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       “Her Last Day”
He looked over,
At her,
She was talking,
With a co-worker,
As he tried to,
Filter out the other,
So he could just,
Enjoy the sound,
Of her voice,
He didn’t realize,
In till recently,
He did,
Quite often.
She noticed him,
Looking over,
With that stupid grin,
Hanging off,
His face.
He told her,
He’d try,
Not to stare at her,
Too much,
But she didn’t think,
He seemed to be,
All that hard.
But still,
She was,
Very understanding,
She showed him,
A smile,
And gave him,
A playful nod,
Knowing the reason,
Behind his,
Recently developed,
Stalking behavior.
Her days,
Working with him,
We’re coming to an,
She didn’t really,
Think about,
As meaning,
All that much,
But in kindness,
She didn’t,
Belabor her point,
To him,
All that much,
He tried,
To think about,
His day,
Without her in it,
He did scenarios,
In his mind,
Of going to work,
And her,
Not being there,
And though,
His imagination,
Was better than most,
He could argue,
He still couldn’t get,
Two hours into his,
Make believe,
Cut-out day,
Without her,
Finding a way,
Back into it.
It was almost,
As if,
She was trying,
To work her way,
Through the locked doors,
And empty rooms,
Of his mind,
Finding her way,
Back to him,
Each time,
He tried,
To keep her out.
But he knew,
What was really,
He was just,
Reverse engineering,
His own dream,
Of him,
Finding a way,
Back to her.
He was kind of,
Proud of himself,
For figuring that out,
But that feeling,
Quickly faded,
When his heart,
Began to sink,
As she turned,
From the co-worker,
And started to,
Walk away,
An ironic symbolism,
In his mind,
Of what was,
Soon to come.
He never tired of,
Watching her walk,
She had this,
Very unique motion,
When she walked,
Part of it,
Had to do,
With how she carried,
Strong and in control,
But with a certain,
That when balanced against,
The grace,
Of being a woman,
Provided a,
Never ending fascination,
For him.
She headed for,
The closest door,
That could get her,
To the outside,
It was her break time,
And an energy drink,
While sitting on,
A sunny metal bench,
Sounded so good,
To her,
Right now.
She leaned back,
Her body infusing,
As much energy,
From the sun,
As it was getting,
From her drink.
Her thoughts,
Began to drift to,
How she ended up,
She couldn’t believe,
She had worked here,
For over 10-years,
And other than,
A few small,
Pay raises,
She wasn’t really,
Any farther ahead,
In the company,
Or in her life,
Then when she,
First started,
10-years ago.
It had all,
Started out,
As a kind of,
Stop gap,
Work here for now,
Till something better,
Came along,
But she was able,
To get 40-hours,
A week,
And some,
Pretty steady days,
Which worked out,
Since she also,
Was having to be,
A mother.
It wasn’t easy,
For her,
To make a change,
Or to even,
Think about one,
A single mom,
With a girl,
In High School,
A job,
That was very physical,
And draining,
At times,
But on the plus side,
It kept her body,
Quite trim and tone,
Which she really liked,
So on those,
Rare nights out,
There was no shortage,
Of people,
That seemed to notice,
And what woman,
Doesn’t like to be noticed,
On their night out.
She had just recently,
Gotten her life back,
Being able to,
Steal away,
A weekend,
Every now and then,
To spend with that,
Special someone,
Or to just hide out,
From everyone,
With her dog.
Still she knew,
Something had to change,
And it didn’t look like,
It was going to be,
This job.
She didn’t really,
Think about,
How she would,
Get through it,
The schooling,
She knew,
It would take,
A year,
And she’d,
Have to work,
Full time,
To afford it.
The more she tried,
To think her way,
Through it,
The more barriers,
She seemed to find,
Always coming up,
With a reason,
For putting off,
A change,
Till that day,
She just hit,
The wall,
She just had,
One day too many,
Of unappreciated sweat,
Coupled with a,
Total lack of,
Any kind of,
Personal recognition,
That when she,
Walked out of work,
That day,
Before she could even,
Start her car,
She screamed out,
“F--K IT!”
And the wheels of change,
Had begun.
He saw her,
Sitting on the bench,
All alone,
Deep in thought,
With the sun,
Shinning down,
On her,
As if it was,
Put in place,
Only for her,
Sending all of its,
Softest rays of light,
To illuminate and comfort,
She looked,
Almost like a child,
Her face had a look,
Of discovery,
On it,
He could tell,
She was in the midst,
Of a day dream,
He wanted nothing more,
Than to just go over,
And sit,
Next to her,
But he couldn’t
Bring himself,
To break that spell,
She so seemed,
To enjoy,
Being under.
He took,
A long measured look,
At her,
Studying her features,
Knowing this look,
Might be,
One of the last,
Ever offered to him.
She continued,
To sit there,
Holding her phone,
With her hands,
In her lap,
Not looking down,
At it,
Sort of just,
Looking forward,
As if there was,
Some sort of screen,
In front of her,
Alone in thought.
