And then there was Nora Teague, the brown haired girl that looked like she just got out of college. Dressed like a college kid as well.  He wasn’t sure how to approach her at all, especially given what the two men had told him about her. And the occasional one-sided conversations he heard her engage in from across the divider every once in a while.

“Stop spying on him,” he heard her say on his second day. “He’s here because we need him, and he’s not dangerous.”

A pause.

“No, he’s not taking me away with him,” she’d continued. “I barely know him, he’s just started here. Of course, I care about you. No, nothings going to happen to you either.”

He’d been standing outside the lunchroom, not wanting to interrupt. But when he entered, Nora was alone at the coffee machine, no one else there, no phone, not even a Bluetooth receiver on her ear like the one Angie wore.

Her ‘condition’ was brought up on his third day of work.

“I suppose you’ve notices Nora has a tendency to talk to herself,” Frank noted over his coffee.

“Swears a lot,” Benny added. “As bad as my daughter. Almost.”

“It’s Turrets,” Frank replied. “Its tough, but she’s done quite well in spite of it.”

“A testimony to her perseverance,” Benny replied. “Don’t let it bother you. She’d good.”

Gary got the hint they were making fun of her. It didn’t seem fair, but he didn’t know exactly how to approach the issue. He certainly couldn’t exactly pretend he hadn’t heard any of her outbursts. She was pretty, though. But he’d had enough of women with ‘issues’. You have to learn when to walk away, his pops had told him. Gary didn’t learn that lesson until it cost him his ’98 Honda Accord.

So he kept a polite distance, at least until he could figure out if the guys were telling the truth.

A week in he walked into the kitchen to see Nora in a nice v-neck and tartan skirt combo standing by the microwave mumbling again, She suddenly noticed him and waved at the air like she was shooing away a fly.  There were no flies in the kitchen.  It was kept very clean.

“Hi,” he offered. “I think you’re doing well.”

“Um… thanks,” she said to him, and then narrowed her gaze. “Well at what?”

Damn.

“Your… condition,” he replied after a few seconds.

She looked to the side and frowned, then looked back at him.

“What exactly have you heard? What have Frank and Benny been telling you?” she asked, sounding annoyed. Gary repeated what the guys had told him.

“They said I had Turret’s?” she replied, an incredulous look on her face turned to pissed.

“You don’t?” he asked, not sure whether he’d been tricked into this. But if she didn’t then what?

Her expression changed to resignation and then she slowly nodded.

“Yeah, Turrets, that’s it,” she said to him, started nodding along with her confession. “Thanks. It’s tough at times, you know, with the outbursts, but I take it day by day. You know how it is.”

The next day he heard her shouting in Flores’ office. He tried to ignore it and continue his work, and hoped it didn’t have anything to do with him.

Go to Chapter Ten

Go to Chapter Twelve

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