It's just a usual day, right?
I had dragged myself out of bed when my alarm pierced through my dreaming.
I struggled from my bed and walked to the window hoping to be revitalised by the view beyond my curtains. However as I pulled aside the fading red material and blinking in the morning light I felt my shoulders slump. It was raining and the sky was grey and overbearing. My mood was not lifted by the view so I dropped the curtain back to block the window and flicked on the light.
My usual routine of the morning began then and I got ready for work. I showered, dressed, and sat down to my breakfast of toast and coffee. I put on the radio and listened to the news. Nothing new was going on with the world just the same news of death in some far away land and the dark lies of politicians being uncovered. Same old shit I thought as I munched on my toast.
I went outside and managed not to get too wet as I ran to my small red Metro. I clambered inside and turned on the engine. As it purred into life I cranked up the heating and looked at myself in the rear-view mirror. I sighed as I noticed my hair was messier than it had been moments before when I left my house. I ran my fingers through it and thought I really should have grabbed my umbrella from by my front door. Too late now of course. I pulled a face and put my car into gear and pulled away from my house.
I arrived at work and as usual nobody even glanced my way; let alone spoke to me. I needn’t have worried about my damp hair looking messy. It wasn’t like anybody noticed me let alone cared about my appearance. I wished somebody would because with all honesty I was sick of being alone in the world. I guess I just wasn’t important enough for them; today or any other day.
I shuffled to my cubicle in silence and turned on the computer. I looked around the space and felt the usual depression of my working day settle on my shoulders. Wait; was it depression about work or about my life? Probably the later I thought to myself miserably. There was nothing in my space that wasn’t work related as in no photographs of family or friends, no cards from others, not even a plant! I was just a ball of nothing floating from day to day in the world.
Nobody would notice if I wasn’t there.
I glanced out of the window and suddenly realised that I couldn’t see my car. I distinctly remember parking it in that exact spot I was looking at. Out of all of the nice cars in the car park who would choose to steal my battered red Metro? I rushed outside and nobody so much as batted an eyelid at my manic dash. Typical. I rushed down the stairs and into the car park. My car was defiantly missing so I frowned and dug in my pocket for my mobile to ring the police. It wasn’t there which annoyed me even more as I realised that I must have left it at home. The one day I needed it!
I trudged back through the main entrance when a news story on the radio caught my attention.
“A huge pile up has occurred on the freeway and is causing massive delays. So far the death toll stands at six. More expected to be confirmed as the wreckage is cleared through the day. Drivers are advised to use alternative routes for the remainder of the day as the road will remain closed.”
Hmm lucky; I used that road so it must have been after I had gone through. I must remember to use another road when I went home. Well, if I had a car anyway! How ironic was that? I missed a road traffic accident and lost my car anyway! I walked up the staircase to go back to the office meaning to go to phone the police about my car.
Upstairs the atmosphere was odd. Instead of the usual chatter people were quiet; subdued almost. What had I missed out on this time? If only I had the guts to learn but of course I didn’t. Instead I just shuffled to my cubicle and went inside to use the phone. My hand halted in mid air as my gaze fell on the white carnation sitting on my desk. Carnations were my favourite flower; who knew that? As I thought that I saw the note by it which read:
“I am the one you never noticed...
My love for you is as deep as it remains unspoken.”
I looked for a clue as to where it came from but there was nothing. No name, no initials, nothing. Someone had left it there for me to find so surely there must be some clue. I mean you don’t declare your love for someone without wanting to be found did you?
Somebody loved me in this office? Right; that had to be somebody’s idea of a joke surely because nobody knew who I was here. They knew enough to leave me a carnation though which somehow made me feel unsettled. Who was it that I had never noticed in a world that ignored me? Well, anyone I suppose because if you are ignored then you tend to become such a recluse that you ignore everything and everyone. Funny if you think of things in that kind of way I suppose.
I thought that my car could remain lost for now as I really wanted to find out who considered themselves ignored by me. I felt an instant connection with this mystery person because of that and I wanted to reach out to them. I wasn’t expecting love from whoever sent me the flower but I just wanted the connection. The human part of me that I had denied for so long needed that much.
Ah, the handwriting was the clue! I walked to the front of the office and looked at the sign in sheet. I ran my hand down the page and saw the only similar one. I stood just staring at the name as quite honestly it was the last name that I had ever expected to read. This girl had a crush on me? Seriously? I had admired this girl ever since she had started working here a few months ago. She was one of the popular ones though so she just faded into the background for me in the long run. I didn’t think she noticed me at all even though I had often found myself glancing her way.
I hesitated then considering again whether it was a trick of some kind. She was just too perfect for the likes of me. I actually felt hurt inside as I pictured her smirking at me when I tried to confront her. Could she be that cruel? Scarily I didn’t know the answer to that question as I had never actually spoken to her. Not even a hello I realised. How could I judge what she might or might not do?
I had to go and talk to her or I was doomed to spend my days wondering what if? I squared my shoulder and walked to where I knew her cubicle was. She was sitting with her back to me so I spent some time admiring the way her dark hair curled so neatly on her slender neck. She moved to grab a tissue which is when I noticed that she was crying. What on Earth had upset her so? Suddenly I wanted to wrap my arms around her but at the same time I felt like I was intruding somehow.
Torn about what to do I coughed lightly but got no response. I twisted my clothes in my hands in uncertainty. “Claire?” I almost whispered the name as I stepped further inside the booth. She still didn’t react to me at all which was strange. I leant forwards and reached a hand out to tap her arm.
As I did I noticed what she was working on. It was a drawing of me that was crude at best but underneath were the words, ‘David Strong - RIP’
Then I felt the pile up that I had been a part of that morning. The white hot pain, the twisting in impossible directions, and the feeling of losing the fight to stay alive. I heard my screaming echoing round the car and I could smell the burning as everything caught fire. I backed up from Claire Danjet as I felt myself struggling to breathe. I dropped to my knees and as it all faded to black I heard Claire speak to her drawing, “I love you David Strong.”
What a shame that I needed to die to find that out.