The Playbook

The gentle sunlight streaming through the open blinds played across his face, awakening him with the warmth of its caress.

Wha…where am I? Aaron thought, glancing around the studiously tidy living room in which he found himself.

The furniture was sleek and modern, with muted colors meshed with glass and brushed steel. The room itself featured a television on its stand, proudly boasting a bright red Wii underneath it, along with a coffee table, a small bookshelf, and a large couch. An enormous clock on the far side of the wall showed 10:30, several hours later than his projected departure.

He sighed, stretching slightly and rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he balanced on the cushioned air mattress which served as his bed last night. There was no point in rushing now.

Draped gracelessly across the couch, half concealed by a sagging comforter valiantly struggling against gravity’s iron grip, lay Will. Though his eyes were closed, his slumber did not seem deep. He would soon awaken, and at that point it would be time to continue their journey.

The two were currently crashing in Atlanta, their first stop on their way across the country, at an old college friend of Aaron’s named KT. What began as a normal night had become an evening characterized by beers, exploration, and inebriated chess, and the three hadn’t returned to her home to sleep until well past 4am.

A good night Aaron smiled to himself. He gave the bookshelf a cursory glance as he folded his sheets and stopped short, for one of the titles had caught his eye.

The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum

Unable to resist at least a glance at the secrets which lay within, Aaron carefully pulled the book from its place and flipped it open to a random page.

When is it appropriate to sleep with your boss?

Aaron paused, eyes widening slightly. There’s a whole chapter on this?!

Further research found similar chapters throughout the book, including important topics such as:

  • When to sleep with a new hire?
  • What’s an appropriate level of sexual tension?
  • How do you let a guy you work with down easy?
  • When do you let a guy you work with down hard?
  • How do you ask for a raise or a promotion?
  • What do you wear, and when, and why?

The book’s advice seemed accurate enough, at least from Aaron’s unique vantage point of being in no way the intended audience, but the subject matter varied so widely that it was hard to get a good bead on things. It also wasn’t clear if the book was recommending a certain course of action or merely explaining how a Fabulous Girl would handle the situation.

“What’ve you got there?”

The quiet voice penetrated the morning silence like a jackhammer. Aaron, startled, whirled to find Will sitting up on the couch, squinting at the book in his hands.

“Dude,” he said, folding it closed. “It’s a book advising professional women on how to behave.”

“Really?” Will asked. “That sounds boring.”

“You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. It’s got tips on when to sleep with your boss…”

“Gimme. Now.”

Will’s outstretched hand snaked out, and Aaron relinquished the book with a shrug. A few moments ticked by as he skimmed, a smile creeping across his features after each turn of the page.

“You know what you found?” he asked, handing it back.

“An interesting read?” Aaron ventured, shelving the book in its original location.

Will shook his head. “You’re thinking too small.”

“Oh?” Aaron chuckled softly. “What would you call it?”

Will smiled and spread his hands apart. “I’d call it was it is. The playbook.”


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