The distance shrinks. Her hand tightens around her black cellphone and she becomes suddenly conscious of the thump thud of her high heels on thin navy carpet. A killer should be silent. So she could not be silent or she might be suspected.
But no one would be suspected. Because no one would think it was murder. Because it wasn’t murder. It was an accident. A strange and unfortunate mix up of chemicals that could only be blamed on the half witted cleaning lady. Clear toilet bowl cleaner looks just like the vanilla flavored syrup he puts in his black coffee, and the storage room is the same for both. An unfortunate mistake that would probably get the stupid woman fired.
Rectangular ceiling lights spread their white light over the humming maze of tan cubicles. The conversation ends and she flips her cellphone closed just as she passes cubical number 130. His wide back is slumped over his desk. Taking a short nap that will never end. She glances his way but doesn’t slow her slightly swinging gate.
The photocopier has run out of paper. Not a good time. Frustration makes her chest tight. She struggles to force her emotions under control and doesn’t look at him when she has to pass his desk again on her way to the storage closet for more paper. The third pass is the hardest and she almost bumps into Jimmy, stepping suddenly out of his cubical.
“Sorry,” she laughs nervously.
“No problem. Photocopier out of paper again?” Jimmy notices the fresh package of paper in her hands. “I was just on my way to pick something up too.”
“It always runs out at the worst times.”
Casual conversation seems to echo in her head and finally her copy is printed out. She takes a different rout back to her desk, stopping in the woman’s washroom on the way to stand in a stall for a few minutes and comb her fingers through her hair. It’s over.
She has trouble concentrating back at her desk. But she gets her work done, as usual. And the day passes. And no one suspects her when they find him dead. And no one ever will. Not when she comes to his funeral. Not when her best friend gets his job. Never.