The Answer

by Matt H

The End. That's probably the best place to begin. Never in my life had I seen something so ominous, something so utterly intent on destroying every facet of my being. Not an End with a bang like most people imagine, but a slow End into poverty and nothingness. Everything that I had worked for, absolutely everything on the verge of being destroyed by nothing more than a slip of paper. When did I go wrong? Was I not a good student? Was I not loyal to everybody and everything that I loved and believed in? Had I not worked hard enough, pulled enough overtime, or kissed enough ass? Twenty-five years with the same company slowly working my way up and for what? What did I do to be on this side of the table? What did you do to be on that side of the table? Never mind none of that matters anymore.

As I stared at that memo I saw the End, everything I had hoped for, everything I had worked for, everything I had prayed for gone just like that. "Adapting to the ever-changing economic world" they called it. Bullshit! How was I supposed to adapt, huh? You tell me that. What was I supposed to do, ask the CEO if I could stay in one of his mansions until I find a new job? Yeah, like he gives a fuck about me or anybody else as long as his wallet stays nice and fat.

A dead-end. Everything I had done nothing but a fucking dead-end. I sat there and I thought of what this meant. I knew I would be one of the first ones. I came up short last month and everybody knew it. But there had to be a way around this, there had to be an Answer. Then it hit me, it took a while, but I finally understood what I had to do. I rose up out of my chair and hurried out quickly to my car to get the Answer. I tried not attract too much attention as I walked through the halls, like it would have mattered anyway. Not one person looked at me it was as if I was already gone and forgotten about. Not one smile, not one wave, not even a fucking nod to acknowledge my existence, absolutely nothing. I was long dead to them already.

I arrived back at my desk. The End was still lying there exactly where it was before with exactly the same words and the same meaning as before I had left, but it seemed so trivial now that I had the Answer. The dead-end seemed to be opening now. Then I realized I had gotten a voicemail on my phone while I was retrieving the Answer. Before I even listened to it I knew exactly who it was and what it was about.

He was an acquaintance of mine, he was not a friend, he was just there. Never mean, never friendly, just a co-worker. He had been promoted to personnel manager, I believe a month or so ago for the sole purpose of "Adapting to the ever-changing economic world". I listened to his message and obediently followed his requests.

I knocked politely and he ushered me into his office and to a seat in front of his desk. As he was taking his seat I took out the Answer. He was shocked, but I couldn't understand why. It seemed so sensible to me. I showed him the Answer once, he seemed to take it all in, but just to be safe I showed it to him again. He slumped over his desk looking up at me, but not really at me. It seemed like he was looking beyond like he had just seen the End. I stood and thought for a second if the Answer, my Answer, could be the End for someone else. It baffled me momentarily, but I dismissed it as nothing and left his office.

Everyone else must have heard the Answer because they all stared at me as I exited the office. Strange how they all now stared at me, before they wouldn't even acknowledge me, now I was their center of attention. Maybe they were curious to know what the Answer was. I thought about showing it to them, but on second thought I didn't really think they needed to see it.

As I walked back to my desk I left the Answer on a co-workers desk in the hope that he would be able to use it as his Answer. It served me well to solve my End maybe it would help with his too. I got back to my desk and it wasn't long before you got there.

Well that's pretty much all of it. Huh you're staring at me as though I'm your End. Well don't worry you'll find the Answer eventually, we all do. I have found the Answer and it has opened up new avenues for me. As for me this is the end of the End. And there is no better way to end then with a new Beginning.

Rate this submission


You must be logged in to rate submissions

Loading Comments