Her senses start,
To awaken,
The mixture of sun,
And energy drink,
Start to have,
The desired effect,
On her,
She looks at her phone,
And sees,
She’s a good,
10-minutes late,
On her break time.
She lets out,
A little laugh,
And states out loud,
“What are they”,
“Going to do?”
“F--king Fire Me”
As if she was,
Saying this to,
A friend.
She stands up,
Slides her phone,
Into the back,
Left pocket,
Of a pair of jeans,
That fit her,
So tightly,
You’d swear,
They would snap,
Her phone in two,
When she took,
Her very first step.
She slowly,
Made her way,
Back inside,
Hidden away,
From the sun,
She so loved,
Deep into the bowels,
Of the building,
Where she worked,
And begun processing,
Stacking and organizing,
All the mountains,
Of freight,
She was responsible,
It was her,
Last day,
Preforming these,
Never ending,
Remedial tasks,
But still,
She worked hard,
As if anything left,
Would be her responsibility,
He makes up,
A reason,
To take himself,
To the back part,
Of the building,
Something he’s done,
So many times before,
He starts to feel,
And very unsteady,
As he turns the corner,
And enters the hall,
In her part,
Of the building.
He stops,
In the middle of,
The hall,
And pretends to,
Be looking through,
The papers he’s holding,
As he stands there,
Looking confused,
Leafing through,
And reading,
The various papers,
For a few minutes,
Or at least,
Projecting the appearance,
Of doing so,
To anyone around him.
But he knows,
He’s not really,
Reading anything,
And that the hall,
Is empty,
With no one around,
To watch his,
Minor league performance,
So why then,
He thought,
As he continued on,
With his act,
Was he doing this?
And then,
He was just,
Over whelmed,
With a flood,
Of deep emotions,
And fear,
All at the same time.
And it hit him,
He was just stalling,
His little game,
With the papers,
Was meant for,
No one else but him,
He had seen,
The clock at the end,
Of the hall,
And realized,
That less,
Than an hour away,
Their shift,
Would be over,
And she would be,
From here,
And his life,
His body had frozen,
And his mind,
Was just giving him,
Something to do,
Till his body could,
Get moving again.
Is he smart?
He wonders,
For figuring this out,
Or just crazy,
For allowing it,
To happen,
In the first place,
He was leaning,
Towards the latter.
He starts walking,
Gets to the end,
Of the hall,
And can’t stop,
From looking up at,
The clock above the door,
The actual amount of time,
Till the end,
Of the day.
He opened the door,
And saw her,
Stacking boxes,
In the corner,
Of the warehouse,
On any other day,
He would have taken,
A moment,
In time,
To absorb,
And appreciate,
The scene,
Before him,
Her beauty was endless,
In his eyes,
He became hopelessly,
Whenever he was,
In her presents.
But today,
All he felt,
Was pain,
And nausea.
She was getting down,
A box,
When she saw him,
Walking across the room,
She felt a little weird,
Watching him walk,
Towards her,
She knew he was,
About her leaving,
She had tried,
To calm him,
“I’ll drop back by”,
“You’ll still see me”,
But he wasn’t buying it,
They both knew,
The truth,
She wouldn’t be back,
She just didn’t want,
To have to walk through,
A final goodbye,
With him,
Way to much work,
For a tired girl,
At the end,
Of a long day.
His mouth,
Was getting dry,
As he walked,
Towards her,
He had a piece of gum,
In his pocket,
That he had saved,
Just for this moment,
But he had,
Forgotten about it,
And now,
As he looks a pond,
For the very last,
It’s too late,
To be of any use.
He starts looking down,
As he approaches her,
Steadying his nerves,
As well as his,
As he raises his head,
So his eyes,
Can meet hers.
He had thought,
A lot about,
What he would say,
To her,
His final words,
His closing comments,
But as soon,
As he looked,
Into her eyes,
All that was lost,
For the very,
Last time,
By a pair of,
Rainbow eyes.
She could see,
He was struggling,
Trying to come up with,
Something to say,
So she did,
The only thing,
She could think of,
To help ease his pain,
She hugged him.
She could feel him,
Melt into her,
A little bit more,
Of a hug,
Then she had,
But she let it last,
Knowing those few,
Extra beats,
Would mean more,
To him,
Than anything,
She could say.
She was surprised,
At his sudden release,
Of her,
His arms,
Dropping to his side,
As he quickly,
Mumbled something,
That was either,
Good luck,
Or some other word,
That began with good,
As he turned away,
And headed for the door,
She was,
Pretty sure his,
Quick exit,
Was because he was,
Afraid he’d cry,
Or freeze-up again,
Which though,
She wasn’t sure.
She did feel,
A lot better,
The undue stress,
He had been,
Putting on her,
These last 3-weeks,
Was finally over,
She liked the guy,
But it took,
All she had,
To get through this,
3-week long goodbye,
Of his.
She had a few,
People here,
She knew she’d miss,
Working with,
But anyone here,
She really liked,
They already had her,
Phone number,
So for them,
It wasn’t really goodbye.
