Just Ask Already! Mr. Braum

Fact and Fiction

Now, unless the man was still talking about his younger self like the first story, but that was not very probable.

Then, without notice, the man slipped his hand into his jacket and pulled out a phone, tapped a few times, then showed the content of his search.

It was a video made by an apologetic Rex.


Wait. Wait. Wait. Hold on.



Mr. Tough… was…

Wait… really?!?

The audio sounded like Rex and the words had his cadence. Rex was apologizing for being a jerk and causing harm to someone he cared deeply for.

Then, it ended.

Puzzled, Connor spoke for the first time.

“What does this have to do with me?”

“That video was meant for you”. The man hoped that this stretching of truth would be easily digested by Connor

“Seriously, boss, what does this have to do with me?”

“Son, you’re one tough smart guy who doesn’t realize it yet, but don’t let your self doubt and self pity cloud your judgment”

“what do you mean?”

“You’re confident in the areas you know best. But you second guess yourself in situations that are novel”


“Rex looks up to you and wants what you have. You just don’t know what you have”

“Go on”

“What do you have to lose for going outside your comfort zone?”


“So, you’re going to be broke, homeless, destitute, hungry, forgotten?”

“No. Humiliated more like it”

“SO, you’re not going to lose it all.”

“I guess”

The man leaned in very close. His face hardened. His tone shifted. There was raw passionate anger filling up and bubbling to the surface. Whatever he was thinking, it was pushing this man to an edge no one had seen before around the company.

“Don’t be like me. Get your answers, your solid data, your insight. Don’t end up like me”

The acidity of the words told a massive story. One of great pain, loss, regret, and intense grief. The first story was now making sense. Connor saw the way his life was going to turn out if he let another dream slip away.

The man was talking about Betsy. He had lost his Betsy due to pure pride, arrogance, and stupidity mixed with a triple dose of ego. Connor was on the same trajectory. Life had given him a warning in grade school. Now, this man was giving him his last chance. Or so it felt like.

The man swiveled angrily on his heel and walked out with very heavy footing. As he rounded the corner to exit the office, he barked out “I don’t intend to repeat this speech!” with such venomous growling that any hesitation to understand the lesson had vanished into never-never-land.

As the temperature in the room returned to normal and the sound of the HVAC became audible again, Connor sat down in contemplation.

What an encounter!

No matter what came of this, one thing Connor was sure of, there was a profound level of respect there that he had not known existed. The cloud of anger and hurt had been broken. Clarity helped him see things from a different optic. One of optimism and hope.

Firing up his computer again, Connor went back to work with much more enthusiasm. His job was still there. He could continue to do what he needed to do with his career. In time, he’d be able to come back and work in the office instead of at home.

With a smile, Connor got lost in his work. Life had finally shown a light at the end of the tunnel. He would be OK emotionally, although he was convinced the video was a setup. There was no way Rex was that broken up over him. Rex had no reason to be. He got Betsy. He got the date. He’d sleep with her. Move on. Be fine.

Connor shook his head and zoned out into his work.

<the Holiday Party is next>

Editorial Note: Adding a list of the chapters via a more modern approach. Just click on the image or title to read more of the chapters you’ve yet to read. Updated September 2018. After the list of chapters will eventually be a link to the portfolio table of contents. That particular page will eventually hold any new updates and chapters to this story… should there be more.

  1. Just Ask Already! Prelude - There are office party traditions that make sense and others that just don't. Navigating about the holiday spirit and cheer is one thing, complicating it with the feelings of love is quite another. Will our story hero find love or just be the laughing stock of the holidays?
  2. Just Ask Already! His Side - A person can spend a lot of time thinking about what could have, should have, would have, might have... Connor knew only one thing, his heart ached to be with Betsy. Yet, far as he could tell, she wanted nothing to do with him. Could he be right? Could he be overthinking things? Could he be missing some facts? Holidays are the worst times to be so lovelorn and alone... if only some clarity could be found...
  3. Just Ask Already! Her Side - Why must men make things so difficult. All they have to do is just ask... and accept whatever answer they get. NO.. Men just love making things difficult. A woman can only do so much to drop a hint. Maybe, just maybe, taking the ball into her own court might do the trick. Men! Just Ask Already!!!
  4. Just Ask Already! Mr. Braum - When a good best friend could do, sometimes a 'higher' power is needed. There are people who want you to succeed, but you're not always aware of them. Those folks can offer that nice swift hard kick in the pants a best friend may not... just to get you moving towards love. Especially during the crazy times of the holiday season
  5. Just Ask Already! The Party - That moment of truth... the music is just right, the stars are all aligned... the girl is looking into your eyes.... and you look... away?!?! Seriously though? Now you look away? NO! Just Ask Her Already! Some fellas just don't seem to get it. How many more flares need to explode? He's gonna get the girl, right?
  6. Just Ask Already! Conclusion? - Sometimes, just sometimes, you get lucky and question your good fortune. You've got the gal. You've got the relationship. Yet, you're not sure how you got so lucky This.. this is where a gentle post-got-lucky-debrief is not overkill. That is if you've got the right friends helping you out. Just don't overthink too much.
  7. Just Ask Already! Epilogue - He finally asked!!!! This is the part where a Hollywood ending would be perfect. Yet, there are a few loose ends the reader will be left to handle Things change once the question is asked and the answer is to the affirmative Now it's time to celebrate

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