Here I am blabbering like an idiot. I know so damn well what I feel, but does he have to know it too? “It is not your career, is it, Miranda?” He says. It's the boldest thing Niklas ever said. He's fancied me so long... I thought he was shy, or just... Swedish. I never imagined he would actually make that move, but now he says that with his hands on my shoulders and they burn. His hands, they burn. They are like a thousand little tattoo-needles piercing through my blouse and marking his fingerprints on my skin. It's as if they intend mark me forever.
“I don't want this!” Slime bulges up in my throat and tears well up in my eyes; I feel like the road on an average autumn day back in England and sound like I've been singing along the car radio. We both I'm lying. I do want this. I just can't have this, but how do I tell him that? Aren't I showing him the pieces of my heart? How can I make Niklas understand this? He is not saying anything. He is just staying still, with those hands... Probably second-guessing his move now. It's just... Please take your hands off me Niklas. Please... Don't touch... Me. I can't have this... Let's keep this professional. There are so many things I want to say, but all the lies I'm trying to sell him come out as an incomprehensible mixture of squeaking and squawking. I'm trying to push him away, but my strength fails me.
Niklas looks away from me. His hands slide off my trembling shoulders and he hides them in his pockets. We stand like this for what feels like hours. “I can't do this... Niklas.” I finally manage to even mention. “It's not you, it's me...” I knew it was the most terrible thing to say beforehand, but to even for a fraction see his disappointment flash like anger before Niklas turned around and walked away... I tell myself I've made the right choice.
I'll keep telling myself that every day.
Mike started out in the adult world as a business consultant, but his job had him overwhelmed with so much stress he was forced to quit. Instead, he took up a career as a mailman. Mike, now in his early forties, is very happy with his switch of careers, but the ties change when his wife announces their third baby is on the way. Mike's family already barely manages to keep their head above the water ever since their mother in law moved in and is struggling financially. Two days ago his old college pal Jim called him and hearing about Mike's situation, he offered Mike a better paid job... As a business consultant.