I emptied the remnants of my locker into my backpack. I tried my best to shove my deceased grandfather’s coat inside along with my used Tupperware and binder full of training notes from my first few months on the job. I disposed of the trash from the pockets of my work apron, and folded it neatly before gently placing it on my, now, former employer’s desk. For some reason, I decided to keep my magnetic name tag, sealing its fate upon my refrigerator door once I arrive home within the next hour. I finally managed to securely fasten the zipper before I released a soft sigh, staring into space. I waited for tears to stream down my face at my realization of the end of an era, but it never came.
I walked towards the sales floor to punch out of the computer system for the last time. My co-worker stood beside me as she did her usual shutdown of the secondary register fifteen minutes prior to locking the doors for the night. She noticed my presence but didn’t glance in my direction until I told her that this may be the last time I ever saw her again. Her usual, stoic face morphed into one of solemnity. We shared a chaste hug before I left. The short trek up the hill towards the bus stop seemed so distinguished, yet other people strolled around me in either direction, as if it was any other day. They had no clue how important today was for me. I wondered if anyone I had past by also considered today as the beginning of a new opportunity.