Of all the new people on the car insurance scene - and there were a lot - Flo had a soft spot for Jake from State Farm. He wasn’t like most of the others there, pushing their products onto the millions of television viewers. He was a simple man who would rather sit in a cubicle at three in the morning answering people’s questions about the coverage they would receive.
She had taken him under her wing after she had caught Mayhem giving him a hard time for his outfit.
“Are you sure you shouldn’t be working the aisles of Target?” he had taunted.
Flo had swooped in and assured the rather flustered young man not to listen to anything that came out of Mayhem’s mouth.
She was just coming in for her shift when she saw several familiar faces in the break room. The gecko was standing under the light, enjoying the heat from the lamp with his eyes closed. Mayhem was standing in the corner of the room, muttering his lines about ruining someone’s day. Jake from State Farm was standing by the coffee machine with a thoughtful look on his face.
Flo scooted next to the man with the red polo shirt. “Finishing your shift?” she asked.
He jumped at the sound of her voice. “Um, yeah.” He ran his hand over his hair. “Listen, Flo, can I ask you a question?”
“Anything, honey.” She noticed Mayhem was suddenly very quiet.
Jake looked at her. “What does it mean when a woman asks over the phone what you’re wearing?”
Flo’s eyes widened. Mayhem sputtered. The gecko stumbled forward.
Flo put her arm around Jake, turning him away from the others. “Well, it sort of depends on how she was asking. Was she causal about it?”
Jake shook his head. “Um, no. She was quite demanding. She really wanted to know.” He swallowed. "She even called me by my name."
The poor thing didn't have a clue what was going on. “Ok, well, sweetie. Usually when a someone asks you a question like that it’s probably because they..” Flo noticed Mayhem was listening very intently. She whispered in Jake’s ear “...are wanting to have some fun.”
“Fun?” He practically shouted the question.
So much for secrecy. She nodded. “Yes, like using their imagination.”
A deep blush colored Jake’s cheeks as he finally understood what she meant. “Oh.”
“What did you tell her?”
“I believe my answer was, ‘uh, khakis’.” He looked like he wanted to hit his head against a wall.
Flo couldn’t mask the slight wince. “Yeah. Maybe the next time you could...embellish things for your next caller. A suit is always a good place to start.”
A spark of hope flashed on Jake’s face. “Do you think she’ll call back?”
Flo shrugged, not wanting to kill his happy mood. This was the first time he looked happy instead of bored since he started working at State Farm. “You never know.”
His arms wrapped around her unexpectedly and he picked her off the ground.
“Whoa there,” she said breathlessly.
He gently lowered her to the ground and grinned. “I can’t wait for my next shift.” With a quick wave, he rushed out the door.
Familiar footsteps approached from behind Flo. “Poor kid.” Mayhem’s voice rumbled in her ear.
She spun around and noticed his smirk. “You don’t think he has a chance of pulling that off?”
“Not in a million years.” He took another step closer to her. “You know, I wear a suit all the time.”
Mayhem grinned. Flo felt the heat in her cheeks.
“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” she lied.
She moved to step past him when he reached out and plucked the iPhone from her apron pocket. “Call me after your shift. I can promise you I won’t be wearing any khakis.”
He waited a half-second. “Or anything else.”
“I’m still in the room,” the gecko called out.
She snatched the phone from him. “I hope you can handle me, sweetie. I’m very imaginative.”
Mayhem stood there stunned and Flo walked across the room, smug.
Though she would never admit it out loud, she was rather looking forward to calling him tonight.
After all, she thought with a whisper of a smile, a girl needs a little Mayhem in her life.