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Walter Pinge Has No Life

Category: Gay Male
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Walter Pinge has no life. It was a phrase commonly heard whispered across the floor. That, and talk of how committed he was to his job.

He sat in his private office, day in and day out, quietly number crunching, his obviously intellectual mind constantly churning over behind his thick, black-rimmed glasses.

Not even his straight brown hair could hide his palpable intelligence, despite falling flat against his forehead as if to distract one’s attention from his mind.

At staff functions he barely said a word, except perhaps to briefly critique a new book he’d just finished reading, or to sprout the virtues of art house cinema. On the rare occasion that Walter spoke of a holiday adventure (like the time he went to Switzerland and spend two weeks snowbound in his hotel suite), a ripple of excitement surged through his work colleagues and they listened intently to how he spent his time. It wasn’t that Walter was a particularly good storyteller, but more the fact that he had something to say.

Underneath his neatly pressed suit and matching tie, the girls in the office (and perhaps a few boys) fancied him as a mild mannered Clark Kent, turning into the man of steel every evening to rescue damsels in distress. For one of the few things everyone knew about Walter was the “me” time he spent at the gym several times per week. While the question of why someone so dull should require any time out for himself was beyond everyone’s comprehension, but the result was well justified, as evidenced by his V-shaped physique.

Indeed, despite his painful lack of personality, a number of the office flirts had attempted at one time or another to ask Walter out on a date.

“It’s the quiet one’s you have to watch out for,” they’d say, grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of success. Surely someone so tedious must also be lonely and would jump at the chance to have a little company. But Walter always turned them down in his usual polite way and no excuse offered.

Some of the guys even tried occasionally to help Walter out of his shell.

“He just needs a good lay!” they’d proclaim, “and attempt to get Walter out to a strip joint, football match or on a double date with someone’s sister. One time they even offered to hire a prostitute for him, but again, Walter declined, politely grateful but adamantly disinterested in the prospect of a night with the boys.

Over time, the offers had become less, much to Walter’s relief, though the occasional invitation to a group function or social event still came his way. Of those, he attended very few – namely those held for specific reasons rather than the ones organised for the Hell of it. He was there every Christmas for the obligatory luncheon, and was one of the first to say ‘yes’ to drinks after work when Barry announced the arrival of his first child. But other than these rare instances, he remained aloof and kept his working life firmly apart from his personal.

In more ways than one, it was probably a good thing that Walter chose to lead his life as such because many people, as he once learned the hard way, simply wouldn’t understand.

He led a comfortable life; the proud owner of a Bentley and a four-wheel drive, and he lived alone in the ample space of his own two-storey, beach-side house, paid in cash and cared for by a part time maid who attended three times a week to spring clean.

It was thought, by those supposedly in the know, that the distinct lack of a social circle in Walter’s life brought about these fabulous possessions. After all, he had very little to spend his money on, so he was able to save and save and progressively purchase the envious belongings.

But as some had fantasised, the truth was his alone for the keeping. Come 6.00 pm, as the train returned him only a few blocks away from his home, he had already consulted his diary and check for messages outlining any late appointments. Businessmen, politicians, celebrities and other wealthy denizens clamoured for his favours and paid handsomely for his time.

At home from another boring day in the office, Walter would peel off his business attire and refresh himself with a nice long shower, using the moment to playfully examine his tight, smooth frame and to prepare for the evening ahead.

On stepping out of the shower, he would stand before the mahogany-framed full-length mirror and admire his Adonis-like physique. With washboard abs and a powerful protruding chest, his large nipples were like two dark lighthouses, protruding out above the hard, bumpy terrain of muscle.

Inevitably, his 7” cock would be hard, after fondling it under the revitalizing flow of warm water, so he’d stroke it a few times, ensuring the white ammunition was ready to surge out when needed.

A touch of wax, and his flat, lifeless hair would blossom into a mess of youthful design, lowering his age from 30 to an acceptable 24 in the eyes of the beholder. His smooth, baby soft skin was a blessing aided by moisturiser and an asset which he prayed would never go away.

Inside a cabinet, a large array of frames matched every character he played, but on this night he chose contact lenses.

Toothpaste, deodorant, and a touch of mouthwash inevitably preceded the final stages of transformation as Walter made his way to the extensive walk-in wardrobe that offered clothing for all appeal. His tight buns would ripple with each deliberate step and his cock would slowly soften on the journey to the neighbouring room.

