As I always like to do when I'm stuck in a boring meeting at work, I looked across the courtyard windows to watch what the people in other offices are doing for work and what their setups look like compared to ours. It's a little bit voyeuristic, but passes the time.
The other day I noticed one office that was completely dark, stuffed with boxes and not a living soul inside, which I found odd because that building never struggles to find tenants and all other floors were at the time were packed with workers.
Yet I gravitated towards it because of some movement that looked a bit out of the ordinary. It started as a light that kept flicking on and off, with my eyes going from my boss's desk to that window and back again.
Then out of the corner of my eye I kept seeing movement. And when I glanced back over there the next time I saw something that made a chill go right down my spine. In between all the massive boxes I saw the face of a child staring straight into my eyes. At first thinking it may have been a take your kids to work day in their office, I gave a wave in that direction.
Then I glanced back at my colleagues for a split second, and when I looked back at the child it was gone. I kept my eyes fixated on that window in case the kid came back, but after five minutes nothing. Not a soul in that office and all lights off.
By this point my boss could tell I was distracted, he asked a simple question and I bumbled the answer, still a bit shaken by what I'd seen. Could not focus again for the rest of the day and money was lost. I think it may have been a lost soul, possibly stirred up by a new company moving in or out of the space. Still get a little bit uneasy every time I gaze out at that window.
All I know about your office neighborhood is what I have read in histories of organized Labour. Child Labour under most horrible conditions led to hard-won reforms, but until then, little kids as young as six worked in mines and factories from dusk until dawn. Child Labour was common, everywhere, but especially on the looms in the Garment District. Much like today's unregulated garment industry, conditions for children were often fatal. Gross industrial exposure and accidents, not just fatigue and abuse, were standard. It is probable that the child you saw died in that very spot.
I agree with the other responders who wonder that shifting of tenants might rouse or expose spririts usually hidden. As always, thank you for sharing.
In Peace. Bettina