Meagan thanked Richard for sharing his creativity with her and walked away, I stayed silent, one hand clenched around my fork, the other ready to knock the table over if he decided to approach me.
He didn’t. He stood still, taking his time watching Mary leave. She walked calmly, unhurried, pleased with her gift, and when she was well and truly gone, he left too, going some other way, disappearing back into the depths of the accounting department to dream of some new creativity.
* * *
I should have left. I should have called the police. I should have done something, anything. But I just sat there at my desk, staring blankly at my screen, every footstep and every voice setting me to shaking. I imagined Richard standing over me, a knife in his hands, his eyes dead and glassy. Meagan was standing behind him, an identical knife buried up to the hilt in her chest, blood pouring down her body.
“You’ll look so much better in red,” Richard said, his eyes unseeing, focused on something far beyond me. “We all look so much better in red.”
Someone’s voice nearby shook me from my thoughts. I looked around in confusion, heard a woman say, “Oh, my God! Did you hear what happened?”
“I saw it! Can you believe it?”
“I can’t. I really can’t.”
The voices were so close to me. They must have heard what had happened. They knew I’d done nothing. Any moment and a crowd would descend upon me and demand to know how I’d let a woman get stabbed right before my eyes, all the while staying silent.
But the voices receded. Hushed meaningless whispers moving down the hallway, ghosts grown bored with haunting. And like a fool, I followed them.