Post-It or The Tragedy Of Bronson Myles (2008)
Marnie couldn’t live in the house by herself. Nothing was keeping her there. She stared blankly at the empty bedroom, vacant from his presence. She didn’t want to discard his clothes, leave them for charity. But there was nothing else to do.
As she sifted through his life, Marnie came across a shoe box marked with the title, Choices. It was Bronson’s handwriting and inside, she found more evidence of his writing. Post-it notes - some blank, some with thoughts. She wondered why he acted strange and maybe the post-its were a clue.
Bronson entered his office, immediately undoing his tie. He threw the tie away blindly, breaking the shackles of conventional business. As he sat down, he went straight for the fridge behind the desk. He grabbed a beer and cracked it open. It was 10 in the morning. Nevertheless, he relaxed back into the faux leather chair, thinking about the arduous day of nothing ahead of him.
‘Hey Bron. How’d the meeting go?’Justin, a fellow employee, arrived silently as usual. Bronson had a lack of empathy for co-workers, especially when they arrived unannounced.
Fine Justin. Why don’t you knock?’
‘Free country. Hey, got another of those?’ Bronson rolled his eyes at the redheaded snoop and looked in the fridge. There was still a six-pack unopened and various other liquids.
‘Nothing but juice mate. Still fresh too,’ the date was three days expired.
‘You goin’ to Cammy’s piss-up tonight? I hear she likes older, taken men.’
Bronson believed that Justin was thick, and the last comment proved it. Bronson had already spent time with Cammy outside of work. She was the first person anyone would see when they entered the premises. She was stunning; her rich Italian beauty always struck Bronson with a great force.
‘Justin, if you are implying I would cheat on my wife, you are mistaken.’ Bronson handed a bottle of juice to Justin and gestured him awayas a Roman emperor would do with a lowly servant. ‘Now, I have business to attend to.’ Bronson shifted his consideration to the computer and opened a game of online poker. ‘Close the door on the way out.’
‘Sure…’ Justin did so and read the expiry on the juice bottle. After disposing of the juice in the nearest bin, Justin uttered the word that many people would once they had left Bronson’s office - “jerk.”
The mutters of Justin complaining to the nearest person seeped into Bronson’s office. Bronson couldn’t make out all of the conversation but obviously Justin had found the juice, offered in all kindness, was out of date. Bronson tried to hold back laughter. He leaned back in the chair and heard Justin say, ‘He’s got no soul, no… no conscience!’
Bronson continued to relax and fantasised future encounters with Cammy. His face flashed his trademark smile. The smile faded as he looked at the computer screen and noticed for the first time, there was a post-it note stuck to it.
Not a good idea, Bron. Cammy could be trouble.
Bronson looked around. No-one was in sight. No other post-it notes either. The handwriting on the post-it was written with great care, not in a rush. He screwed it up; dismissing what he thought was Justin’s attempt at a joke.
The day rolled by quickly and the party-for-no-reason party began. Cammy was striking in crimson, enticing Bronson without words. He remained controlled, as controlled as he could with her around. The drunker they got, the closer they got. Cammy, at one stage while the party was in full swing, had her hand placed on Bronson’s leg, rubbing it just enough to tease Bronson into submission. They didn’t notice anyone watching — neither of them cared.
As the night wound down, it was only Cammy and Bronson left. They had full roam of the house and made good use of every room.
It was two in the morning when Bronson reluctantly left. High on sex and alcohol, he made his way to his car. Stuck to the steering wheel was a post-it note
Beautiful secrets must be guarded. Beauty can destroy.
Focusing on the post-it, he wondered if it was the cocktail of endorphins playing tricks. The handwriting was the same but the message was convoluted. Bronson placed it in the drink holder and blocked the note out of his hazed mind.
It was not until Monday that Bronson remembered the post-it note in the car. On entering the office, Cammy was chatting to another employee, candidly and without restraint.
‘So he really did — -,’ the other woman stopped as she saw Bronson.
‘Morning Mr Myles, all is well with the family?’ Cammy asked.
Bronson didn’t stop and continued on his way to his office. Before he entered his office, a yellow post-it note drew his attention.
Told you so.
He looked back at Cammy; she continued to talk to the other woman. He did not know what they were talking about but he had an idea of what it could be. When he walked around the desk, another post-it was on the keyboard.
