Someone has died.
Not just anyone, but someone I truly cared for.
Someone I loved with my whole heart, my secret crush, my adoring glance from across the crowded room falling upon his empty chair and my smile and dreams fading into despair.He wasn't just anyone. He was magnificently handsome, with gorgeous straight blonde hair that fell to his shoulders and curled slightly at the edges. His hair was so beautiful and natural, which today is very hard to find with all the would-be hair-perfect bleached-blonded people. The sunlight would fall upon his mane of golden hair like rays of light playing with an irresistable beauty.
Working in a busy office you really notice the times when it’s so quiet. So quiet you can hear the proverbial pin drop. It has been like that for the past three days. No one laugh's or talks, they just sit still, working. The unhappy glances are mirrored by my own, the sad sighs escaping my work colleague’s lips frequently. I am the most affected, and I'll tell you why. Someone has died. Not just anyone, but someone I truly cared for. Someone I loved with my whole heart, my secret crush, my adoring glance from across the crowded room falling upon his empty chair and my smile and dreams fading into despair.
He wasn't just anyone. He was magnificently handsome, with gorgeous straight blonde hair that fell to his shoulders and curled slightly at the edges. His hair was so beautiful and natural, which today is very hard to find with all the would-be hair-perfect bleached-blonded people. The sunlight would fall upon his mane of golden hair like rays of light playing with an irresistible beauty. He had intelligent, sparkling blue eyes which danced excitedly when he talked, animating his features so wonderfully. His smile was genuine and his lips not hugely big, but seductively big enough to attract attention. His teeth were perfectly white and straight. His face was golden tanned and his movements easy and natural. He wore the most attractive male perfume, and was always dressed immaculately. His name was Mike.
I can't deny I was attracted to him, probably most of the other women in our office felt the same way. He was popular, clever and humble, qualities that made him shine above the other men who would be considered competition, not that they even came close to someone that stunning.
Such a tragedy that somebody so talented and beautiful could die in such a terrible way.
Our company is an agency called Millennium Compliant. We hire people for businesses, specialists who solve problems computer oriented, particularly for the Millennium bug. The specialists we hire are contracted to companies to sort out pending problems. This is quite a lucrative market to be in at the moment, and with the increase in computer sales the demand for our particular service is particularly high.
As a consultative representative, I am required to sort out suitable interviewees for businesses and canvass potential agents or candidates to find the elite to consult our clients. So was Mike, but he was at a far more senior level. He was the type of person who simply clicked into the recruitment industry. He had charisma and personality. Clients became friends not just business associates when Mike was involved. Interviewees became enamoured of him, male and female. He was worshipped by everyone who met him. A cold gust of wind from the nearby open window drew me back to harsh reality and I shivered with horror.
It was so cold in the office, and I sat there leafing through a copy of Year 2000 Problem Solver: A Five Step Prevention Plan by Bryce Ragland. I couldn't concentrate on what I was reading, too much had happened to fully understand, my head was swimming.
I reached into my drawer for a tiny photo frame with a picture of Mike. It was pocket sized and I took it everywhere with me. It was my most precious belonging. Now, because of the tragedy, it was all I had left to remember him by.
I began to drift back to before the unthinkable occurred. I was so heartbroken. I had never made him aware of the deep feelings I had for him. Now, it was too late.
-- -- --
Three days ago, Mike had almost caught me gazing wistfully into the confident smiling man, himself, in the photo, but I had managed to quickly hide it in my lower drawer before he could make out his own features on the picture. I knew I was blushing like a schoolgirl on her prom night, and turned away from him. I felt humiliated by the depths of my feelings for him.
Mike had just smiled before asking me to do some small tasks for him. He had sat close to me, and his aura of warmth and gentle confidence had surrounded me. I remembered closing my eyes and fantasizing a non-existent relationship before Mike became concerned with my behaviour and asked me what was wrong.
"Nothing, Mike. Sorry, you wanted me to chase this guy?" I quickly resumed my professional approach, shaking my head to dissolve any lingering romantic thoughts and focused my eyes on the document he had placed in front of me, instead of looking directly at him.
"You weren't listening, were you?" Mike said softly, his voice patient and calm. "I would like you to send out some details of our company to him. Are you OK?"
