The electric hum of a computer hard drive droned it’s monotonous song in seeming competition with the thud and splash of satisfied raindrops as they slapped hard against the office window. At this height you’d have a great view to the south and the Empire State Building off in the distance, provided you cared enough to take a look.
He sat motionless in his dimly lit office. Only the faint glow of the computer monitor betrayed the years and mileage worn like grooves into his weathered face.
His tired eyes stared blankly ahead, focused on nothing and nowhere in particular.
The desk was a study of organized chaos as different piles sprawled over the dark, oaken surface. A pile of unopened mail teetered precariously close to falling over, partly held in place by habit and partly by a stack of glossy, 8 x 10 black and white photos. In the center of the desk a mountain of ungraded final exams sat largely ignored.
Instinctively he reached for a ceramic mug and took a sip of long-cold coffee. His eyes squinted as the bitter taste filled his mouth. He glanced down into the nearly empty mug, frowned, and began to survey the muddled landscape before him.
“Goddamn it” he thought, “final grades are due tomorrow.”
He glanced down to his left hand which hung motionless over the arm of the chair, and noticed the few sheets of gossamer-thin paper still tightly clutched in his grip. From his vantage point the tiny script was impossible to make out.
“Of all things, a fucking letter,” he muttered.
A loud knock on the door caused him to bolt upright in his chair.
“Come in” he shouted, not even trying to mask his annoyance. His hand released it’s grip and the thin sheets spiraled lazily to the floor as he got up with some effort, both his bones and the old chair creaking with the effort.
In poked the head of a gray-haired man. His smile was broad and genuine.
“Burning the midnight oil again, eh Patty?”