Thoughts and Affirmations

My coworker’s book started the whole thing. His thoughts and affirmations were scribbled in an old hardback journal sitting on the top of his desk. His sensitivities, his tears, his smiles; they were penned out in sloppy handwriting and smeared ink, tucked neatly between binder board and book glue, just sitting there beckoning her, my treasure.

She was my coworker too, but she was more than that. She was my treasure. She was a prize that I had found amongst the shells of a desolate beach. She belonged to me, even if she didn’t know it.

The allure pulled slowly at first. She’d find reasons to gaze in his direction. She’d claim she was just looking at the wall clock behind him, or simply staring off into space in deep thought. In reality she was thinking about him and what wonderful musings he might’ve scribbled in the journal. I could tell she heard his voice in her head, narrating each paragraph he wrote about her.

The gazes soon turned to something more. She started taking the long way to the restroom—the path that took her past his desk, so she could be near him. On the way back she’d stop to chat him up about the random trinkets surrounding his computer. She’d gently finger the collection of papers that sat at the corner. She’d laugh. She’d do that false bell tone laugh for him, no matter what he would be saying. His thoughts and his affirmations pulled to her. They pulled her closer to him. They pulled her further away from me.

I sat at the other end of the floor. I couldn’t see her as often as he did, but I could hear her. I could hear the chime of her fake laughter. It was real when it chimes for me, but it was fake when he rang for him. It was plastic, counterfeit, but it was loud. They were miles away from me, but their voices sat uncomfortably in my ear. The voices were incessant. The cacophony of constant dissonance and flat crescendo was more comforting than their harmony. It scratched at my peace. It dug into my comfort. It stripped me of everything pleasant. So I had to end it.

Killing him came easier than expected. A well timed, heavily sharpened pencil to his eye was all it took to take his breath away. It was too easy. He was a helpful guy. All I needed was to say that I lost my keys and I needed help finding them. As soon as we stepped away from the cameras, he saw the pointed graphite of a number two removing all of his senses. He trembled on the floor as I force the pencil deeper. Blood ran from his ear as I pushed past his optic nerve and burst through his ear canal. I could feel the cool effervescence of his soul float through me as it escaped into the after life—refreshing. The recycling bins became his final resting place and I could sleep peacefully knowing that I rescued her from him.

I thought I was finished. I thought the sudden removal of my nemesis would make everything okay. It didn’t. She still longed for him. She still looked towards his desk in his absence. She asked other coworkers about him. She still wanted him. She still craved his thoughts and affirmations. I couldn’t stand it. He was still in her thoughts and prayers. I hated it. So I had to fix it. I had to fix her.

Mushrooms, she was deathly allergic to them. All I needed was to introduce a bit of edible fungus into her diet, and her longing for his thoughts and affirmations would cease. She wouldn’t think about him or his journal, anymore. She wouldn’t think about anything.

Mushrooms grew around the company parking lot. Obtaining them was easy. I just needed to slip a few pieces into her food. I attempted multiple times. She kept her lunch bag close to her throughout the day. There was never a good time to spike her food. I grew frustrated. Her thoughts of him hurt me. That plastic bell laughter of hers danced around in my head when I stared at her. Her singular focus on his thoughts and affirmations pulled at me—yanked at my very core. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take her love affair. So I took it all away from her.

A handful of crushed mushrooms crammed into her face, forced into her mouth and nose was enough. Her lips and eyes swoll shut, removing her infidelity and life from my view. Her unpleasant bell tone laughter stopped ringing. His thoughts and prayers were completely out of her reach.

My coworkers stood in silence, staring at me, silently applauding my proactive correction of her behavior. They stood away, giving me a red carpet pathway to his desk, where his thoughts and affirmations still lived, waiting for me to claim as the victor.

The hard back journal still sat on his shelf, awaiting an author that would never return. It was mine. His thoughts and affirmations, everything that took her away from me, were now mine. I grabbed the journal. I would finally see what made her bell chime so loudly in his direction. I pulled back the cover. I would finally understand why she loved him so deeply. I flipped the pages. I would finally learn…nothing. The book was completely empty. The pages were blank. He never wrote a word about her.

This is a work of absolute fiction. But with that said all rights are reserved by Jamale Davis copyright 2021

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