It was her last day of work.
“I’m going to take some time off and travel,” is what she told us in the main conference room this afternoon. The sun that was shining through our 20th floor windows lit her hair from behind, making a halo above her head as she worked the room, saying goodbyes. Pasty cake from downstairs was passed around, but I couldn’t eat it, knowing that this was the last time I could make a conversation with her.
“We should totally hang out when I get back,” I imagine she would say or maybe we would reminisce about that time at Joel Skolnik’s going away party when we were the last ones to leave the bar. It was raining that night and she lost her umbrella so I offered to share mine. Would she remember that our shoulders touched as she quickly launched into the street to waive down a cab, before I could ask for a night cap or at least one personal question so I could become a little closer to her.
After the sugar fix was over, all of us employees go back in front of our respective lightboxes. I walk, mildly shaking towards her pinkish decorated cubicle. Box of four chocolate cupcakes in hand, an overindulgence of dessert that didn’t occur to me this morning, I quietly rap on the side of the stunted wall that separates her personal space from the main hallway.
“Um, I just wanted to tell you that it was great working with you,” I say, thinking I mumbled or slurred or stuttered or spittled. I look down and open the box, revealing two black bosoms of flour and sugar, with dollops of nipples.
“Oh Janie, you shouldn’t have,” she says as she looks at the two breasts I have just offered her as a token of my affection. I drop them on her desk and run down the hallway, heading for the protection of the nearest women’s room stall. After fists full of toilet paper are dispensed and red eyes reduced with cold water, I summon the courage to get back to my desk.
Walking past the copier and through the kitchen, I catch James Seligman with a face full of cupcake and he grins at me with chocolate icing smeared on his teeth.
“Great cupcakes Janie,” he says as a large piece of cupcake falls from his mouth.