the desk is clean from clutter. no misplaced papers, no stray pens, no post-its hanging around just in case a note needed writing. with the bright fluorescent lights, the white desk looks like a cafeteria table in a canteen’s dead hours. a mute witness to the empty minutes tiptoeing quietly down the carpeted hallway. soon, really soon, i will be gone from here. i opened my mobile drawer and took out the box of nostalgia. like a canister of danish cookies, the box has different compartments for the differently shaped memories of my stay. one by one i took out the memories gingerly by my fingers and i held it out to the light. i must look like a jeweler, i thought, assessing a ring or a stone, determining its karat, measuring its weight, figuring out its value. after a few minutes, i gave up and replaced the memories into the box. i don’t think they can be measured. not right now anyway. memories are meant to settle, to ferment, to age, before anyone can appreciate their true value.
my boss passed by my desk and asked me a few things. she said she wont be in the office tomorrow, my last day. i said i will be back next week to accomplish my clearance. i don’t have anything to do yet anyway by then. its weird how we tiptoe around goodbyes. encircling it like its a dangerous animal on an attack mode. drawing it out to its last breath. like a paintbrush that has ran out of paint in the middle of a stroke. we do not want abrupt halts. we want to assure one another that we will see each other again. i will be here next week, let us have coffee from time to time, i will drop by soon. the list goes on and on. i wonder whether ending it right then and there is much less stressful than carrying around a flickering flame of expectation for some period of time until reality blows it away.
before i left for the day, i took out my planners. one was the planner for last year. a whole year. imagine that. sometimes we lose track of the incredible amount of time we spend inside an office. doing things for the sake of being able to pay the bills. i am holding a full one year of my life in my hands right now. i dare not open it for fear of realizing what i have spent it for. i stashed it quickly in my bag. walking down the hallway i suddenly feel the desire to stay. another weird thing. but its not over anyway. i will wait for tomorrow.