The first few days passed without incident. There was a cock up regarding email on one day, but that was sorted within a short time. Mike began to think that he may have landed the perfect job as he never seemed to need to do anything. He’d never had so much freedom in a workplace before, and hed never put so much time into his games before, yet here he was spending hours just… sitting there.
Harry “Mr Wizard” was the same. Although he was more brazen with it, using the work server to play Glorious Fantasia. Some JRPG online game where you played as a different varieties of what looked like cat people and fought other ridiculous mammal based enemies.
“…but by that time ill be a level 76 Feline Battlecat so i should sweep through the expansion pretty easy.” Mike blinked twice in response to nonsense that Mr Wizard had just babbled to him. He continued on about his cats and the other classes of feline interpretation, but something caught Mikes eye on Mr Wizards screen.
A small message box had popped up and bounced gently on the screen, titled simply “Mike”.
He was curious. And a little paranoid. What could this email be about? Had he done something wrong? Was he in trouble or had the office turned on him in a matter of days?
“Oh, you got a message by the way.” Mr Wizard stopped midsentence “oh, ok hang on a sec.” Pretty sure im not gonna miss anything…
Mike went back on his phone as he tried to resist looking at the email when Mr Wizard turned in his chair. “Ahh its nothing. You wanna grab lunch?” Mikes stomach rumbled in answer for him.
A small group of them headed into the town, all heading towards the cafe near the town centre. Mike felt a little like he was on the outside, but not as much as other times he was introduced to a bunch of people for the first time. Even with people he knew for a long time he could still come off as awkward sometimes. It was something of a superpower.
They approached the cafe towards the centre of town, Mike had begun to feel that this may be something of an initiation rite into the group as pretty much the whole Office went in a group to this place. All except Dave who was sticking to a strictly Vegan diet and the place was deemed “beneath his standards”.
They passed the usual sports and vape shops as one of the group said that they had “sprung up almost overnight those vape shops.” Mike was curious to the trend but remained a cautious distance to fashion trends as anyone with photos of themselves from the 80’s would agree with a shudder. They passed a strange little alley that seemed pretty standard, but still the kind of place you wouldnt go down at night. It was unremarkable really, apart from the apparent reflectiveness of the tiles at the end, they looked as though they had been polished to a mirror like quality, reflecting the suns glare with incredible violence as Mike glanced down. He regretted looking down as his eyes where immediately filled with blueish burn marks that blocked his vision considerably.
When they were in the cafe, Mike was hit with the barrage of usual questions;
“Where’ve you worked before”
“You got a girl? Or a guy if your into that?”
“Where do you come from?”
The questions came heavily, but going off everyones expressions, he had answered each one satisfactorily and he had begun to feel a little more comfortable with the office as a whole. Maybe they wouldnt think him so much of a freak now.
Of course he hadnt goven himself a nickname either, so that must have helped somewhat.
The day drew to a close and as Mike waved off everyone he felt as though he had gotten over the worst part of starting anywhere.
He felt accepted.
Something he had always struggled with in the past. He got home, with a smile still sitting in his chest and looked forward to tomorrow as he entered his small flat, threw the keys into the cupboard, swung round into the kitchen and launched his bag onto the sofa as he switched his kettle on and grabbed a mug.
After a few hours of boring t.v he set his stuff onto charge for the night and lay in his lonely bed, waiting for the night to take him to the morning.
Though this time, morning was not the first stop.