The heels of her pumps tap, tap, tap against the marble floor with each brisk step down the long hallway, a queasy mix of confidence, excitement, and fear swirls in her gut as she makes her way to the door bearing her name. Here she pauses, takes a deep breath, and enters.
She closes the door hoping to have a few minutes to herself before her first official day begins. ‘This is where I will do the work of the people. They elected me and I will proudly serve to the best of my ability,’ she muses; absently rubbing her right earlobe between thumb and forefinger, brow furrowed, left arm hugging across her middle, hand tucked under right elbow (subconsciously imitating her grandfather’s ‘thinking’ posture perfectly). ‘There’s a lot of work to do in this district and I will start with the sad state of education, and…’
There’s a quick knock on the door and then it opens. She spins away from the window, dropping her arms to her sides, standing at attention, face-to-face with her new assistant. “Good morning Senator! It’s an honor to be working with you. Would you like a cup of coffee before you head to the floor?”
Oh, no thank you, “I only drink coffee when I need it or when I want it.”
The young, impeccably-dressed man bursts out laughing, then catches himself, wondering if she could have been serious, his eyes searching hers in sudden silence.
The Senator giggles, easing the unintended tension; “Haha! That must have sounded silly. I guess I don’t want or need any coffee right now, but thank you very much for asking.” Her perfect smile melting away any worries or hesitation his outburst had caused him.
He leaves the plush office smiling to himself knowing he got a “real” one this time. She already knows how to laugh at herself.