As you hear the sound of your tense footsteps echoing in the corridor, you know this time it's over. Your career is literally over, with no future whatsoever.
You promised yourself a myriad of times that no more thing would happen. You wanted to be the model clerk, the example to follow for everyone and the one who always does everything flawlessly.
You wanted to prove that you were capable too.
It had become a kind of ransom for you. A ransom that you wanted to show the whole world.
But you didn't succeed. And you also know that, this time, it's time for the game over and there won't be a restart button.
You must face the fate that will hang over you like a hurricane ready to turn your life upside down.
And you're not ready for it at all.
Your trembling hand knocked on the manager's door, but you don't even realize how tense you are.
"Come in!" A female voice invites you from inside the room.
You rest all your weight on the doorknob. The wooden door slides forward, revealing a woman seated at a desk fumbling with paperwork and documents.
When her cold gaze turns to your figure at the door of her office door, you’re physically faint.
You’re fucked up.
"Please have a seat."
Her earnest voice automatically makes you close the door and advance into the room to take a seat in the leather chair opposite her.
You squeeze the corners of the chair's arms and stare at your superior, unable to react and just waiting for the worst to come quickly and praying it won't hurt too much.
You already know it will, but hope is the last to die, right?
"I think you already know the reason for my call, Y/s Y/n." She says, tossing the pen she was holding firmly in one hand onto the expensive surface of the desk.
The noise of that contact makes you jump on the spot. Not because it was particularly strong or violent, but because you feel like a stockfish unable to move.
You look down helplessly and slowly put your hands on your knees. Clench your fists on the kneecaps and hold your breath until your lungs ache.
"Your countless delays have caused your yield to drop disproportionately." Continues the boss with the same firm tone and the lump you've stuck in your throat becomes more and more oppressive.
The bomb has now been dropped. You know perfectly well why your boss summoned you, even though deep down you hoped she was unaware of everything.
"You know that this situation can no longer continue, right? The company has reduced in a negative way and this is unacceptable. You understand, right?" She asks you, placing her thin chin on her folded hands.
The lacquered red color of her nails disorient you for a few seconds, giving you a dizziness that increases your grip on the chair.
She raises both eyebrows with superiority and you can't help but silence any sound your body is capable of producing.
You are silent and still.
Mortified of course, but also equally disappointed in yourself. None of this should have happened; it's your fault and, the fact of being aware of it, it only makes the hole in your stomach bigger.
You know your behavior was and still is wrong.
Your boss momentarily turns his steely gaze away from you to focus on a document. The seconds he spends reading something on that damn piece of paper threatens to make you burst into screaming in his face and crying in frustration.
You know the worst is about to happen.
And it is when you raise your head towards your helpless figure on the leather chair, that your world collapses under your feet and in this very room.
"I have to fire you." Her monotonous tone doesn't let it slip that she just told you something that will change your life.
You were sure of it. Ever since they told you you were supposed to go to this damn office, you knew there was nothing more to be done.
Your countless delays played with your career, plunging it into a chasm from which it would never escape unscathed.
Instead, she wouldn't have gotten out of it.
You open your mouth to say something. You would like to try to argue about this drastic decision, but what can you say to apologize? It’s not your boss who is wrong, but only and only you and your delays.
It no longer makes sense to try to justify yourself now. What would that solve? Nothing, here's your answer.
So you remain silent while the woman sitting across from you shows no sign of repentance or remorse towards you. She made her decision.
"You have time until tonight to pick up your things." She informs you coldly.
This sentence brings you back to reality. The fact that you have to leave that office which, slowly, was becoming a second home for you, will leave its mark.
"Now you can go. Goodbye." She dismisses you.
Only these simple words that, however, are triggered in your eardrums to never get out of it.
Game over Y/n...
You get up from the chair with your legs shaking. You make a little bow to your former boss, being careful to keep your feet firmly on the ground and not fall forward, and you escape from that oppressive room.
Your steps in the hallway sound different from those of a few moments before. They are slower and more dragged, as if it were a burden to walk with your own legs.
You swallow the lump in your throat, but you can't breathe normally. Maybe, you are suffocating and you don't even realize it.
You head to your small, cramped office to start "picking up" everything of yours in the room.
Without this job, you will no longer have the financial resources to go on and, without money, you won't get far.
You are very sure of this.
Finally, you put everything you had in a cardboard box found in a dusty corner. You have only placed a couple of books and documents inside it that you know that if you leave them here they will not be of any use to anyone.
You didn't have much in this little space of yours.
Now that certainty is gone, like wind blown sand. The wind of your dismissal.
You leave the box on your small desk and stop to observe the cityscape outside the large window.
Perhaps, one of the things you will miss the most about this job will be this view. You can't even give yourself a reason.
That's just the way it is.
You put your hands in your hair and inhale deeply. You lean your forehead against the cold window pane and wait for something.
Something that, however, does not happen.
Even if you don't seriously want to realize what happened, you have to. Nobody will give you anything back. Therefore, it makes no sense to deny the evidence to feel even worse.
If you stay here a minute longer, probably, no one will stop you from returning to your boss's office to beg her to give you another chance.
Even on your knees if necessary.
But you deserve nothing else. You should have thought about it first to get all those late times. Sooner or later it would have to happen.
Sooner or later you would have lost everything.
So, you grab the box with your stuff inside from your desk with all your might. You open the door of what used to be your office with your foot and, without looking back, you leave everything behind.
Were you hoping this wouldn't hurt? Well, you were very wrong.