Watch her or she will ruin your life.
Instead of dismissing the post-it, Bronson tried to figure out what was happening. It must be Cammy, he thought. He left his office to see another employee with Cammy. He was furious.
‘I don’t know what you are trying to pull but this kind of shit is childish,’ Bronson yelled to the front desk. ‘If you want to say something about me or to me, do so with your mouth and not fuckin’ post-it notes. Got it?’ Bronson was swept up in the moment, before he knew it; he had Cammy in a tight grip, hatred in his eyes. ‘If you dare try to ruin my life, I will make yours even worse. Don’t tell secrets you know will hurt others.’ Justin tried to pull Bronson away, Cammy screamed at him to let go. But before he did more damage, their boss Mr Yorke ended the situation. His wise face and stern expression always subdued a crowd.
‘What the hell is going on? Myles, in my office now.’ Yorke eventually got Bronson away and lead him promptly to his office.
Bronson remained still throughout Yorke’s blasting. He responded in single word answers. He knew no answer was good enough for Yorke, ever.
He knew he went too far. He never thought he would erupt harshly at another employee. He was given sick leave for mental health reasons, but his lack of initiative and commitment contributed.
Bronson arrived home that Monday knowing he could have ruined a great career and a foundation for his life with Marnie. Bronson searched for his keys in his jacket pocket, only to retrieve a post-it note, crumpled and slightly torn. These post-its had disrupted his life but whilst in depressed thought, Bronson’s gaze moved to the front door.
Leave now. It’s for your sanity.
Another post-it, the same as the others. Bronson then heard a somewhat familiar noise. The bedroom door was open and as the noise became clearer, he knew why it was familiar.
The creaks of a bed and the pants of breath culminated in the image of Marnie with another man in their bed. Another stroke of bad luck.
Bronson’s actions became a blur. Every sense was simutaneously going too fast or too slow to take it all in. The exodus of the unknown man was swift, leaving Bronson and Marnie to discuss the situation professionally.
‘What the fuck is this!?’
‘Oh, so those meetings at night were legitimate hey? I knew you were fucking that secretary. I thought I would get my own back.’ Marnie stormed passed Bronson towards the bathroom.
‘How dare you accuse me — -’
‘I am not making accusations. I knew you were with that other woman.’ Marnie slipped back into her clothes, leaving Bronson outside to question his motives.
‘So you’ve been leaving these post-it notes?’ Bronson lowered his tone.
‘Post-it notes! What are you talking about? I want love Bronson, and you just sweep me aside for some big-breasted slut.’
‘Now Marn — -’
‘Goodbye Bronson.’ Marnie came out of the bathroom and pushed Bronson out of her way. And with that, Marnie was out of his life.
He looked over to the staircase, another post-it was on the railing.
You’re in deep. Stop for one day. She will come back.
More than any other post-it, Bronson took notice of this one. He looked at the other two still in his possession and knew someone was trying to help, not trying to make a fool of him.
With that thought pattern set, Bronson decided to follow these post-its. He tried to find all the notes he had kept and once he had found them, he sat at his desk, studying them. Getting a pad of blue post-its, he wrote comments on how he took the advice. Once completed, he dusted off an old shoebox. Placing the notes inside, he then labelled the box, Choices.
He followed the instructions. He stayed in his home for one day. So when, a day later, Marnie arrived back home, Bronson received her with open arms.
‘I’m sorry Marn. It’s my fault. I’ve been foolish.’
‘Me too. I wasn’t thinking.’
‘And I can’t judge you for that.’ Bronson hadn’t felt this way in so long. Even with his sense of adventure on the edge, he never felt like he did with Marnie.
They talked for several hours, connecting like they had when they first met. It was a strange thought that crossed Bronson’s mind when they mutually agreed to share the bed that night. Was it really a post-it note that changed this situation?
Bronson, beginning a week off, decided to experiment with this advice. He awoke and made his way to the bathroom. There wasn’t a note or anyone around. Bronson searched through the drawer for an old cutthroat razor his father once gave to him. Once he found it he flicked the blade open and turned his forearm around. He placed the blade on his wrist and added force but stopping before piercing his skin. Instinctively, he looked at the mirror.
You know, that will kill you. You can’t be that dumb.
A note was stuck to the mirror. He picked it up and smiled. Someone or something was helping him. He heard a yawn and Marnie approached the bathroom.
