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Dear Sandwich Thief

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Jonathan hated waking up to his alarm. He swears on his life that he never set it the night before and that there’s probably something haunting him. It takes him about thirty seconds before he’s slamming his hand over his clock, which still blares out its annoying shriek. Then, it takes him a minute until he blankly remembers he did set an alarm last night, and that precise alarm was on his phone, not his clock. He’s out of his bed a minute later, frantically searching for his phone under his sheets (because it’s not on his nightstand, where he left it). Certainly not the most peaceful of his mornings, but the blonde is no longer surprised by this reality.

So begins the official Jonathan Combs’ Morning Routine™.

He brushes his teeth—facepalming with toothpaste dribbling down his chin because he forgot to eat breakfast again—changes into his “work attire”, messes with his hair for only three seconds, then dashes out the door with his keys and bag.

Sure, his morning doesn’t sound that bad, but the routine he has going on has never once changed since he first got his job. Which bored him more than anything.

Jonathan had desperately applied to Gehenna Co. when he found himself struggling to scrape up the money to pay for rent. The opening was an average data entry job he didn't think he would be hired for at first, but it didn’t take him long before he was given an employee handbook and a tiny desk. Though, he isn’t actually sure what Gehenna Co. manufactures, he does get tasked to transfer handwritten data reports to online documents. When he asks what the company gains income from, people always either dodge his question or genuinely don’t know.

The job was quite the blessing, in all honesty.

His co-workers were… different. When he thinks about it, Jonathan feels as if he was brought back to high school. They goof around a lot and, in all honesty, have all the tropes that belong on a sitcom. He doesn’t talk to many of them, excluding a handful of those he actually can follow a conversation with. Magill Nancy—AKA Lil—who has a cube right next to his, Joane (or Jojo, as Jonathan calls her), who he only knows through Lil, and Zack Melto, who Jonathan doesn’t really like due to the unnerving glares he sends him.

Other than them, he only knows his supervisor and director of recruiting, of which both gained a solid dislike towards Jonathan's lack of interest in basically anything.

Although his co-workers seemed absolutely unbearable, Jonathan wasn’t as unlucky as he makes himself out to be. He’s twenty-five, breathing, and stable, which overall is better than sixty percent of people his age. Another optimistic view would be that his job may be boring, but it’s simple, and he can actually have a tiny (emphasis on tiny) bit of freedom. He doesn’t have to wear a stiff suit and tie. He can wear his black pants and some boring, old gray vest over his white long-sleeve shirts with some “fancy” sneakers and voilà! He just avoided having to fret with a tie for a solid five minutes.

But the thing is, good things tend to lose their value over time.

After about three months in of doing the same thing over and over (and over) again, Jonathan started getting really sick of it. He got sick of getting ready in the morning. He got sick of waiting thirty minutes in traffic after buying himself lunch under the same bright lights that always made his head hurt. He got sick of going into work and seeing the same people talk to each other. He got sick of being put in front of a computer screen and expected to write. He got sick of the vagueness of the company, the smell of printed paper, and the chill of the desk when he placed his hand over it.

But, there was one thing he loved about his day.

His break.

Every workday, before he even got on the freeway, Jonathan first went to a deli near his house. The owner and his son made the best sandwiches in the world. Jonathan wasn't exaggerating; he means it with certainty that those sandwiches are the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread—in which he means the bread slices used to make those heavenly concoctions.

After arriving at work, he takes his food into the break room and stores them in the back of the fridge, where he’s sure no one will find them. Those lunches were the highlight of his day, evening, and night, when he could grab his sandwich, take the wrapper off his food, and take a bite out of what should be considered God’s best creations.

Jonathan loved lunch time because he could take a break and finally relax, and experience something new all over again (albeit in the form of a sandwich).

Well… Until the day he couldn’t. Which, unfortunately, was the same day Jonathan started hating his life.

Jonathan stood in dismay to find the container that used to hold his sandwich empty, no sign of his lunch ever being placed there. This couldn't be true right? No one would eat someone else’s lunch like that. That's just rude.

He hadn't noticed how long he had been standing there until he realized Lil was staring into the fridge with him, obviously confused to what had Jonathan so dumbfounded.

“Damn, what happened to you?” she said, loud enough to snap him out of his daze.

Something in him boiled deep in his stomach, a sick feeling, until he realized his fists were clenching and he was now glaring at the empty container, which was still in the fridge. Why was he so upset? It's just a sandwich.

But it was his sandwich, and it was the best part of his day, and now it's gone.

“Nothing,” he responded, though his voice was gruff with anger. “It's just that somebody ate my sandwich.”

And suddenly, it dawned upon him that it didn't matter if it was just a sandwich. Because the worst part of Jonathan’s day used to be waking up to the sound of his alarm. He had only bared through it because he always loved the time he was able to finally unwind. But now, the worst part of Jonathan's day was the very thing he had grown to look forward to. Because one day, someone had decided to eat his sandwich, and Jonathan was extremely pissed.

-----

“Okay, what the hell is wrong with you?”

Jonathan’s eyebrows furrowed as he registered the query in his head, his mind a bit fuzzy after staring at his computer screen for too long. He looks up from his desk and to Lil, who leaned rather obnoxiously on his workspace. “It’s nothing,” he said in a sudden bashfulness, “just bullshit.”

Lil huffed, the purple-haired bangs falling away from her face before coming back to cover her eyes, “Don’t lie to me. You and I both know that isn’t true.”

The blonde was currently skipping his lunch break. It had been five days since he had last eaten at work. The problem was no longer that someone was confusing his food for theirs. Jonathan had already changed containers, marked the containers with his name, and filed a complaint. All his persistent attempts to avoid having his food eaten had failed, and Jonathan was left to sulk.

“Well, what am I supposed to explain? I already told you,” Jonathan scowled as he looked back to his computer and poked mindlessly at his keyboard. “It’s not really a big deal.”

To be frank, that part was probably true. It wasn’t that bad that Jonathan kept having his food eaten, and he could obviously just stop buying the sandwich… But Jonathan was just stubborn, and if he had already planned multiple methods of murdering the person stealing his food, then he wasn’t completely at fault.

“Wait, you're not talking about the sandwich, right?” she laughed, “Dude, get over it and just find a new place to put it. That way, whoever is messing with your food can’t find it anymore.”

“Don’t you think I've thought of that already?” he glared, “The sandwich it just…” he muttered the last part, feeling a bit childish, “it wouldn’t taste as good if its not in the fridge.”

“Okay, now you just sound whiny.” Jonathan ignored Lil and pouted at his computer screen, knowing she was completely right. He heard Lil sigh in irritation, “What about if you started eating it earlier?”

