I don’t care for personal contact.
It’s not like I’m a misanthrope or something, nor am I some kind of weirdo or whatever, it’s just… I don’t really like being close to people. The thought of other people’s skin on mine, I just… eugh, no thank you. I’ve lived my life perfectly fine without any of this, which is why the new girl at the office was quite… distressing.
Her name was Samantha Iyam and she hailed from the dark and mysterious land of Canada. Even worse, I think she was from British Columbia, the second worst Columbia as far as I knew. Perhaps if she was merely a normal transplant from the frozen north down to fair and beautiful Texas, things would be fine, but this one was a little different. For starters, she was a Monster, and not just any Monster, but a Yeti.
She stood there in the office that first day, wearing a nice and prim suit over her tall and shapely physique, though it was obvious she didn’t the outfit quite like a human would. The large, fluffy white paws replacing her arms and legs, were one thing that looked out of place, for starters, but the real thing that got to me was that look in her eyes, you know the one. It’s that look of someone who thrives off people, speaking to them, being near them, and even worse, PHYSICAL CONTACT.
They threw a little party for her, and there was punch and a cake and such, apparently she was highly anticipated for her skills with TPS reports or something, and it was all one fun little shindig. I’d not sound so jaded, if it weren’t for the fact that as soon as she spoke with someone, she’d go in for a hug, those fluffy paws of hers wrapping around them, squeezing with a delicate, yet powerful strength that left the person smiling and a little flushed.
I was quite aware of her game early on, and I did my best to stay away from her, but my plans were foiled when my supervisor dragged me over to greet her, my skin crawling as his hand pressed onto my shoulder. He led me to her and she turned about, smiling broadly at me as she greeted me with that Canadian accent.
“Well hey there! Name’s Sam, pleased to meet you!” She held out one of those paws toward me and I just looked at it before speaking myself.
“My name is Daniel, and I’m in charge of the regional marketing division.”
She seemed to falter for a moment before slapping that smile on again, as if she didn’t notice me ignoring her. She chuckled to herself before saying, “Oh well, that’s fine there. We’ll have ourselves a good time working together, as I’m in your division!”
“Yes, I am quite aware.” I did not like this Sam.
“Well, then we’ll just have to do the best dang job ever, huh?” She sayid before raising those massive mangrabbers toward me. “Now bring it here.”
I took a step backward as she moved forward, and she faltered a step, blinking in confusion at me. I frowned and said, “I do not want hugs here, I do not want hugs there, I do not want hugs anywhere. I do not want hugs, that’s who I am, I do not want hugs, Sam Iyam.”
She seemed stunned for a moment before a sort of eager determination came over her face. She gave me a look that made my spine shudder, and I could tell she was planning something devious. I gave her an annoyed stare, but she turned to my supervisor, tuning me out then. This was fine by me, and I did my best to enjoy the rest of the party, yet I always kept an eye on her, just to make sure…
Of course, nothing came of it the rest of the party, and indeed, we went to work again, where I tapped on my keyboard, the gentle rhythm of the keys reminding me of nice, simple things. This was spoiled when I felt a presence behind me and I turned about to find Samantha there, her arms out wide, a stuffed bear in her paws.
“Would you like hugs in a chair? Would you like hugs with a bear?”
I grit my teeth and clenched my fists, growling out, “I do not want hugs in a chair, I do not want hugs with a bear, I do not want hugs, now get and scram, I do not want hugs, Sam Iyam.”
She frowned again, looking mildly distressed before slowly nodding her head and slinking away. I closed my eyes and massaged my forehead. This day is just going to get worse and worse, isn’t it?
My fears were once again confirmed as I stood next to the water cooler, a paper cone in one hand, phone in the other. I tried to look away from her as she stopped and leaned on the cooler, that goofy grin on her face. She moved in close and whispered, her words becoming mingled with that of the automated response machine on the line,
“Would you, could you, on the phone? Have hugs here, even with your cone?”
I took a deep breath and downed my water cone before shutting off my phone. I stuffed the device into my pocket before throwing away the water, then scowling at her. I grit my teeth and said, “I do not want hugs on the phone, I do not want hugs with a cone, I do not want hugs, you annoying clam, I do not want hugs, Sam Iyam.”
Before she could so much as give me a disappointed look, I stalked away to my cubicle again, sitting down and getting lost in my work. Thankfully, she didn’t bother me the rest of the day, and as soon as five rolled around, I punched out and got the hell out of there, making my way to my car, where I got in and sighed in relief. She couldn’t get me here, that’s what I told myself over and over, as relief began to wash over me.
