In a typical metropolis,
In a typical office building.
In a typical, fourteen floor,
In a typical software company office,
There´s once an atypical woman, playing a videogame during the working hour.
“Macleod! What you think you are doing?” Shizuka, a young woman complained outraged.
“I can’t talk right now. I am in the middle of a raid and you can’t pause a disgraced MMORPG.”
“Macleod, you can’t play games in the office. What about your work?”
“Are you in a hurry? Keep walking! I finished in five minutes.”
“Them you pretend you are working like everybody else. If the boss sees you playing she’s going to think that we all play too. Do it at home.”
“My computer can’t run this game. And why they put those powerful graphic cards just to road programs that a 1980s computer can run?”
“Why you don't buy a new computer to play at home?”
“I am saving money for the future, ‘A prevented woman is worth two.’ I already used too much money to buy a limited edition of a garage kit from my favorite anime.”
“What’s a garage kit?”
“A figure that you mount and paint by yourself.” She showed a picture of her phone.
“Those are beautiful.” Shizuka was surprised. “You really made them?”
“Oh yeah!” She said with all the pride of the world.
“How much you charge each one?”
“No, no, no! They aren´t to sell”
Zhang Li pulled her chair to get close. “What you did now Ginger? I’m just doing a worksheet and my machine is working like crazy.”
“I connected all the graphic cardboards in net to power my game Zhang Li.” She gave a smug smile. “Look those graphics.”
“Seriously?” Shizuka tapped on her keyboard to check the speed. “There´s something you don´t know how to do Macleod?”
“Playing games again?” Zhang sighed looking at her screen.
“Oxi! Okay, Okay! We killed the boss.” She started to disconnect some cables.
“What are you doing now?”
“Turning off my portable HD. Someone can erase my save if I left in the Office.” She put in her purse and took a metal case from her bag.
“What is this thing now?”
“My portable videogame?”
“Video… Play in your phone like everybody else, Dammit.”
“Oxalá! I, play on my phone.” She put her videogame back in the bag and got her smartphone.
“You still will make me need an analyst Ginger.” Zhang Li pulled her chair back in her place.
“Oxi! Zhang Li is too stressed.”
“She has a point, Macleod.” Shizuka sighed. “You should give time to those games and cartoons and get out more to know people. You need to ook with someone.”
“Okay! Hey Ha-joon!” She called a colleague at another desk.
“What you want Highlander?” He answered looking at his monitor.
“Let’s go out after work to change some kisses?”
“I have a girlfriend Highlander.”
“See?” She raised her eyebrows. “All the good look ones already have owners.”
“You should be less pick, Macleod. What you don’t try something with one of your friends from the games? Charles could be a good match.”
“Charles only has eyes to loli Asian girls. Yoo-joon, doesn’t like 3d human girls, and computer-generated either, only 2D girls in anime style. Yamada doesn’t talk with girls, We only talk with me by text messages, If I talk with him he could die.” She gave a serious stare.
“Where the heck you find those guys?”
“Playing MMO, anime conventions, and stuff like that.”
“Ask Julio out. He's a Latin-American lover, goes out with everybody.”
“Oxi! Two Latin-Americans together? That´s so cliché. I expected more from you.”
“You are a Latin-American? I thought you are a Scottish.” Zhang Li widen her eyes in surprise.
“Because of the Macleod right?” She winked.
“And because you are a green-eyed, pale red-hair, without visible eyebrows.” Zang Li crossed her arms. “I thought you were a scotch.”
“I am a descendant! There are a lot of Irish and Scotch people who went to Brazil.”
“You are a Brazilian?” Zang Li looked her head to toe. “You ruined my idea of Red-hairs being hot, and now Brazilians.”
“Yeah, I do that.” She giggled. “I am the living proof that the stereotypes of the attractive red hair and or Brazilian is inaccurate, but the creepy ginger right on the spot.”
“You are not ugly Ginger! You are normal.”
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I don´t fit my stands.”
“Until I meet you, I had this silly idea that all Brazilians were mixed.” Shizuka giggled covering her mouth.
“Don´t apply to everybody, but I am. My parents are hot, sweet and brown like a good cup of late.”
