The claim that he had felt more strongly for her than anyone else was meaningless now. The words were drained of life and power. The letters lay dead at her feet, shriveled and dehydrated like raisins. They reeked of decay and rot. She couldn't wrap her mind around his leaving. He couldn't explain why, mostly probably because he didn't want to hurt her. It didn't make sense to her and her mind was filled with dying phrases and words and now seemingly empty memories and lies of feelings.
A loud thump slammed her attention to the present. Someone had slammed a palm down hard on the outside of her cubicle to get her attention. The fluorescent lights made a soft buzzing sound that made her wonder if the government was trying to send them secret brain wave messages. Natasha sat at her desk typing the word "words" over and over again in an effort to appear busy whilst simultaneously mulling over, revising, and tuning her pathetic personal internal monologue.
"Ah-hem," her boss said.
"Gazuntite," Natasha responded.
"I wasn't sneezing."
I wasn't really blessing you with the power of god, thought Natasha.
"Sorry," said Natasha.
"Did you finish that filing project from yesterday?"
"You told me to work on the copying project. So I did that all day."
"Did you finish the filing project from yesterday or not?"
"I didn't have time."
"So you did not do your work. I just want you to answer the question."
"No. I was-" Natasha started to explain but her boss pursed her lips into a very tight grimace and walked away while Natasha was still speaking.
Sighing Natasha placed her elbows on her desk and rested her eyeballs in the heels of her palms. She pressed up hard into her eye sockets. A satisfying tingle spread behind her closed eyelids and through her forehead. She moaned softly. Whenever she closed her eyes, in the darkness she could see his lips smiling at her.
She half stood up and bumped her hip against her desk and sat back down.
"Sorry, excuse me," Natasha murmured softly. There was no one next to her or even within earshot. She often found herself apologizing quietly to no one at all, sometimes chairs or desks. Occasionally she would say sorry if she was in the same room as someone or if she made eye contact. Sometimes she would sadly apologize to an empty seat on the bus in which she sat too suddenly.
It was really an apology to the universe, to reality, an admission of deep guilt for existing, for possessing the audacity to take up space. On a deeper level it was an apology to herself, an attempt to express a sincere remorse and sorrow for something that she couldn't put her finger on nor name. It was an expression of regret for a crime that hadn't been committed, identified, or even conceived.
Natasha excused herself from her desk and slowly traipsed down the hallway. She stumbled haltingly and awkward, as if the giant troll controlling the marionette strings above her was a little drunk. She kept her head down and passed coworkers and strangers and went into the bathroom, locking herself in the stall.
The screaming had started again in her head, a piercing sound so loud that she worried others could hear it outside of her body. It was a high pitched yell, a wail that emoted all of the horrible crippling feelings of anxiety that were drowning her brain. She desperately needed to get it out of her. Natasha knelt in front of the toilet and tried to heave, attempted to vomit for a minute. Nothing came out because she hadn't eaten or drank all day.
She rocked back and forth on her heels and sat on the seat. She stared a foot in front of her at the closed stall door, peering out the tiny slits in the door to see the rest of the bathroom, quiet and dangerous. It was terrifying anywhere outside of this stall. The one inch thick door that didn't even reach to the floor or above her head when she stood up kept her safe.
The door to the bathroom opened and Natasha heard a rhythmic click clack of high heels, alerting her that something had entered her sanctuary. The entity, probably human, maybe person, likely woman, washed her hands and then left abrubtly.
Natasha started to cry. The boiling feeling of loathing and anxiety grew dark and violent inside of her. She choked on it in her mouth as it sealed over her esophagus, clogging her respiratory system. She desperately needed to get this feeling outside of her head before it suffocated her.
Natasha stood up and partially opened the stall door. The edge wasn't sharp but it was hard. She banged her head against it hard five times in a row. The hits were sharp and staccato. The pain was blinding and relieving. The sound rang loud and belligerently through the echoing bathroom. A sense of exhilaration washed over her. On the fifth bang, blood spilled in a trickle down her forehead. Blood poured down her nose, between her eyes, soaking her hair, catching in her lips, saturating her skin, and dripping down her neck.
The crack released something in her head. Her skull split open and two tiny green hands reached out of the crevice in her head. The small green arms propped themselves against either side of the walls of the bleeding gash. A seven inch tall monster climbed his way out.
Poking into the surface of existence, his head was large, bulbous with huge black eyes. The rest of his body was skinny. He was covered in some sort of goop, brain juice, blood and guts. He pulled himself up out of the blood and onto the top of her head. Dripping with her brain goo and ooze, the monster sat on the crown her hair. He tried to mush the bleeding hole in her head back together but it wouldn't stick. He put his little green hand on his pointy chin and thoughtfully examined the wound. He shrugged and clambered down her neck to sit on her shoulder.
Natasha looked in the mirror, at the reflection of herself standing in her work business casual clothes, coated in her own blood. She was trembling with wide eyes and she tried to blend her bangs over her wound, but it was much too big for a hairstyle shift.
"You'll probably need like lots of stitches," said the monster. His voice was a low nightmareish growl. He placed a bit of her hair in his mouth and chewed on it with sharp white teeth.
"Oh, I don't know," Natasha replied.
"Well what are you going to do? It looks horrible," said the monster.
"What if I... I could put a jelly donut on it?"
"A jelly donut?" asked the monster.
"That's a great idea!"
Natasha reached into her pocket and found a jelly donut. She placed its greasy sugary flabby pasty ass on her forehead with a heavy slap. She smiled and looked at herself in the mirror. The donut stayed put on her skull, sticking easily to her oily skin and bloody hair. She tilted her chin down and made pretty eyes at herself, batting her lashes. The monster gave her a jovial thumbs up.