“Charlotte, can you work closing for me tomorrow night?”
I sighed. “I’ve worked closing the last three nights in a row, Henry. What’s the big emergency?”
“I’ve got tickets to a concert,” he answered. “I can’t believe George put me on the schedule for tomorrow night – I told him last week I needed Thursday evening off.”
“George is an idiot,” I said. Which, of course, we all knew.
“Exactly! So you’ll take my shift tomorrow night?”
I hesitated. “I don’t know, Henry. I’m really tired.”
“Being at the museum will perk you up. Really it will!”
“Henry, I’ve been working there longer that you,” I said. “Closing shifts are exhausting, on top of being deadly dull. They are not perk-able.”
“Tomorrow is First Thursday,” Henry said in his most enticing voice. “Maybe you’ll meet a really cute girl.”
“Huh,” I said. “I doubt it. Not at a John Singer Sargent exhibit. All portraits of old rich people. Only the boring attend.”
“You didn’t hear?” Henry was breathless. “Tomorrow night they arranged a special showing for a new artist, all the rage.”
“Really.” I was skeptical – if Henry wanted the night off, he wasn’t above making up white lies.
“Scout’s honor,” he said.
“Tell me about her,” I said.
“I’ll text you her website,” he said. “You’ll thank me.”
“I’m sure,” I said. I hoped he got the irony in my voice; I wasn’t working closing again tomorrow night if I could help it.
But for once, Henry was right. The artist was a performance artist who did amazing work illustrating the futility of war in Iraq and Afghanistan using teddy bears and machine guns. She was super-cute, too.
I took his shift; I found an excuse to introduce myself to the artist (“Just checking that the museum’s accommodations are satisfactory,”) and we’ve been going out for three months now. I’m in love!
And Henry said his concert was good too.