by Sara J.
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream...
- Edgar Allen Poe
(In other words, this story
is 100% pure BS. Fictional to the max. Just my imagination ... running away
"Mondays. I hate Mondays.
Mondays suck," I muttered as I stalked down the hallway.
"You know you're an assistant,"
a voice behind me interrupted my mini tirade. "You don't have to be here."
Thank you for that, Colbert.
Remind me of my insignificant status. Remind me I'm a loser. No really! I don't
mind. I stopped and shifted my armload of notes from the last writers' meeting.
When I looked up, I was surprised to see Stephen waiting for me. At that moment,
I was glad I hadn't snapped at him as I typically do. He hadn't meant to sound...well,
like a jackass, but sometimes I don't think he knows the way he comes off.
Besides, I was more or
less happy with my "assistant" title. I was trying to break into that elusive
"correspondent" category. I'd auditioned a few times, but so far as close as
I'd gotten was a spot as an extra whom Steve Carell used to point out how hot
it was getting in the city. (I get a few extra bucks and some camera time, and
all I have to do is fake-faint into a fountain? I'm there!)
"Go on ahead," I told Stephen.
"I've got some stuff to do. Ya know - peon, assistanty stuff."
I joked about it, but really,
being an assistant wasn't working in a coal mine, for god's sake. But it wasn't
being an assistant I relished - it was the fact of whose assistant I was.
"Sara, you're here early,"
a strangely seductive voice spoke up behind me, and I had to fight off a shiver
of tingles when I felt a warmth on my shoulder. My eyes flickered and I smiled.
"Yeah, you know...just trying to be a 'team player'," I replied with all the
annoyance one can muster when she has Jon Stewart's hand on her freakin' shoulder.
I started walking, and his fingers slipped slowly off my shoulder and slightly
down my back. That time there was no way in hell I could've staved off that
He laughed softly as he
matched my stride. "I see you here all the time," he said, "Don't you have friends
on the outside?"
I rolled my eyes. Friends?
What are those? "Yeah, but my roommate is off doing her own thing, and...I like
it here, you know? I mean, you guys are my friends, aren't you?"
At that moment Mo Rocca
turned the corner. "Good morning, Jon," he greeted his co-worker.
"Morning, Mo," Jon returned.
"Hi, Sara," Mo said to
me, waving slightly.
"Hey, Mo," I replied, fluttering
my fingers. I love it when he says my name in that adorable lisp of his. Sometimes
I honestly didn't know which I'd rather be the assistant to - him or Jon.
When we got to the break
room, the only other person in it was Lauren Weedman, who was reading the newspaper
and sipping coffee. Jon and I sat down at the table and for a moment all I could
do was gaze at him.
Sigh. Jon. Jon Stewart.
I was Jon Stewart's assistant. Yeah, so he was married. A girl could still dream.
But he and Tracey were so sweet together, all happy and lovey-dovey...it was
so precious that it'd make you wanna puke, and I would never have wanted anything
to threaten that.
And what a lucky woman
Tracey was. To get to see him, talk to him, touch him whenever she liked, to
get to have his smile, his laugh, his love, to know what it feels like to...
I snapped back to attention
when I realized that I hadn't heard a word Jon just said. That'll teach me to
fantasize about him in the midst of conversation. Lordy.
"S-sure," I sputtered,
taking a complete shot in the dark.
"Seriously?" he asked.
"You would do that for me?"
Hell, I'd probably heave
a brick through a window in the Smithsonian for him. But in this instance, I
hadn't the murkiest clue what he wanted from me. Whatever it was, I'd agreed
to it. Oh, golly. If love is blind, then lust is deaf.
"I said 'sure', didn't
I?" I replied with a smile, hoping I hadn't just signed a death warrant.
His expression was skeptical.
"You don't have any problem with it?"
Man, there's more of this?
"Of course not! Why would I?"
He looked a bit stunned.
Maybe I should have a problem with it. This isn't going to involve potential
pain on my part, is it?
"Great, then I'll see you
on set?" he asked, motioning vaguely toward...uh...the set. What could I do?
I nodded. "Absotively! ...I mean...yeah, sure, whatever." I leaned back in my
chair and he laughed. I love making him laugh. Gives me a delusional sense of
accomplishment. He stood up, then and walked out the door, smiling at me before
disappearing past the doorframe. I waved until he vanished from sight, then
let my hand drop to the table.
"'Absotively'? What am
I, in seventh grade?"
To my left, Lauren chuckled.
I turned toward her. "What?"
She gave me a knowing look.
"You've got the hots for Jon."
I nonchalantly brushed
it off. "Oh, pssh, yeah, right. Like I have the hots for Jon, I'm so sure."
Yeah. Real casual.
Lauren only laughed. I
didn't blame her. Women know when another woman has a thing for a guy. Call
it a sixth sense. Or annoying as hell.