Once clothed, Walter would cease to exist. In his place would be ‘Steve’, the randy ranch hand ready for a ride; or perhaps ‘Sir’, the harsh bondage master about to punish his slave; or even ‘Tommy’, the over-developed school captain eager for his first experience off the playing field.

But on this night Walter’s companion was the kind which brought him no end of joy. Corey was the son of a New Zealand politician. He was Walter’s age and build and he sought no more than ‘Adam’, a gentle, loving guy of equal standing.

Corey’s loneliness stemmed from life in the public eye and his desire for Walter’s presence frequently accompanied his journey to Australia deep in his father’s shadow.

Corey was a kind, handsome man who sought nothing more than the intimacy he found difficult to achieve back home. His sexuality and the money-hungry hoards that quickly befriended him made romance an impossibility, a difficulty aided by the constant presence of the media. In ‘Adam’s’ arms, he would lose himself completely and become the much loved Everyman of the street, neither known or unknown; neither noticed or unnoticed. Three hours of pure romance and love, beginning with a candle lit dinner and ending when the clock struck 11. And all for only $1,000 a session.

The thought of Corey would always make Walter smile. It was a smile filled with as much fondness as it was pity. He liked Corey, and should fate ever take him that way, he would gladly give it all up for a lifetime of bliss with a man he could respect and admire. For despite the inner sadness, Corey’s strength ensured an exterior of smiles and a commitment to go on. After numerous liaisons however, Walter had learned to see through Corey’s veneer and found an aching soul that longed for nothing more than to be loved.

It was a need Walter found in all of his clients, but none so profoundly as Corey. He was the only one who paid in advance rather than breaking the spell with the necessary business. All his other clients simply paid on arrival and stated what they wanted. Corey was different. From the moment ‘Adam’ arrived, the fantasy had to be real.

Every human needs another regardless of how deeply they may bury that emotion. Of that fact, Walter was sure, for he too desired to love and be loved. But his profession had taught him that love can not only be bought, but performed. His evening occupation taught him harshly that caring was a sin and could only lead to pain. As much as he wanted the very thing that he sold, he knew he could no longer give it unless it was paid for in advance.

On this evening of thought, the wanderings of his mind lead to the recent telecast of the Tony Awards and he chuckled to himself at a vision of his personas accepting a joint award for Best Actor in a live performance. But the chuckle soon turned to a sigh as he thought once more about Corey and the hard reality of the vision. Corey was the closest he had ever come to being ‘real’ with a client. Money or no money, his fondness for Corey was only thinly disguised by the romantic play-acting he bestowed.

The clock struck seven and Walter snapped out of his reverie to select his attire. A tuxedo tonight, with top hat and tails for dancing. Corey’s request had been simple – a reunion to celebrate their meeting once more after nine months apart. As governments tightened their belts, Corey’s visits had become less frequent, but this recent pause had been longer than ever.

Walter mused over the sense of excitement that infiltrated his stomach as he wrapped the cumberband around his narrow waist. Keeping traditional, he had chosen the black and white tuxedo and he couldn’t help but admire the way the cumberband highlighted his narrow waist and broad shoulders. The jacket was next, falling gracefully to the backs of his knees, and he spun around before dancing elegantly with an imaginary partner, softly humming a tune played by the best of orchestras in his mind.

At 7.15, Walter left his house, choosing the Bentley to carry him to Corey. On the seat beside him, he lay a single rose, picked especially to place in Corey’s lapel. It was these little touches that had helped to make Walter one of the highest paid and most sought after escorts in the country, though tonight the flower rested there from a simple desire to make the night special.

He pulled up at the Hotel with little more than five minutes to spare and tipped the valet before making his way into the polished marble foyer. Smiling graciously at the attendant, he took the elevator to the upper levels and disembarked with butterflies in his stomach. It was an odd feeling; one which Walter wasn’t used to experiencing. In the past, when Corey’s visits had been only eight weeks apart, if at all, he had never felt this kind of excitement and it occurred to him that perhaps the long separation had saddened him after all.

The door to Corey’s room was adorned with a single plaque, identifying it as the Peacock Suite, named after a Prime Minister of the early 1980s. Walter knocked firmly and awaited the response. And as the door crept open, ‘Adam’ extended the rose.