“Really?” Zangi Li raised her eyebrows. “You shouldn’t be a bit more naturally tanned?”
“Unfortunately, that´s not the way biology works baby.” Macleod made a twisted face. “A couple of dark-skinned with a pale skinned can have a kid that will be like just one of them, a little tanned, or like me, two mixed two brownish parents can have a daughter that looks like one of the grandparents that come from Glasgow.”
“New thing that I learned today.” Zang Li tapped her keyboard. “Finally! My computer is back to normal. Thank you, Ginger.”
“So…” Shizuka put her hands on her legs. “And about Julio?”
“No way. I heard him calling me a dragon.”
“And what the problem?” Zhang Li asked coming back to work.
“You saw dragons in American cartoon, my dearie? In Brazil dragon is how we call a fat woman without boobs.” She pointed at herself.
“Julio is from Porto Rico, and maybe he was talking with the Southeast Asian meaning. To us, a dragon lady is strong, deceitful, domineering, or mysterious.”
“You think so?” She put down her portable videogame.
“Yes. You are all those things; strong, deceitful, domineering, or mysterious.”
“Wait! You called me deceitful?”
Ha-joom interrupted them, calling the attention of everybody in the Office. “Hey, guys, you all know that the lunchroom it´s in reforms, we need someone to buy our lunches. Let’s choose on the hat again.”
“Ah, the hat.” Macleod pointed with two fingers. “Is going to be me, I know my luck.”
Shizuka smiled. “Don’t say that Macleod. You are too pessimistic.”
She picked a paper from the baseball hat. ”See? I told you.”
“Okay, guys!” Ha-joom said out loud. “Highlander and Julio are getting our lunches today.”
Whit all the bad will of the world Margarida Menezes Macleod got the requests and went to the elevator. There she saw a plaque. “In maintenance, use the stairs. Are you disgraced kidding me? This is the fourteen floors.”
After an exhaustive walk down the stairs, when they reached the inferior floor, they saw a technician going out the elevator.
“You are taking out the plaque?” The man got the plaque that was written: “Broken elevator. Use the stairs.”
“I already fixed.” He said. “You can get the elevator now.”
“Caramba!” She rubbed her face.
Julio put his hand on her shoulder with a smile. “look at the bright side Mamacita, we made a good exercise.” Julio winked at her with thumbs up. “Is good for the hearth.”
Angry and suet she went to the local café with her requests. “Sorry, we don’t have latte today.” The attendant said with a weak smile.
“Without Latte are you guys without milk?”
“No. We are without coffee.” She answered in a condescending tone.
“Without Coffee? This is a cafeteria, 'café' is written right in the window outside. How you don’t have coffee?”
“After the lunchroom in the Akaitech building went into reform we had an increase in the clients.”
“Give-me hot cocoa instead.”
“We don’t have more chocolate.”
Julio laughed. “It's not your day Highlander.”
“What the name I call?” The clerk asked.
They went to wait outside.
“Your name is Margarida mamacita?”
“What you think it was?”
“Ginger Macleod.” He said. “Everybody calls you Ginger, Macleod, or Highlander.”
“No. My name is Margarida Menezes Macleod.”
“Like the Highlander, that's a rare name.”
“Not in the U.K. When I went to visit my scot relatives, I went to the last RPG convention in Edinburg, half of the people was with a name tag Macleod and the other half named Smith.”
“You are not a scotch?”
“No. My Father´s family comes from Scotland, however, I am a mixed Brazilian.”
“You are one of a kind.”
“I know. I am a left-handed head hair.” She answered with a snarky smile.
“Why people call head hair Ginger? Is it because of gingerbread?”
“Call me gingerbread again and I will want to call you an ambulance. You notice that ginger is the n-word rearranged?”
“It’s true.” He laughed. “You are funny Macleod.”
“Are you kidding me?” She stared at an advertisement Gorgeous woman on a beach in Rio de Janeiro with a straw hat and a white dress licking a Popsicle in an advertisement on a bus stop near a closed signal. “All that to sell coconut popsicles?”
Julio laughed. “People use sexiness to sell everything those days.”
“Fair skin my arse. I bet that anyone will prefer a girl with a honey bronzed skin like that, than my white face.”
