In chess, a lot of emphasis tends to be placed on the queen as the most powerful piece. Yet she has one purpose, and one purpose only--the safety of her king, which often ultimately is defined by the downfall of the opposing king. Her king is her purpose, her sacrifice relevant only in relation to him.
What is a queen on the board without the king? A figurehead to make the other pieces believe that the game goes on after checkmate? She has no real purpose, no meaningful moves. She exists merely as a piece on a checkered board, with a few brokenhearted pieces left at her side. But not the one piece which gives purpose to her position and existence, not the one piece which defines the moves made by all other pieces.
Tomorrow I will open the building as I usually do, for the first time ever, not on the phone with him. I will step through the doorway into the building he designed and which he will never step foot in again. I will write a quote on the board that one of his employees wanted to post but didn't because they were afraid to get in trouble. I will likely be fired soon anyways, and a queen who has already lost the king has nothing left to lose.
I will approach the vaults in silence of the morning, knowing that each time I open them may be the last, soon enough to be their keeper no more. As so many times before, I shall spin the heavy tumblers and caress their cold solid steel with my other hand, gently requesting that they yield their treasures to me. I will give the gentle tug one gives an object that is considerably larger and stronger than themselves, and watch them swing slowly open.
After the vaults open, I will disarm the security system related to the part of the building that was all his and change into my uniform. Each step will be nearly the same as the many steps taken so many times before. Except that this time I will go through a different doorway and sit in the silence of one of his rooms, with the quiet humming of fans and the fruits of his labor. And I will cry.
I will cry for the moves made, the pieces sacrificed, the lost pieces still on the board, and the wagered dreams.
I will cry for being a queen who no longer has a king on the board, my sacrifice made pointless by his fall.
As I stand on the board of his design, among the decimated remnants of his soldiers, I will say goodby to all that he built, knowing that he poured his heart and soul into the very walls, and that each day there is very likely my last.