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The Office

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In life we all have responsibilities; we all face hardships and deal with tragedy though for me with whatever comes my way I like to see the bright side, the positive side, the good side of life, even during times of difficulty. It is how we deal with adversity that makes us unique, makes us strong, right?

Take my older brother for instance. He had been attacked and badly beaten a few years back, nearly six years ago in fact. His injuries were so severe that ever since that attack, he requires near constant attention.

Now I can sit and mope, saddened and destroyed, burdened by a strong sense of loyalty, of family, or I can be happy and feel lucky that I still have my brother. He can talk, a lot slower than what he did before and he needs help with almost everything he does but I feel lucky to still have him in my life, lucky to still have him alive. He lives with me and my sister and we both, along with a career or two who comes by most days and a physiotherapist who comes three times a week, care for him as best we can.

My sister and I both also have jobs and we both work hard, especially my sister and again I like to consider myself lucky. My sister works during the day and I stay home during these hours. I have found an office job that allows me to work flexible hours. I generally work between six in the evening and two in the morning. I work Mondays to Fridays and if necessary, I work weekends, as long as I get my work done then my bosses don't mind when I get it done and sis is home when I am working.

The workstation I have is on the third floor of a six-story office building and also just happens to be close to the furthest most corner of that floor from where I get out of an elevator though I don't mind that. It is often peaceful when I work, generally, when I am at work there are very few, if any, others around.

You know the hours are kinda perfect really when I think about it, or when I used to think about it, I should say. During mid-February like it is right now as I write this, it is usually quite dark; almost pitch dark when I arrive to work. I find the lower level of lighting and the peacefulness of working alone to be soothing. I probably get through my work quicker and easier without the distraction of being surrounded by co-workers.

At the quietest of times, I am not completely alone in the building when I am there. There is the odd security guard or two or three in the building at all times though they tend to stay down on the ground floor. Maybe once or twice during my shift, I will be checked up upon to ensure all is well.

One guard, in particular, James or Jimmy as he likes to be called, likes to taunt me every time I see him. I may only be in this job six months though, for every day of it with which I see Jimmy he tells me the place is haunted and he tells me the same story as to why it is haunted and until last night's shift, I had never believed him for I never witnessed anything out of the ordinary.

Jimmy of course just so happened to be working, or at least on duty, when I arrived yesterday. He escorted me to the third floor as he wanted to go through the story with me once more.

'Good evening or almost evening,' he said to me with a smile as soon as I entered the building. It was five minutes to six, so I guess it wasn't quite evening.

I couldn't help but smile when I returned the 'good almost evening'. I knew what was coming and was actually looking forward to it. Thing was that I had no idea that evening events would at least be a little bit different on this occasion.

'Have I ever told you that this building is haunted?' he says, being only too happy to get the words out.

'Only each and every time I see you, Jimmy.'

'Have I told you that it is the third floor in particular which is haunted?'

'Yes, you have mentioned that alright.'

'And have I told you as to why it is haunted?'

'You have indeed. A former company employee, while suffering a mental breakdown made his way out a window and jumped to his death. In life and now in death too, he was and is a workaholic, his ghost likes to return to attempt to complete his unfinished work blah, blah, blah and so on...'

'Have I told you that tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of his death?'

'Not before now, no.'

'Well, it is.'

'That is unfortunate.'

As we talk, we have made our way to the elevator and have taken it to the third floor. I get out of the elevator at this point in our conversation. Jimmy usually accompanies me to my workstation. On this particular occasion, he remains in the elevator. I turn back being a little surprised by this.

'Watch out,' he says just before the doors begin to close. 'If there is ever a night for a ghost to show himself, it will be tonight from midnight.'

With that, the elevator doors are closed and Jimmy retreats back to the ground floor. I didn't think much more about this once I reached that workstation of mine. I had plenty of work to get through, more than enough to keep my mind occupied. At about eleven, things began to get more than a little weird.

I work with notes and sheets of paper and a computer at my station. I put one sheet of information to my left and worked at the screen for a bit. I reached for the sheet and could not feel it. I turned my head to where it should be, and it was not where I was sure I had put it. I got up out of my seat and had a look around in case it had fallen to the floor or something like that. No luck, I couldn't see it, well not for a few seconds at least.

I walked right around my station and when I returned to my seat, there it was, the sheet of paper was right where I had originally put it. What the hell like? It was right there, then it wasn't, then it was again. Something is not right here; anyway, I got back to work.

There is a pleasant hum, there always is a pleasant hum for some of the other computers on this floor are never turned off and this sound aided me to quickly get back into a good working rhythm. At about half eleven, one of the computers which usually is not left on, came on. This particular computer is about thirty feet away from my station. It activated with a beep and this of course distracted me.

I couldn't see some of the areas directly on the other side of that computer. It felt to me as if there may be someone on the other side of it. No one else other than me and the security guys should be within the building at this time and as far as I was aware none of the security guys had come up. Couldn't be Jimmy, from the earlier elevator incident I didn't expect to see him again.

'Hello?' I called out.

There was no answer, didn't expect one. I got up, filled a cup with water from a nearby cooler, took a swig and placed this cup at my station then moved to that computer thirty feet away to power it off. For a split second, before the power did leave that computer, I was sure I saw the word 'Hello' appear upon it. As soon as it did, the power was gone.

When I arrived back to my desk I would be surprised once more for my water was gone, and a water bubble, a rather large one at that, moves up through the cooler. Jimmy's ghost, huh? It wasn't midnight yet but if his story somehow is real then did time really matter? Gotta hand it to Jimmy, he really has me going now.

Midnight soon came, now that really got me going, a cool chill hit me all of a sudden and I noticed a large near-by window was open. It hadn't been open earlier and I did not open it. This is how that guy died, right? He jumped out of one of those windows, right? If I were to guess as to which window he jumped from, would I be right? I got up once again, this time to move and close that window.

Guess what? When I returned to my station, my water had somehow returned. I called out another 'hello' and received no answer. That computer thirty feet away came back on. Someone is really messing with me. I got the impression that if I were to get up to turn that computer off for a second time, I would see the word 'Hello' appear upon its screen. It did.

Is this ghost answering my hello? A stupid thought hit me in this moment; it's rather silly now that I think about it. Am I the ghost? Silly thought, right? No matter what life throws me, I, as I said, prefer to see the good, I don't let the bad in. I would never take my own life. How many people work office hours like the hours I work? Not many I would guess.

There was a ding from the other end of the third floor. The elevator had opened. I quickly made my way there to find that Jimmy had come to check on me. He, of course, was not gonna come out. He simply asked me as to if I had enough and as to if I wanted to call it an early night. Looking around I thought this may be a good idea. I gathered my things and went home.

All that was last night, I told my brother about it this afternoon and he really lit up. That made me smile. It was like the best thing he ever heard. Since today is still the anniversary of that guy's death I was thinking of taking the night off. My brother, however, thinks I should go in, he thinks I should go back to the office.

I can't go into work tonight, can I? There would be no chance of me feeling a sudden urge to jump if that window were to open once more, would there? Does my brother know something I don’t? Is it him taking care of me all along and not the other way around? If you were in my shoes, what would you do? What do you make of all this?

 

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