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Chapter 2

The alarm clock started ringing. It was 7:00 in the morning. I got out of bed, still feeling very tired. I didn’t get enough sleep. I went straight to the kitchen to make coffee in the coffee maker. I put the water and the coffee and pressed the button. Until the coffee was ready, I went to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and had a hot shower.

Still wrapped in my towel, I put on my makeup: light pink eyeshadow, green eye pencil, mascara, and a slight blush. I would put on lipstick after drinking my coffee. I headed to my bedroom to get dressed. I wore my favorite white shirt with a large collar and slightly open sleeves with a black pencil skirt. And for the final touch, my black heels.

The coffee was ready. Its scent tickled my nose, so I went to the kitchen. I took a large mug and filled it with hot coffee. I leaned on the bench and took my first sip. I closed my eyes, enjoying the full taste. I also lit a cigarette.

I was standing there in my new kitchen, enjoying my coffee, until a memory came and stuck in my mind. Portia and I were still in High school. We were classmates, and also we shared the same desk.

I had confessed to Portia that I was in love with a boy from our class, Peter. He was a very handsome boy. He had black hair with green eyes.

Portia laughed when she heard that and said, “And you think he will like you too?”

“Why not? Is something wrong with me?” I replied, affected by her words.

“No, it is nothing like that. I think he likes other kinds of girls.”

“What do you mean?”

“I saw him stared at Angelica several times. And one day, I heard him say to a friend that Angelica looks like an angel.”

Angelica had long blonde hair and blue eyes. I was sure that I caught him staring at me several times. I remembered that I had left heartbroken. My eyes filled with tears, and run to the toilets crying.

One day, the last lesson we had was gymnastics. I left the girl’s locker room looking for Portia. I couldn’t find her anywhere. The only place I had not searched was the boys’ locker rooms. I thought the boys would have already left, so I felt free to open the door to check if she was there for some reason. What did I see? Portia was sitting on Peter’s lap, and I saw her kissing him on the neck. They both turned their heads at the same time and looked at me. Peter got up abruptly, causing Portia to fall, took his bag, and left. He whispered, “I am sorry,” and came out of the room ashamed as he passed by me. I never understood why he had said that apology to me. When I asked for explanations, Portia told me that Peter had come near her first. She claimed that Peter had forced her to sit on his lap.

“And the kiss on the neck you gave him?” I asked her, and Portia looked at her wide-eyed.

“No, I didn’t kiss him! You saw wrong! He asked me to be his girlfriend but I refused because I know you like him.”

“No, I don’t like him anymore,” I said sullenly. “How did he ask you to be his girlfriend after you told me you saw him looking at Angelica?” I asked again.

“I probably understood wrong,” Portia said.

“Probably,” I said, and my voice broke.

I took the last sip of my coffee and looked at the time. It was 8:30.

“Oh, I will be late.” “I have to be at work at nine.” I thought.

I left the mug in the sink and put on lipstick before forgetting. I took my bag and left the house.

I arrived anxious at my job ten minutes before nine. I had found traffic on the streets. “Tonight, I must remember to set the alarm clock to ring earlier tomorrow morning.” I thought. I parked my car in the parking lot of the building. The offices were on the fifth floor of the building. I walked to the door. The same man I met when I came for the interview was standing at the entrance. He was the guard. Inside his uniform, he was very charming. He was around fifty-five years old, but it was clear that he was taking care of himself with strenuous exercise.

As soon as he saw me, he smiled at me. “I suppose you are the girl who took the job,” he told me.

“Yes, I am,” I told him with a smile.

“I wish you a good beginning and a nice day.”

“You are so kind.” I smiled at him again and continued. “Thank you very much, and have a nice day too.”

He stepped aside and let me pass into the building. I walked quickly to the elevator. Unfortunately, it wasn’t there. I pressed the button to come down. When it came, the doors opened. I walked in and pressed the number 5. The elevator started going up. So did my heartbeat. I took deep breaths, and I felt much better. I arrived at my destination, and the doors opened. I walked out of it and proceeded to the offices. First, I met and greeted the girl at reception.

