I never liked the company's CEO. When I had first met him earlier this week I had thought that he was just like all the others, rude and pretentious. It was not like I had made it purely based on assumption after all he was like that initially. The only thing that I could say that made him different from all the other me that I had encountered was the fact that instead of him throwing me out when I barged in the way I did, he actually looked into what I was saying and listened but that for not make my dislike for him any less…the man's company almost took possession over my business for christ sake but after what had happened in the dinner, I could not help but see him in a new light. It was not everyone who could offer a ride to someone that has not exactly been the nicest to them not to mention the fact that the aforementioned person was crying in the rain like some dumb main female protagonist in a very sad chick flick that probably had cult following.
Not only had he done that he had also tried to make me feel comfortable during the duration of the entire drive. He had made corny jokes which although I had even responded too have me the gentle reassurance that even though I was going through something painful I was not alone and today….he had defended me in front of his employee without any prompt from me whatsoever hell he didn't even know that I was here.
Right from time, I had never quite had an easy start to any relationship that involved the opposite sex. Boys had teased me when I was younger and had called me names ranging from ugly to fat and by the time I had reached highschool the story changed and then I was accused of being prudish because I never put out on the first date. Kids were cruel and the bullying never quite got better but rather it had taken a turn for the worse because even the girls that I had once called my allies now discarded me and joined in on the teasing.
I would not said it had affected me after all I had still tried my hardest to make sure that I was happiest I could ever be but by the time that I had reached the start of my adulthood I stopped searching for options.
I never went out and I never quite took care of myself. I took my day at face value and never quite put any effort in trying to look beautiful and even if I did it would not be because I know I was beautiful and wanted to show it off but because I wanted to get people's attention….men in particular.
Somewhere along the line I had told myself that I was not worthy of anyone's attention so I should cherish the little that some random guy would throw my way.
I know that it might pathetic but I felt that who so ever that saw me and liked me for who I was decided to go against the world for me and for that I should dedicate my life to them.
Several dates and fast forward horrid relationships I had finally thought that I had found the one in Nate my boyfriend.
I had met him one day when he had dropped by my bakery when he had ordered a birthday cake for his then girlfriend at the time.
I normally was a guarded person but I felt like I had hit the lottery when I had met him. He had been so attentive and so loving towards me that I who was normally cool and collected had thrown caution into the wind and had forgotten that he had a girlfriend.
Shortly after we had gotten together he had assured me that he had ended things with her and that he had wanted to start a new life with me. Looking back on it I remember feeling elated and it had pushed me to strive to be the best I could be for him.
I had been there for him when he had needed me the most be it financially or emotionally but I had never factored in the fact that karma always comes to play in situations like this.
I had never stopped to consider that before me there was another girl who also lived her life for him, there was a girl who had tried to improve just for him, there was also a girl who once upon a time had also done everything within her power to be there for him and yet he was still able to leave her for me.
So on that faithful day at the dinner when Nate had told me that he was going to end our relationship and was moving on with so e random chick that I had never even heard of without any second glance… without any remorse I was beyond livid but more importantly I was broken from inside.
My one thought was I deserved this and the that I should acknowledge the fact that I was the one who had instigated everything….that I should never search for happiness because it was never going to mine.
Since that day the noose that was previously on my heart which I had once discarded wrapped around tighter and harder…now I had no expectations anymore. I don't need to think of people's opinion. Now nothing else matters. Now I won't be hurt.
Luke you have no right to judge her…. If it were you that you had you business locked up without your knowledge would you be happy about that?
The words that had just been uttered plays again in my mind…but maybe there are still good men…good people out there and one day I will find the right one for me.
"So don't you ever try to belittle or diminish a customer's status ever again… Are we clear about that?" I ask my assistant making sure to keep the steel clear in my voice.
"Y…y…yes sir!" He stammers out
"Good now when is Miss Johnson supposed to arrive her?"
"She had called at about seven o'clock in the morning to say that she would be dropping by in an hour's time…so she should be here any minute from now sir."
As though someone had waited for him to finish that sentence we get a knock on my door before it's opened to see Jaliyah walking through it.
