Cheerio

I had everything packed in my box. All I needed now was the stapler hoping the new girl didn’t do a June Carver and snatch it off me. But she just stroked my shoulder slightly and said good luck. It had been 12 days since I gave in my notice. All the people I passed just looked up from their desk and either nodded or smiled. Nod. Smile. Smile. Smile. Nod. Smile. I never really knew them. We talked on the occasion. At least I said goodbye first. One morning I came in and a desk was just empty. She was nice, even thought we didn’t see or talk to each other that often. We were in different division so we hardly came to work at the same time. It kinda hurt but it didn’t matter.

Then I saw him walk towards me. i hadn’t seen him in a day or two. It’s nice to catch up with him. Sometimes it was short and we were off doing separate things either in the same room or back to our desks, or we would spend ages talking by the kettle, or the water-dispenser-wotsit-thing. You know, the one that looks like a vertical fish tank and makes the blub blub sound. I guess him and I were just friends. We spent more time with each other than we did with other colleagues. Sometimes we walked to our desks together still talking. I would often think about what we just talked about. Does he do the same? Doesn’t matter now I guess. He leaned his thigh on my desk and put his hands in his pockets.
‘Best of luck.’
‘And you too.’ I didn’t know in what, but I meant it.

I knew that when I was telling funny stories to friends of mine about me, him and our conversations, they would look to one other. I didn’t know what this meant but it happened more than once. It’s not really something I think about, but I noticed I stopped mentioning his name or on purposely omitted it to see if they did the same thing. Very weird of me. I guess I didn’t want to give off the wrong impression, whatever that was. He was just nice. We just talked when we saw each other. I don’t know why we spoke to one another more than the others. We just…did. One time I saw him through the door window whilst he was leaving the office, I smiled then I kept walking to fill up the kettle, he opened the door,
‘Hello’
‘Hi’
‘Goodbye’
‘Bye’.
That was it. Didn’t think it was necessary for him to just do that when he was leaving. He just did. By the large window I saw him walk away from the building then went back to making my drink. Shame it’s considered a ‘no no’ to drink in the afternoon, I could have used a splash of rum. Never mind.

We had a small chat about how our day was. It was good. It was a good day. It just was. I wanted to keep talking to him just for the heck of it but I had nothing else to say. We were silent for a bit. I tried filling it by pretending to check my draws to see if I got everything. I did. This was it. My time here was done and all packed in a single cardboard. Quite a temporary substance really, isn’t it? You never know when it is going to break or how long it took to wear away but someday, it just will be useless and need replacing. Cardboard boxes don’t really last too anyway so you can’t expect them to. Oh well. It was time for me to leave.

We shook hands. It was longer than usual handshakes. It wasn’t uncomfortable, or awkward. It was just…nice. I picked my box off my desk then headed to the lift. He pressed the button for me.
‘Cheers’, I gave a single nod. He just smiled.

 

You know, we never finished answering the 36 questions. We got to 14 one day then we just said goodbye.

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Marilyn

Lights. Click click. Blonde.

‘Smile this way, please, beautiful.’

I shouldn’t feel this way, she deserves better.

Flash. Click click.

Her white skirt graciously fluttered and puckered from the biggest fan in the studio.

‘Just fabulous, now this way.’

Not a person, an actual fan just to be clear. I know it’s not her, but her fame, and her fame were enough to create this tribute for the classic edition of the magazine. Great opportunity for us to be picked for this, right? For me to be closer to her, right?

Click click.

A woman rushed to her with something that appeared like an artists’s palette with the multiple colours of nude and red on that bit of board. The woman took a small brush and gently brushed a coat of a bold red lipstick (I assume) on her lips. She smacked them together, the sound a kiss could make. The thoughts of someone opening the camera cupboard, finding us two with that very lipstick smudged around my lips with patches on my cheeks. How many fan-boys would have felt like this?

She turned to me again and smiled, more out of sympathy as a camera-guy rather than being really sincere. I was only aware then of the small mole drawn on her face. Such a small thing to contrast the silvery blonde sheen of her wig which glowed under the lights, thanks to the light guy (his name I have not yet learnt). God, somebody’s made a mistake picking me to be here, with her here. I stood there during the shoot thinking, ‘Remember, she is a star, you aren’t.’ And yet there she was, glowing under the lights.

I unfocused the light guy and everything was a blur. She was just laughing. Everything I was thinking was verging on stalker-like creepy. Verging? It is creepy… Who is ever like this! It’s just a cover shoot. I am feeling so much over a face. I don’t need to fantasise. I could move pass this, I deserve better, someone else, who loves me, who marries, who I’ll love forever. I could, but…you know, I never thought I would see someone illuminate the room so brightly with the flashes reflecting off her porcelain skin. It’s stupid, daydreaming, fantasy, but perfection in a shot.

There was suddenly silence, no laughing. She was walking towards my way. Like earlier this morning, I thought she was going to say hello, but she saw someone behind me and her coat slightly rustled against my arm. I winched slightly, thinking in my head she turned around hearing that and wondered about the weird sound the camera guy made. I wanted to punch myself, I didn’t need to feel like that. It could have been nothing. I could have imagined it. But I embarrassed myself enough to feel the blood rush through to my cheeks, shuttering from the worse-case senario possible…Over an arm brush(?) So, I turned around and this time and no one was behind me. She was walking- towards me. They said in their murmurs she was single.

Listen here, you need to get this right. There is a lot of things you could say. But you can do this. This is your chance, do it now. Do it.

‘Sir, are you alright?’

Just say it.

‘The light guy said you might want to ask me something.’

So, I’m not the only one who calls him that. Wait, how does he know? Does he even know?

‘Sir, are you okay?’

Say. It.

‘It’s nothing, head’s in the clouds.’

Idiot.