“Good morning Marianne. Mrs. Anna is in her office. She is waiting for you.” She said and smiled kindly at me.

I felt awful because I couldn’t remember her name.

“Thank you ...” oh, my god, I felt so embarrassed.

“Nancy,” she reminded me without being offended.

“Thank you, Nancy.” I smiled at her and walked towards Mrs. Anna Roberts’s office. I reached out her door. There was a metal sign on the door with her name on it.

Anna Roberts

Director

I knocked on the door.

“Come in.” A voice came from inside.

“Good morning, Mrs. Roberts. How are you?” I told her with a huge smile.

“Good morning, Marianne.” She answered. “You came on your time. I’m glad because I like consistent partners. Well, let me show you your office.”

I followed her, and we arrived at a big office in an ample open space. I liked most of the large windows behind my desk, and the sunlight was coming in abundance. In the corners, there were pots with various plants. Nice detail.

“Well, here we are. That is your office.” Anna told me and continued, “What do you think?”

“Airy,” I answered spontaneously, and in my ears, it sounded inappropriate. “Oh, what did I say?” I thought, agitated.

But to my great surprise, Anna laughed and said:

“From time to time, I have heard various descriptions from the previous girls who had this position. I confess that the word you used is the most original. We will do just fine.” She told me, and I smiled.

“Well, you know your duties. Whatever question you have, you can ask me. I will be in my office.”

“Okay, thank you.” I looked at her sympathetically as she walked away. Anna was a beautiful woman. Frame black hair. Not too much makeup. Around forty-four years old. She was wearing a light blue suit that suited her very well. Elegant walking.

I knew nothing about her yet. If she was married, had children, and everything related to her personal life.

I sat down at my desk and started working. I can’t deny that my studies in computer science helped me a lot in getting that job.

I left work at five o’clock. “It was a productive day.” I thought, satisfied.

Before returning home, I had to go to the supermarket first for shopping. The fridge and cupboards of my kitchen needed a lot of supplies. Everything was empty.

The supermarket was a bit far, and I had to walk there. I went up the stairs, took a cart from the side, and went inside. I parked my car and got out.

I was kind of disappointed. It wasn’t exactly a supermarket but a mini-market. I had no mood to seek somewhere else. So I stayed. To my great and pleasant surprise, I found everything I needed and headed to the cashier. There was a blonde woman around fifty-five years old with green sparkle eyes. She greeted me with a shiny smile.

At the end of the process, the woman told me the total amount I had to pay:

“105 Pounds and 60 pence, please.”

I decided to pay with a credit card. As we waited for the machine to complete its transaction, the woman told me: “I can assume you just came to the area.”

“That’s true,” I said.

“In that case, I have to inform you that we are open until midnight, except on Sundays.”

“Until so late?” I was impressed. “I will bear it in mind. Thank you for the information,” I said and smiled at her. I took my bags. So heavy, and the car was far away. I was looking down to see where the stairs were when I hit somewhere or maybe someone? “Ouch!! Slow down, girl. You almost killed me!” A male voice reached my ears.

“I’m sorry.” I apologized, hurrying down and unable to look him in the face.

“Wait!” I heard him again. “Do you want any help with the bags?”

Of course, I wanted to. My tongue had already come out of my mouth like a slipper. It wasn’t easy to carry all these bags. But I would never dare to accept his offer. 

“No, thanks. I’m fine.” I spoke increasing the volume of my voice as I walked to my car without even looking at him.

I walked some distance and then turned my head and looked back. He was still there! The sunlight blinded me, and I couldn’t see him. He was just a shadow. He raised his hand and greeted me. Yes, I noticed that!

Oh! He caught me looking at him. I turned my head sharply and continued on my way, struggling with my heavy bags.

“Well,” I thought, “It doesn’t matter. I don’t think that I will ever see him again anyway.”

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