Jonathan took a minute to consider it, he really did, but he thought that he didn’t actually really know when the sandwich thief ate his sandwich—he only knew that it was sometime before 12:30 p.m. He looked to Lil again to mention this, but she spoke before he could even open his mouth.

“Okay, what if,” Lil said, a wide, mischievous grin putting Jonathan at unease. She held her hand out, predicting Jon was already going to interrupt her, “What if… you do that thing from that Friends episode?”

“That what?”

“That episode with the whole ‘My sandwich’ bit? The One With Ross’s Sandwich!” Lil exclaimed, and he was sure his coworkers hated him and Lil for being so loud.

“Lil, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jonathan deadpanned.

Lil groaned out, her hands falling to her sides and then up to drag down her face in frustration, “Do you not watch Friends? Because if so, I kind of hate you.”

Jonathan shrugged, feeling offended but not giving Lil the pleasure of knowing that. “Don’t care. What are you talking about and what the hell does it have to do with my sandwich?” He crossed his arms and looked to his computer screen again.

His coworker’s hip swung to the side (he swears he’s never seen her do that before) and she grinned again. “Well, now that you’ve asked… there was one episode where Ross, one of the characters from the main group, went through that stupid shit you’re going through. You know, with the whole sandwich. And he was all mopey about it like you are,” Jonathan glared at her, “but then Phoebe, his friend, suggested he becomes ‘aggressive’ so that no one would steal his food. So she wrote a note that threatened anyone who ate his sandwich.”

Jonathan stared at Lil in bewilderment. “And?” Jonathan had never been so confused in his entire life.

Lil raised her eyebrows. “Aaaand that means you can write a note too. With your own written warning.”

Jonathan rolled his eyes. “That wouldn’t work.”

“Not unless you let me write it.”

Jonathan paused. “Wouldn’t someone just throw it away?”

Lil pleaded, “Please? You know how much I love threatening people!”

He looked at her in confusion, and seeing that she didn’t further explain, he sighed. “Fine, but I have nothing more to do with it, okay?”

“Yes!” she grinned. She grabbed a Post-It from Jonathan’s desk (without asking) and pulled a pen from her back pocket, then wrote something down. “Okay, use this one.”

-----

It took four days for Jonathan to finally get something to change. Up to that point, the notes had consisted of short, tame warnings (his favorite being: “Stop touching my fucking things.”) On the fourth day, Jonathan had decided to stop letting Lil write the notes. He had stayed in his office and sat at his desk, a black Sharpie inches away from a large, empty Post-It. After a few painful minutes of doing absolutely nothing, Jonathan had wrote down the first thing he could think of.

Dear sandwich thief,
Whoever you are, you really have to stop stealing my food. I need to eat or else I’ll die, and you keep stealing my food, which is super fucking un-cool. So just get your own. Joe’s Deli by Willow Ave. and 5th St. Get it yourself. Get a Coke with it. Let someone else eat it. I don't care. Just leave my stuff alone.
Sincerely,
The Owner of the Sandwich You Keep Eating

After that, Jonathan wasn't sure what to expect. He had probably expected to find the note as he found all the other ones, crumpled up and put aside the empty container.

He surely didn't expect to find a new note, bright and neatly put on the top of his empty container.

Jonathan stared at the note, not wanting to read it without telling Lil about it first. Curiosity got the best of him, though, so he let his eyes fall to the sticky note. On it was blue ink and slanted cursive, reading:

Dear Owner of the Sandwich I keep Eating,
I need to eat too, but I don't have time to go to a deli off my route. You also have a great taste in food. So, I’ll probably continue to eat your delicious sandwich. Sorry! :(
Sincerely,
The sandwich thief

He shut the fridge door and backed away in a rush, his feet almost slipping. He ran to Lil's desk and shoved the container on top of her work.

Lil swiveled around her chair, frowning. “What—you want me to write something down?” Jonathan shook his head, and maybe he looked a little freaked out because Lil raised her eyebrow and asked, “Jesus, dude are you okay?”

He rolled his eyes, then spun her chair back to face the desk and pointed at the pink sticky note on his container. “Lil, I got a note back.”

Lil stared at the container before sliding away and looking at him. “Then why do you look so scared?”

“I’m not scared! This just means someone is doing this shit on purpose. And they know I'm going hungry, but they still steal my food. Do you know how badly I want to punch them?”

“Hey, maybe they're starving too.”

“Then they would get their own food!”

Lil shook her head, “You take this too seriously. Just don't take the sandwich in the fridge anymore.” She checked a clock on her desk and stood up. “I have lunch right now so if you wanna come with me, you can.”

“With you and Jojo? No,” he backed out her way. “All you guys do is rip on each other. I don't know her like that. But have fun eating.”

The purple haired girl rolled her eyes. “Have fun crying over your sandwich.”

-----

Lil sat down in front of a blonde haired girl, whose white button up shirt now had dirt on the sleeve. “What's up, Jojo?” She pulled the other girl’s bag towards her.

Lil dug through the bag and took out a container of warm spaghetti, and looked at Jojo (who was holding the same lunch).

“Ugh, the usual,” she complained. Steam rose from the pasta twirled on her fork as she lifted it to her mouth. “People here kind of piss me off. You know that Stan dude that I've mentioned before? God, he and some girl named Julia won't stop flirting. Like,” Jojo stuffed the fork into her mouth and continued, “it wouldn't really bother me but Stan just has to be loud as fuck.”

“Wait, isn't Stan gay?”

“No, that's the other Stan, he quit a while ago. Plus, he's not gay, he's bi.”

“Oh,” Lil nodded and opened the warm container. “Well, that sucks, Jo. I suggest you tell both of them to give it up.”

The other hummed in agreement, and there was a silence where they spent their time eating.

“How about you, Lil? Anything new?”

Lil swallowed down the pasta she had been chewing, and looked up at her friend, “I mean, there's nothing happening with me. But you know my friend Jonathan right?”

“The blonde dude? Yeah, how could I forget?”

“Yeah—wait, how could you forget what?”

Jojo shook her head, “The dude is so quiet. He doesn't pick up on any of my conversations.”

“I don't know, I don't think he really cares about social interaction,” Lil shook her head, “whatever, that's not my point.” She poked at her food. “My point is that he's been whining lately about someone who's been stealing his sandwiches and stuff.”

“Yeah, and?”

“And, I mean he won’t shut up about it. I keep telling him ways to avoid getting his food eaten but he doesn’t even want to try them. So, logically, I told him to leave notes behind that would scare the dude off, like in Friends. And then he whined more and today he comes up and tells me he got a note back.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“I know, it’s weird, it’s like one of those weird fanfictions on the internet.”

