Sign of the Times
He should have seen it coming. The signs were everywhere. Hushed conversations that ended abruptly when he walked into the room. Tension in the air so thick you could cut it with a knife. He should have known.
He’d seen it happen to other guys, and wondered disdainfully how they could have been so blindsided. The signs were right there under their noses. If he could see it happening, why couldn’t they? Didn’t they have eyes?
His wife told him, “You need to be prepared. Look for a new place. Start packing up your stuff.”
But he didn’t believe her. Not after all these years. It’d been nearly 23 years. With so much time invested, he didn’t believe it could end, just like that. He would try harder. Something would change and things would get better. He was sure of it.
That Thursday, he couldn’t deny it any longer. The minute he opened the envelope, he knew. It was over. He’d been a fool.
23 years! How could this be? He laid his keys on the table and picked up the box. He took a deep breath and headed for the door. The box holding his lamp and the pink slip under his arm, he left the building.