She could not have just arrived because it would have taken her sometime for her to get to my office so that means that she must have been at the door waiting all this while.
My assistant must have realized this too because he colours instantly and is unable to look in her direction.
He mumbled out a greeting to her to which she acknowledges by flashing him a sweet bright smile that does not reach her eyes as she walks towards us.
"Why it is a good morning isn't it?" She says tossing her long her over he shoulders "The birds are singing and the air particularly fresh today. Hmm…I feel that today would make an even better day for some early morning gossip session. Who knows? We could even through in a bit of character defamation in there." She says giving Luke a cheery wink when she gets to where we are.
If the grounds could open up and swallow just one person at this moment then I knew that Nathan would do just about anything for him to be that person.
The blush spreads all around his face and all but runs out of my office the second I dismiss him which in turn causes her to double over with laughter.
"Some people though…they can't stand the heat so why in the world would they venture into the kitchen in the first place?"
While she is laughing I take a good look at her, today her appearance was a little bit different. Instead of her heavy thick set glasses she exchanged them for contacts and her hair which was usually unkept was packed back in a sleek pony tail. She had ditched her floral prints and brown pallette for something darker and although it was still on the oversized section it still looked far better on her and thus colour suited her complexion.
All in all she did not look like same the person that was crying silently in my car just a few days ago.
"Do you always feel the need to bully my staff when ever you come around ma'am? First it was my receptionist and now it is my assistant." I ask when her laughter subsides.
"I do not attack anyone unless they need to be put in line and when they do I will do everything in my power to make sure that the person pays for his or her actions." She says the sneer clear in her voice.
"Okay then duley noted ma'am."
I give her a once over again before asking her a question. "Ma'am I uhmm…just wanted to make sure that you are okay you know as regard to uhm what it was that I uhmm…"
"You don't have to stumble over your words with me…I am perfectly fine and if you don't mind I would prefer it of we did not talk about it."
"Okay ma'am." I say to her and point to the chair in front "Please take a seat." She moves forward and lowers her self onto it. "So your assistant had said over the phone that you had something important to say to me over the phone?"
"Yes I do…" I say reaching into the folder that had laid open my desk and hand her a file
"A complaint had already been made regarding your issue and I will personally see to it that you are fully reimbursed for the days that you were not able to work due to the tactlessness and misconduct of my staff and I offer you my deepest apologies. The fraudster in question has already been apprehended and he is currently cooling his heels in prison, it you would like to press charges on him then please do not fail to inform me and we can add it to ours."
I watch her face for a few minutes and wait for a change in her expression but her face remains stoic as she only nods her head in tune to what it was I was saying before she angles forward and burries bends her head over the paper that I had just given her.
"What is this for?" She asks raising her head to face me with the paper now suspended in the air beside her
"Oh uhmm…that is the file that you will submit in order to get your reimbursement back." She gives it a once over and shakes her head at it. "I don't need it." She says once she has gone over the terms.
"I'm sorry ma'am but what was that?"
"I said I don't need your money. All I wanted was for my bakery to make its way back to me and for what was rightfully mine to be returned back to me which you have done. I don't need anything else besides I'm pretty sure that you guys took on a blow far worse than I did and I could genuinely see that you were unaware of the fraud that your former employee had carried out so how fair would it be for me to collect money from you guys."
"But ma'am that's not how it's done you need to get-
"I don't want you nor your company's money and that's final…end of discussion!"
I lean back against my chair and my eyes meet hers from where I sat. Just like all the other times she had never backed down from it and met my gaze head on.
"Is this all that you had called me over for?" She asks
"Well there are some other formalities that we could go over but they are not exactly necessary. It can be discussed over the phone."
"Since that's the case…I guess that I'll take my leave then."
"I guess so."
"Well then it was a pleasure doing business with you Mr…?"
"Robinson. Jamarcus Robinson."
She stands up and extends her hand out to me which I slowly take. She shakes my hand "It was a pleasure doing business with you Mr Robinson. I do hope that I don't have the pleasure of meeting you again."
"Likewise." I say to her to which she gives me an answering smirk and turns to head out to head out the door leaving me stunned at the enigma that was her.