“What? No, I meant ‘Jesus Christ’ as in ‘Jesus Christ, you’re a nerd’ not… not whatever you were talking about.”

“Shut up,” Lil rolled her eyes, but she smiled in amusement anyways. “Either way, you know he’s gonna end up whining even more to me anyways. But I was also kind of wondering. Who would even bother to write back anyways?”

“And that’s why you mentioned this, right?” Jojo grinned, “Oh, please tell me we’re gonna skip some of our work to snoop around the break room!”

Lil nodded. “Yeah, I don’t think we really can. I heard that the boss or CEO, or whatever, has been visiting our branch a lot lately, and he brought a lot of his management teams with him. Why do you think our supervisors have been on our ass lately?”

Jojo nodded, disappointment crossing her face. “That sucks.” There was another silence, this time accompanied by Jojo’s pensive thoughts. “We can still ask around, though, so that’ll be cool.”

“Yeah, definitely,” the blue haired girl looked down at her half-empty plate. She brushed her hair out of her face and sighed.

Jojo sighed along with her, refusing to look up at Lil. Quietly, she said, “But seriously, things have been really fucking boring around here. Nothing’s fun anymore. I mean sure, everyone around here still fucks around and acts like their teenagers but it’s nothing new. I mean, it’s really, really sad that the most interesting thing we’ve had to talk about in days is your friend’s sandwich.”

Lil laughed, “When you put it like that, yeah.”

“Look, all I’m saying is…” she met Lil’s eyes, her blue eyes glistening with softness that she hadn’t seen from the blonde girl in so long. “I miss hanging out with you. And I know that sounds, like, really lame,” Jojo smiled sheepishly, “but it’s true.”

“It is lame, but same here,” she shrugged, “I just wish the office would be as fun as high school was.”

Jojo nods and glances up at a clock on the wall. “Fuck, it’s getting late. Text me if you’re going to hang out with your friend or not, so I can know in advance if you need a ride.”

“After the sandwich incident, I’m probably never gonna visit Jon anyways. So I’ll just meet you up outside.” Lil pushed away from the table and gathered up the trash from their previous meal.

“Nice,” she gave Lil a smile and stood. “Alright, I'll see you later.” With that, they both turned around and walked away.

------

“Okay, are you still getting your sandwich eaten? Because you haven’t stopped acting pissed off all day.”

“I haven’t eaten lunch since this whole thing started. I’m really hungry right now, and these notes,” he gestures to three different colored notes crumpled on his desk, his leg bouncing up and down in restlessness, “are not helping.” Jonathan watched Lil walk over to the notes piled over his work, slowly eyeing them before she began to read the letters he knew all too well.

The second Post-It was orange. It was from the day after his first note back, yet the handwriting was the same and the sandwich was still stolen. Jonathan had written:

Okay asshole, I promise you that whatever fucking goal you want to accomplish by stealing other people’s food is not worth getting me angry. Obviously you just want to be an asshole and there’s literally no point in continuing this little game you want to play. So just stop taking my food.
From,
the (completely serious) owner of the fucking sandwich you keep stealing

To his rapidly decreasing surprise, he received another note back. The blue ink wrote out, clearly:

No. But you seem real nice! Thanks again for the sandwich!
XOXO
the beloved sandwich thief

The next day, he wrote:

Why do you keep stealing my sandwich?

To which the other replied:

I think the more appropriate question is, why do you keep bringing it?

Jonathan glared at the crumpled notes in memory of the interactions, willing them to reveal the writer.

“Oh my god, Jonathan. This…” she covered her mouth with her hand, her eyes squinted in mirth. “This is priceless.”

“Shut.” He glared at her. “It’s not funny.”

“You’re right, it’s fucking hilarious.”

Jonathan scowled at his former friend (he knew now that he couldn’t even trust Lil, of all people), and explained, “I didn’t bring any food today.”

“Wow, it didn’t take long for your composure to crack, huh?” Lil shook her head. “You can always split with me, I’m sure Jo will be happy to start bringing food for—”

“It’s not like that, though,” the blonde interrupted. He paused, “I’m trying to get the dude to stop until I’m sure he won’t steal my sandwich ever again.”

“How do you know it’s a guy?”

“Huh?” Jonathan blinked, confused at what Lil was implying.

Lil rolled her eyes, “How do you know it’s not a girl?”

The man shuffled in his seat, “No girl can be that annoying, and you know that.”

His friend raised an eyebrow, “You sure about that? Is this just because you want someone easier to punch?” She elaborated with an extended hand, “What if this is some really tough dude with bulging muscles and tattoos all over his body?” She paused before adding, “And not in the good way, the really bad way where it looks like he got them in a prison.”

“Lil, how many sitcoms have you been watching? First it’s ‘leave a note, Jon’ and now it’s ‘some raging prison convict is coming to get you’?”

Scoffing, she said with conviction, “Not that many.” She crossed her arms and looked down.

“Whatever, Lil, you can go get lunch now.” Jonathan turned back to his desk, expecting to hear Lil exit right after his goodbye. He heard a sigh behind him.

In a softer tone, Lil offered, “You can still come eat lunch with me and Jo if you’re up for it. Seriously though, don’t let this shit get to you so badly. It’s not like the person can really do any more damage other than taking your lunch away.”

He swiveled his chair to face his friend. “It’s critical damage to my soul, Lil! I need to eat!” Jonathan exaggerated, flailing his arms around. He paused, “I’ll go with you, but, just know I will have absolutely no idea what you and Jojo will talk about.”

“That was the weirdest joke you've ever made…” she stared as he turned to shut off his computer. “At least, I hope you were exaggerating because there’s no way I could still be friends with you if you just said 'critical damage to my soul’.” Lil shook her head, “Come on, then.”

-----

“What’s up with him now?”

Lil looked beside her to Jonathan, who was glancing back and forth the break room. She rolled her eyes when the man didn’t even bother to catch her judgemental gaze and answered Jojo, “The sandwich guy.”

Oh,” Joane said knowingly, and glanced in Lil’s (embarrassing) friend’s direction. She smiled awkwardly and turned to walk towards the fridge. “Well, I’ve got food if he wants to share. It’s cold, though, I just put it in the—” she paused, “Oh, hey, is this one of those notes he’s been getting?”

Lil widened her eyes, pretty sure that Jojo was playing a prank or something, but, to her surprise, she pulled out a purple Post-It, with the same blue handwriting that she had seen before. “Hey, Jon, looks like your desired thief noticed your absence,” she said flatly, looking to her friend in anticipation.

