Home > The Boy Next Door (Boy #1)

The Boy Next Door (Boy #1)
Meg Cabot

To: Mel Fuller <> From: Human Resources <> Subject: Tardiness

Dear Melissa Fuller,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal,

New York City's leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to your supervisor,

managing editor George Sanchez, your workday here at the Journal begins promptly at 9AM,

making you 68 minutes tardy today. This is your 37th tardy exceeding twenty minutes so

far this year, Melissa Fuller.

We in the Human Resources Division are not out to get tardy employees, as was mentioned

in last week's unfairly worded employee newsletter. Tardiness is a serious and expensive

issue facing employers all over America. Employees often make light of tardiness, but

routine lateness can often be a symptom of a more serious issue, such as


-drug addiction

-gambling addiction

-abusive domestic partner

-sleep disorders

-clinical depression

and any number of other conditions. If you are suffering from any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact your Human Resources Representative, Amy Jenkins. Your Human Resources Representative will be only too happy to enroll you in the New York Journal's Staff Assistance Program, where you will be paired with a mental health professional who will work to help you achieve your full potential.

Melissa Fuller, we here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one, as well.

Melissa Fuller, don't you want to be on a winning team? So please doyour part to see that you arrive at work on time from now on!


The Human Resources Division

The New York Journal

Please note that any future tardies may result in suspension or dismissal.

To: Mel Fuller <>

From: Nadine Wilcock <>

Subject: You are in trouble

Mel, where were you? I saw that Amy Jenkins from Human Resources skulking around your cubicle. I think you're in for another one of those tardy notices. What is this, your 50th? You better have a good excuse this time, because George was saying a little while ago that gossip columnists are a dime a dozen, and that he could get Liz Smith over here in a second to replace you if he wanted to. I think he was joking. It was hard to tell because the Coke machine is broken, and he hadn't had his morning Mountain Dew yet.

By the way, did something happen last night between you and Aaron? He's been playing Wagner in his cubicle again. You know how this bugs George. Did you two have another fight? Are we doing lunch later or what?

Nad :-)

To: Mel Fuller <>

From: Aaron Spender<>

Subject: Last night

Where are you, Mel? Are you going to be completely childish about this and not come in to the office until you're sure I've left for the day? Is that it?

Can't we sit down and discuss this like adults?

Aaron Spender

Senior Correspondent New York Journal

To: Mel Fuller <>

From: Dolly Vargas <>

Subject: Aaron Spender


Don't get the wrong idea, darling, I WASN'T spying on you, but a girl would have to be BLIND not to have noticed how you brained Aaron Spender with your bag last night at Pastis. You probably didn't even notice me, I was at the bar, and I looked around becauseI thought I heard your name, of all things--weren't you supposed to be covering the Prada show?--and then BOOM! Altoids and Maybelline all over the place. Darling, it was precious. You really have excellent aim, you know. But I highly doubt

Kate Spade meant that adorable little clutch to be used as a projectile. I'm sure she'd have made the clasp stronger if she'd only known women were going to be backhanding the thing around like a volleyball.

Seriously, darling, I just need to know: Is it all over between you and Aaron? Because I never thought you were right for each other. I mean, the man was in the running for a Pulitzer, for God's sake! Although if you ask me, anyone could have written that story about that little Ethiopian boy. I found it perfectly maudlin. That part about his sister selling her body to provide him with rice...please. Too Dickensian.

So you aren't going to be difficult about this, are you? Because I've got an invite to Steven's place in the Hamptons, and I was thinking of inviting Aaron to mix Cosmos for me. But I won't if you're going to go Joan Collins on me.

P.S. You really should have called if you weren't going to come in today, darling. I think you're in trouble. I saw that little troll-like person (Amy something?) from Human Resources sniffing around your desk earlier.


To: Mel Fuller <>

From: George Sanchez <>

Subject: Where the hell were you?

Where the hell are you? You appear to be under the mistaken impression that comp days don't have to be pre-arranged with your employer. This is not exactly convincing me that you are columnist material. More like copy-edit material, Fuller.


To: Mel Fuller <>

From: Aaron Spender<>

Subject: Last night

This is really beneath you, Melissa. I mean, for God's sake, Barbara and I were in a war zone together. Anti-aircraft fire was exploding all around us. We thought we'd be captured by rebel forces at any moment. Can't you understand that? It meant nothing to me, Melissa, I swear it. My God, I should never have told you. I thought you could be mature about this. But to pull a disappearing act like this.... Well, I'd never have expected it from a woman like you, that's all I have to say.

Aaron Spender

Senior Correspondent

New York Journal

To: Mel Fuller <>

From: Nadine Wilcock <>

Subject: This isn't funny

Girl, where are you? I'm really starting to get worried. Why haven't you called me, at the very least? I hope you didn't get hit by a bus, or something. But I suppose if you did, they'd call us. Assuming you had your press pass with you, that is. All right, I'm not really worried that you're dead. I'm really worried you're going to getfired, and I'm going to have to eat lunch with Dolly again. I was forced to go to Burger Heaven with her since you're MIA, and it nearly killed me. The woman had a salad with no dressing. Do you get where I'm coming from here? NO DRESSING. And then she felt compelled to comment on every single thing I put in my mouth. Do you know how many grams of fat are in that fry? A good substitute for mayonnaise, you know, Nadine, is low-fat yogurt. I'd like to tell her what she can do with her low-fat yogurt. By the way, I think you should know that Spender's going around saying you're doing this because of whatever went down between the two of you the other night. If that doesn't get you in here, and pronto, I don't know what will.

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