The room was an almost perfect replica of his own office, minus all of the things that he had brought into it over the years to make it his own. If he were to pack up all his stuff and leave, it would look exactly like this. There was even an identical door to an identically precariously-placed balcony!

Alex was feeling stupid now. Did he just think his office was specially made for him? Did he never once even look to the side and notice all the other balconies on the same floor?

‘If I had ever looked, could I have had an actual conversation with someone?’ he thought, and then got a full-body shiver so bad he had to push the thought immediately out of his head. That was then, and this was now.

Did that mean this room was empty, or did whoever works here just not care for interior décor? He pondered this, and then got another crawling feeling where he half-expected someone to be sitting in the chair, asking to hear about his problems.

This was all way too creepy for him. He left and went back on the path.

Alex eventually realized that, since he slept out of his office and had a poor sense of time, he didn’t truly know if he was the only person left on the ninth floor or if it just wasn’t work hours.

He thought it would be nice to ask someone: hey, does anyone else work up here? He entertained the thought of asking another human being a question.

The sound of jogging footsteps stomped all over his train of thought, and he immediately began to panic. ‘Speak of the goddamn Devil,’ he wanted to shout, but settled for redirecting his energy towards trying to find a piece of furniture to hide behind.

The only appropriate object was a potted plant, but it was still nowhere near big enough to hide him. He ducked behind it and started cussing under his breath. It was times like this that he wished he had a smartphone to pretend to be busy on, or a comically large pair of headphones, or something.

It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. Josie was there, and they had already noticed him.