Jonathan didn’t look like he found it funny. He looked at the sticky note in bewilderment, and she was sure he kind of wanted to die. “Let me see, Jo.”

“Uh,” she hesitated and looked at Lil for approval. Lil shrugged and the blonde girl held out the note without further conversation.

Lil and Jo slowly fell into conversation again, though, without any interjection from Jon. The blue-haired girl caught his attention only once throughout the entire lunch, but it wasn’t long before Jonathan excused himself and left the room.

Lil sighed. “Did you happen to catch what was in that note?” she asked her friend, wondering what about the Post-It was making Jonathan act so out-of-character. It was getting confusing, to say the least, because Lil had been sure the male blonde knew that his sandwich wasn’t a big deal.

“Not really, but are you sure you don’t know who the person is? No one can be that obsessed with pranking a stranger. It’s too much work and it doesn’t seem like his reactions are worth it,” Joane responded. “I almost feel bad for Jon. This is, like, borderline harassment.”

“There’s plenty of ways Jonathan can prevent it at this point, you know? He’s also told me that he’s tried complaining to human resources but there’s not much to be done since we have no clue who’s leaving them and I’m pretty sure the company doesn’t care.”

Jojo shook her head, “Remind me again, why won’t Jonathan stop bringing the sandwiches?” She muttered to herself, “And why won’t he take my fucking food? It’s good.”

Chuckling, Lil answered, “I’m pretty sure he likes your food… It’s just, you know, I feel like he’s giving himself something to do.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, think about it,” Lil began. “He struggles with boredom and this is the first notable thing to pop up in literal months. I don’t necessarily blame him for latching onto to the first…” she air quoted, “‘exciting’ thing he’s been a part of since he first started working here. Hell, I think I would have done the same. It’s just… normal of him to try to find fun stuff to take up his time.”

“Well, he also doesn’t seem to, er, how do I say this shit without sounding weird… It seems like he’s taken it personally? The dude looks even more emo than usual.”

Lil smirked, “That part is true.” Her smile faded, and she furrowed her brow. “Shit, man, I feel bad. Do you realize what we just did?”

“That we talked shit about our friend, uh, yeah I know that part…” Joane frowned. An awful silence settled between the both of them after that, and suddenly, Lil regretted even bringing anything up. Sensing her regret, the blonde brightened, “Hey, you know what we should do?”

“What?” Lil asked with minimal interest, but eager to change the topic regardless.

She leaned forward a bit, “We should try to figure out who the note-leaver is.”

Lil blurted out in uncertainty, “Why would we do that?”

“Think about it,” she raised an eyebrow. “By figuring out who’s been bothering Jonathan, we can help him find a new friend.”

Friend? Are you joking? All Jon ever talks about is how he wants to kill them. It would never work,” Lil criticised.

“Well, then, that way he can kill them and he’ll stop complaining,” her friend waved her hand in dismissal. “C’mon, we can be like the Hardy Brothers—making rhymes and fighting crimes.”

“You seem so proud about coming up with that on the spot… And who the hell are the Hardy Brot—”

“IT DOESN’T MATTER!” the blonde interjected. “All that matters is that we finally have something to do with our lives. Haven’t you ever wanted to have a life, Lil?”

“Sounds enticing, but I’m pretty sure Jonathan wouldn’t appreciate the act, you know?”

“Nonsense, he’ll love the idea!” Jojo grinned, “Besides, don’t you think it’s finally time to wreck chaos in the workplace? You know, send threatening warnings to potential note-leavers, ask around for the mysterious thief, kill a few coworkers, you know—the recipe for absolute mayhem.”

Lil shook her head, “Dude, no. This isn’t worth it. You know Jonathan will get over it eventually and then we’ll just get bored again.”

“It doesn’t seem like the notes are gonna stop.”

Lil considered it, pausing to shift in her seat. “I mean, yeah? But it’s not really any of our business.”

“Who else is gonna save Jonathan from impending doom? Come on! What happened to the old Lil, who would never care about if we’re prying into someone’s life?”

“She’s dead. But, fine, whatever. We’ll start asking around some other day.”

Jojo’s shoulders slumped. “But why not now?

“Because our break is over in two minutes, Jo.”

“This is not fun…” she pouted, and now remained slouched backwards into her seat.

“It’ll be great,” Lil shrugged. “Who knows who the note-leaver could be?”

-----

Who the fuck could that asshole be?

“Could it be Lil?” Jonathan wondered to himself, staring at the new note that had appeared in the fridge. “Maybe she got Joane in on this and they’re just messing with me.” His eyebrow furrowed in consideration, then muttering, “But when the fuck do they have time?”

He reads the note again, eyes scanning the ink and handwriting fast enough that it’s starting to hurt his head.

Don’t tell me you gave up so quickly :( I was really hungry today! Make sure to bring two tomorrow.

“What the hell was the point in bothering someone like me for so long?” Jonathan said in confusion. “It’s not like my reactions are funny… Are they? Do I yell a lot?” his eyes widened. “Do I just not notice—oh my god, this is so bad.” He sat down at his desk, “Do I just play along? Am I going to start buying two sandwiches for a stranger?”

Throughout his entire spiel, he kept coming back to the same conclusion: this entire game was so fucking stupid.

There was no way he was going to keep being a part of it, so he decided he was no longer going to eat at work. (Which was also a bad idea given that [a] he gets hungry quick and [b] if any his “bro-workers” found out he was so much of a coward that he stopped eating just because someone was eating his food, he would never hear the end of it.)

Nevertheless, it was decided, and there wasn’t anything that would change his mind.

(The end. Or at least Jonathan wishes it was.)

-----

“What the fuck do you mean you stopped eating since last week?”

Jonathan frowned at the shock that Lil was portraying. Why was she so surprised? It’s not like that’s something Jonathan wouldn’t do. He was about to state his confusion when Lil just turned around and walked away.

He doesn’t know why he didn’t just follow her, but he was somehow surprised to see her walk back into his cube, several Post-It notes in hand.

Jonathan, stunned, could only watch her sit back down and drop them on the floor, with a flat look she must have gained when she left to go get them. The different colored notes fluttered towards the carpet, and his gaze shot back to his (unwarrantedly smug) purple-haired friend.

“I thought you’d like to know about these.”

The blonde facepalmed, “Lil, why would you even collect these? Why in the fucking world would you collect these?”

Lil shook her head, “Don’t ask questions.” She leaned over in the plastic chair, eyes scouring the ground. She seemed to finally find what she was looking for, because she grabbed a small blue Post-It and held it out for the man without further explanation.

