Several years passed…

Since then, Sharon had acquired two new acrylic eyes and a denture. She felt like a new woman. 20:20 vision and 20:20 teeth, her daughter said.

Every New Year when she met up with her good friend Julie, Julie would start the conversation with “so when are you going to publish ‘The Quiet Office’? You are still writing it, aren’t you…? With the accompanying board game?”

Sharon would murmur in half-hearted assent. There was rather a lot of text sitting on her computer, but it had successfully transmigrated intact when she recently changed her computer. Maybe that was a sign. On the other hand, something was still holding her back.

The time came for Denise’s retirement. To be honest, ‘The Quiet Office’ was the last thing on Sharon’s mind. She didn’t recognise half the staff at the retirement dinner in the Thai restaurant in Pimlico.

Angelica had come to the dinner, from her new job in the publishing house;  Solange was still working in the quiet office. There were some financial staff working upstairs including the very bubbly Lena.  And the new treasurer Colin Hoechst and his wife attended.

Denise greeted everyone with surprise. Apparently the guest list had been a secret. She began the proceedings by offering a cameo of everyone attending.  Angelica, she reminisced, had produced the first quiet office baby.

Sharon was prepared to be passed over. But to her great shock, Denise divulged that Sharon had written a history of the quiet office in her time.

“Not too steamy I hope” enquired Colin Hoechst.

Sharon was still reeling from 10 years of paranoia she had been shouldering, since Denise had read the opening chapters of ‘The Quiet Office’, and Sharon had detected it had been a major faux pas to write it.

“Whatever happened to that?” someone asked.

“I’m still writing it, technically” replied Sharon.

“Are you going to publish it?” asked Lena?

“Well if you google the quiet office there are a few excerpts online…” offered Sharon, emboldened.

It was time –  time to write the Epilogue, brush up the first 3 chapters and submit them to a publisher.