A story for December nights

She stood by the window and her hair was shimmering white in the light reflecting off the snow outside. He could not see that her cheeks were blushing, he could not see that she had dressed up nicely today - just for him. His eyes simply passed her, just like they had passed the desk, the fireplace, the bookshelves and the comfortable chair placed facing the desk. It was as if she was not even there.

He greeted her dryly, his eyes still glaring through a pair of spectacles and focusing on completely different things than her. He was in fact, completely oblivious of her presence for other matters than for business. She hid that she was disappointed, it was not the first time he had let her down, and it was nearly becoming a habit for her. Very carefully she had twirled her hair up in a top and had fastened it with pearly pins that morning, thinking of him. Standing before him now, she constantly brushed her skirt and blazer suit with her very thin hands, straightening creases to look her very best for him. Still he took no notice.

Gently she put the folders and the alphabetically sorted paperwork on his desk, she'd spent the entire night preparing his morning - a bit jittery she hoped he could not see the bags underneath her eyes. She had tried very hard to hide them, but we all know that that never works. Suddenly he looked up at her, his rough hand had grabbed the papers, and she had not let go of them, because she had been thinking about other things. Now blushing more clearly, like a pale apple bursting in to colour, she attempted to hide her face in her shirt's collar.
"You look very tired" he said crisply. Her knees made a little swoop, though she managed to stand up straight.
-"I was working very late with these folders sir" she said, not realising that she had sounded a bit bitter, but her voice was still soft and clear. And he still took no notice of her.

Even at lunch, when she brought him croissants and coffee, he did not look up at her. The only times he did, he would lean a bit to the right before criticizing something, it could be about her, about her work, about the potted plants in the hallway, about traffic, or about anything else which he could complain about. She loved it so when he did, because then she could hear his voice a little. She'd tip her head very gently, and she'd listen with every cell in her body, every bone and straw of hair would listen intently to what was on his heart.

Her friends found her a fool, telling her to stop spending her time working so hard and trying to make herself noticed by him. "He doesn't give you a damn!" her friend had said. "He is more like 'I acknowledge your existence', but there is nothing more than that honey, he is using you". She smiled, he looked so adorable when reading something he liked to read, you'd had to be really good to actually tell, the difference from when he was reading something he did not like, was simply that he was frowning a little bit less when enjoying what he was reading.

It was nearly seven, she wanted to leave the office a bit earlier than usual, because it was one of her friend's birthday that day. With high heels put on just for the sake of him, she limped through the hallways, every other office was empty, people had left long ago. With blistered toes and swollen heels, she rounded the last corner, knocked once; and entered. Across his desk leant a woman, blonde, cheap curls leaning over his paperwork, a large cleavage revealed to his spectacles. Without thinking at the sight of this, she simply stepped backwards out the door and closed it. She thought that she'd start to cry when something like this happened, but for some strange reason she felt no different. It was obvious that she had not yet realised what she had just seen. Even when driving the company car, even when eating cake and handing over presents, even when drinking wine and talking to her friends, even when laughing, even when walking home, she could not get her brain to process the images now tattooed to the inside of her eyelids.

The following morning she went to work wearing a pair of lazy jeans. Her hair was tangled up with itself, and her face was looking very miserable and tired. There was no alphabetically sorted folders in her suitcase, and there were no stilettoes on her feet, there was not a professional smile to be seen, and there was not, not a beating heart inside her ribcage. Without passion she whacked the starbucks on to her boss' desk, she slammed the folders so hard, they nearly hit his face. Before leaving his office, she made a little grunt as a 'good morning'. She sat surfing the web all day, she did not stop by with lunch for him either, at five, she left along with all her other co-workers. When she came home she ate take-away, and she fell asleep, a pale face drooling over her kitchen counter. No heart beating in her chest, fine white light from the open fridge made her hair shimmer in white.


Eduardo said...

Just amazing! I wanna give you my congratulations! I'm a peruvian writer and I've found such a clear and fresh language in your tale. That's really good.
My space is

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