So, is this how you want things to be? Well, I think two could play at this game.

Lil handed him another note reading: Okay, two can’t play at this game since you’re no longer leaving food and it took me a day to realize this. Come back, you coward. Preferably with sandwiches.

Owner of the sandwiches,
Please, I’m starving. Okay thanks x

“What the hell?” Did this other person really think Jonathan would be nice to them?

Lil handed him another note. She explained, “I had thought that you two were still talking. The notes were from every day we’re in this hell of an office, so I thought that maybe they were taking all of your notes...”

There was another note, this one a long note card that could fit all of the scratched out handwriting:

Hey so, I thought we had something? Like, I steal your sandwich, you let out your anger out on me, and you come back the next day. I’m getting pretty hungry without your sandwiches. Pls come back okay thx :)

The last sticky note, a wide, yellow one, was a foot away from Jonathan, and without further examination, he reached down and picked up the note.

Confusion rushed him, badly enough that he began rereading the same words from just the shock of it.

Dear sandwich owner,
I’m sorry. I didn’t really think it was a big deal when I ate your sandwich. I mean, who would have thought, though? But I get it if you’re not really up to talk again and i understand if you’ll never bring a sandwich either. I swear on my life that I will never, ever eat your beloved sandwich, or any other of your lunchtime delicacies, again. I truly am sorry. Have a great day!

“—are you listening?”

Jonathan looked up, only to be greeted by Lil’s frown. He shook his head, “Sorry, what did you say?”

The purple-haired girl sighed. “Since it’s Friday, I was suggesting that you start bringing your stupid sandwich again next week.”

“Uh, okay… Right, okay, I can do that.” Jonathan blinked. “Wait, why?”

“Well, for starters the so-called thief said he was sorry, remember?”

“Uh huh…”

“And that means he’s going to stop eating your food.” She paused, then continued, “Which means you don’t have to keep going without lunch.”

“Oh,” he shrugged, “okay.”

“I don’t know what’s been going on with you lately, but I don’t like it. You’ve been acting… dense. I suspect this job finally fucking got to you. It’s sad. I’ll plan your funeral.”

“When is it?”

“When you start liking them.”

-----

Lil was probably right. She probably did have to planning Jonathan’s funeral, because he might as well be dead. He was staring at his sandwich, still intact and uneaten, a container of cookies, and a note, with the same blue ink he had been reading since the day he began hating life.

He was quicker to react this time. Jonathan wasted no time to take out all three items from the fridge, then proceeded sit beside Lil and Jojo. Their eyes followed him, and before they could ask anything from him he couldn’t answer, Jonathan read the note out loud.

To show you I was completely serious, I baked you some cookies! They are sugar cookies, they’re fresh… well, at least when i made them. :) Sorry for everything... Have a great day!

There was a silence after he finished, but Jonathan didn’t have much to add on. Jo ended up being the first to respond. She chirped, “Well, that’s nice of them! You… you, uh, gonna eat that?”

“Yes,” the male glared. “But, what the fuck? Are you guys sure you have nothing to do with this?”

Lil shook her head, “Not at all. If we did, I think we would have been recording you, because this is literally the funniest shit I’ve ever witnessed.”

“Jon, if I’m gonna be honest with you, you better start being an asshole to this person, because otherwise, you might start getting attached. And if it’ll end up being some cruel prank, then you’ll whine that you got hurt and I’ll say, ‘Oh, you naive child.’

Lil laughed, “Are you good at planning events, Jo? Because I told him that I’d start planning his funeral if he started liking them.”

With this, Jo turned her full attention to the other girl, eyes brightening, “Ooh, I’m great at organizing stuff! The music should be My Heart Will Go On, for obvious reasons.”

“Color scheme: pink and black,” Lil joined in. “To commemorate his lovely edginess.”

“Another song would have to be—”

“ALL STAR, YES!”

“You read my mind, Lil. We’re like soulmates…” the blonde girl stopped. “When you aren’t acting emo, that is.”

Why…” Jonathan groaned. He flopped his head into cupped hands, “Why do I associate with you guys? And I don’t like whoever the fuck this is! I don’t even know them!”

Lil reached out for the container of cookies, popping the lid off with pursed lips. Jojo looked like she was holding back laughter.

The poker-faced girl smiled, then took a bite out of their dessert. “Alright man. These cookies are pretty sweet at least.”

There wasn’t any more talk about the notes anymore, but at the end of his break, he left a note with the empty container with six words:

Thanks, I owe it to you

After exiting with the sugar cookie in hand, Jonathan agreed. The cookies were pretty sweet after all.

-----

After his last encounter, Jonathan had made the decision to never show another note to his friends again.

The next day, it took a bit of stealth to hide the bright blue note from Lil and Jojo—who, for some ludicrous reason, spend their entire break in the same room. Writing a note and being able to bring it back while they were still gossiping at the center table was the virtually the riskiest set of actions he’s ever had to do. Jonathan was not going to lie, it took a lot of careful folding.

In the span of a month, Jonathan learned a lot about the person leaving him notes. Well, everything except the person’s name.

He learned that yes, the note-leaver was actually a guy, and he was around the same age as Jonathan. He learned that the dude had been working there for two years (which was exactly a year and a half longer than Jonathan himself) and had been promoted fairly quickly after getting accepted to the job. He worked in level six, but he recently decided to switch up his work schedule, so he, supposedly, gets a lot of free time.

Something he noted was that, the other person asked a lot of questions about Jonathan. In the first two weeks, he was bombarded with interest about his family, his friends, how he likes his work, and how his week is going. At one point, Jonathan jokes about the anonymity of what the company makes, and he’s promptly told that he’ll “know everything soon”.

He doesn’t know what enticed him to do it. After a few notes going back and forth about the CEO (to which, the anonymous writer says is “actually pretty cool despite his age”), he wakes up one morning with the conversations in mind. He had driven to the deli and came to the counter, greeting the owner and then looking at the counter in thought. He doesn’t know why he started thinking of the cookies that the other guy left him, but he definitely did. As a result, he ended up ordering a second sandwich (which he had regretted very quickly because he had trouble trying to fit both in the container, and ended up buying a box from the restaurant).

Of course, buying two sandwiches couldn’t be written off so easily, and he couldn’t bear the thought of having to explain the problem to someone or suffering the awkwardness of giving it to one of his co-workers. There definitely wasn’t any going back now. Walking into work, there was a bit of embarrassment that he faced thinking of what to write. It was almost funny, how Jonathan was putting so much thought into a stupid little note… But there was no way he was going to eat both.

