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,
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.