, yes it does." I took a seat on the chair that was on the other side of the room to Stewart so he took the initiative to come over and sit on the chair opposite me. "So, how old are you?"

"20."

"God, I wish I was 20, you've been out of school how long?"

"6 months, I went to college for an extra year," I explained and he nodded, his eyes not leaving my face. He was the complete opposite to my dad. He was friendly, calm and collected, I had no idea why he would be friends with someone like my dad. 

"I should introduce you to other people in the office," He said, standing up and running his fingers through his thick black hair that that started curling by his ear. He grinned and motioned me to follow him which I did. He actually took the time to talk to people and introduce me properly to everyone unlike my dad who would've just told me their names and moved on. I got to know most people on our floor, the receptionists and one of the janitors before I literally bumped into a cart and almost knocked myself over.

"Oh God, I'm so sorry," The person wheeling the cart said, about to make sure that I was okay before Stewart stopped him.

"And this is Ricci," Stewart said, putting his hand on the cart and looking down at it's contents. "He's the mail boy, been here for like 2 years now, oh look, I have a letter." He got distracted and Ricci put his hand out to me and I shook it.

"Ricci's my surname, people started calling me that because-"

"Sarah told everyone that she thought he looked like a porn star also named Gabriele so we saved him the embarrassment." Sarah was the receptionist on the fifth floor and had the most vulgar, filthy, disgusting mouth that I had ever heard. I loved every word that came out of it. I chuckled at this and Gabriele let go of my hand a blush spreading across his face.

"I like Gabriele but if you'd prefer to be called Ricci that can be arranged."

"Thanks," He said and smiled. I noticed his tanned skin and realised along with his name he must've been Italian. His hair was shaved on both sides and left the top of his head with brown, wavy locks that fell onto his forehead.

"Ricci, you know boss doesn't like it when the mail's late," Stewart reminded him, looking at the letter addressed to him.

"Oh, right, shit, gotta go, I'll see you around," He said and left, pushing the cart along with him.

"He's nice," I said and Stewart glanced up at me from behind his letter, raising one of his eyebrows. "What?"

"Chris would kill me if he even knew that I let you meet Ricci so keep that thought to yourself, alright?" I frowned, confused as to why I wouldn't be allowed to meet Ricci. "Look, uh, how do I put this? Ricci bats for the other team and you should know how your dad feels about gay people it's a miracle Ricci even works here."

"He's gay?" I questioned, I was shocked. I didn't get that vibe from him but I didn't have any reason to doubt what Stewart was telling me.

"Yes, so just act like you never met Ricci, it'll work out best for everyone." I didn't want to pretend not to meet someone but I understood why I couldn't. That could put Stewart and Ricci at risk at losing their jobs and I couldn't do that to them. They were way nicer than my dad had ever been and that meant a lot to me. If I was going to keep going to that place I needed friends like Stewart and Ricci to look out for me and get me through my dad's torment.

 

"How was your first day, champ?" Dad asked when we left together. I hadn't seen him all day and knew that he was only doing this because mum wanted him to. He didn't care about where I worked or if I worked and neither did I but this was what we were both forced to.

"It was fine, Stewart introduced me to everyone around the office. Sarah is the funniest person I have ever met," I said, trying to stop myself from talking about Ricci.

"Ah, Sarah, she does not have a filter which is what makes her such a good receptionist. Not just that she's a woman, she is a stereotypical redhead. She is fiery and makes sure no one gets in unless they have permission, don't tell her I told you but I'm a bit scared of her," He confessed and I laughed. Dad being scared of someone was hilarious, he did not scare easily and for Sarah to be his fear was insane. "I'm worried that she scares away all the men in her life and that's why she's single, I've never seen her with a man in the ten years she's been working for me, what a shame." I didn't think he was the type to see anyone in his work outside of work but if he did I was sure Sarah wouldn't want him to know about her love life. 

"What a shame," I said.

"What about you? Any girls you've been hanging out with? That's probably why you haven't got a job, you're too busy with your girlfriend," He said, chuckling.

"No, I'm single. I don't think now is a good time for me to be in a relationship." I didn't say that this was because I was very confused about whether or not I even liked girls. 

"Ah, you're just - what's the saying - humping and dumping or something like that?"

"Oh, God, dad, stop, please," I pleaded. I did not want to talk about sex with my dad at any point in my life. I did tell mum all the gory details of my sex life though and Lucy had walked in at inappropriate times, hearing about the sex. It was just my dad. I didn't want him to know anything about me. We didn't have that sort of relationship where I could talk to him about anything. I could tell him nothing.

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