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Just Young At Heart
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John Hills sat at his office desk twiddling his thumbs and fidgeting.
He was finding it hard to concentrate on anything this morning.
The reason was that he had lost his luck mascot, namely, a small model of a brown grizzly bear.
It was something he had treasured since his childhood; over the years he had preserved it carefully into adulthood.
He looked upon it with great pride, and since he started this job he placed it in his coat pocket brought it in to work every day, it was his lucky charm.
He recalled how his mother had bought it for him, back in the mid-sixties.
As colleagues passed by his desk to say hello or ask him questions, he tried his best to try and smile but the tension was clearly mounting on his face.
Suddenly, as the phone rang, he jumped and held his chest with his right hand. Colleagues noticed this and some of them grinned.
"Hello, Sales Advisers Ltd, this is John Hills, how may I help you?" he said in an anxious voice.
"John, it's your wife Kitty, listen, I looked everywhere for your toy but I just could not find it love"
"Shh! please for heaven's sake Kitty, talk in a low voice, everyone can hear you, and for your information it is NOT a toy, it's my lucky mascot."
"Yes yes," replied Kitty, "the one you've treasured since you were a child. I don't know how many times I've heard that story."
"Listen Kitty, there's one place you may find it, go to my cabinet and look in the bottom drawer, you see where the Humpty Dumpty jigsaw puzzle is?
Well, there's a fraction of a chance that you'll find it there."
"Alright, I'll look just this once and then I have to go out shopping, and then do some cooking."
Suddenly John heard a burst of laughter and slammed the phone down abruptly. He swung his chair around to see Frank Scuttle, his colleague, crouched in a fit of laughter.
"Hah hah hah hah. Hah hah haa haa, Oh you're one hilarious man John Hills. Fancy playing with toys at your age, you're now a grown up man in his late fifties. Hah ha ha ha ha!"
Just then Carol Bleeming, another colleague, came over and stamped her left foot on the ground.
"Stop this at once Frank; you should have more sense than to disrupt a colleague at work. Now go back to your desk at once, or else I'll have no option but to report you to Mr. Treekson. GO!"
Frank, who was still finding it hard to control his laughter, returned to his desk.
John's phone rang and he looked up at Carol.
She smiled approvingly. "Go on," she whispered, "pick it up."
John picked up the phone.
"I'm so sorry love, I looked everywhere you told me to, I even looked under the Humpty Dumpty Jigsaw but there was nothing there. Only your view master with the slide show of 'The people that time forgot.'"
Kitty's voice was very loud and it echoed across the office, even as John held the mouthpiece.
"Thanks all the same." said John and placed the receiver down.
"Thank you too Carol, I've never been so embarrassed in my entire career."
"Look; do you want me to have a word with Mr. Treekson? He's a good man and I'm sure he'll let you go home and look for it."
John managed a slight smile.
"I really appreciate your help Carol, and I'll take your suggestion into consideration."
"Well, I've got to attend a meeting but you can come to my desk after lunch-break if you like."
Carol left and John looked around his desk, still restless.
"Oh it's no use, I just can't concentrate, I think I will go and see Mr. Treekson and ask him if I can take the rest of the day off."
To some people his behavior might have seemed overly dramatic but his little brown grizzly bear really did bring him luck and he felt that nothing bad would happen to him while it sat snugly in his pocket.
Jack stood up and marched to Mr. Treekson's office, he was the top grade officer in the firm.
John took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
"Come in!" a deep voice called out.
As John opened the door and entered, he got the surprise of his life.
Mr. Treekson was on the floor playing with several toys and among them was his lucky mascot.
"Oh, I do apologies John, I know how much Benji the bear means to you but I just wanted to play with him for a while. Apparently it must have accidentally slipped and fallen out of your coat pocket last night when you left the office in a rushed to catch your train.
One of the cleaners handed it to me this morning.
I recognised it immediately but thought, well, why not play a game with it and then return it to you. After all; boys will be boys! I..er, hope you don't mind."
John found himself about to erupt in a fit of laughter and this soon turned to a kind of maturity as he realised there and then, how others must have felt seeing him when he was showing off Benji the toy bear for all these years.
"Not at all Sir; I'll be at my desk and wait until you've finished playing with it."
He left Mr. Treekson's office and sat at his desk, a lot calmer.
For a moment he sat and stared at his computer screen and then said to himself softly.
"I don't exactly know what maturity is, I never did. I guess I'm just young at heart, and funnily enough, that's probably the way I prefer it!"
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