"Yes, sure!" I smiled reassuringly at Mike, his eyes connecting to mine for the first time that day. I purposely never connected eyes with him, as I became completely lost within them. I was absorbed by the vibrant colours in them, the soft pools of black in the centre, like the island in the middle of an ocean. I began to lose myself in them, such deep blue eyes, such expression and intelligence betraying an otherwise naive appearance.
"There's nothing wrong at home is there?" Mike leaned forward and his arm touched my shoulder. I moved back, immediately annoyed with myself for doing so.
"Nothing's wrong. I'll send this out straight away" I said, leafing around through the client’s addresses in my over-full and overflowing card system. Mike rose and left to go to his own desk and I followed him with my eyes.
Such a graceful movement. Of course, when he walked he moved in a way that captured one's attention. All men born with beauty had such a grace that came so naturally to them alone. Mike's walk was just as alluring as the man himself. His thighs moved suggestively when he walked as if to an exquisite dance.
I looked at him as he seated himself with an easy and relaxed manner, and suddenly his eyes locked into mine and he smiled as I blushed and turned away for the second time that day.
At lunchtime that same day, Mike took all his more junior staff to lunch, and invited myself even though I was not a part of his particular team. I agreed as Mike smiled and we walked and talked to the double-doored entrance of the building. He had a very natural way of inducing conversation from people and making them feel they had known him for years, and we talked as if we were best friends. Or more than that.
The moment was ruined, not by the fact that his girlfriend was waiting for him at the doors and his embracing and covering her with a shower of kisses turned my stomach in a silent turmoil of envy, but that he had called off the lunch till the next day to spend time with his girlfriend.
She flaunted around him mercilessly as the girls around me looked enviously at her show of affection and I felt my stomach churn at the sight.
I was hurt and green with envy, but I little realised this was due to another reason I would find out later.
-- -- --
That afternoon, after lunch, Mike came over to me to apologize.
"Sorry about that, I'll make it up tomorrow" Mike promised, his flashy smile penetrating my defences instantly, and his aura of warmth making me feel so much better.
"Sure" I whispered, painfully trying to disguise the anguish I felt upon seeing another woman holding him, kissing him.
"No I mean it." Mike continued, his eyes dropping, and for the first time I sensed something was wrong with him. His smile had vanished for an instant, but then it returned with full force eliminating my doubts and suspicions.
"Are you OK?" I asked, watching the worry come back to him, the small frown, the eyebrows knotting together - golden eyebrows like two rays from his sun-like golden hair.
"Not really." Mike confessed.
My heart knotted as he said this, a secret fear came over me.
"What's wrong?" I asked, my fear sounding like despair in my voice. Mike detected the worry and he looked at me, his worried expression melted and he smiled again.
"Oh, nothing for you to fret about, darling" He said, his smile broadening, his eyes brightening like a gem turning in the light.
"If it’s upsetting you then tell me. Sometimes its good to talk to at least one person about your troubles" I said hopefully, desperately wanting him to confide in me.
"Well.... its my girlfriend. We were on the verge of breaking up" He said softly, and turned away as if to protect me from the more serious and emotional side of his nature.
"Really" My face formed the most astonished expression as I asked in a whisper of disbelief. "What happened?” I was shocked that any woman could resist this handsome, luxurious and masculine male. He seemed the side of myself I wished to express, his confidence always sheltered those around him.
"We really aren't compatible," He whispered more to himself than to me, his voice trailing off so much that I could hardly make out the last word he spoke.
"You seemed compatible at lunchtime today" I winked at him with a smile, desperately trying to bring back the side of him I loved so much. He laughed and put his hand on my shoulder. I didn't flinch and let the hand remain, so warm on my arm.
"What was it in your desk, that photo you hid from me?" He asked suddenly looking at me directly with that puzzled look I had seen so many times before. It was the look he gave when he was trying to figure out something.
"A photo of...." I stopped, unsure of which way to progress "... My brother!" I finally said, angry with myself for making it so obvious that I had thought quickly to make up an answer.
Mike smiled, a knowing smile. Then he got up and I turned to my work, ashamed I was blushing so deeply. He moved close to me without me realising and whispered into my ear:
"I thought you were an only child..."
I stopped working, stunned and tried to think of a suitable response. Then I turned around and I saw him back at his desk working and occasionally looking up at me. I tried not to look at him, but he had stirred my passion for him, and at 6:30 pm when I left the office I quickly glanced at him on the other side of the room. He didn't see me, as he was absorbed in his work, but that moment was so significant.
It was the last time I saw him alive.