So Near and Yet So Far

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This piece is for Yeah Write’s weekly fiction challenge. This week’s prompt is ‘I sit on the long, curvy chair because there are no office chairs’. Read on!

There comes a day in every person’s life when all the hard work, long hours at work and sacrifices made along the way start paying off. Today is my day. That elusive lady luck is on my side. I’m being made partner today! I started off as most everybody does, at the bottom rung. A newly minted law graduate, I started my sojourn here at Harper & Gumble as a Litigation Associate. An associate with fire in my belly. I climbed the corporate ladder with a vehemence that overshadowed everything else. Once I started, there was no looking back. But whenever I threw some side glances at my personal life, I saw hurt in my kids’ eyes when I missed ballet recitals and daddy-daughter days at school. I saw longing in my wife’s eyes to spend time with me. They gnawed at my conscience, but I chose to look away. I chose not to feel guilty. After all, I was doing this for them.

But after today, things are going to change for the better. Once I’m made partner, I will first take a real vacation with the family, which means I won’t be taking along my work phone that my wife hates so much. How thrilled they’ll be! From now on, weekends will be exclusively reserved for family. No checking emails and glancing at my phone every five minutes. I’m going to be really present for them, physically and mentally.

I walk into the office and I’m immediately asked to head upstairs. “Upstairs” is where everyone aspires to be. The 59th floor, the domain of the head honchos. I head up with an air of confidence. The elevator seems to be taking forever to get there. It’s strange, but the upstairs is not as extravagant as I had expected. It seems rather empty. I sit on the long, curvy chair because there are no office chairs. I’m guessing this is the work of some avant-garde interior designer. A man I don’t recognize walks towards me, dressed in white from head to toe. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure he has a halo on his head.

A few minutes earlier, a multi-car crash was reported just off of exit 402, a few blocks away from the Harper and Gumble offices.The co-worker who identified one of the victims shook his head in disbelief and lamented “Too bad, he was going to be made partner today”. 

16 thoughts on “So Near and Yet So Far

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