There he is. That fat, ugly slob. He's currently surrounded by five of our coworkers. Look at how they laugh, all joining in on his jokes. I know it’s just for pity’s sake, it's the only logical explanation why anyone would even spend a single moment around someone so disgusting. Judging from his massive weight I'm sure he's diabetic. No one's ever verified this, but I know he is. All fat people are in my eyes. They're all just a group of idiots too stupid to put down their cakes. What's worse is how they then have the nerve to seek pity by diagnosing their eating habits as an illness.
I'm watching from my cubicle as the rolls on his belly jiggle with disgusted delight. How absurd that those morons would goad his useless endeavors. On occasion I’ve had to pass his office, shelves of My Little Pony figurines with plastic grins watching as I make my way to the printing room. If the fact that this full grown man had an obsession with a little girls' show wasn’t enough to ignite my scorn, his weeaboo cosplays during holiday parties and furry fetishes most certainly were. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was secretly a pedophile by night.
John was his name if I remember correctly. John something. Never bothered to learn his last name. I avoid working with him at all costs anyway. Once or twice, I would run into him at the water cooler or break room. Both times he’s tried to strike up a conversation, and both times I’ve had to concoct some excuse to escape. I just don't want anything to do with him.
Looks like he just handed something to Jenny. Her face lights up with excitement. Is that some form of jewelry?
“Oh Jordan! You shouldn’t have!” Jenny suddenly gushes at the inflated man as she holds up what looks like a golden chain.
Oh that’s right, his name is Jordan, not John. Oh well, I don’t care.
“I had to!” The man barked, his voice deep and laughing. “You were so depressed from losing it at the Halloween party I just had to replace it. A smile looks much better on you anyway.”
I could see tears forming in the woman’s eyes. That's right you money pinching whore, take the free jewelry. I’m sure you’ll pawn it off for cash after work. Can’t say I’d blame her though. The gem hanging from the thin band looks expensive. I wonder how much money that slob has saved up anyway. He’s developed a reputation as some sort of holy man. He’s given his lunches away before, allowed coworkers to borrow his car; and of course, won over the hearts of all the women by buying them things. Replacing the necklace must have just been an excuse. I know he’s just trying to earn everyone’s trust for some other insidious purpose.
How do I know? Because my family was the same way. They were all obese pigs, shoveling food down their gullets until their insulin production stopped. They were only nice to anyone they thought they could gain something from. I'm certain Jordan is no different.
“Hey buddy! Why don’t you come on over for some cupcakes? Dale’s wife had him bring in a batch and there’s plenty to go around!” He chirps in his cheerful voice, attempting to draw me in.
I force my best smile, something I always do when confronted by another person. This eager mask of happiness was enough to convince my superiors that I enjoyed my job, so it became habitual to do so in front of everyone, even Jordan. I shake my head and go back to work. As if I’d be pulled into his lies. It irks me how everyone believes this fat man is some sort of saving grace. None of them can see past his facade, but I do.
The boss walks into the room at that moment. Everyone abruptly breaks their freeloading activities and returns to work.
The day proceeds as usual. Lunch comes, which I skip. I’ve got too much work to do. It’s unlikely, but someday maybe I’ll be noticed for the excessive work I do. A promotion would be nice.
“Carter, right?” Someone calls me by name. I do my best to ignore their presence by pretending to be engrossed in the spreadsheet on my computer. He doesn’t leave.
Instead, I hear the familiar crinkle of a plastic bag being dropped onto my desk. I ultimately glance at it, earning a grin from the chubby intruder. “I noticed you have a tendency to skip meals. So I uh, thought I’d get you something.”
“Thanks.” I grumble, keeping my face low.
Jordan hesitates once more. This time I refuse to acknowledge him and begin to type monotonously. Eventually he gets the message and leaves, but not before speaking one last time.
“You know, you need to eat more. It’s not healthy to skip meals all the time.” His tone is almost caring, but I won’t to be fooled. As if he'd know anything about skipping meals. If anything he could learn a thing or two if he ever had the will power to try. But then again I'm sure he'll say something along the lines of his blood sugar dropping too low if he didn't eat. Another reason why diabetes is just an excuse for fat people to eat and get sympathy.
Once he disappears from sight, I examine the Subway bag. Of course he went to Subway. I’m not even interested in whatever he’s given me. With one swift movement, I swipe the bag off my desk and into the trash bin. It’s not like I need it.
Hours pass. My work is nearly finished for the day and I look forward to clocking out, satisfied with my progress. At this rate, I’ll be finished early. I may even get an extra day off this weekend. Then again I could offer to continue working on another project. I’m sure that would appease my boss.
As expected, my co-workers begin filing out. Most of them tend to leave a little early, giving excuses as to why they can’t stay. Next went the rest. Very few of them are ever willing to stay late to finish anything. Like always they cut their work short, in some cases stopping mid-sentence I imagine. Soon it’s just me and the tapping sounds of my keyboard. I finish the final document and shut down for the night.
