‘I’m not drinking the coffee’

The Ex-Executive Assistant, a story published on Tuesdays and Thursdays in a limited number of installments
"The Ex-Executive Assistant" is a comedic story about a young man who loses both his job and his girlfriend on the same day.

Recap: It’s Saturday morning, and Lyle is lounging in the apartment he now shares with his cousin, Shep. Unexpectedly, Shep tells Lyle that their grandparents called and are on their way over. Lyle has to jump in the shower to get ready. Meanwhile, Shep abandons Lyle to visit his girlfriend, Cassie — but quickly returns home after an argument. 

“There’s Shep!” Lyle’s grandpa said.

“Are you OK, Shep?” Lyle’s grandma asked.

“I’m fine,” Shep said, hugging them both.

“We were worried. Lyle said you had a doctor’s appointment.”

“What?” Shep looked at Lyle. “Why did you tell them I had a doctor’s appointment?”

“I didn’t say you had a doctor’s appointment,” Lyle said. “I just said you had an appointment, is all. I didn’t specify.”

“Who has an appointment on Saturday?” Lyle’s grandpa asked.

“I didn’t have an appointment,” Shep said. “I went to see Cassie.”

“Who’s Cassie?” Lyle’s grandma asked.

“Cassie’s my girlfriend,” Shep said. “At least she was, twenty minutes ago.”

“What happened?” Lyle asked.

“Who’s Cassie?” Lyle’s grandpa asked.

“Cassie’s his girlfriend!” Lyle’s grandma said, her voice raised. “Pay attention when they’re talking.”

Lyle’s grandpa tilted his head. “Lyle has a girlfriend? I thought they’re on the outs?”

“It’s not me who has a girlfriend, Grandpa,” Lyle said. “It’s Shep. Shep’s the one with the girlfriend.”

“Not anymore – not after the way she talked to me.” Shep sunk into a recliner, his head tilted back.

“What happened?” Lyle’s grandma asked.

“We had a fight,” Shep said.

A moment passed.

“And?” Lyle asked.

“That’s it. We had a fight.”

“Well, what about?” Lyle’s grandma asked.

Shep squinted. “I don’t really remember.”

“You don’t remember what you were fighting about?” Lyle asked.

“I was upset. She was saying I don’t make enough time for her, or something.”

“Is that all?” Lyle’s grandma asked.

“I don’t really know. I was on my way out.”

“Why were you on your way out?” Lyle asked. “I thought you specifically went to see her.”

Shep looked at him. “I was on my way out because she was yelling at me. Why else would I be on my way out? I don’t want to stay for that.”

“So that was your appointment?” Lyle’s grandpa asked. “You went to see a girl?”

“Yeah.” Shep shrugged. “Didn’t Lyle tell you?”

“No,” Lyle’s grandma said. “He told us you had an appointment.”

“What kind of appointment?”

“I didn’t say what kind of appointment!” Lyle said. “I was covering for you.”

“So you were lying!” Lyle’s grandpa said, wagging his finger at Lyle.

“I’m not a lair,” Lyle said. “I was only covering for my cousin.”

“You lied about the hair gel,” Lyle’s grandma said.

“Huh?” Lyle asked.

“You said you put gel in your hair when your hair was actually wet.”

“What?” Shep looked at Lyle. “Why would you put gel in your hair?”

“He didn’t put gel in his hair!” Lyle’s grandma said. “He had just gotten out of the shower.”

“I can’t believe you’d lie to your grandmother,” Lyle’s grandpa said. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Oh my god – can we change the subject, please?” Lyle asked. “Grandpa, didn’t you say you knew of a job for me?”

A loud whistling started squealing from the kitchen.

“Is that the tea kettle?” Shep asked.

“Yeah. I’ll be right back.” Lyle stood and left the room.

“You’re making tea?” Shep called.


“Why are you making tea? I made coffee before I left.”

“Your grandfather can’t drink coffee,” Lyle’s grandma said.

“Sure I can,” Lyle’s grandpa said. “I just can’t drink it without creamer. Why don’t you have creamer, Shep?”

“Who cares about creamer?” Lyle’s grandma asked. “We’re drinking tea. Lyle’s making it right now.”

“Can you excuse me a moment?” Shep stood and walked into the kitchen.

“Where are you going, Shep?” Lyle’s grandpa asked.

“I’m getting some coffee. I’ll be right back.”

Shep joined Lyle in the kitchen. He reached into the cupboard and pulled out a mug.

“At least someone’s drinking the coffee,” Lyle said, steeping two cups of tea.

“I’m not drinking the coffee,” Shep said.

Lyle looked at him. “You’re not drinking the coffee?”

Shep grabbed a bottle of Crown Royal, half-filled the coffee mug, and replaced the bottle.

“Nope,” he said, holding the mug. “I’m not drinking the coffee. See you back in there.”

Author: Allen

I’m a humorist and fiction writer, as well as the author of two books. One is a collection of humor, and one is a collection of short stories. Both books are available on Amazon. I always wanted to write a comic strip, but I can’t draw. Not even a stick-person. So that’s why “The Lawn-Cutting Crew” is a comic strip without drawings. I hope you enjoy!

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