What would he say? Does he explain his decision? Does he drag out their past conversation about Jonathan’s old pets? Does he ask what music he’s into? Why would I ask him what his preferred genre when I wordlessly brought him a sandwich?... WHY AM I MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF THIS?

He audibly groaned at his internalization. Jonathan was getting frustrated, and he had to remind himself that wasn’t a good state to be in.

A few minutes of hating life later and Jonathan finally writes out his note and has all but shoved his lunch into the fridge. He thinks about it throughout the first half of his day, the written words popping up randomly as he works at his desk.

Yeah, my dog was actually really big though. I bet he would have loved you. Anyways, I brought you a sandwich if you want it haha you don’t have to eat it though.

It haunted him, whispers of his stupidity interrupting his flow of typing and making him cringe. There was times where he wondered if he was possessed for the few seconds he spent writing that, and if the ghost was some infatuated schoolgirl.

Lunch couldn’t have gone by faster, and his heart couldn’t have stopped sooner. When he returned to view the remains of his pride, the extra sandwich was gone and replacing it was a note reading:

Wow, thanks! No one ever brings me food… You treat me well ;)
And for the record I would have absolutely loved him x

-----

Do you ever wonder if we’ve ever met and we just don’t know it?

Weeks passed by.

Definitely. I feel like we might have stumbled across each other at the urinal. That would be crazy though.

Jonathan told him he doesn’t really like the people around here, so he doesn’t talk to many. He explains the situation with his unnamed friends, who he explains are growing closer to each other than they are to him. He tells him he lives alone, and is always bored regardless of being at work or not. He mentions having an older sibling who he hasn’t heard from since he was eighteen. He tells him he thinks people don’t really enjoy holding conversations with him since he comes off as uninterested. He, offhandedly, details the most embarrassing moment in high school and how his parents once suspected him of sneaking out and smoking pot when he was sixteen after going to the library and texting them a picture of his notebook and pen. Supposedly, as Jonathan had said, “the pen looked suspicious to them.”

I think you would remember someone like me.

Jonathan learned that the other person’s family had passed away when he was young, and he had been in the foster care system until he grew out of it. There was some time that the other struggled to find a job until he managed to meet the CEO himself and was offered the entry job. The other person isn’t really into music, but he lives up to enjoy and try everything that comes his way. The other person enjoys cheesy horror films. He grew up without many friends, and struggled a lot to socialize because he had different interests than everyone else. He told Jonathan that he once got lost at a Wal-Mart and the workers mispronounced his name so badly that he had correct five different workers before someone could figure it out. Their parents had arrived to find their smiling five-year old son circled by five Wal-Mart employees. He wasn’t allowed to walk alone after that.

You definitely seem like you stand out.

They shared gossip of their coworkers, and conspired about the government. Rather randomly, they shared stories that seemed endlessly hilarious to him.

How do you think I look like?

A car crash was what took his parents. He cryptically explains that he hates himself for not being in the car with them during the crash. Jonathan tells him it’s normal to feel like he should have been there or that he was at fault, but there was reasons why he should live on. The next day, Jonathan brings him a dozen cookies. He was thanked.

haha, I have no idea but maybe we’ll meet someday.

Jonathan tells the other that his life was always kind of boring. He never really had much to look forward to until he met him.

Hopefully! Maybe we’ll overhear each other talk to someone else about our conversations like in all those shows.

It took sometime for him to realize it. There was no direct indication of what shifted between them. Their conversations still managed to find lulls and times where he seemed like the other was losing interest. Whenever this came up, it always itched Jonathan the wrong way. He didn’t want the other to lose interest, and he sacrificed some efforts to keep it.

Hey, how do you think I look like? Is that weird to ask since I didn’t answer you when you asked? I just don’t know how to picture you.

He woke up to talk to him, and he went to sleep thinking about him. Finding out this wasn’t normal was the first indicator that Lil was absolutely right. Jonathan liked the person who stole his sandwich, but he didn’t want to act on it. Jonathan was pretty sure he didn’t actually like him, and he was just probably just exaggerating. But…

I bet you got the best smile.

His heart pounded in his chest and heat rushed to his cheeks. What was he supposed to do? Jonathan’s stomach flipped and it seemed like someone just filled him with stuffing.

But he was sweet.

Jonathan received a cupcake along with that note.

-----

Lil should have known something was up when Jonathan stopped mentioning the note-leaver. He was scarce around the break room when Lil and Jojo were there, and he always looked like he was smiling at a joke no one else knew about except him. That was way too happy of him. She’s brought up the notes to pry out any information the man would accidentally reveal. There was no notable reactions, and he says he stopped talking to the person a long time ago.

When Lil asks Jojo about it, she proposes they use some of their break time to start asking people about who eats at what time.

They find out only about half of the workplace has a break before noon, and that no one really sees a girl go in and out of the break room with notes in hand. Jojo says that fact was probably obvious, Lil tells her to shut up.

They had already given up when Jonathan sat with them asking for their help. Lil should have known.

Jonathan ends up relaying the last few months to them, explaining he had lied to them about talking to the note-leaver. He says he learned a lot about them, and Lil and Jo share a look when he says fondly that they’re “the most interesting person I had ever talked to”. He talks about some of the food the other leaves and how he also brings food. Lil is almost about to finish his story for him when Jonathan finally confesses, “I think I like them.”

“See, we should have kept looking for her!” Jojo exclaims, “I blame you, Lil.”

“Me?!”

“Wait you were looking for—” Jonathan glared. He seemed to realize something, and froze. Both girls waited for him to continue speaking, but he just hung his head.

“Jon?”

“It’s not a girl, uh…” he scratched the back of his neck and lifted his head, but seemed to find the table more interesting than his own friends. “It’s a guy.”

“Oh man!” Jojo whined. “Do you know how stupid that makes me feel? We’ve been asking around for a girl coming in the break room with Post-Its but now it’s a dude?! All our research, just—” she made a woosh sound, “—down the drain.”

Lil shook her head, but a smile still found a way on her face. She searched for reassuring words, but shrugged and looked at her surprised friend, “Look man, if you’re worried we want to kill you for being into guys, it’s alright. It’s the era of the gays.” She pointed at herself, “I’m bi,” then to Jojo, “she’s pan,” she waved her hand around, “Stan’s gay—”

“No, that’s Brad, not Stan, Stan’s bi,” Jojo interrupted.

“Brad’s gay?!” Lil exclaimed.

Guys!” Jonathan yelled. “I get it. I get it.”

Jojo raised an eyebrow. “Then what’s the problem?”

Jonathan looked at them as if they had just grown two heads. Lil didn’t know why he looked so horrified to explain what was wrong. It seemed like his situation was going great. Despite his mortification, he managed to let out a sigh and say, “What should I do?”

