Silent treatment

He curls his fingers around the handle and pauses. He can hear the summing of their voices through the door, and for a fleeting moment he tries to listen to their conversation by pressing his ear against the wood, but then he changes his mind and stands up straight again. The lump in his stomach grows heavier with every second that passes. He has dreaded this exact moment the whole weekend because of what will happen when he pushes the door open and steps into the room.

His chest expands on a heavy breath as he tries to gather enough courage to walk inside. Sweat prickles forth along his hairline in the back of his neck and trails down toward his collar. The metal door handle feels warm and clammy in his wet palm, and the air in the hall feels suffocating.

He takes another deep breath and pushes the door open before he steps inside and makes a beeline for the coffee machine. Their voices die the second the door opens and turns the room completely silent. He grabs for the phone in his pocket and pretends to check his emails as he waits for the coffee to brew.

He tries to pretend that they’re not there. That their eyes aren’t directed at him. A few of them whispers quietly among themselves behind his back, more than likely about him again. He has no idea what he did or said to make them hate him this much. He just can’t figure it out. He must have done something, right? Because grown ups don’t behave like this without reason do they?

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