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Fire (Fired)

Fire (Fired)

 

It was a cold day. The sun, looking sleepy, melted into the pale blue sky, and the cold wind played with the fallen leaves on the street, rolling them around in a crisp, winter day.

 

“Matsubashita-san. I’m sorry, but you don’t need to come in from next month.”

 

While I was printing the weekly meeting materials on the copier as usual, the department manager told me this, holding a mug in his hand. Adding an apologetic look to his fabricated expression, he observed my reaction.

 

“Ah…”

 

The copier, unaware of the mood, continued to spit out papers in distress. Inside the unnecessarily bright office building, people bustled about their work. On this typical weekday afternoon, I felt a sense of resignation, as if what was expected had finally arrived.

 

“That’s the situation, so please understand.”

 

Pleased with my unchanged expression, the manager quickly turned and went back to his desk.

 

The copier made a sullen noise, as if to say it was done working and went into standby mode. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafted by, but thinking that the manager had made it made me reluctant to let it into my body.

 

Can’t be helped.

 

Murmuring to myself as if to convince myself, I patted the copier that had finished its job and then tidied up the edges of the documents that had been spat out haphazardly.

 

Sales, compared to the previous year—

 

I sighed at the glimpses of the figures.

 

Employment safety valve. I knew that temporary employment was derided this way. Having chosen my current job with full knowledge of this, I had to accept that I had brought this situation upon myself.

 

I held my breath to avoid inhaling the smell of coffee, then exhaled and moved to an empty space. After dusting off the little trash left on the desk, I began to neatly stack the printed materials, alternating them vertically and horizontally.

 

As I silently worked, memories of past events began to resurface in my mind.

 

“Matsubashita-san. Why can’t you see this part is cut off?”

 

Snap, snap. I neatly aligned the corners and stapled them together.

 

“Matsubashita-san! These materials aren’t ready at all! What are we going to do for today’s meeting?”

 

After stacking the materials so they wouldn’t wrinkle, I held them with both hands and headed towards the section manager who had requested them.

 

Though these were supposed to be past events, the undimmed images kept swirling and repeating in my head, making it hard to shake them off. I pushed through the noisy commotion, trying not to stand out, lifting my mood from sinking into darkness.

 

Carrying the ghosts that I could never fully shake off, I repeated the same today as yesterday. Perhaps the sediment that had accumulated like dust would eventually swallow me whole.

 

While mocking myself for thinking such pointless thoughts, I dropped the documents on the section manager’s desk, who was glued to his monitor. I couldn’t even utter a word of thanks. Returning to my own desk, I mentally listed the remaining tasks.

 

What a hassle.

 

My normally smooth-operating mind seemed to be seizing this opportunity to indulge in laziness.

 

It’s fine for today. Since I’m being let go anyway, I don’t care.

 

It was as if whispers were reaching me. For the first time since I started this job, I leaned back in the cheap office chair.

 

Looking up at the ceiling in an unfamiliar posture, I absentmindedly observed the slight stains.

 

I could feel that the little bit of passion I had for my work had completely cooled down. Closing my eyes, I listened to the noises made by the people I used to call colleagues, big and small.

 

The world was still moving today. I felt as if I was the only one left behind, alone.

 

“I have to look for a job…”

 

I muttered in a voice that no one would fault me for, but my body felt unbearably heavy.


Working on Christmas Eve, I ended up getting a girlfriend.

Working on Christmas Eve, I ended up getting a girlfriend.

NA
Status: Ongoing Type: , Author: Native Language: English
Even beauties smell if they don't bathe, and when they're feeling unwell, they hole up in the bathroom. Affected by the recession, I, Matsubashita Saki, lost my job. While working part-time at a familiar sweets shop on Christmas Eve, a colleague who appeared was a beauty like a model. Working together, we didn't become close friends... but after the shift, I was invited to dinner, only to end up watching her get completely drunk in front of me.

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