Monday, April 12, 2010

Packed Office Box

The wind blew cold and wet across my new sandals and bare skin. Spring had arrived, but the mornings could still be cruel. I pulled my briefcase from the car before shutting the door and locking it. I turned and walked through the small parking lot toward the old brown building. I could smell the burning of rats from the research labs a few blocks over. The smell turned my stomach. I raised my hand unconsciously, trying to block the smell. I exchanged grimaces with another co-worker as she headed to her car.

The door closed behind me and my hand dropped back to my side, relieved to leave the stench behind me. I smiled at the receptionist who returned a small wave as she rattled off the hours to the caller on the other end of the phone. I stopped by my mailbox, surprised it was empty and then followed the blue speckled carpet down the hall. As I rounded the corner, I saw something brown sitting just inside my cubicle. I passed by it and hung up my Spring Jacket.

I turned back to pick it up and immediately recognized the corner of the bright red photo frame that held a picture of me and my girls on a carousel last summer. My face crinkled in confusion. I could also see what looked like the crystal vase that I placed behind the frame carefully placed in the corner of the box. My planner sat on top. For the first time, I noticed my usually clean desk was spotless and completely void of any of my personal items.

I stared at the items a moment, trying to make sense of it. Nothing fit together that would explain why. Just the day before, I had been congratulated by my supervisor for the handling of my newest problem account. I couldn't be being fired could I? I looked at the clock. My supervisor wouldn't be in for another half-an-hour. I didn't want to sit and fret, but I didn't have a better solution. I sat down in my chair and watched the seconds tick slowly by.

*** Writer's Digest ***


  1. Some how in my usual discombobulation I read ahead and now I am concerned (maybe that is not the right word) that the other co-worker leaving was an indication of the difficulties to come. Will there be more or do we finish in our own heads.

  2. I am leaning toward finishing in your own head. My thought was something silly like the office cleaning that was done the day before that she was suppose to clean her items out for and forgot all about.