It was ruined by a tapping at the window, and I opened my eyes slowly to behold Samantha standing there, her long nails clacking against the glass. I shot her a nasty glare, yet she just smiled again and said, her worlds slightly muffled by the glass,
“You may like them, in your car. Perhaps you’d like them, in a bar?”
I paused at that for a moment. The bar? No, no I do not want hugs at the bar, but damn, that sounded like a damn good idea, didn’t it? Getting a drink, yeah, yeah that sounded really good. All I needed to do was just get rid of the baggage…
I slowly rolled down the window, and her eyes sparkled brightly, her arms held out. I smiled at her widely before saying, in a rather pleasant voice, “I do not want hugs in my car, I do not wants hugs at the bar, I will not fall for this stupid scam, I do not want hugs, Sam Iyam.”
I quickly rolled the window back up, or well, as quickly as power windows could roll up, before I drove off, leaving her almost literally in my dust. I kind of felt bad about that, but honestly, she needed to get the damn hint. I DO NOT WANT HUGS. How hard is that to understand?
Ugh, I needed a drink.
Thankfully there was a bar near work which everyone knew about, and I slid into the lot to catch Happy Hour, where I could get a beer and some snacks. As the amber liquid slid down my throat, I felt another sense of ease and contentment. Ah, this was nice, no work, no papers, and most of all, no Samantha. Yes, I could see why one would become an alcoholic if things were this nice.
I leaned back in my chair, happiness on my face until I saw someone enter the bar, and I had to fight not to drop my beer glass. Oh, it wasn’t because of shock, no, it was because of rage, my trembling hand about to squeeze the glass right out of my grip. Sam noticed me and sauntered on over, sitting down at the bar and smiling that sickeningly sweet smile at me.
She made a motion to the bartender, who poured her a cold one, setting it on the bar next to her. She took the glass in a large, meaty paw, and downed the whole thing in one go, apparently not phased at all by the cold. Canadians, ice in their damn blood, I tell you. A satisfied look on her face, she tapped the bar and received another one before holding her glass out toward me, saying,
“Would you, could you with a beer? Would you like hugs-“
She cut off as I slammed my glass onto the bar, almost shattering the damn thing, but still making one hell of a racket as I stood to my full height. Of course, this wasn’t all that impressive against the yeti, yet still I did it, rage puffing off me. I stared into her eyes with the fury of a thousand suns, and I nearly snarled as I said,
“I could not, would not, with a beer and I will not, shall not, in a bar! I will not hug on the phone, I will not hug with cone! I do not want hugs in a chair, I do not want hugs with a bear! I do not want hugs here nor there, I do not want hugs ANYWHERE!”
I stared her in the eyes, my eyelid twitching slightly as I growled out, “I do not want hugs, I do not want them, Sam Iyam…”
She sat there quietly as my rage washed over her, her expression never once changing. Slowly, she brought the glass to her lips and took a drink before setting the glass on the bar and folding her paws in her lap. She looked up at me and said in a quiet, almost demure voice,
“You do not want hugs, so you say. Perhaps you’d try one, and you may. Try one hug, and no more I’ll stay.”
I licked my lips and before putting my hand to my forehead. I took a steadying breath as the fight leeched out of me, leaving me drained and tired. “Fine. If you will let me be, one hug I’ll have, you will see.”
Samantha smiled broadly and stood up, her large arms and white paws enveloping around me. I felt a fear, a panic at first, but as she drew me close to her bosom, I experienced a calming sort of warmth spread through me, as if I was being caressed by the gentle rays of the sun. The pressure was firm enough to give me stability, yet gentle enough not to hurt my body, and I found myself crying slowly as unbidden memories of my childhood flooded into me. My mother’s tender embrace after a long day, the way she’d hold me and make me feel like everything was alright… Such delicate things I had forgotten, pushed down into my memories…
I was still sobbing as Samantha let me go, and I almost redoubled my weeping from the loss of her warmth, despite the Texas heat. She smiled at me, though it was far gentler than before, and she took one large, fur coated finger and wiped away a tear from my eye. I looked down, my voice choked as I said in almost a whisper,
“Say… I like hugs, I do, I like them Sam. I would hug with a beer…” I took a deep breath and continued, powerful emotions taking hold of me as I spoke, “I would hug in a bar, I would hug in a car. I would hug on the phone, hell I’d hug with a water cone! I would hug with a bear, I would hug in a chair. Fuck it, I would hug here, I would hug there, I would hug ANYWHERE!”
She smiled broadly and I mimicked her gesture, proclaiming to the bar as exultation flew through me, “I do so like hugs!”
Before Samantha could do anything else, I dove in and hugged her, feeling her warmth again. She didn’t seem upset or surprised, no, she merely drew me in again and whispered, “I knew you would.”