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Chapter 3 : Joe

  • Ella:
  • I finish off all my morning chores and reach my office early. I had worked for a good two years at Accent, a Fortune 500 company and this was my chance to work towards that full time contact I had been eyeing since a year.  
  • Until now I was a subcontractor on an agency’s payroll so Accent had no obligations whatsoever towards me as I was not really their employee. So, I was working overtime to secure at least million dollar company accounts to gain a permanent position at Accent.
  • “Hey gorgeous!” somebody whispered slowly in my ear.
  • I recognised that voice and swung around, hugging him and smiled gleefully, “Joeyy, what are you doing so early?”
  • Joe was my first ever boyfriend in life. My step mum would man me like a hawk at home and never let me date anybody. Whenever I’d ask her the reason she would pretend to be all sweet and say, Oh Ella, I am your mother after all, I know who can keep you happy so you must always listen to me and marry the man I will choose for you” I doubt if she actually had my best interests at heart.
  • “I had to file some important papers for onboarding an account. Can you help me find them in the file room?” he pleaded naughtily.
  • “ Awwww you’re so melodramatic at times. Yes, indeed I will” I teased him.
  • As I was accompanying him to the file room, I recollected the first time I came across his name. I knew nothing about Joe before meeting him. I noticed his name on the list of graduates including me who had just started working in Accent’s graduate program. 
  • The morning of our first day at work, I was running late because Mary wanted me to drop off her clothes at dry-cleaners before going to work. She knew it was my first day and the cleaners open only at 9 am yet she insisted I finish her task first. 
  • As I rushed through the door, entering Accent’s premises, I noticed a fair, blond hair, five-foot eight inch guy sitting in the lobby with a fresher batch attached to his front pocket. He seemed to be staring impassively at the receptionist, both feet tapping away on the floor, hands loosely rested on his thighs.
  • After getting all the fresher formalities sorted, I sat besides him and he eagerly introduced himself to me. During our brief conversation, he described himself as a “tall handsome athlete who played football”. I chuckled to myself about the description but as time went by, I realised that he was actually good natured, confident and ambitious.
  • Joe pursued me relentlessly for six months before I finally agreed to go out on a date with him. I had instructed him to never come to our house as Mary would kill me if she ever found out I had a boyfriend. At times, I often enjoyed the thrill that came with maintaining such a level of secrecy.
  • As we entered the file room, he turned around and latched the door behind him. I swung around and innocently questioned, “ Joey, what are you doing?”