At the moment, a man named Nerwin and a woman named Blerva are in a hotel room. Blerva and Nerwin work for the same company. Nerwin is a low-level employee at the company. Blerva is one of the company’s vice presidents.
Nerwin and Blerva have been intimately involved for a few days now. Nerwin does not find Blerva attractive at all. He is only involved with her because of a drunken mishap at the company’s recent holiday party. Nerwin wants to end his intimate relationship with Blerva, but has not yet been able to work up the courage to do so, knowing that Blerva has the power to end his employment with the company.
However, today, Nerwin is determined to end things between him and Blerva, having decided that he’d rather risk losing his job than continue being with Blerva.
As Nerwin is about to gently break up with Blerva, Blerva says: “I can’t wait to get back to work. It’s going to be a fun afternoon.”
“Why’s that?” Nerwin says.
“I’m going to fire three employees this afternoon,” Blerva says. “And one of those employees is going to be Maria.”
Nerwin gulps. “Maria?” he says. “Why are you going to fire her?”
“She reminds me of a girl who was rude to me in college,” Blerva says. “Physically, not personality-wise.”
“Can you do me… a favor?” Nerwin says.
“I just did you a favor,” Blerva says.
“A different kind of favor,” Nerwin says. “Could you not fire Maria?”
“Why do you care whether I fire her?” Blerva says.
“I feel bad for her,” Nerwin says. “She told me she’s been going through a very rough time in her personal life. This would be a terrible time for her to lose her job.”
In truth, Maria hasn’t told Nerwin anything about her personal life. The truth is, Nerwin is madly infatuated with Maria and couldn’t bear to not see her around the office anymore, even though she is barely aware of Nerwin’s existence and thinks his name is Kerwin.
“Okay, I won’t fire Maria,” Blerva says. “I’ll do you that favor. Of course, I expect to receive a favor from you in return. A different kind of favor. If you know what I mean.”
As Nerwin proceeds to do the requested favor for Blerva, he realizes that this is the first of many such favors he will have to do for Blerva to keep Maria from getting fired; that he will not be able to end his intimate relationship with Blerva. While staring into his own version of hell, Nerwin thinks: there is no light at the end of this tunnel.