He’d made an awful mess on the pavement below.
The breeze coming in through the broken window soothed the red heat in my cheeks. I closed my eyes for a second, took a deep breath and felt calm. I knew it would not last long. Soon people would start rushing in to the office to see what was going on. With an eerie calmness, I moved away from the window and back across to the oval, faux-mahogany table that dominated the room. My folders and piles of paperwork were strewn over the end where I’d been sitting and, on his end- that damned mug.
Someone had bought it for him for Christmas as part of the secret Santa. I don’t know if they meant it honestly or whether they hated his eternally smiling face as I did. Everything was always great, brilliant, good job…but… Could you maybe do more, push the numbers up, work at the weekend? Of course he was an optimist, he never had to lift his finger.
This morning I had come in for another last-minute meeting, one he had only texted me about Sunday night at 7pm; 13 hours before he wanted to see all the up to date figures. He said I looked stressed, maybe I was struggling with the pressure. And then he gave me that smile. That patronising, sickening, false smile that he hid behind.
I’m not sure what my reaction was or what my face was doing but clearly it wasn’t what he expected. His smile faltered, like a computer screen glitching and he took his hand away from my shoulder before starting to mutter something about maybe looking again in a couple of days. We’d been standing by the window looking down on the people below making their way to work. It was still only 8.25.
How he came to be hurtling towards the pavement from the fifth floor is still a bit hazy but his chair seemed to have gone through first. I shuddered as I remembered the mess on the pavement, that was going to be hard to clean up. Footsteps started to echo in the hallway. I let out a deep sigh and sat in his chair. Then I picked up his mug; ‘eternal optimist’ it read. I took a swig of his coffee and smiled.
Written in response to a Creative Writing Ink prompt