He set his half-full mug of coffee on the sill without seeing the amazing view.
He stood up, took his raincoat from a hook and opened his office door, walked wordlessly past his secretary and the rows of desks.
He went into the hallway and pressed the elevator button, heard the rush of the car in the shaft hurtling up the twenty-two floors of the Transamerica building where he had worked for fifteen years, worked his way from the copy room all the way into the corner office he’d just left for what turned out to be the last time.
“It’s just for a couple days, man. I swear.”
“I know brother. I got you. I wish you could have the couch, but you know Giselle. She promised Ladonna she wouldn’t let you crash with us.”
“You gonna get in the doghouse she finds out?”
“I’ll handle it. You and me, we go way back. She knows that.”
“There a bathroom here?”
“Down the hall there’s a janitor closet got a toilet and sink. The lock’s busted, so you shouldn’t have no problem.”
“What do I say if somebody asks me?”
“You worry too much. Nobody ever comes down here.”
“I love the space. Will the smell go away?”
“That roller door is perfect. I can drive the Aston Martin right in. We’ll put in one of those lifts like we saw in Chicago. The one you said was like Batman.”
“The ceilings are divine. Can you imagine everything that went on in here?”
“Don’t be so romantic. People lived lives like anyone else. Now this third floor has serious potential. Raise the ceiling so we can walk out onto a terrace.”
“I want to keep those tablets on the front. I think it will be lucky.”
“Are you crazy?”
Perhaps it is the water, or maybe the act of doing something innocuous like washing dishes, but she can only cry at the kitchen sink.
She’d made the discovery by accident. She’d been scrubbing a plate when a paroxysm of grief surged through her, racking sobs that were thankfully drowned out by the rushing faucet.
She’d stood there weeping, the water cascading over her hands matching the tears rolling over her cheeks.
Afterward she felt amazing.
Now after dinner she quickly gathers the plates and silverware, shoos her family from the kitchen, her heart skipping in eager anticipation