Sunday, 16 March 2008

We met through work

We met through work. I’d been there for a good four months, after the honeymoon period, the steep learning curve and buzz of meeting and being accepted by a new crowd before my impression on them faded like the toner on the sheets coming out of the printer behind my desk.

I’d mostly bump into her in the ladies’ toilets; a grim place. The whole building was grim but someone had made the effort to transform the areas designated as working areas to individual companies by inviting in large houseplants with leaves like accusing fingers to stroke your shoulders as you passed by their tasteful pots. The battleship grey toilets could have been anywhere and always felt dirty even though they were cleaned daily. Therefore, when someone walked in (assuming that they weren’t dressed in grey), their image in the mirror stood out like a red rose in a shroud of mist. The laminated signs on the inside of the cubicle doors ‘If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweet and wipe the seat’ always made me smile; a reminder that somewhere, someone cared, that the greyness and lack of humanity in that airless cube was as temporary as the fullness of my bladder.

The first time I noticed her, she was looking in the mirror. She’d filled the basin with water and was splashing her face as if trying to drown the worry lines on her forehead. Her mascara was running and she took some paper towel to it, the red wheels left by its roughness giving back a little colour to her cheekbones.

The last time we met it was more serious and she had been crying. There was only one way to make things better; I grabbed some more paper towel, pulled myself together and resigned.

3 comments:

Sarah Charsley: said...

Great Kathryn! Some fantastic images in there... your impression fading like print toner, accusing plant fingers, drowning worry lines... all V effective. And another great twist in the tail. Bravo! You can't be that tired after writing the essay x

cheryl63 said...

This was fab - I loved the ending..

Kathryn said...

Thank you Sarah & Cheryl!

I feel more back on form now that I'm not so worried about academic stuff. I'm thinking about varying the length of my pieces as Andy keeps complaining about feeling cheated at the end. Writing every single day, it's inevitable that some are going to be worse than others. To keep up my enthusiasm, I might trying different forms on here so that I don't get too stuck in the 300 word thing. Watch this space ....