It is just a regular day for lunch. The sun is out and I am trying to finish my plate of food. He is sitting right across me, and I notice he looks like he wants to tell me something, but hesitating. Earlier I had spilled my lunch over my beige trousers, and I can’t stop laughing at the fact that the stain is on the worst possible location, making me look like I pooped in my pants. I ask him if he wants to tell me something.
He tells me there is another girl.
I don’t respond immediately after this. I take a few seconds to process what he is saying. Another girl? Oh, he means another girl. Another girl that isn’t you, you fool, I tell myself. I’m sitting across him in close proximity, and he looks directly at my face. My heart starts beating really fast, and I try to look away. I start muttering about the weather. I start looking at other people. I start looking down at my own hands. They are shaking, and I’m glad the table is there to hide it. But he looks directly at my face with such bravery, and no matter how much I try I could not look away either.
The problem with me is that I am a bad liar. More specifically, my eyes are terrible liars. They are fish-sized and they like to betray me. They show everything I wish I could hide. Meanwhile, he is studying my face with this determination to be honest. It is strange combination of feeling for me, sitting there. I am grateful for his honesty but I am distinctively aware that my initial plans of trying to appear calm and collected are slowly failing.
He looks at me like I am a sad, lost puppy. Somehow this saddens me even more. I am not much of a crier, but at this point I am pretty sure I would cry the second I am alone. We start walking back to the office and we are quiet. He keeps looking at me like I am the saddest thing to exist on the planet right that second, and this makes me more determined to not show any signs that I am breaking. He asks me if we should stay in touch. I say I don’t know. I really don’t. The sun is scorching and there is a pile of work waiting at the office and we are standing in the middle of a walkway, and I can’t really think properly. I take a good look at him, in case I don’t get the chance to see him again anymore. I always like how kind his face looks.
I have four more hours of work before I even get the luxury to process what just happened. A couple of senior supervisors sit next to me and starts explaining some things, and I struggle to keep my pace. I hear them but I don’t hear them. All I could think of is that time we were in IKEA on a weeknight and he pushed me around on the trolley and spun me around and we were laughing a lot. I’m sure everybody thought we were retarded but we didn’t really care. I had the best time.
Work finally ends and I almost run to my car. On the drive home it starts raining because my life is just a complete cliché. He always forgets his umbrella and I wonder if he’s home too. It’s like a slap in the face to realize I probably would never know again. The phone doesn’t have its familiar alert ring anymore. It is unusually quiet. I know that for the whole week I will be staring at it, hoping he would call/text but he probably wouldn’t. Instead, it would be a phone alert for a stupid message some stupid guy in a stupid WhatsApp group is sending, and I would be disappointed every time.
Eventually I sit in my back room and I am writing this. It is raining outside, slow and steady, and somewhere thunder is rolling. The irony is not too long ago I was telling him how I always find it hard, the idea that someone comes into your life and becomes significant, and the next day they leave, becoming a stranger. Eventually they will forget about you and you’ll just be a shadow in their memory. And here it is. The phone keeps quiet and I tell myself it’s okay. It will be okay. It is a privilege to know and connect to someone and I must always be grateful for the opportunity, no matter how long or short it is meant to last. I close the window. Rain is my favourite weather, but I wish it would stop now.