The door swayed slightly ajar and even before he could think it, he knew.
Without looking up, he asked, “When?”
“In about six months,” came the reply without so much as a hint of surprise, as if the question was expected.
“That soon?” he had expected it, yet, he was taken by surprise.
“Can’t help it. We need more people out there. I thought you, of all people, would surely understand. After all, you are a manager in a big firm, aren’t you?”
Did he detect a hint of a smirk in his voice? Or was it his imagination? He tried thinking for a few moments and then gave up.
“I need some time to settle some things here.”
“I have been given to understand that six months is more than enough.”
There was no point in arguing. He mutely nodded his head and the salt-and-pepper hair bounced gaily. A few moments later, (or a few minutes or a few hours, he never knew) he looked up.
He was gone.
A pain shot up through his chest and came to rest in his temple and left a vein throbbing in his temple. It went a little higher everyday.
Well, he had six months, at least.