I checked my watch. Still 30 minutes left until time. Good. That meant that there was enough time left to pay a visit to the restroom.
Instead of leaving my briefcase at my desk I took it with me. Normally I wouldn’t, because it would be very illogical and inconvenient to bring one’s briefcase with them while utilizing the toilet. But today, of course, was different. Everything was different today. And everything would remain different from today on. I had realized that from the second I first touched my briefcase.
I put it down when I entered the stall. They were ordinary stalls, with ordinary doors and ordinary locks and ordinary gaps between the floor and the stall and the ceiling and the stall. I always hated those gaps and wondered if they had a particular function I wasn’t aware of.
While I relieved myself I looked at the ceiling. Ceilings are better than floors. I closed my eyes for a second and hummed the tune of a song that had been stuck in my head the last few days. The song was quite annoying and I could only remember a part of it.
I wondered whether I was expected to feel a particular emotion in regards to the briefcase and its contents. Should I feel fear or excitement? Did I feel either? Did I feel nervous or happy? I was unsure of the name the feeling it gave me, and unsure whether I felt any emotion towards the situation at all.
When I was done, and the incredible sound of the flushing toilet echoed against the walls, I bent to pickup my briefcase, unlock the stall and leave it.
The briefcase was gone. I froze.
The sound of the flushing toilet had gone and the silence was now filled with the sound of running water. I unlocked the stall and stepped out. I felt hollow.
An unknown person was washing their hands in the sink. The person smiled and nodded when they saw me through the reflection of the mirror, and went back to washing their hands. Had that person been in a stall before I arrived? Or hadn’t I noticed when they entered?
A very late and automatic response let my mouth smile. I didn’t feel anything took another step so to make use of the sink. The other person had already dried their hands and closed the door on their way out when my own hand had finally managed to get the water running.
The harsh sound the water made when it rained down into the sink was nothing compared to the deafening and seemingly eternal scream inside my head.
I lost the case.
Somebody stole the case.