There was silence Lil decided to break, “Just tell him how you feel and then maybe ask him to meet up, man.”

“Yeah, it’s not hard. I can even write the note for you.”

Lil scoffed, “You would not.

“Yeah, I probably wouldn’t,” Jojo concurred. “But it’s the thought that counts.”

“I swear to God, you guys are fucking teenagers. You guys change topic every five seconds.”

“I just don’t get it,” Lil tilted her head, “what’s the problem? Do you think he’s not into you?”

Jonathan didn’t reply.

“Oh my god. Oh my god,” Lil facepalmed. “Are you kidding?”

Jojo complained, “He leaves you fucking cupcakes and supposedly asks about your personal life and you’re telling me you think he’s not into you? You’re blind, Combs. Just plain blind. And a disappointment.”

His face went expressionless but his cheeks were red. Lil was happy to see his little boy growing up. “Helpful, you guys.”

“We’re always here for you, man,” Lil chimed in. “But, unrelated note, how many fingers am I holding up?”

“I regret this.”

Jojo laughed, “I don’t think we can help you. We don’t specialize in helping the blind but maybe normal reception of what flirting is can help you.”

“I think I hate you guys.”

“We love you, too,” Jojo smiled.

Out of work, the two girls decided quickly. They were going to figure out who Jonathan’s infatuation was, even if it was the last thing they would ever do.

-----

I’m thinking of getting a cat.

Cats are great and all but will it ever learn to love you.

It’ll love me. I’ll make it love me.

How so?

I’ll leave it little reminders every day.

Haha what’s your number?

No, don’t write that, you idiot.

Telling it to love you?

Do you think it’s working?

It is for me.

Probably? Call me to let me know haha

Hey are you into guys and by guys i mean me hahahaha jk don’t kill me

Yeah

I think I’m ready then

You think we should take this conversation over to our phones? We’re basically just texting but with paper

Sure but I don’t have a phone

Are you joking?

No? :)

That smiley face looks sarcastic.

No? :( *

Sarcasm again?

No? ;) xo

I think I love you man

I’m so fucking weak for you

How’s your week?

-----

“No luck,” Jojo responds after Lil asks her if she’s asked a co-worker named Stacy and her friends.

Lil groans. She questions, “Who do we know that has an earlier time?”

“Paul, Ulissa, Wendy, Julia, Kyle, Olivia, Stan, Brad, Megan, Veronica, Zoey, uh… Devin, Arthur,” Jojo listed. “But that’s the only ones off the top of my head.”

“We can try to, uh, match handwriting?”

“We would need to steal a note from Jonathan, and it doesn’t seem like he wants to let us keep one.”

Lil sighed, then banged her head against the table. “We must be forgetting about someone.”

There was another silence.

“Let’s go steal one of his notes.”

“One step ahead of you.”

-----

How’s your week?

Pretty boring honestly. Well, out of work, it has been, but inside it’s great.

Why is it great?

Well, I get to talk to lots of people, including you.

You are hurting my heart you fucking asshole

oh that’s cool. its nice talking to you too. xbox or ps4?

Xbox

Nevermind i hate you

Love ya too man haha

stop it ill murder you man i think i really like you

How bout that weather huh?

-----

Throughout all of level six, there was absolutely no matches. Throughout levels five and four, there was no sign of blue pens in a fifty mile radius.

Lil was lost. They had no pointers except that the notes were left before noon and that their suspect is male.

They went back to asking around, with little to no actual answers.

Well, until they asked Zack Melto.

Jojo began asking questions quickly when they found out Zack’s time of break. After trying their hardest to explain their situation, Lil began their interrogation. “When do you hang out in the break room?”

“I don’t,” he answered.

“Oh my god, have you ever been in the break room?” Lil clarified.

Zack nodded, swiveling his office chair around, “Yeah, but it’s never for very long. I usually don’t see anyone there.”

“Have you ever seen anyone though?”

“Yeah. Like a few weeks ago I saw this grown-ass man, like, basically bawling in there, that was wild.”

“Yeah, yeah, we can hear you making fun of strangers later, just tell us any other times you’ve seen someone,” Lil cut him off. Zack was the type of person Lil didn’t really enjoy spending time with.

He took a moment to think, and the purple-haired girl swears she saw the cogs working in his head. Eventually, he recalled, “There was this really bouncy dude this one time who cracked up at a note he found.”

“A note?” Lil sat up. “What did he look like?”

“He had brown hair. Like, light brown hair, but his haircut was pretty bad, to be honest. He wore a hat. Being honest, bro, I had no idea we could even wear hats.”

Lil thought back to all her co-workers, and she has never seen anyone who wears hats around. Turning to her friend, she was shocked to see Jojo sitting completely still, glaring daggers at Zack’s desk.

“I think I know who you’re talking about.”

-----

Do you think we’ll meet each other soon?

maybe

How are you?

I’m okay

Are you sure?

no

Why not?

because i think i’m in love with someone.

Why is that bad?

Because it’s you

Because it’s you

-----

Lil could tell Jonathan was not okay.

Talking to him was strange, he no longer gave vibes of the usual puppy love stage she had always seen from people. He didn’t mention or answer any conversation related to his crush. He fit the exact expression “uncomfortable in their own skin” because that’s what he looked like. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere but where he was, and asking him what was wrong was “uncomfortable” times ten.

Jojo tells Lil that she’s read enough fanfiction to guess what happened. Lil agrees, and there was a lot that still had to happen before anything could come to a close.

Meeting Napoleon Maxwell Sowachowski—or as Jojo calls him, Sock—was something scripted out of a movie. He smiled and talked to Lil as if she wasn’t basically forcing information about the notes out of him and as if Jojo wasn’t two seconds away from blowing his head up.

Sock was short. His body was kind of cartoonish, and his face was juvenile despite assuring Lil that he was in his late-twenties. He seemed, legitimately surprised that Lil knew about the notes, and even more surprised when she mentioned she knew the person he was talking to.

“So, wait, are you the friends he mentioned?”

“He mentioned us?” Jojo quit her staring to grin smugly. “He really does love us.”

Sock blinked, before raising his eyebrows and sucking in a breath between his teeth. “Actually, he said you guys are closer to each other than you are to him.”

Lil sighed, “Well, we’re gonna have a talk with him later.”

“What’s his name?” the brown-haired man asked, sitting up in his chair. “How does he look like? Is he okay? Does he talk about me?”

“Oh no, we’re not telling you this stuff. You’re going to ask any questions you may have to him personally.”