“Welcome home,” he beamed at the figure framed in the doorway.

Corey smiled, his white teeth sparkling against his tanned, boyish face. His deep green eyes twinkled with amused surprised and he took the flower happily, greeting it with a long, deep sniff before embracing Walter with a hug usually reserved for long lost friends.

“Come in,” he pleaded, his soft voice only a few octaves higher than Walter’s. “It’s good to see you again.” He placed the flower in the lapel of his tuxedo, discarding the white carnation that had previously graced the position.

“Don’t be so formal,” Walter jibed. “I’ve missed you.”

“Oh, Adam! I’ve missed you too.”

They embraced again, their lips meeting in a tender but passionate kiss as Corey kicked the door closed behind them.

“How have you been?” Walter asked, still holding Corey against him.

“Okay,” came the reply, “though it’s killed me not being able to see you.”

“Me too. There’s been a few times I’ve thought of coming over to New Zealand to see you.” The truth behind the lie surprised Walter, sending a sting of guilt through his veins.

With a peck on the lips, Corey pulled himself free from Walter’s hold and took his hand, leading him further into the suite. The entranceway opened into a large, candle-lit living area and a table set for two. Soft music – some romantic Vivaldi classic – floated through the air.

“It’s beautiful,” Walter sighed at the sight of the room.

“It’s for you.”

Another kiss, brief but meaningful, and the couple settled down on the settee by the balcony. The city skyline twinkled in the night sky; the moonlight spilling in through the open sliding doors with the breeze.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Corey asked, not willing to let go of Walter’s hand.

“I’m fine.” Walter smiled. “Let’s just talk until dinner.”

And talk they did. In his usual inimitable way, Walter directed the conversation, divulging little of himself, encouraging Corey to do the talking, listening as his companion exposed the secrets of his life for the past nine months. It was as expected – the loneliness seeping through tales of media dodging, work, friendships, hobbies and family. Walter’s heart went out to his client as his gaze pierced through the smiles and saw the glimmer slowly dissipate from Corey’s eyes.

“And someone special?” Walter asked, suddenly unable to resist a question so personal.

“No.” Corey’s answer was simple but it stabbed at Walter’s heartstrings like a knife.

“I’m glad,” Walter answered, and it scared him that he meant it.


“Why not?” Walter explained. “We wouldn’t’ be here now if you had someone.” And he leaned over and kissed Corey again, the impulse driving him before he thought better of it. Corey responded with as much affection as Walter gave and when they finally separated, Corey stood suddenly and stepped away.

“Dinner will be ready soon,” he said. “We…ahh…should sit at the table. I’ll dish out the hors d’oeuvres.” He passed into the kitchen and Walter moved to the table, taking his place by the flickering candles.

Corey returned presently, serving up a cocktail of prawns on a bed of lettuce.

“It’s not much,” he apologised, “but I ran out of time, so had to keep it simple.”

Walter laughed tenderly and shook his head.

“It’s fine,” he said. “It’s better than I eat at home. Besides, I’m not here for the food. It’s you I care about, not the tucker.”

Seating himself opposite Walter, Corey smiled faintly.

“Well, eat up then! The sooner we finish dinner, the sooner we can sit together again.”

“We can sit together now if you want,” Walter offered. “We can feed each other…”

“Adam, no,” Corey blurted out, breaking the spell and suddenly looking uncomfortable. “Let’s just eat for now.”

“Sure.” Walter frowned, surprised by Corey’s outburst. It was a characteristic he had never witnessed in him previously.

In the silence that followed, Walter ate, savouring the taste of each bite as he did with all food, enjoying the essence of life that came with each meal. But his mind ticked over, making it difficult to concentrate on the flavours as he liked to. The romantic set-up, the sudden movement away from him and now the outburst, however minor, suggested something was amiss and Walter found himself at a loss to understand the meaning. As part of his profession, he had quickly learned to read people: to understand their motives; to hear the things not said, but this time he was floundering. Or so he felt.

It was Corey who broke the silence, with an apology for breaking the mood.

“It’s okay,” Walter assured him, puppy dog eyes looking across the table. “I understand.”

“Tell me about you,” Corey asked. “What have you been up to since I saw you last?”

“Not much,” Walter answered, choosing his words carefully. “I have no life. It’s the same old, same old, really. Renovating my house, catching the odd movie…”

“No one special?” Corey interrupted.

