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Warm withdrawal


The next day, somewhere around noon, i approached her desk and told her: “I just handed in my resignation.” “What?”, she shouted at the top of her lungs. Everybody around was looking at her as if she just committed a murder. She grabbed me by the arm, pulling me towards the office exit. “We’re going outside! M., i’m stepping out for a bit.”, giving notice to our supervisor. “Sure. Have fun!”, M. replied.

As we walked towards the exit: “I can’t believe you! After yesterday’s talk, this is your response?”, she said with an annoyed tone. “It has nothing to do with that. I just need a change of scenery. Besides, i wasn’t doing a very good job here to begin with.”, i replied. We reached the building’s exit. “What are you going to do now?”, she asked, trying to calm herself. “I don’t know. Travel the world maybe?”, i smilingly replied, lighting up a cigarette. “During this worldwide economical fiasco? Hah! Are you out of your mind? It’s like you would willingly walk towards an active hurricane, wearing only your swimming shorts.”, she said shaking her head. “I’ll be fine. I’ve saved up some money ever since i started working. Don’t worry.” “Give me one of those.”, she demanded as she was looking at the cigarette between my lips. “But you don’t smoke.”, i replied with amazement as i was reaching for my pack. “And now i want to. It’s a split second decision. Just like your dumb resignation.”, she said, pulling out a cigarette and pointing towards the end of it as if asking for a light.

“Here.”, i said, lighting her cigarette. She inhaled deeply and started coughing heavily. I began to laugh. “Stop laughing…” *cough, cough* “…or i’m gonna kick you.” *cough* I took one step back and continued laughing. “Take it easy. It’s a cigarette, not a blowjob.”, i jokingly said. She immediately stopped coughing, regained her posture and started walking towards me menacingly, with the cigarette between her lips. She resembled a mafia boss who was out for revenge. “Come here.”, she uttered. “No way in hell, lady!”, i said, backing away even more. She stopped walking towards me. “Please!”, she whimpered, as her furrowed expression turned into one of sadness. She walked to a nearby wall, turned and leaned on it. I approached carefully, but as soon as i was in grabbing distance, she threw away her cigarette, plunging her fingers into the fabric of my shirt, snagging me with both hands, flipping me against the wall. “Listen here you!” She kicked me in the shin. Her usual move. But as soon as she saw me open my lips to cry out in pain, she lunged at me, pressing her lips heavily against mine.

My mind went blank. The pain wasn’t there anymore. Her kiss was different this time. Softer, more voluptuous, as if she was trying to say “Don’t go.” She broke off the kiss and whispered: “I love you.”, while staring down my shirt. “You know, littering is bad.”, i said with a smile. She raised her head and kissed me again, pulling even harder on my shirt. I wrapped my arms around her, squeezing just enough to make her feel wanted. The kiss was broken off again by her, this time also letting go of my shirt and resting her forehead on my chest. “Don’t you worry about my littering… Mr. Godless.”, she said slowly with a soft tone. A few moments passed. My embrace shattered as she pushed herself away from me with both hands, taking a few steps back. “You should worry about the times ahead, when i won’t be there to set you straight!”, she uttered with a serious face, tears flowing down her cheeks. My eyes went wide for a few seconds but regaining my composure, i smiled: “I’ll be fine. Worry not.” She straightened her back: “No, you won’t and i know it.” She looked to the side, sadness creeping onto her face. “But i also know that you’ll overcome whatever comes your way.” She softly sighed, before turning around and walking back towards the office entrance. Midway, as she kept on walking, she shouted: “Call or visit me whenever you come back.”

I felt her sadness, even though she tried to hide it as best as she could. There was no turning back. The remains of that bridge were now embers, as the sky’s dark and gloomy blanket of rain clouds was about to snuff them out with tears of melancholy. Yet, there was no heaviness in me. No remorse or fear. Only the beckoning of change.


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