After clocking in I found my co-workers in the break room.
They were arranged around the coffee machine in a somber half-circle.
“It’s empty,” I said over their shoulders.
“For the first time in years.” That was Alison, daubing at red eyes with a tissue.
“Jim died last weekend,” said Louise.
“Who the fuck is Jim?” I wanted to know.
This drew an ugly glare from Louise, a sob from Alison.
Bob just shook his head and said, “He’s worked here for twenty years.”
I had worked here for twelve.
“Jim always filled the coffee machine, especially when he wasn’t having any.”
Alison sobbed again, and I was filled with a sense of loss.
To fill the void, I numbly reached for the coffee grounds.