Saturday, 18 June 2022

'HR Leaver’s Form: “Reasons for Leaving”, Versions 1 and 2' by Michelle Christophorou

One

I dreamed last week that I came into the office and every other person was Greg. I tried to escape but, waiting by the lift, and then inside the lift, everyone else was still Greg. Even in the Fourth Floor Ladies, he was there, reflected in the mirror by the tampon machine.

I don’t know why The Mistake happened. I tell myself I was vulnerable following the moped-mugging on Horseferry Road. That I wanted to distract myself from it. That when I pulled Greg into the alleyway and kissed him after (too many) Friday night drinks, it was just an attempt to forget. That after I brought him back to my vestibule of a studio flat and realised this was not what I wanted, we climbed the ladder to my lumpy mattress anyway because it would be rude not to. That when I summoned everything my body could do to make this thing be over as quickly as possible, I gave him exactly the wrong impression.

So that first came the Juliet roses; next, his disbelief; and after that, his slow steady torment.

Maybe I meant to sabotage myself? Who was I to forge my way in the City when, in bright June daylight, youths like jackals — engines throbbing between their legs — will reach out and grab your purse, your driving licence, the keys to your door?

When I woke from my dream of multiple Gregs, I pressed snooze and pictured snowdrops in bare woods, ice-capped mountaintops, empty spaces cleansed of other people.

Then I showered, grabbed a coffee. Caught the tube to work. Sat between a soft-fleshed woman and an iron-legged manspreader. Entered the lift. Exited on the second floor.

The first person I saw was Greg.



Two

To pursue new challenges.

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