“Your face is more to pink and red, Highlander,” Julio said. “If you could join your freckles you will be darker than her.”
“Good one Julio.”
“No serious. I never saw anybody what so many freckles as you.”
“Oxi! You never will go out with a girl like me, right?”
“Where you get this idea. I would love to brag to my friends that I go out with authentic red hair.”
“You do not think I am fat, without boobs?”
“You never went to America? By American standards you are skinny, and by the standards from here your boobs are great.”
“That sounds like a proposition.”
“If you want.”
“Deal. Next Friday?”
“Next Friday, put on your agenda.”
Margarida got her phone and started to tip. “So… I me not a dragon lady.”
“Of course you are. Strong, deceitful, and mysterious.”
“Oxi! Are you calling me deceitful too?”
A voice called from the cafe: “Margarida!”
“They are calling us.” Julio entered the café. “You can be grumpy, but is a good soul.”
“Nobody told you? We gingers do not have souls.”
The signal opened and the high school girl run to cross the street but a trunk in high speed was coming towards her from the hill. A stereotypic nerdy otaku saw and rapidly pushed the girl and fall to his knees.
With all her speed, Margarida ran to the rescue. She holds the guy, and pulled him out of the way of the trunk, only hitting her foot.
“My… You save me.” The schoolgirl helped him to get up.
“And you save me. Miss, thank you very much.”
With a cocky attitude, Margarida Menezes Macleod hops showing her muscles. “Seems that all the exercise I did for me cosplay presentations pay off at the end.”
“Are you fine lady?”
“It broke the heel of my shoe.”
“Miss! Lookout, the trunk is coming back!”
“Ah, Darn…” Maybe because of her training in fake martial arts while watching action animes, or the rush of adrenaline because of the fear, Margaret shows an unusual physical skill and pushed the two from the way of the trunk. "Hurry inside the building."
"Macleod!" Julio yelled and waved from the other side of the street. Without thinking clearly, she runs towards him instead of following the crowd to the nearby build. To make things worst she lost her balance without one heel and the Trunk made a turn blocking her way.
Julio pointed at a nearby walkway from inside the café. "Macleod the walkway." Whit the rush she ran faster than she ever did in her life. Her body reached the limits in the middle of the stairs. Her lungs started to weaken and a strong pain appeared in her spleen.
"Give me a break!" The trunk entered the walkway, climbing the stairs forcing the handrails broking the rearview releasing millions of sparkles. She was in the limits of her strength and the walkway was wide enough to the Trunk gain speed after reach the top of the stairs. A train was coming under the passage giving her a crazy idea.
"I always wanted to do that." Margaret prepared to jump, but the train was too fast and she was too high. The trunk reached the passage and started to accelerate like crazy, she even could see the plate: “TRUNK-KUN 4-3” there´s no reason to wait and she jump, like in the movies.
Unfortunately, the land at the top of the train wasn´t like in the movies. The momentum took her down violently, and she painfully bruised her knees, her hand, and elbow almost rolling from the train.
"Three broken fingernails and my luck shoes lost." Laid down on the top of the train, she started to feel the physical effects of her stunt. Her whole body started to hurt, her heart was beating like crazy, the palm of her hands, knees, and elbows are bleeding,. "Tomorrow I start with the exercises."
Macleod stays at the top of the train for two stations, seemed that nobody noticed. She also lost her phone and couldn´t call for help. Luckily there´s a hospital nearby the next station.
Awkwardly she tried to get out of the train and the few people in the station run to help her. She explained to the officials what happened, so they called the police, and put her on a stretcher, and took her to the hospital, pretty much on the other side of the street.
In front of the hospital, they put her in a proper transport gurney from the hospital where she exchanged a few words with a police officer and a doctor. "You don´t look too bad, but we are going to take an x-ray to be sure."
It was just a brief moment that all people around were a few feet from her when the small garden exploded revealing the bashed Trunk coming from the street at high speed. Everybody ran away, except Margaret that didn´t have enough reflexes or strength to jump from the gurney. The trunk used the small garden as a ramp and jump in the air right in her direction.
"Are you kidd...."
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