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XXIX

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"Break down your walls
Tell me that you love me one time,
I can see the truth in your eyes
say you will
forget tomorrow and be with me tonight
and this isnt goodbye...I know I can't ask you to stay
But I've stayed away,
Now my eyes are open I won't miss a thing,
Here is my heart and I hope that's okay,
Cause you're the one..."

-Tell me you love me one time-Boy Epic

Zen's P.O.V:

I browse through my emails, sign a few discharge papers, I did my rounds, and I am back in my office. My hands embrace my cup of coffee, my palms pressing to the cups sides. The director has requested a meeting. It couldn't be my performance at work, I have poured all my frustration in my work, day in day out, extra shifts, and more efficiency.
That's all I had technically. Work. Home. Work. Home. Then repeat.
I lived on coffee, not eating much which led to considerable weight loss, and even not much sleep. The frailty of my condition could be caused by a lot of reasons. I only thought of one.
Not a word.
No news.
I needed change.
I can't stay here anymore.
I can't stay in this city anymore.
The country even.
I needed to leave.
And that's what I am going to do.
Leave. Everything.
My strides were more confident, more secure, more assertive. I knew what I am going to do. Leave.
I knocked lightly on the director's door, "Come right in" he answered, and I did.

"You wanted to speak to me?"

"Yes of course. I am truly impressed by your remarkable work lately. Complete dedication. It's qui..." I interjected, "I am giving you notice of my resignation." Relief. Inhale. Exhale.

"Excuse me?" Shocked.

"I am quitting." My answer more concrete.

"Why? If it's personal I could manage to give you some time off."

"It is personal. When I decide it, it's quite personal. I can't stay here anymore. I appreciate everything you have done for me Sir, yet I can't help but do this. It's been a nagging peck."

The director and I have been colleagues and friends for a while. He knows why and didn't need further elaboration.

"Zen you are a talented surgeon. It's a waste to leave your trade." He handed me a piece of paper, " there's this small clinic in Lesotho, fresh out of water and it's quite promising, yet under staffed. They have sent notice that they need doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc, whoever that can volunteer. It's less work load than here, and it's a change of scenery. Think about it buddy. Give me notice so I can make the arrangements." With a kind smile, he handed me the papers, and I was about to exit his office, " I am still quitting".

"Yes I did notice that Zen. Consider what I just gave you."

I walked out of there free. No more shifts, no more patients, no more rounds. I went into my office and started to pack my things; emptying drawers, cabinets...
The closet.
I took the jackets from the hangers, my white coat, folded them neatly, and placed them in a brown box.
There it was.
The box she gave me with all the stuff I had given her over the course of four years. In one box. Medium sized.
Stuffed bears, cards, souvenirs...
The watch she claimed I forgot.
What does someone do with these stuff?
She gave them back, do I throw them away? Keep them? Burn them?
I put them with the rest of the stuff; the trunk of my car.
The watch was still on the top of the pile. I kept staring at it willing a memory of her into my head. When did I give her this watch?
I forgot. So what? People tend to forget a lot of things. This is a lame reason to leave someone. Very lame. I reckon if I ask her a question concerning me she will blank out. People aren't to blame for temporary memory loss.
I examined the watch and turned it over, an inscription; look and remember, love Z.
Ohhh this watch. I gave it to her on her birthday!
I mentally slapped myself! How didn't I remember that. I put the watch in my pocket, turned on the ignition, and drove to who-the-hell-knows.

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