Ok, so this one I will admit is utterly ridiculous. It started as a response the the prompt “a lie getting out of control” and mixed with a little lingering spite I had for a company I once worked at that preferentially gave people vacation based on their family status instead of their seniority. You can imagine where this is going as the main character just wanted his vacations approved.
I just wanted a vacation, to see my parents for the holidays, and I didn’t feel like that was too big of an ask, all things considered. It wasn’t like I was new, in fact I was one of the most senior people on the team, and I was due for a vacation.
I however, had the misfortune of being single, and as a result, the last three attempts to book vacation had been bumped in favor of “letting someone with a family” make an important date.
The last vacation I had managed to get authorized was a week in the dead of February, and even that was at risk when Herbert considered taking his girlfriend on a surprise vacation to propose to her. In the end, I only got my week because Hebert’s girlfriend broke up with him when he brought up the idea of the vacation. Apparently she knew what he was planning, and wanted out before it got anymore serious than it already was.
When Claire mentioned that she wanted to take the holiday for her and her husband to go see their Brother’s new baby, I saw my vacation vanishing, and I spoke before I thought.
“I was hoping to take Linda to meet my parents.” There was no Linda. From there it only grew, as I explained that my relationship with Linda, the woman who I had been seeing casually, had recently become a bit more serious and I wanted to take her back east to meet my parents.
I got my vacation, and intended to “break-up” with Linda following the trip. I forgot entirely about Linda until about three months later, after all, she wasn’t real.
I had never been one to share my personal life at work, I just wasn’t that guy. So I guess no one though anything of it when I never brought her up again. This time I was booking an easter holiday, or trying to, after all, I don’t have kids. I wanted to book around the long weekend so that I could down to Florida for a five day all inclusive.
I waited to be rebuffed, and then someone helpfully asked. “Oh, are Linda’s parents snowbirds?” I stared blankly, and listened to a longer explanation of the term snowbirds than anyone should ever have to endure. The good news was, that half way through thisI figured out who Linda was, and realized I had forgotten to break up, and so I did what anyone in my situation would do. I replied. “Yup, they have a little place down there. Linda and I will be renting a hotel, but If I don’t go down there to meet them, I won’t see them until they come back in June.”
I saw the eager looks on everyone else’s faces, and I didn’t clue in what the big deal was until the beginning of May, when everyone kept asking if I had booked my time yet.
Apparently there was a flower show in May, that everyone assumed I must be taking Linda to, and had I booked the Friday off yet. I took the long weekend, cause I was never able to take a long weekend, and it was glorious, until Monday that is.
Everyone ran over, saw the smile on my face and cheered. Jamie yelled, “Looks like she said yes!” and it all clicked. I nodded, because what could I do, and then I excused myself to my early morning meeting. During which I Googled the flower show and saw it was on a list of “top ten events to get engaged at”. Suddenly it all clicked, I had said I couldn’t wait till June to meet Linda’s parents, and they had thought I had to ask her Father for permission before the May flower show. That’s when things started to snowball.
Linda and I were married a year later, in July, and took a two week honeymoon cruise. I was actually on a single’s cruise, but I came back tan and wearing a wedding band I bought for 50$ at one of the ports, and it was known that I was married.
A year later the hints started, about Linda and I getting up there, were we planning to have kids. I was pissed, it was none of their business about whether or not me and my fictional wife were having kids. When Ernie went too far, joking I couldn’t get it up, I lost it.
“How dare you. This is less than none of your business, what my wife and I do in our home, is our choice. Jesus Ernie, not everyone wants kids, and not everyone who wants them can just have them. When I want to discuss my private life I will, but until then, back the hell off. I am going for lunch.” I stormed out ten minutes early, and then spent twenty minutes in my car, laughing till I cried. I can’t believe I got that angry over Ernie, I mean, he should know better, but Linda wasn’t real.
When I finally calmed down, I realized I left my lunch in on my desk, I faced the embarrassing task of walking back in to claim it. I was stopped by an HR Rep on the way to in, and I thought this was it, my fake Wife had gotten me fired…..
Except she hadn’t. Apparently I was getting the rest of the day off, paid, because of Ernie’s insensitivity. They thought Linda and I were having trouble conceiving, and I was given the day with their sympathies. I couldn’t tell them the truth, so I went home.
After a few months I got so sick of the said looks, and pitying comments, that when I walked in happy, and someone asked, I finally said, “We’re pregnant.” I really don’t know what I was thinking, but I spent a Saturday looking through the appointments I would need and made sure to book the afternoons off, to take Linda to her appointments.
The baby was a boy, we only found out tin the delivery room, wanting to be surprised on that one. He was a week late, and arrived 7lbs 30z, on Saturday morning after nine hours of laobur. His name, David Joseph Jr. , after my Father, and I, dutiful employee that I was, was back at my cubicle on Monday.
After that, vacation was a breeze with doctor’s appointments, vacations, and event things like hockey away games. I could take vacation the same as my colleagues, as long as they never found out the truth about the family.
I spent another twenty years waiting for it to implode on me, and then I was retiring, with David in his third year of University, and his little brother Malcolm about to graduate high school. Linda and I would be moving to Florida for our retirement, and I would never see any of these people again.
The one upside of all this, was that I would have one heck of a story to tell the snowbirds. After all, it isn’t everyday you end up faking an entire family to get Christmas off.