‘Cutthroat? That old thing. What you got that for?’
‘Just found it.’ Bronson placed in back in the drawer and kissed Marnie’s forehead as he exited the bathroom, hiding the note from her. The experiment worked.
Bronson liked someone helping him. He didn’t mind that the person was not there, he just liked the attention. As the week progressed, he experimented with the soothsaying post-its.
Near a building site: Don’t walk under the ladder. Bad luck
On the internet: Don’t talk to Rebecca, Marnie will go again.
Getting into his car to drive to the city: Take the long way, the main road will have an accident.
The notes continued. To test the honesty of the post-its, Bronson deliberately dismissed some of the advice. He thought the experiment would show some fault in the guidance he was being dealt. Whilst driving to the city, he took his normal route. A major traffic jam banked up cars for a good half hour. He got frustrated with the slow moving traffic but it proved that this person or spirit guide was helping him. Bronson could just smile, knowing he was safe from any of life’s pitfalls.
Bronson continued to assess the notes with his blue post-its and started to write down his suspects of who was helping him but he really believed that Marnie was responsible. No-one else could place these notes without him noticing. As he cuddled up to Marnie on the Sunday night, he only wished she could help him when he was at work.
No notes appeared before he reached work on the Monday. As he came into work again, he was greeted with mixed response. He apologised first to Cammy who took the apology with a note of “yeah right”. He knew she was a once off (well, a few times). He couldn’t do that again. He then apologised to Justin, with true sincerity this time. Justin was taken aback and still avoided Bronson for the morning.
He worked on the computer instead of using it for mindless game play. The day continued without event until it was almost five. Cammy walked into the room; Bronson didn’t expect it.
‘The boss is having a staff meeting after work. Just thought I would let you know,’ Cammy said without connection.
‘Thanks Cammy. Look, I’m sorry — -’
‘Don’t Mr Myles. See you at the meeting.’ Cammy left, leaving Bronson in a weird state. He was worried. Where was the post-it note? He looked for it to tell him what to do but there was none. His mobile rang but he continued to search for the advice he needed.
‘Hi Bronson, how’s work been?’ It was Marnie.
‘Good. I have a meeting now. I shouldn’t be long.’
‘Oh okay. I will make pasta for dinner; I think I have some sauce left.’
‘Sounds good. See you soon. I miss you.’ He sounded like a teenager in love but neither himself nor Marnie minded.
‘Miss you too. You still love me?’
Those were the last words he spoke to Marnie.
As he left the room, a post-it note remained untouched on the computer screen.
Just go home.
The meeting went as expected, with a welcome back for Bronson and the push for more lucrative clientele always on the agenda. When Bronson and other work colleagues went down to the car park, Cammy tried to stop Bronson.
‘Cammy, what is it?’ Without a second to spare, Cammy pulled Bronson aside, behind a wall as not to be seen. She kissed him hard, unexpectedly. ‘Cammy, what are you doing?’ She didn’t stop. Bronson tried to restrain himself; he had to.
‘Cam? Where the fuck are ya?’ A harsh voice came from behind Bronson. ‘Don’t you be fuckin’ around with me bitch.’
‘Quick, over here.’ Cammy dragged Bronson behind a van so they could not be seen. The footsteps of the man came closer and louder. The footsteps stopped. Cammy and Bronson slid to the ground, trying to hide.
But it was no use. A large Slavic man walked around the van and pulled Cammy away from Bronson.
‘So this is the fucker huh?’ Without hesitation from the man, Bronson was kicked in the head, then the chest and then the stomach. He tried to get up, but was punched forcefully in the temple. ‘You fuck around with Cam again, I will kill you.’
‘Do it,’ Bronson spat out. He didn’t know why he said it. The man kneed Bronson once again but by this stage, Bronson’s mind had faded.
Marnie looked at all the blue post-its that Bronson had collected. Each had words, thoughts and her name on them as well. Also inside of the box was a list of names, crosses, ticks and question marks next to each. Marnie’s name was circled.
The strangest part for Marnie however was that all the yellow post-its were blank. Not a mark on them. She was confused why Bronson had kept them but also felt she shouldn’t throw them away. Marnie dutifully packed them away, keeping them alongside the memories and thoughts of her love, Bronson Myles.