He didn’t notice it when his head exploded.
The cute girl in the cubicle next to him was chatting away on the phone when she poked her head over the partition. She started talking to him before she appeared over the top.
“Dude, did you hear that? It sounded like a – OH JESUS! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”
“I’m fine.” He said, somewhat baffled. “Why? What’s wrong.”
“Holy shit, you’re a mess.” She replied. “Do you need a doctor?”
He was a bit concerned now. He felt fine. She was freaking him right out.
“No. Uh….I’m ok. Thanks.” He decided go to the restroom as a matter of exit. “I’ll be right back.” He assured her.
As he walked by her she shrunk back in a fashion that said she ‘didn’t want to get any on her’.
On the way to the bathroom, he left a trail of shocked looks and concerned whispers. He could feel the weight of their eyes and comments. He pushed open the door into the cool, empty restroom. Walked right to the mirror.
He looked fine. He felt fine. He splashed some cold water on his face and dried off.
He walked back out of the restroom to be greeted by several co-workers, all concerned and offering assistance, but at the same time, hesitant to actually step to near to him.
“Are you ok? Do you need help?” Offered some.
“Oooo. That looks bad.” One commented.
“Jesus man, you should sit down.” Incredulous.
“I’m ok.” He stated. “Really. I feel fine. What the hell is wrong with you guys?”
He started back to his desk, emitting a nervous laugh in an effort to break the tension. The herd followed behind at a safe distance. He could hear whispering.
As he got closer to his desk he could hear his phone ringing.
6 rings. 7 rings, 8 rings. His message light was blinking like a hammer. The phone kept ringing.
The group had gathered just outside his cubicle, huddled like they were watching some sort of drama unfold on a television. Silence except for the phone ringing.
“WHAT?!” He shouted. “What the fuck are you guys looking at?!!” Shocked faces at the utterance of profanity.
The phone still ringing.
The cute cubicle neighbor poked her head over again, phone held tight in the crook between her head and shoulder blade.
“Dude….maybe you should go home early or something.” She offered.
All eyes on him.
He thought for a minute, the phone keeping time like a piledriver.
“Yeah. You know what? That sounds like an excellent idea.” He turned, ripped the still ringing phone from the desk pulling the cord from the wall and threw it at the crowd of huddled onlookers who shuffled to get out of the way, creating a hole.
“I’m out!” He shouted. “You guys are fucked.”
He stepped over the remnants of his phone, through the gap in the peanut gallery and strode down the hall to the lobby door, kicked it open and walked into the warm sunlight.