Heaving a sigh, I pack my case and don my coat. As I do this, a sound catches my attention. It’s coming from one of the cubicles towards the printing room.
Curious, yet, not wanting to appear nosy, I attempt a nonchalant walk towards that direction. Soon I come upon the source and I can’t say I was surprised.
It’s Jordan. Clearly this was another attempt by him to gain approval not only from our coworkers, but also from our superiors as well. From the looks of it he had stayed late like me. However I also noticed a half-eaten Subway sandwich dropped on the floor. He didn’t stay late to work, he was sneaking a sandwich before heading home!
I was ready to stomp away before he noticed my presence, but then I realized his face was discolored. The man was facing towards his computer and clutching his throat desperately. It only took a moment for me to understand the man was choking.
A few gasps escaped him as his head turned and our eyes met. They were pleading, fearful and panicked. The man’s lips were beginning to turn blue and his eyes bulged to the point that I half expected them to pop out.
Memories of my CPR class flood my mind. I remember the Heimlich maneuver we were taught, and even still carried a valid license. If I wanted to, I could save this man. However I also considered the horrendous things this man partook in simply based on his habits and physical appearance. There's no telling what kind of monster this man really was after hours. If I saved him, I could very well be endangering others.
Turning away I continue towards the exit. The gasping noises die down and soon it’s silent. Good. The world will be a better place without him.
I suppose at some point on my way home I felt a bit of guilt for what I chose to do. For a brief moment I rethought my view of the man and considered going back to see if he survived. Then reality came crashing down on me as my reasoning caught up. I didn't do anything wrong in the first place, so there's no reason to feel bad. He simply payed the price for his gluttonous ways. I find it rather poetic.
The next morning seemed relatively normal. I was expecting officers or people getting questioned. All I see, however, is Jordan’s cubicle, blocked off with some police tape. I guess they took care of the body quickly, not bothering to interrogate anyone since it was most likely obvious how he died. At the back of my mind something picks at my conscious, but I just shrug it off and continue my job.
A short break at the water cooler has me face to face with Jenny. I don’t normally talk to my other coworkers, but sometimes I just can’t avoid it. She was clearly distraught.
“I can’t believe he’s gone," she sighs, “I know he planned on staying late, but had I known this would happen….”
I shrug and chug my water, intent on returning to my cubicle before getting drawn into some pointless conversation.
“Didn’t he at least say something to you?” she suddenly asks.
That was odd. Why is she asking me something like that? “What?”
Her eyes fix on mine. “He said he was staying to make sure you got home safely.”
“…What?” I repeat, unsure of what else to say.
She shook her head. “Didn’t you know? He was worried about you. He always asked if you were eating enough, but since you don’t talk to anybody no one could really give him an answer.”
I scoffed unconsciously. “Nope. Didn’t even know he was still here when I left.” I curtly turn away, satisfied with my brief lie. Hopefully she’d understand that I had no interest in talking about that obese moron.
A few more days pass. No one bothers to talk to me about him again. However that doesn’t stop me from overhearing everyone converse about his wife and son. They discuss how grievous they must be, and how much they’ll also miss him. I, personally, am happy he's gone. I no longer have to look at that ball of clogged arteries and high cholesterol anymore. And to be honest, it was a better way for him to die. The man had to be over 300 pounds, so his diabetes wouldn't have been kind to him. Once again I'll mention that no one had verified this, but I still like to play with the idea. I can only imagine the nightmare of having to prick yourself multiple times a day was like.
One night after work I find myself at my apartment. It had been a long day and I was making myself a cup of Ramen, when I notice something odd. At first, it simply feels like a cool breeze had settled in the house. My whole body goes frigid in response, and I stumble down the hallway. In the bathroom I head towards the sink to wash my face, believing I was just tired, when I see it.
Jordan is there, staring at me.
“How is this possible?” I start quietly. The man doesn’t move. Instead, he begins to chuckle.
Backing away I cover my ears. “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening!” I chant to myself as his chuckling gains volume. Eventually I flee the bathroom and find myself locked in my bedroom.
“I just need some sleep.” I assure myself, thinking it was a hallucination from overworking. I crawl into bed and pretend nothing unusual had happened.
My life quickly returns to normal and I convince myself that the phantom had never appeared in the first place. My boss called me in today to discuss my next project. Of course I volunteer for a new one. He mentions I could also opt for an extra weekend to let everyone else catch up, but I shake my head, eager to please him.
That’s when it appears again.
Just behind my boss’s chair, sitting against the wall and smiling at me is that fat bulbous mass of a man. We lock eyes and I find myself unable to look away.
“Are you alright? You suddenly turned pale.” My boss comments.
I shake my head and blink. He’s still there. “No... Uh... I’m fine.” I assure him. “Don’t worry, I can get to work right away.”
