The day that was so easily remember, at least if we had the choice, we would have. So much sadness...so much anger. We were crippled by emotions, lies and weakness. On one hand, it would reach that point sooner or later, but the way we went, it was what doomed us to this torment.
First, it began with my love for the wrong person. A married woman, an unhappy woman. She found no peace in the relationship she was in, but we found peace in each other. I believe that if I was the one she chose from the beginning, things might have been different, but she didn’t.
Her husband, a man I didn’t know, but I know now. He would have been my best friend. One that I would drink with, live with and side with when all hell came our way. Funny thing is, that’s exactly what happened.
However, in a previous life, there was only anger, hatred and murderous intent. I ran from their home and he ran after. I had blood all over me, but it was not my own. I was emotionally stunted, guilty. I felt it next, the pain at the back of my head. The darkness took me, like it did her and the husband soon followed.
Having chased me into the street, he didn’t see the bus. His reaction wasn’t fast enough. Before he died, he lay crippled, legs unmoving as his heart gave away. For all three of us, the last sight we saw was the clouds above. The baby blue sky with this light wisps.
From there, our souls were taken. I minds cleansed, not knowing anyone in our lives before. We didn’t remember our family, our friends or each other. Instead, we had one thought in our mind. Get dressed, gather your things, go to work. Work was a process we all had to go through and at the same place.
Walking down empty pavements in a city of ghosts, we had no clue how abnormal that was. To walk, mostly alone, in a city that should have millions in it. We all saw the Manager first, we saw our computer screens, then we saw each other in the cafeteria.
Unknowingly, I made friends with the man who killed me and soon we both made friends with the woman who killed herself. The woman I fell in love with all over again, but my best friend, felt nothing for. We were still the same people, just under different circumstances.
“And you believe that is deserving of pity?” he asked me.
“I believe I am deserving of answers,” I told him. “Why were we given a chance of redemption? What made us three so special?”
“What makes you believe you three are special? There are plenty of others who rise through the Company, plenty who earn themselves a promotion.”
“We rose so quickly after such a long time…”
“Many have, some even faster than you three did. Others actually took it into their own hands and become bigger players in the Company’s eyes. You three are special in that you rose sooner than others, but you aren’t the first and won’t be the last.”
“Well, now that we’re here, what happens?”
“You have done your work diligently, your personal life is of little concern now. You need only sign the contract and there will be no more promotions. Your place will be up here, in the executive offices. We have a lot of employees who are incredibly loyal to us, living happily with each other.”
He pushed a contract across the table. A strange sheet of paper with fanciful writing. The flaws were listed at the top to save me time.
“‘Employees will follow the orders of all kinds, regarding both professional and personal life.’?” I asked.
“That’s correct,” he nodded simply. “You have had it your way up and till this point and you have done so well for yourself. However, by following my instruction, there will be no problems in your life from henceforth. You will become content, truly happy with all my instructions. You know I can guarantee this happiness, happiness you could never obtain on your own.”
“But…” I murmured.
The founder raised his eyebrows expectantly.
“Read the rest of the contract, Michael before you ask anymore questions,” he told me.
I continued to read. There was a strict list of rules, some of them would be easy to follow, others were horrific. While there were many that I could agree too, wholeheartedly, or at least in spirit, there were too many that left me...speechless.
After the list of rules, the benefits were written. Some the founder had mentioned, others he was wise to keep to himself. Slowly I felt a tight grip close around me. It wasn’t suffocating, it was rather comfortable. However, I still felt my sense of being restricted.
“What if I don’t sign this?” I asked.
“Termination from the Company,” the founder replied simply. “You have no role here, so there is no purpose for your existence here.”
“Michael, the answer you have now will not change no matter what I tell you. However, I cannot do anything until you decide.”
The founders eyes focused on mine. I don’t know what I saw in them. Peace, a mind cleansed of ‘impure’ thoughts. I was a different person than I am now, but one that was happier that I was now. I had no choice in the matter, but I didn’t have the desire to have choices.
It was a form of freedom that I couldn’t enjoy in my heart now, but I know I would enjoy it, happily, once I had it. I glanced at the list of benefits, but the man I am now, didn’t want this. Not for the woman I loved, not for the friend I had made.
I left the founders office where Henry and Catherine were waiting for me.
“You didn’t?” Cat asked. I shook my head.
Both breathed a sigh of relief.
“Then let’s get out of here,” Henry murmured.
I slipped my hand into Cat’s and the three of us left, the right kind of free and unemployed.
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