“No. No-one special. Other than you, of course.”

In unison, they broke into a smile, whether from the obvious lie of the comment or the earnest truth of it.

“I want to dance,” Walter whispered.

“I’ll put something else on.” Corey rose to change the music, but Walter jumped from his seat and stopped him with an arm around the waist.

“No,” he said. “This is perfect.” He began swaying his hips as Corey turned to face him, their arms tenderly encircling each other. Corey rested his head on Walter’s shoulder, swaying in rhythm with his lead, each lost in their own thoughts.

For perhaps ten minutes, they danced in silence, bodies pressed against each other with no care for the petals in their lapels. Walter stroked Corey’s hair, eyes closed relishing the moment like a parent’s first hold of his precious new infant.

In time, he kissed Corey’s temple and raised his head to greet his lips. A glistening stream of tears floated down Corey’s cheeks, their lonely journey speaking more than words could ever say.

Walter reached up a hand, wiping away the tears with his thumb before kissing each eyelid to stop the flow. He said nothing, his own eyes threatening to fill with a rain to match Corey’s, such was the power of the moment, so he closed them and pressed his lips against the thick, soft opening of Corey’s mouth.

Corey inhaled deeply, his tongue extending to greet Walter’s, the gentle advance turning to a more urgent desire as they melded into one being, displaced from time and space in an instant.

In some far off land, the music continued to play softly in the background and the urgency of their kissing grew twofold, then more. The world ceased to exist.

Slowly and deliberately, Corey peeled off Walter’s jacket, letting it slip to the floor, his hands moving smoothly from Walter’s shoulders to his back to release the cumberband. Untucking Walter’s shirt, he gradually unbuttoned it, his hands distracted by the touch of skin as Walter’s muscular chest was progressively exposed. Wandering fingers found Walter’s nipples and rested to play before continuing to undress him.

Below their passionate affections, Walter kicked off his shoes, using his skilled toes to peel off his socks. Corey’s touch was like electricity surging through his body and he breathed heavily through his nose, lips never leaving his companion’s.

Shirtless how, Walter reciprocated, removing Corey’s jacket and cumberband. Curbing his desire, he ran his hand over Corey’s shirt, feeling his solid build through the material, exploring the hardness of his pecs through the layer of cotton that separated them.

A groan escaped from deep within Corey’s throat as Walter reached into the front of his pants, coming dangerously close to Corey’s privates in an effort to untuck his shirt.

The feeble attempt discarded, Walter lifted Corey into his arms, his firm muscles pressing into Corey’s back as he carried him to the bedroom. All thoughts of dinner were gone now as Walter lay Corey upon the soft mattress, sliding on top of him to finish unbuttoning the shirt.

His hands explored Corey’s chest, admiring the definition of the torso that thrust out of the open clothing. Corey lay there, gasping silently, eyes closed, head thrown back, body arching to greet at Walter’s touch.

“Adam!” he whispered as Walter’s lips lowered to taste the flesh.

Walter sucked, licked, taunted Corey’s torso like a starving man tasting his first meal in weeks. Stomach, chest, nipples….his tongue flicking out to tease his own taste buds as much as for Corey’s pleasure. Slowly he worked his way up until their lips met again, their tongues attacking each other in a duel of desire.

Corey rolled Walter over, pressing his body down against his partner who squirmed beneath him in ecstasy. His full weight against Walter now, Corey raised his arms back as his shirt was peeled off and Walter wrapped his arms around him. The embrace filled him with an overwhelming sense of security and there was little he could do as Walter rolled over on top again, showering his neck in an endless array of kisses.

Working his way down his body, Walter’s tongue flicked out again to taunt Corey’s bellybutton as he released the clips of Corey’s trousers. With hands sliding down his lover’s legs, Walter rose to remove Corey’s shoes and socks, then leisurely remove the tuxedo pants to reveal his Calvin Klein underpants.

Attacking Corey’s hardened cock through the jocks, Walter poked at the restricted erection with his tongue and masturbated it with his lips, taunting it mercilessly. Corey groaned aloud, reaching down to release his penis from the confines of his underwear, but Walter stopped him, pushing his hands away and continuing the tease.

Corey moaned, “Oh, God!”, the plea urging Walter on. Carefully biting Corey’s cock with his teeth now, Walter carefully stroked it, using the tip of his tongue to tickle the underside of the shaft. Corey reached out to grab the bed-head, squirming in unbearable euphoria.

