Growing Up

Thump. Thump. Thump.

My heart felt like it was racing nearly as fast as my footsteps, and it very much felt like my heart was making a valiant effort to break through my ribcage and disappear as fast as possible. And to be fair, I don’t really blame it, but it did make my footsteps feel like ones a giant would make as it walked down the corridor, making the walk feel a lot worse than it really had any need to be. My barely functioning, severely hungover brain was constantly reminding me that I’d probably made the worst mistake that I could ever make last night, but even considering that, I was still grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The relief was palatable, to say the least. I hadn’t felt relief this scale since I was fourteen, sending that fateful text to mum’s mobile phone, telling my deepest kept secret. That night is one I would regard as the third toughest moment of my life.

The sixth toughest thing brought me back to my senses pretty quickly. I nearly tripped as the floor inclined upwards gently, signalling my arrival at the far end of the corridor, close to the doors between me and the meeting room. Fuck. The meeting room where undoubtedly the rest of the newbies were. Or at the very least, most of the sixteen anyway. Most of them arrive before me, getting their favourite desks in the office as well as stocking up with coffee and biscuits, and six or seven pretty much always arrive shortly after me. I make it a habit to be around twenty to thirty minutes early. It gives me a chance to check in on paperwork, make coffee, and then relax till the day started proper. Hey, it may be mundane, but it’s MY morning routine, not yours.

But regrettably, all isn’t really going peachy well. Something else has been creeping in on my morning routine. It started slowly, like a glacier, ever so slowly pushing in over the last two weeks. And now, it feels just as important as the paperwork, and definitely more important than making a mug of coffee, and… well, some days it feels more important than breathing in and out. Every morning, when I walk through the doors of the meeting room, I quickly let my eyes scan the room, honing in on him. Rees. He’s always sat at the desk next to mine, a fact I’m glad about as… well, happily we’ve become quite friendly over the last few weeks, and some of the things I’ve learnt have given me pause for concern. So I’ve been trying to subtly make sure he’s okay every day. I care, see?

Hah. Well. To be honest, subtlety is really not my strong point on the best of days. Of the newbies, not counting myself, eight have already worked out what’s going on, three of them I’ve admitted my secrets to , and the rest… I’m sure they’ll work it out eventually. We are all going through tough times, starting a new job tends to come with it’s own new stresses. It just so happened that for me, you know, it’s come with the stress of falling in to that brilliant, inescapably amazing prison that I like to refer to as “love”.


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