Sock’s face fell. “But he’s not talking to me anymore.”

Lil smirked, “Well, that’s where we come in, man.”

Jojo nudged him, “Don’t worry, your knights in shining armor are ready to ride in and save the day.”

“Oh?” he raised a brow, “okay, uh, what do I do, then?”

“Just show up at the right place at the right time.”

-----

Just come on. We’ve been wanting to invite you over for days.

“I don’t know, Lil, I’m not feeling up to it,” Jonathan mumbled into the phone, rubbing the sleep out his eyes.

Come on, just give it a chance.

Jonathan was too sleepy to be bothered. “If I say yes, will you stop calling me at seven in the morning and let me go back to sleep?”

Of course.

“Fine… you said at five, right?”

YES! Thank you! I promise you, we’ll have a great time.

“ALRIGHT, BUT STOP SCREAMING IN MY EAR.”

There was a chuckle on the other end of the line, and Lil answered quietly this time, “Alright, see you there.

-----

Jonathan stood at the front of Lil and Jojo’s apartment for far too long before he found out there was no one there. It was almost long enough for him to break down the door but not long enough to view the message he received from Lil about how he has to let himself in. He had to jiggle the doorknob for quite some time before the door finally gave way.

When the blonde stepped inside, the lights were off. He didn’t need to turn them on, because the TV was on and bright enough for him to walk to the couch without tripping. He was about to complain that he was waiting for Lil to open the door, when Jonathan stopped in his tracks.

Post-Its littered the ground around the couch, and seated on it was a brown-haired man Jonathan had never seen before in his entire life.

Jonathan felt confused, because what was this supposed to be? He squinted at the sticky notes and note cards, seeing the exact same blue and black ink that he had grown used to. His heart twisted in his chest. Was this supposed to be a prank? Who was this?

Suddenly, as if his entire mantra was said out loud, the man turned to him, bright green eyes flashing over to him as if he appeared out of thin air.

His saliva felt thick in his throat, and multiple thoughts crossed his mind at once. Was he dangerous? It didn’t seem like it… But no one could ever know.

Jonathan felt frozen in place. It took him a few moments before he reacted, slowly backing away from the wide-eyed stranger sitting in his friends’ apartment floor. With the movement, the stranger shot up off the ground. Jonathan’s reflexes kicked in and he jumped back.

It took a while before Jonathan managed to stutter the simple question, “Who are you?”

“I, uh, I’m Sock. I’m the person who ate your sandwich—no wait, that was terrible, let me start over—”

“Wait, you’re the person that’s been leaving notes?” His heart raced in his chest. Jonathan definitely felt sick now.

Sock (was that really his name?) nodded, and although it was hard to see since the TV was no longer facing him, he could see him form a little smile, “The one and only.”

You ate my sandwich.” Jonathan stared at him for a little while, an anxiety building up in his chest. Was he really the person from the notes? He wanted to ask, but he couldn’t. Staring at the other was a lot easier than talking. He really liked Sock’s eyes. He wondered how long he could just stare at them.

The brown-haired boy shrugged, “It was pretty good, not gonna lie.”

A laugh escaped him, and relief poured out with it, making it sound weak and pathetic. It sounded like the laugh someone would get before a panic attack. Oh god, I hope I don’t get a panic attack. He wondered how much confusion was showing in his eyes. He couldn’t break contact.

“You told me you loved me.”

He found out how long it took before he looked away. Attention fixated on the TV, he tried so hard not to speak. Jonathan’s jaw opened and closed again, then locked in place.

Sock stepped closer, “I spent a lot of time baking you food to make up for everything, and you still haven’t told me your name.”

Jonathan gulped, “It’s uh…” he stopped after his voice came out breathless. “It’s Jonathan.”

“Hello, Jonathan. I love you.

“You?” the blonde stepped back. “What?”

Sock’s shoulders slumped. “I love you too. Was that not a better introduction?”

“Intro-what?

Sock’s eyes widened, “Haha, uh… Let’s start over. Here, I’ll sit back down on the Post-Its and hope that they don’t get stuck on my ass, and then you’ll walk up and notice all the compliments on them and then I clap and the lights turn on. Then we stare at each other and confess and then we hug and kiss.”

Jonathan blinked.

“That’s what Jo said would happen.”

He frowned. “You can’t be him.”

“I am,” Sock whined, slumping over entirely. “Remember? I made you a cupcake and we talked about my parents and the weather and you told me you loved me and I told you I wanted to see your smile but I really want to hear your laugh and order a sandwich with you or something lame like that, and please, believe me when I say I’m the person who stole your sandwich and it should be illegal to think about someone you essentially know nothing about as much as I thought of you.”

Sock was ranting, his cheeks gone red. Every word seemed to both panic and calm Jonathan down. Why did everything move so fast?

“I’m him and I love you too. Please believe me.” Every time he heard Sock saying he loved him brought both questions and pleads with it. Did someone really love him?

But looking into Sock’s eyes was almost a reassurance. Maybe that was weird to say, maybe even cheesy. But that was basically summing up his entire experience: a cheesy, weird relationship copied and pasted from a TV show. He had suddenly been thrown into a random sitcom, so why should he be questioning this now?

Jonathan, please.

“I believe you.”

Good.”

-----

Jojo admitted to setting up the entire thing, to which Jonathan pointed out was “not as cute as she had probably expected it to be.” Jojo was, to say the least, enraged to hear that. Lil and her went a few weeks without much to do, the company suddenly became stricter under the claims “it has to match rival productivity.” Sock says it’s because Valhalla Inc. was stealing employees from Gehenna, and Mephistopheles, the CEO, was having none of it.

Lil and Jojo ended up quitting about a month later, then got hired to work at the rival company. It was an eventful moment where Lil and Jojo decided to bid their farewells by pranking everyone on level three. Sock may have shed tears.

Jonathan got promoted two weeks afterward and was put in level five, which Sock admits is a lot quieter.

Jojo grew used to having Sock around more often when Jonathan offered to have them hang out together. To say the least, she was growing used to their relationship as much as Jonathan was growing used to her bragging about her new job.

Sock and Jonathan talk a lot more often. Sticky notes get left at each other’s desks, at their cars, and each other’s apartments. Tiny little reminders and sometimes long conversations that Jonathan never grew tired of. The notes are always the favorite part of his day. Work itself wasn’t boring, and Sock often got him into weird adventures that he never found a dull moment in.

There was no annoying alarms, and no more dragging himself out of bed. He got ready and headed out his house with a smile on his face, then picked Sock up from his house and drove to work every single day for months.

And so began the new and improved Jonathan Combs’ Morning Routine™.