My boss is looking at me oddly now. I don’t think he believes me. He notices the direction of my gaze and turns back. I hold my breath, wondering if he would see Jordan squatting there. Instead, he briefly glances back before facing me once more. “Are you sure?”
I nod absentmindedly. Of course he didn’t see Jordan. His ghost is haunting me, not him, but I can’t let this thing ruin my chance at a promotion. I need to play this off as normal. So with much effort I ignore the phantom and continue on. At first it’s easy. The stupid ghost just stands at some point in the room grinning like a moron at me. So long as I don’t look at him I can pretend nothing is out of the ordinary. That is my loophole to this nightmare.
It doesn't work for long. One day I notice he stopped smiling. Whenever I try to eat, I find it difficult to swallow. Over the days, it became near impossible to eat solid foods. But that isn’t the worst.
At night I’d hear him chuckling in the dark. When I sat up I could see him squatting in the corner of the room, face drawn together in an unusual expression. The shadows of the room concealed his true intent, but I could tell that all the joy was gone from his eyes.
At work I can see him standing just outside of my cubicle, cheerful smiles now morphed into evil glares. No one ever notices him. After a while I start to feel as though he were stalking me. That’s it. His ghost wants revenge. It was hunting me down, trying to drive me insane.
Sometimes I’d find myself staring blankly at Jordan’s spirit. I'd completely forget what I was doing at the moment and the world would suddenly become fuzzy. My vision would fail temporarily and I’d get nauseous and have trouble completing my work for the day.
I was feeling particularly uneasy today and had to lay my head down. I skipped lunch, not for the usual reason, and was resting my head. It doesn’t help at all when one of my coworkers comes in and starts asking if I was alright. I don't like talking much, so their voice begins to grate on my nerves until I eventually shoot out of my chair, intent on telling them to bug off before I quite suddenly become queasy. I open my mouth to speak, and promptly vomit onto the floor.
I'm immediately given a leave of absence and now require a doctor’s note in order to start work again. If I was going to get that promotion, I need to get well fast, so I might as well get it over with.
“How long have you been having these symptoms?” The doctor asks after I list everything I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks. I left out the supernatural diabetic that’s been haunting me of course.
“A few weeks.” I answer, uncaring, "I just need the doctor’s note."
He seemed intrigued and writes something down. “Would you mind if I took a blood sample?”
“Will the blood test be the last thing?”
“Of course. I’ll be sending them off to be tested. It’ll take a few days so you’ll be able to go home. The results will be mailed to you shortly after.”
Relieved that I’ll be able to return to work I agreed. Unfortunately I forgot that they use needles to get blood. I've never been good with needles and took quite a bit of time calming myself before allowing the doctor to approach me. I don't have any plans on keeping in touch after this. The note I want is handed to me by a small woman behind the counter, where in which also stands the phantom that’s been causing all this distress.
I refuse to give it the attention it’s demanding. I no longer regard this thing as Jordan, but more as a pest, a tick I need to be rid of.
The next few days pass and my symptoms progress. I'm getting worse.
On the bright side, I’ll find out if I got my promotion tomorrow. This thought is what drives me for the rest of the day. My boss had scheduled an appointment with me. With the work I’ve been putting out, regardless of my current state, it was a sure thing.
A pile of mail is sitting on my table, carelessly tossed there this morning. I take the pile to the bathroom where I plan to brush my teeth and prepare for bed. On the top, I notice a letter from the doctor’s office I had visited. The results of my blood samples had come in.
I was sure it was nothing terrible so I tore it open, expecting a diagnosis along the lines of being overworked or stressed out. What I found instead quite honestly bothered me.
I have type 1 diabetes. Apparently it happens abruptly and without true cause. The full diagnosis also included that the symptoms I've been having lately were caused by low blood sugar.
My sense of logic began to kick in, but was immediately pushed aside by something stronger. Regardless of how many questions this diagnosis would answer, it just couldn't be true. Diabetes is something that happens to fat morons who eat non-stop! Diabetes happens to sugar shoveling pigs like Jordan! Not me! I’m not some overweight, furry loving pedophile!
Something moved. Glancing up I come face to face with the very spirit that's been haunting me. He's mocking me. Imitating everything I'm doing, every emotion that lit my face. He's there, reveling in my despair. Somehow he knew I’d rather have cancer. Somehow he knew I hated diabetics. Somehow he knew I found them disgusting bastards. All of them were overweight, all of them were stupid imbecilic morons who didn’t realize that they could cure themselves by putting down the damn fork rather than shoveling something green in their mouths instead.
I won’t let him win!
After trying to ignore this bastard for years, in life and in death, finally I gave him the attention he wanted. Finally I gave him what he deserved. I pulled my arm back and hit Jordan with all my might.
To my horror, the bathroom mirror shatters, and I'm left with the revelation that I had never been haunted by Jordan's spirit. Just my reflection.
Written by Darksparx