Last Week’s Memoir #9
Art by Paul Rios
Editor’s Note: The Last Week’s Memoir series is a collaborative story written by Jake Corbin, Bryce McEfee and Paul Rios. View previous LWM Serial No.1 entries to read the story from the beginning.
“What the hell is going on here?”
Andy jerked upright in his desk chair. He had no idea how long his boss had been standing behind him at the entrance of his cubicle.
“So, Larry phoned over to say something interesting; he said you just… up and left?” Andy’s boss changed his inflection at the end of the sentence to make it sound like a question, but Andy was pretty sure he shouldn’t say anything yet. “Then I get a report that you’re walking around and knocking stuff over, and now I come over to your desk and you’re STARING AT THE CEILING?” Andy’s boss bellowed in equal parts anger and astonishment.
“I told myself ‘no way—there is NO WAY—Andy would walk off in the middle of a job,’ but here you are sprawled out at your desk doing nothing. What do you have to say for yourself?”
At least there was no confusing what was going on now.
“I… I think I’m going to go home,” Andy muttered. “I’m sick.”
“Excuse me?” Andy’s boss retorted. “You’re sick?”
“I have a headache; I need to go.”
Andy really did have a headache. It wasn’t bad enough to leave for the day, but he was pretty sure going home “confused” wouldn’t fly. Andy stood up, grabbed his bag and took a sharp right past his boss towards the Mattress Discounter’s exit. He could hear his boss saying something behind him, but his inner monologue drowned out whatever that was:
“Yesterday was Sunday. I didn’t go to work. I didn’t go on a delivery. I didn’t see something I wasn’t supposed to.”
Andy felt as if was having an out-of-body experience as he floated into the parking lot and towards his car. He was sure his legs were moving—he could see them propelling him forward—but he couldn’t feel a thing. The blank stares from his co-workers as he approached his car door didn’t help reassure him, either.
Andy fumbled for his keys, unlocked the door and sat down in the drivers seat. His hands were a little shaky as he put the key in the ignition. Instead of starting the car, however, Andy stopped to check that his seat was in the right position. He hadn’t been this nervous in a car since he took his driver’s test. Andy fiddled with the side mirrors next—having control over something seemed to give him temporary relief—before turning his attention to the rear view mirror. Andy liked the mirror tilted a little higher than was needed so he would have to sit nice and straight to see out of it. A pretty girl once told him he slouched too much, and it’s been a source of insecurity ever since.
With everything now in place, Andy twisted his laser-cut key and ignited the engine. He glanced in his rear view mirror, saw a clear path and put his car in reverse. Andy twisted to his right to look over his shoulder and began backing slowly out of his space.
A car horn rang out in two short bursts from Andy’s left. It was Larry and Rolu leaving for their delivery. Andy sheepishly waived an apology and let the van pass. He watched as Larry drove to the parking lot’s exit, stopped, checked his paper work one last time, then made a left turn. Andy’s body tingled with déjà vu.
Andy finished reversing out the parking space and made his way over to the same exit Larry had just left. Although there wasn’t a car coming in either direction, Andy paused and stared straight ahead, his hands still gripping tightly on the wheel. He inhaled deeply, gave a small sigh and made a left-hand turn. Andy’s house is to the right.
“Larry has to know something.”