The moment Peter sat down, he could tell something was up. Geoff didn’t look him in the eyes. He offered him a drink. He asked him how his weekend was.
Peter remained silent. He was getting fired. He felt his stomach lurch at the thought of being unemployed.
Geoff kept talking, avoiding the obvious, and Peter dug his fingernails into the skin of his hand. This is almost what Rory does to his own skin. The scratches that for so long had worried him and Grace (when there’d been he and Grace). And then there almost wasn’t Rory.
And now he, Peter, was doing the same thing, wanting to dull the inevitable pain coming from Geoff’s mouth. He looked down at the skin turning white. He pushed harder, piercing the skin until a bead of blood appeared like a newborn hatchling.
He now pinched the skin so that more blood would appear. There was no more pain, rather the satisfaction of having caused this breakage.
And then Geoff spoke the words. Sad to have to let him go. A weasel's expression.
So Peter asked, let him go where? It was a reasonable question.
Geoff was stunned. He was being let go.
That was up to him. He no longer worked here. Times being tough and all.
Geoff stood and extended his hand. Peter shook his hand with some exertion, making sure the drops of blood stained Geoff’s hand.