“I quit, Mr Abaddon,” I sigh, my fingers twisting around the hem of my skirt as my palms start to feel clammy again. Stay strong, I whisper to myself, the job is tempting, I know, but the omnipresent guilt…
“You… you what?!” Mr Abaddon stammers, spinning around to look me right in the eye. “You can’t QUIT!” He bellows in response to his own question, incredulity etched onto his face.
“I can, actually. And- And I will,” a sudden burst of confidence flows through me, forcing out words that are calm and dignified when on the inside, I feel anything but.
“Mara,” He coos, his voice softening abruptly. His eyes scan me almost hungrily as he says, “Think about all the great work you’ve done for us, all the flawless… presentations. You’re amazing at your job.”
“Nowadays, I feel burned out and dissatisfied,” I confess, a hint of doubt starting to pick at my brain. “All the new… assignments… They’ve taken a toll on me,” I add, not sure if I really mean what I’m saying.
“But you used to LOVE this life, Mara,” Mr Abaddon counters smoothly. “You adored the field trips out of the office and you tackle challenges so well. Your numbers are fabulous and I can’t remember the last time an employee had a drive like yours – not to mention the amazing records,” He pauses to slip in a watery smile.
“I know you don’t REALLY want to leave,” He wheezes, and I feel my resistance start to crumble.
“Give me one good reason to stay, then,” I challenge with a final spurt of severity.
“Look outside and you’ll find a million,” Mr Abaddon promises and so I twist around to get a good look out the window. The view, although a familiar one, takes my breath away.
Saffron flames lick every visible surface as ragged beings trudge through an arid wasteland. Suffering hangs in the air like an obstinate cloud that refuses to relieve itself and the pain… Oh, the pain seems to be the only constant.
Despite my resolve, I feel a beaming smile creep onto my face. Mr Abaddon’s blood-red eyes study my reaction carefully, waiting for a response.
“I don’t know what got into me,” I confess, my stomach unclenching. “It would take a fool to pass this kind of job up. Of course I’ll stay.” I smirk.
“I knew you would, old girl. You never could resist the smell of suffering, could you?” Mr Abaddon chuckles, his scarlet skin crinkling up at the eyes.
Just as I start to shuffle back to my corner office, Mr Abaddon adds, “So will I have that loss-and-loss chart on my table by ten?”
“Sure thing, boss,” I whistle, my heart almost singing.
Whoever said that corporate life was hell?