Walter’s hands reached up to massage Corey’s chest as he worked his magic below and Corey lay they accepting every exquisite moment.

“You’re killing me,” Corey moaned as Walter’s teeth peeled his underpants back to allow his cock to finally fly free.

A rush of air mingled with the moist overflow of Corey’s pre-cum like the touch of an ice cube. It was warmed by the sudden feel of Walter’s mouth wrapping around the tip of it, his tongue cautiously lifting his foreskin to massage the inside nerves, sending a shockwave of unspeakable thrill coursing through his body.

Corey gagged from his own desperate need for oxygen, his throat restricting his breath. He clasped the bed-head harder, determined not to interfere with the sensation below, but the tweaking of his nipples sent another shockwave surging through him and he reached down to grab Walter’s hands, pulling him up to taste his own pre-cum in Walter’s mouth.

He ran his nails down Walter’s back, causing him to arch and Corey strained upwards to suck on Walter’s nipples.

Walter moaned softly at the moist touch of Corey’s mouth and allowed himself to be rolled over, Corey’s hands reaching down to unfasten his trousers as his nipples were greedily worked over.

Naked now, Walter greeting with relish Corey’s skill at taking his ample endowment whole. It was a rare chance to receive such reciprocal pleasures and Corey’s limited experience was easily disguised by his natural proficiency. Sucking hard, with long, moist strokes, Corey worked Walter’s cock like a well-oiled machine, swallowing it totally as if it were some sweet tasting lollipop.

Corey’s hand reached to fondle his arse, massaging his cheeks and fingering his anus. A soft moan escaped Walter’s lips and he thrust his hips upwards to allow further torment.

Taking the hint, Corey thrust his finger inside Walter’s anus as he moved his mouth down the length of Walter’s leg to his toes. Walter’s eyes shot open in surprise as Corey began sucking on his toes, the sensation like nothing he had ever experienced. Both ticklish and erotic, the feeling melded with that of Corey’s fingers into an overpowering explosion of sensation. He pulled his feet away, unable to cope with the overload of his senses.

Grabbing Corey by the arms, he pulled him up so that their lips met again and rolled him over. It was time to take charge again; time to give, like he was paid for; time to avoid the agony of ecstasy which would linger long after he had gone.

Sliding off to the side of Corey, Walter kissed his client’s chest, sucking hard on his nipples as his hand reached down to fondle Corey’s cock. With one hand stroking Corey’s hair and the other stroking his penis, Walter’s lips pecked playfully over Corey’s torso and stomach before finally wrapping themselves around his solid erection for a final attack. But Corey’s lust had other things in mind and Walter’s desire prevented him from stopping Corey from pulling him over him.

Trapped in a 69 position, Walter struggled to remain focused with Corey’s mouth wrapped firmly around his cock, just as his mouth was wrapped around Corey’s. They worked each other in a race to see who would cum first and Walter feared it would be himself, out of sheer desperation to receive what he so often gave.

They climaxed together, within seconds of each other, swallowing the thick, ammonia-smelling substance from a desperate need to keep the other inside them. And lying there, spent, mouths still wrapped around each other’s penis, they breathed heavily, unwilling to be the first to let go.

But time is the slayer of all good things, and Walter finally let go, sliding off Corey and turning himself around to greet him face to face.

“That was incredible,” he grinned, unable to think of anything else to say.

“You were incredible,” Corey countered, “as always.”

They laughed, their chuckles fading to a smile and then nothing as they looked longingly into each other’s eyes.

“I don’t think I should see you again,” Corey whispered, his voice cracking as his spoke.

“Why?” The urgency in Walter’s voice was more desperate than he’d hoped and the pain in Corey’s eyes made him mentally kick himself even harder.

“I can’t”

“Why not?”

“Because…I can’t.”

The thought of not seeing Corey again tore Walter apart. He struggled to retain control, adamant not to show his emotions.

“But why? We get along so well together…”

“I need more!” Corey erupted, sitting up in the bed to break their gaze.

“I don’t understand.”

Corey glared at Walter, his eyes suddenly filled with hatred.

“You’re three hours are nearly up,” he exclaimed. “You have to go.”

Walter looked at him, his mind in turmoil.

“Do you want me to go?” he asked, slipping into the safety of pre-ordained dialogue.

