The brown box was tight against my chest as I wrapped it with both arms. I checked its contents twice, making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. My stationery and homemade decorated container that held it, my notebook, picture frames and files. That’s all I had when I started at the company. But the time had come to say goodbye to my assistant duties at Bolt Investments. Sadness swept up in my achy heart. I said my good wishes to most of the co-workers, some not even bothered to notice.
I walked on the fifth floor for the final time, wearing a light blue jeans and pumps. My messy ponytail tangled behind me. My purple spectacles matched my makeup and shirt. I was sorry to leave, but relieved at the same time. I was the odd one out anyway, Mrs. Anderson could get her assistant back. Everything seemed meant to be.
I couldn’t bear to be at the same place as Eric. My heart was bruised, my feelings dejected. So much for placing my heart on the line. But I had to keep on moving. That’s what Eric had said with regards to his rules anyway. But I couldn’t, I just couldn’t bring myself to. My heart was still in love with the man. The man that didn’t want me, let alone return my love.
I winced at the thought and swallowed hard. I didn’t want to see Eric or hear from him, I forced myself to reject his ‘Blurred Lines’ calls and ignore his four messages. I wasn’t worth the fight! And was relieved I was taking a flight far far away from here... Tonight!
Penny in her yellow and white stripped dress stood at the elevator. “You think you could leave without saying goodbye Vee?” She asked with a side smirk.
I giggled. “Of course I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to you, Penny.”
We chatted for a while, and I told her my plan to return to Canada. She listened intently.
“So, I take it, it didn’t work out with the man you’re in love with?” Penny asked softly, biting her bottom lip.
I shook my head and glanced at the ground.
“And you told him, your feelings for him?” She continued cautiously.
I sighed and nodded my head.
She nodded her head in understanding too. “And he didn’t reciprocate your feelings.” She sighed, somewhat reflecting my own emotions and answered her own question.
I didn’t have to say anything.
“Don’t worry Vee, I hope you’ll find a new start in Canada. I’ll really miss you.” She said. I placed my box down and Penny and I embraced in a tight hug.
My heart stood still as I slowly broke the hug with Penny. Oh no, is all I could think. I turned my head and there Eric stood watching me, his eyes deep in a frown and his lips tight. I tried to fight down the shivers traveling up my spine. He bellowed my name making a few heads turn in the office, including Penny’s.
I instantly looked towards the elevator doors. My hands reached out and picked the box from the ground and pressed the button, that glowed bright orange. I gulped, my mouth becoming suddenly very dry. My hands slightly trembling knowing his presence standing behind. I could feel him approach. Penny stood next to me watching Eric move closer. But I refused to look back, I didn’t know if I was strong or firm enough to face him. I could faintly see his faded reflection against the silver steel doors. My heart bolted inside my chest.
Long fingers gently gripped my upper arm. I jerked under his firm touch. It felt warm and deliberate. I almost felt myself melting... almost!
“Violet,” he said in a lower tone. “Can we go somewhere to talk about what happened at the gala.” He cleared his throat. “...about us?”
Penny’s eyes grew a little wider. I slowly got out of Eric’s firm grasp and shook my head.
“No, we can’t talk.” I returned my eyes back to the elevator that seemed to take forever to open. “I just came to collect my belongings and leave.” Too hurt to talk to Eric right now, as anger trickled in me once again. The damage was still heavy. My heart was still raw.
Eric briefly closed his eyes and held the bridge of his nose. “Look Violet, I didn’t mean what you think I said at the gala.”
“Oh, I heard perfectly fine Eric. You can’t be with me. That were your words.” I said evenly, determine not to break down. “So, I’m moving on, and the first step is to leave Bolt Investments!”
Eric’s jaw twitched and he took a deep breath. “Where are you going? Can I come around to your place to talk this through.”
“There’s nothing to talk about and I won’t be at home.” I said, tossing my ponytail.
Eric’s eyebrows raised, worry growing in his eyes. “Where will you be then?”
I glared at him. “In Canada!”
“Why the fuck!” He grunted, earning a few stares from co-workers. He was drawing attention, as all eyes seemed to be on us. Penny backed away a little giving Eric and I room.
“I’m going back home.” I blurted out.
Eric raked a hand roughly through his hair in agitation. He looked flustered. Rattled. I’ve never seen him like this. He kept on looking at me as if he was somewhat struggling, and it was pulling at my heart strings. But I forced to look ahead.
“I don’t know how to do this Violet.” He whispered.
I shook my head, not fully understanding what he was saying.
“Violet please don’t go.” He begged. “Back to fucking Canada!”
I swallowed thickly. “I’ve made my decision Eric.” I softly said. I agreed with myself that this was for the best. I needed to stick with it. This time I’ll listen to my head instead of my heart. Since Eric will just mishandle it.
The steel doors opened, and I stepped halfway in the elevator.
“You want me to shout it to the world?!” He bellowed. “I’ll fucking declare it!” Co-workers strained their necks at this point, trying to overhear the commotion.
I narrowed my eyes at Eric, shrugging my shoulders in defeat. My eyes starting to sting again. The next words seemed to choke him, as if it were foreign.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” He asked stopping the doors from closing. His words were filled with nerves, like a schoolboy shy of asking his crush to the prom. My ears slightly stunned at his question.
I looked at Penny and she gasped, staring at me.
My eyes returned to Eric. “It doesn’t work like that.” I knew Eric didn’t think this through and making another impulsive decision.
Eric’s demeanor slumped. “I’m trying here.”
“You’re not trying hard enough.” I said in an almost whisper a flood of emotion behind them.
I stood inside the small elevator, looking at Eric what seemed to be the last time I’ll see his handsome face, he blinked slowly and breathed out steadily. His jade green eyes swelling a hint of shock, fear and sadness in them.
The doors silently closed, tearing away the sight of him, with me alone inside. My fragile body broke down as small tears ran down my face.
Was this really the end?