She had thought about,
Giving him her number,
Sort of a show,
Of goodwill,
That he meant enough,
To her,
To be offered it,
But she didn’t really,
Entertain that thought,
For very long,
“What if he”
“Actually used it?”
She said to herself,
And as soon as,
She pictured herself,
Having to talk to him,
On the phone,
That idea,
Never came close,
To resurfacing again.
People had been,
Coming up to her,
All day long,
Wishing her well,
Letting her know,
She will be missed,
And countless other,
And though he thought,
His hug was,
Something special,
Reserved for,
Only a chosen few,
In reality,
She must have hugged,
Over 20-people today,
And more than a few,
Of them,
With a lot more,
Real feelings in them,
Than she ever thought to,
Offer up to him.
But she felt,
No guilt,
About it,
If she left everyone,
Who wanted access,
Into her life,
A key,
It wouldn’t really be,
Her life anymore,
Now would it.
He still had,
45-minutes left to go,
Both his and her day,
Would become,
Officially over.
Various people,
We’re stopping him,
Wanting to remind him,
This is her last day,
Be sure to say,
Your goodbyes,
Before she is gone.
He would offer up,
A faint smile,
Along with a,
Weak reply of,
“I’ll tell her”
Taking her,
Location information,
And using it,
To actually hide,
From her,
Frighten he might,
Run into her again,
Before clocking out,
For the day,
He didn’t want to,
Have to say,
Goodbye to her,
One more time.
He walked into,
The bathroom,
And splashed a little,
Cold water on his face,
And as he,
Raised up his head,
From the sink,
He caught his look,
In the mirror.
He stood before the sink,
Looking into his own eyes,
As if they belonged,
To someone else,
The one’s looking back,
At him,
Were much deeper,
And darker,
Than his own.
He put his hands,
On the counter,
To steady himself,
And leaned forward,
Thinking maybe,
Getting a few inches closer,
And he’d be able,
To see deep enough,
Into those irises,
To find some kind of,
To how he,
Let himself,
Get so wrapped up,
In this girl.
But there was,
No answer,
Coming forth,
Other than the obvious,
He was just captured,
By her unbridled beauty,
Which was attached,
To a face,
That was born,
To steal hearts.
He pushed himself away,
From the counter,
And was quick to notice,
He had leaned into,
A standing,
Puddle of water,
On the outer edge,
Of the counter,
Leaving a nice,
Big wet stain,
Going across the front,
Of his jeans,
From front left pocket,
To his front right pocket,
Creating one more thing,
To pile on to,
His already overburdened,
He pulled out his,
Tucked in tee shirt,
Which fell down,
Only to an inch above,
The water line,
So he tugged,
At the bottom,
Of his tee shirt,
Hoping maybe,
To stretch it,
Another inch or two,
But all that really did,
Was make it look,
Wrinkled and unwashed.
He came out,
Of the bathroom,
Successful in his attempt,
At hiding out,
From the woman he loved,
Able now,
To make a run,
For the time clock,
Unnoticed by her,
But feeling,
Quite a bit uneasy,
About his state of,
Mental health,
After talking to his face,
In a mirror,
As if it was,
Some sort of,
Separate entity,
And throw in his,
Play acting in the hall,
A little while ago,
And somebody smart,
With a degree,
Of higher learning,
Might just say,
A broken heart,
And a lost love,
Should be the,
Least of his worries,
Right now.
He thought about that,
As he walked,
To his locker,
And asked himself,
If he was moving past,
And a lot closer to,
Then he was a week ago.
And as he pondered,
The question,
It struck him,
That he seems to,
Talk to himself,
And at times,
Even argue,
A point,
In hopes of convincing,
That he is right,
But about what,
He is unsure of now.
This has been,
A long 3-weeks,
For him,
He’s tired,
Not sure if he,
Wants to go home,
And get drunk,
Or just get some sleep.
He puts his number,
Into the time clock,
It beeps,
His day here,
Is over,
He pulls his sunglasses,
Out of his backpack,
Before pushing open,
The door to the outside,
He wasn’t worried about,
The noon day sun,
He just didn’t feel,
Like looking anyone,
In the eye,
He felt safer,
Behind his dark shades.
He walked outside,
The day was looking,
Very average to him,
He made his way,
To his car,
Looking behind him,
Hoping she would,
Be trying to catch up,
To him,
Wanting to say,
One last time,
But that was only,
A pipe dream,
Of his,
Wanting to mean,
Something more to her,
Than what he knew,
He really meant,
To her.
He couldn’t even lie,
To himself any longer,
He didn’t look back,
A third time,
He just got into his car,
And started it,
And as he looked into,
His rear view mirror,
Before backing out,
He saw those same eyes,
From the bathroom earlier,
Looking back at him,
And before putting his car,
In gear,
He said to them,
“A very un-climatic ending”,
“To this very long”,
“And pitiful story”,
“Of my heart”,
“Wouldn’t you say?”
And after waiting,
A few moments,
For a reply,
That never came,
He guided his car,
Into the rush hour,
And headed for home…
   Tom Allen…05-12-2017…