She left without warning. There was no farewell lunch or you-take-care cake or making the rounds to hug everybody one by one. There was no goodbye email. She didn’t write, en masse, how much she enjoyed working at the firm and how she wished nothing but good things for all the people she had grown to know and love. She didn’t ask anyone to “please keep in touch.” She didn’t dole out her private email address so staff members could forward her the latest YouTube video of a cat beating up a printer or a chain letter about Ken Fraser catching a 1,496 lb. Bluefin tuna, and “if you don’t pass this chain letter along, you will lose all your eyelashes and your eyeballs will fall out.”
No, she just picked up her bag one day and walked out the door. The partner in her office who was mid-swig of coffee gaped after her and wondered out loud where she thought she was going. By the time his voice traveled to her, she was already out the door.
They kept her office intact at first, but things eventually disappeared. The stapler and hole punch one day, the monitor and wall calendar the next. By the time her office was picked clean, no one could even remember her name anymore.
All that was thought of her — when anyone bothered to think of her at all — was that one day she left without warning without saying goodbye to anyone at all.