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There really was nothing I could do. I couldn’t possibly force myself into her room neither could I force myself out of the house so I went into my room and I sat down defeated. I couldn’t stay idle. If I did, I would have to face my broken heart and dwell on it and I didn’t want to. Not for a second. I gave myself no more than five minutes before going back to her. ‘Frances, please. I… I can’t just sit and do nothing. I need to work. I need to stay busy. I just need to.’ ‘Evelyn, if you continue like this, you will run yourself into the ground. What is this thing that bothers you so much that you won’t let yourself be. You’re not saying anything about it but it’s obvious that you’re not yourself. You barely eat and you can’t sleep until you work yourself to the ground.’ She had joined me and we sat on the couch in our sitting room.
‘Evelyn, you need to talk to me. What is eating you up?’ I wanted to talk, I really wanted to share my burdens but how could I explain it without breaking down? How could I? I begged her to give me some time until I could talk about everything. I tried to explain how difficult it was but I must’ve failed because I didn’t even come close to explaining it right. She wasn’t happy about it but she let it be. I didn’t push for her to open the door anymore. I felt guilty because I couldn’t share my secrets with her when she had shared a couple with me.
I decided to spend that weekend in the house with her just to make up for the guilt. That Sunday, Frances and I were watching movies and I was trying to watch them with her while trying to apply for jobs when I got the email notification from the HR department. I had been asked to come over to the firm the next week for some settlements before I could collect my outstanding salary and bonus for December.
I did a double take when I saw it at first so I had to reload and read again and of course, there it was boldly written. I slowly graduated from being shocked to being very angry. All I was thinking was: How dare he? How dare he use my salary to try to get through to me? How dare he? I read the email one more time and I decided to ignore it.
I was drowning in my guilty conscience and I didn’t know how to pick myself up. I finally got up and took all the clothes to the Laundromat. When I got there, I was loading my clothes into the washing machine and whenever I got to the blue bed set, I would by-pass it for others until it was the only thing left in the basket and until I had washed all the other clothes and I went back home. As soon as I got home, I picked it up and I stuffed into the bottom corner of my closet to be forgotten. Through all of this, I had her heavy on my mind.
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I needed to come to terms with what I had done so I could move on. I knew that I needed to apologize to her but how? I thought about showing up at her apartment but that was too personal, I thought about sending a mail but that would be too impersonal so finally, I settled on the firm. I was going to use the firm to get to her. That Friday (before the close of work), I had authorized her salary payment which had been suspended by the HR after her sudden resignation so I quickly made some calls. The mail was going through the HR but I drafted it personally.
I needed to be sure that she wouldn’t suspect my hand in it and after many trials, it seemed reasonable. She had resigned suddenly with no prior notice so it was only fair that the firm required some explanation before relieving her for good. I knew that it wasn’t the right method and that it could end up blowing up in my face but it was my last option and as desperate as I was to make peace with myself, I held onto it.
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