When I woke up the next morning, fear was the first thing I felt. As soon as I was conscious, I remembered that I had to meet the CEO at 10 am. I quickly jumped out of bed and made my way to the shower. I needed to be extra early so that I could mentally prepare myself for what was to come.
I retouched my lipstick, took a deep breath and walked through the company entrance. A few heads turned my way with admiration but I look straight ahead, ignoring some of them. All they wanted was a feast for their eyes, not caring how it affected others.
I opened the door to my office. Kim was putting some books in order. She looked amazing in a blue blouse and a black pencil skirt hugging her slight curves. Her black heels were amazing but were no match for mine, or so I thought.
“Good morning, Leanne.” She said, smiling. I knew she was faking it but I had no option but to play along. For now.
I forced a smile. “Morning Kim. How are you today?”
“Better than ever,” Kim said. “This company is perfect. I'm so happy I work here and want my stay to last forever.”
“That's nice,” I said, going inside my office. I sat down and fished my personal drawer keys out of my black purse.
“I've done everything you wanted me to do before you arrived,” Kim popped her head in and said excitedly. “Do you have anything for me to do right now?”
“No,” I looked around the office. Everything was neatly arranged and I had already had my morning coffee. “I'll call you when I need you. Go to your desk, please.”
I was thankful we didnt have to share the office. It'd have been hard to be around Kim for hours without killing her.
“Thanks, Leanne. “ Kim said. “By the way, you're a very beautiful lady.”
Yeah, I was not falling for that kind of flattery. Flattery gets people to many places but I was sure it would not get Kim to my good side.
“Thanks Kim,” I said, faking a small smile. If I kept it up, my face would soon start aching. “You're very beautiful too.”
“No, I don't think I'm as beautiful as you are.”
It seemed Kim was a real attention seeker. I didn't have time to waste telling her how beautiful she was and how she should never think otherwise. Kim was trying my patience and it was tearing me apart. I was pretty sure she knew it. What game was this little girl playing?
I smiled, opening my drawer. I pretended to search for something until I heard the door open and close. She was gone. I heaved a sigh of relief and shook my head. One day, Kim and I were going to have a big fight. That was inevitable.
For the next one hour, I tried hard to focus on the paperwork I was supposed to work on. I spent the whole time worrying about what Zane Carrington could possibly want with me. I had no idea if the meeting was only between the two of us or more people would be involved.
But something happened. Thirty minutes to ten, the meeting was postponed. I received a call from the CEO’s office telling me that I would be required to go there at 2, not ten as earlier communicated. I was annoyed because the only thing that did was to prolong my anxiety. The day had just started but I began to feel it was going to be a terrible one.
I thought I had seen the last of Kim for the day but Kim appeared at lunch time, looking more beautiful than she did in the morning. I figured she retouched her make up every thirty minutes because her tanned skin was constantly glowing.
“Good afternoon, Maya.” she said, that annoying smile flashing on her face. “I called New Hill restaurant and made a reservation for both of us. Can we go out for lunch?”
“But you didn't ask me about it,” I said. “What if I had other plans?”
“Do you?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Alright. What difference does it make, anyway?” Kim said. “Or do you not want to go out with me? Oh my goodness, I'm sorry for troubling you. Please forgive me, Maya.”
So much drama for nothing. It was giving me headache. I regretted asking her to use my first name.
“Oh no, it's perfectly fine” I said, standing up. I was quite hungry, anyway. “I'll go with you, Kim.”
“That makes me so happy,” she chirped.
“My pleasure,” I said as we walked out of the office. This girl was everything I didn't want for an assistant. She was so devious and calculating but I was not going to let her bring me down. I was going to take her down instead. And if I had to fall, I'd fall with her.
We passed the cubicle area where the junior employees work at in silence. I said ‘hello’ to some of the people I had not seen since morning. They didn't care about my greeting as much as usual since they were too busy trying to have words with my beautiful assistant.
We met Harry in the parking yard. “Hey, ladies. How's it going?”
“All's fine,” Kim said. “We're heading out for lunch.”
“Wow,” Harry smiled, focusing on me. I noticed the amused gleam in his eyes. “I'm glad you finally got a companion, Maya.”
“Same,” I lied. “I was so lonely before she came.”
“Enjoy your lunch, ladies.” Marcus said resuming his walk, then stops. “Maya?”
“You look lovely, today.” He winked and strode on. I thought I heard a tiny gasp from Kim. I glimpsed at her as the surprise vanished from her face, replaced by a smile I knew was forced. I knew it was killing her and for the first time I was glad that Harry was a big jerk who liked messing with people.
“See, I told you.” My assistant said as we neared New Hill. “You're more beautiful-”
“Don't,” I said and she didn't say a word till we were in the restaurant. I was not in the mood to deal with that teenage kind of stupidity. I was a twenty four year old successful executive not a thirteen year old teenager. We didn’t talk much as we ate and soon we were out of the restaurant. I could finally breathe.
“We still have twenty minutes of lunch break,” I checked my phone as we exited. “Go ahead, I'm going to a pharmacy.”
“You don't have to go alone,” Kim said with that sickening smile of hers. I had had just about enough of her. “I can escort you.”
“The pharmacist is my friend,” I said. “I'm going to spend the time talking to her about some stuff. It'll be awkward for you.”
I could tell by her expression that she knew that was an excuse but she left anyway. “Okay, have a good time, Maya.”
I walked away, trying to calm myself. There was no way I can continue acting like we were getting along. All I wanted was to get rid of her.
But how could I do it when I spent the previous week begging HR for an assistant? As far as I could see, Kim was not about to let herself make a mistake. She loved the job and I had a feeling that she loved mine even more.
I went to the nearest pharmacy and bought some pain relievers before returning to the office. Kim didn’t say anything as I went to my inner office. After sitting down, I pulled out my phone to check how long I had left.
My heart nearly stopped. I jumped out of the chair and stormed out. I hurried to the elevator. Thankfully, it was not in use. I got in and it took me to the top management floor.
I murmured a prayer as I walked towards the CEO’s office. The name on the door had changed.
I took a very deep breath before knocking. Zane Carrington was definitely going to kill me.