About half-way down the hall, I turned back around & again walked past the door, coming from the other direction. This time my eyes were fixed on the envelope. I did not stop. As I continued down the hall, I nervously eyed the various employees from neighboring businesses within the hallway. In desparation, I turned quickly to the side, almost tripping over my own feet to "grab a quick drink" at the water fountain that I almost walked past. Water gushed up my nostrils when I pressed the button, but I tried not to flinch. I slurped a single sip, showing my obvious lack of need for water.
After the water incident, I turned back toward the aisle, still walking the same direction away from the envelope. Water was dripping from my nose. I took 2 quick steps, still somewhat bent over after the quick drink at the fountain. Suddenly, I whirled myself around in a 180-degree turn, to head back for the envelope. Unfortunately, I failed to "stop-look-and listen" before leaving the fountain, and thus my hunched-over "u-turn" buried my face deep into the t-shirt of an obese, blubbery chested, middle-aged man who was waddling down the hallway directly behind me when I had cut in front of him. When I was finally able to swim to the surface, I withdrew my face from the waves that had enveloped nearly half of my body. Embarrased, I gave a goofy grin and apologized quietly. A large, toothy smile could be seen from within the beard...apparently this grizzly bear of a man had been somewhat amused. Unfortunately, there were several people in the hall. I have a feeling that all they saw was my face buried into the chest of this burly, hairy grizzly bear...my face emerged, a huge wet-spot was visible on his t-shirt (left over from the water up my nose)...then, both the grizzly and I began smiling at one another, as I whispered something quietly to the bear. I was quite embarrassed. When I arighted myself, I turned just in time to see them glaring at me. I had no idea what they were thinking, but I could probably guess by the way they scurried away for the elevators, office doors, stairwells, etc... So, I wiped the water off my face and continued again toward the envelope on the door.
This time, I did not walk past. I stopped directly in front of the envelope. Before I removed this envelope that had a woman's name on it, I had to be absolutely sure that I had sufficient evidence/proof that I was indeed the person that this envelope was intended for. I reached for my wallet and pulled it out, intending to find my drivers license. I fumbled through the empty credit card slots, searching for my license. No such luck. I sighed loudly, and then looked up again at the envelope with the gift card in it. I then glanced left and right, feeling watched. I saw no one. Then I opened the pouch in my wallet that holds the money, just in case I had hurriedly placed my drivers license in the wrong spot the last time I used it. Again, I was disappointed to find it completely empty. I again looked up at the envelope containing the gift card. I stood for what seemed like minutes, just staring at the envelope, while holding my open, empty wallet.
Finally, I gave a quick chuckle, realizing how silly I must look, and how incredibly nervous I had been for no good reason. Glancing one last time to the left, then to the right, I reached up to snag the envelope. With a cocky smirk across my face, I quickly grabbed the bottom of the envelope and yanked downward. To my dismay and utter surprise, the tape held fast. The bottom of the envelope ripped, and the card fell out, lying face-up on the floor. I bent over quickly and picked up the card several times, as it kept slipping through my fingers repeatedly. My head must have looked like the end of a yo-yo as I bobbed up & down trying to get a quick grip on the card. At last, I picked up the card, again looking left and right (mostly out of embarrassment), and started walking toward the elevator. I then slipped the card calmly into my front pants pocket.
Suddenly, and to my horror, I heard a deep, booming voice behind me. I was shocked because I saw no one when I looked left and right previously. When I turned, I saw a very tall, very large, very muscular security guard, standing directly behind the place where I had been bobbing up and down while trying to pick up the card. He must have been standing directly behind me the whole time. He must have seen the whole thing. He was standing right there in front of the ripped envelope that was still left hanging by the tape on the door. I froze. I had no drivers license. I had no credit cards in my wallet to prove my identity. It would obviously appear that I had driven illegally to this business, had no money, no credit cards, tampered with an envelope not belonging to me, ripped it open and stole a gift card that was meant to help some poor, needy, helpless family whose child was suffering from a chronic physical impairment. With no proof to the contrary, I almost felt like I was guilty.
The security officer beckoned for me to come back to him. My knees almost gave way as I struggled to make my lower body go the same direction as my upper body. When I reached the end of the long journey back (at least 16 or 17 baby-steps), it was all I could do to try to swallow back the tears. With my tail tucked between my legs, and facing down toward the floor, I stopped and slowly lifted my chin, gazing upward into the shadowy stare of this towering executioner. Tears were forming at my lower eyelids, chin quivering, lump in my throat. Then, the security officer grinned at me, and said, "You dropped something...it fell out of your shirt pocket while you were stealing Rachel Norwood's gift card. Here's your driver's license, Mr. Norwood."