“Of course I do!” Corey snapped. “It’s hard enough paying for a three-hour session with your fees, let alone any more! Besides, I’m sure you have another client waiting somewhere.”

“Fine!” Walter rose, reaching for his trousers and slipping them on. “It’s been great seeing you again,” he said. “Perhaps you’ll feel differently next time you’re down and we can catch up again.”

“I don’t think so.”

Walter hesitated, searching at his feet for his shirt.

“Why not?”

“Because….” Corey paused, struggling for the right words to say. “You’re too expensive. I can’t justify it any longer to my father.”

“Your father knows about me?” he asked.

“The money. You know what I mean.”

Walter nodded and slowly headed towards the door. “Well…it was good seeing you again. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same way.”

He exited to the lounge room and reached for his shirt, lying discarded on the floor. Behind him, Corey followed, pulling his own trousers on.

“You must get a real laugh out of this,” he said.

“Out of what?” Walter asked.

“Out of people like me, hiring you to pretend you really care.”

“Who said I’m pretending?” The statement left a gaping hole in conversation as both men looked at each other, each as surprised as each other by the statement.

Walter’s heart raced. He was breaking every rule of his profession, but suddenly he didn’t care.

“Tell me you didn’t mean that,” Corey begged. “Your time is up. You don’t have to pretend any more.”

Cold feet.

“You’re right,” Walter snapped. “I don’t have to pretend. I’m a cheap whore who doesn’t have the capacity to feel. All clients are the same and I’m a neutral observer who gives them what they want then goes home to a empty house without a care in the world.”

“You’re anything but cheap,” Corey countered.

The two men looked at each other and eventually broke out into a smirk.

“I don’t want you to go,” Corey confessed, “but I can’t afford for you to stay.”

“And I can’t afford to go,” Walter admitted, ” but I don’t know if I can stay.”

“You can stay.”

They embraced, Walter hug filled with the need that he had felt earlier in the evening, tears erupting from his eyes.

“I’ve really missed you,” he confessed.

“And I, you,” Corey whispered, his voiced choked from emotion. “I know it isn’t proper, but knowing that I’d see you again is one of the few things that’s kept me going.”

“I never thought I could ever fall for someone.”

They were both sobbing now, wrapped in each other’s arms, tears streaming down onto the other’s naked shoulder.

“I want to be with you,” Corey proclaimed. “Not just now. Always.”

“I was so excited about seeing you again tonight,” Walter said through the shower of kisses he was bestowing on Corey’s neck. “I’ve missed you so much. And you’re all that I’ve ever really wanted.”

“Tell me you’re telling the truth.”

“It true,” Walter exclaimed. “Every moment I’ve had with you has been real. Don’t you know? You’ve never really been a client. You’ve been a fantasy come true. If only I could make you believe that!”

“I do believe it. If for no other reason than I want to.”

“You’ll have to be patient,’ Walter warned. “My whole life has been one big act. I can’t change over night. I have to know that you’ll be patient and accept me for what I am.”

“I do,” Corey replied. “And I can wait as long as you need me to, so long as I know that you’ll keep yourself for me. Give up this job and find some other way to live.”

“I will. I promise.”

Another embrace, the duo rocking each other gently in their arms.

“Adam…” Corey sighed. “I wish I could tell you how I’m feeling right now…”

“Shhh…” Walter stroked his hair. “Adam is gone now. It’s Walter’s turn to be here.”


Their voices were barely a whisper.

“My real name. Walter Pinge.”

“Walter Pinge…It has a nice ring to it. Corey and Walter Pinge.”

“You don’t mind?”

“How could I? I don’t care what you’re called.”

“Thank you.”

And on the following morning, Walter Pinge would arrive late to work for the first time in years. In his briefcase, beside the neatly packed lunch and inevitable pieces of fruit, there would lay a letter of resignation and a photograph of Corey with his New Zealand address and phone number scrawled hastily on the back.

In the Manager’s office, Walter would push his thick-rimmed glasses up from where they had slid to the tip of his nose and announce his departure from his work, his home and his life, and smile broadly as he left that office, the welcoming images of Auckland and Corey floating magically through his mind.

Behind him, the Manager would watch his departure from the comfort of her high-back leather chair and make a mental note to tell the girls at morning tea that suddenly, Walter Pinge had found himself a life.

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