Suddenly I was struck by
a realization. Lauren must've heard what Jon was saying to me when I was...elsewhere...so
she could tell me!
"Hey, did you by any chance
"I heard," she interrupted.
"But I'm not telling you!"
"What? Why not?"
"'Cause it's more fun to
watch you rack your brain trying to figure it out!"
"Lauren, you suck!"
Of course, my frustration
only fueled her amusement. "Don't worry about it," she assured me between giggles.
"You'll be glad you agreed to it. Trust me."
Jeez oh holy, what the
"All I'll tell you is that
you're going to be on camera. And if you want to be on time for it, you'd better
bail. Taping's in five."
Holy sugar. Now what am
I gonna do? Taping's in five, I'm supposed to be on camera, and...and what?
Lordy lordy lordy...
"What do you want, Colbert?"
He handed me a sheet of
paper. "Quick, read this. You'll have until after the first commercial break
to memorize it. Hey, where the hell were you? I was supposed to give this to
you ten minutes ago."
"I was in the break room,"
I said. "You didn't check the break room?"
I had to laugh. That was
Stephen for ya.
I was going over the lines
- I had lines! - when I heard Jon yell "But first, let's do some damn Headlines!"
I always liked it when he said that. It had so much more character than, "First,
I quickly memorized the
few lines I had, and when the commercial break came up, I realized that the
copier had cut off the end of the skit. And Stephen was nowhere around. Great.
The one time I could use his help, and he's gone. Yippy skippy.
"We'll be right back."
Oh, joy. Jon called me
out on set and I felt like I was making that final march. When I got to the
desk, there was Stephen - now he shows up - and another chair between him and
Jon. So I took it. The three of us were soon after joined by the other correspondents,
and Jon made that "hushing" motion to quiet the crowd down. "Ladies and gentlemen,"
he began, and then leaned over and put his hands on my shoulders...again...
"This is Sara. She's our newest correspondent, so be gentle."
Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?
Did he just say "newest correspondent"? Dost my ears deceive me...again?
"Or you could rip her to
shreds, it really doesn't make any difference," he added. The audience laughed,
of course, and he gave me a look that told me I had really heard him right.
"But, we like her, and we think we'd like to keep her."
Giggles from the audience.
"Don't worry, we went out
and got her one of those big cages with a run and everything, so she'll be fine.
She can hang out in the shade, go out and get some sun, it's all good!"
That time, everyone laughed.
A signal later, and we
were back on the air. I knew exactly what I had to do - I had thought this was
only a one-time thing! - but was clueless about the ending. I hoped it wasn't
too obvious how nervous I was about that.
The whole thing was, Stephen
and I were holding a debate at the other end of the desk about inter-office
relationships. He was for it, I was against it. (In actuality, I was for it,
too - obviously.) So when Jon introduced us, off we went. Point. Counterpoint.
Finally, at the line just
above where the skit got cut off, I turned to Jon and said, "Jon, what do you
And that was as far as
One arm wrapped around
to my back and grasped my shirt. His fingers slid up the back of my head through
my hair. His lips were on mine and I could taste him, sweet as I'd ever imagined,
and I let my hands fall to his thighs.
Suddenly, he leaned forward,
pushing me off my chair and we tumbled to the floor.
The audience was going
absolutely crazy, and who could blame them? Half of them wished they were in
After what seemed too short
an eternity, he gently pulled back and when I opened my eyes, he had a smile
on his face but was just a bit puzzled. "You did know I was going to do that,
right?" he half-whispered. Dazed, I could only nod. Liar!
He took my hands and pulled
me up, and the two of us went back to our chairs and brushed ourselves off as
if nothing had happened. Then, suddenly struck by the improvisation gods, I
turned to Stephen.
And the crowd goes wild!
And I walked off set at
the commercial break feeling like the luckiest damn loser in the world.
I honestly hadn't expected
anything like that to happen. I had to wonder whose idea that whole thing...Lauren!
I caught up with her in the hallway. "Lauren!"
She turned, the hugest
smile in the history of smiles on her face. "Lauren," I gasped. "Was that...did
"Yep," was all she said,
and went on down her merry way.
I always knew I liked her.
Just before I was set to
take off for home, I saw Jon with Tracey. They were walking down the hallway
as close as can be, joined at the hip, superglued...snuggling and talking and
kissing and...okay, yeah, I'm gonna puke. But they're so very sweet together.
I was forced to give an "awwww" smile in spite of myself. I absent-mindedly
licked my lips and remembered my "inauguration" as a correspondent. When I opened
my eyes again, Jon slipped his arm around Tracey's waist and she leaned her
head on his shoulder as they walked out into the city, and I was forced back
into reality. Yep, it had involved potential pain on my part.
Sigh. I hate Mondays.
Added May 22, 2002