I arrived at 'Shax Co' and was introduced to the 'boss'. He was well composed until Mak decided to open his mouth. As usual Elijah and I had to control him. Mr Maximo kept sparing me glances once in a while, but I averted his gaze pretending that I hadn't noticed. He was looking at me in the eye; I'm really bad at eye contact, considering I only have one working eye. Mr Maximo smiled when Makaika leaned over and made a joke about him in my ear. That smile made my knees weak. It wasn't honest nor friendly, instead it was quite sadistic.
After a while I was left alone with the Sir. I thought he would introduce himself to me more, instead he took a few steps towards me, looked me in the eye asked me, more like commanded me to follow him and I did.
He took me to front desk and asked his secretary to have someone give me a tour. When he turned to face me, I realized that he always looks people in the eye while talking to them. Should I be worried? Not at all, I mean he's the boss, he has his own way of doing things.
"Welcome to 'Shax Co'." Were he's last words before he left.
Edith then introduced herself and I did the same.
She called someone named Likanda who began giving me a tour.
"Hey there," he began."you're the new intern."
"Yes I am. Nice to meet you, Likanda right?" I said. He raised his hands in surrender.
"That's me alright." He chuckled and so did I.
He walked me through the building. The place is large, larger than 'Astek'. It has metallic details on almost everything. From the doors, the passage ways, the bathrooms and the office stations. It's magnificence is mostly noted upon setting eyes to the entrance. It expresses itself in vibrant but dull colors, metallic silver being the most dominant.
"Sorry to ask Ms."
"Just call me Tai." I said interrupting him.
He smiled at that.
"Well then sorry, I know this is out of the blue, but is it true you're kinda blind? Because you don't look it." He asked fidgeting.
He's a warm person, quite bubbly I might add.
"I'm not blind, partially blind actually." I said omitting the night blindness. "It's not as bad as people actually think it is."
"I hope the Sir thinks the same, he doesn't like people who weigh him down. I suggest you do your best and try not to provoke him." He said dead serious. "When he gets angry he won't show it instead he'll make you feel it. And try being Friendly with Bwale and Jason they will help you out. They are the only two people the Sir tries to listen to."
"Is he that insecure? I mean he has so many employees and he only trust's two."
"Trust me ok. I've worked for him for a while he doesn't like it when people try to go beyond professional with him. It irks him." He said effortlessly. "I remember a time when the Sir had this PA, that was before Jason of course. She got fired because she asked how the Sir was when his parents were alive. It was really funny." He said walking me to my work station.
"Seriously. It's that serious." I was shocked. How did he end up this way.
"Anyway," he said moving on. "This is where you'll be working, just a few steps from the Sir's main office. This is also his office but since it's larger, he decided it will be perfect for the two of you and everyone else doing the project." He pressed."Jason will brief on everything else, I'm just here as the guide." He spoke with a smile."Now let me introduce you to the other employees. The Sir will introduce you to board members."
I nodded as we left the room.
"So Tai these are some of the people you'll be seeing around. They work on this floor and since you are working on the same floor, it's wise that you get to know one another. That's my office," he said pointing towards a brightly colored room at the end of the passage way. "If you need me I'll be there." I nodded.
"Hey Chali, Kaley!" He called. "Meet Tai, the Sir's intern." He got that all wrong I'm 'Astek's' intern not 'Shax Co'. But I didn't dare voice my opinion.
More people came out of their offices to meet me. We introduced one another and I received some compliments.
"She is lovely isn't she?", Likanda confirmed.
"And hot!"screamed someone I didn't quite catch.
Everyone then began laughing and cheering softly. My cheeks burned in embarrassment.
Everyone halted when the king approached.
He brought me out of my daze when he faced me and spoke. I couldn't even master a word. He was looking at me so intensely; right in my eyes I was frozen, completely frozen in one place. His voice was commanding, it brought shivers down my spine. I'm not sure if I was afraid or..... I don't know, it felt so strange. He tore his eyes away from me and said something. I didn't catch it and muttered something in almost a whisper."Excuse me?"
He turned to face me, looking at me with discontent. I almost melted as he spoke with so much intersity whispering something I didn't hear again. What is going on. When he finished he turned to walk away but I was left dumbfounded when he walked back towards me with an instruction."...next time you address me, call me Sir and look me in the eye." He said and I blacked out after that. What is this I'm feeling? I need air lots of air. Nothing more just air.
I left and headed for the the elevators. I turned to see a worried man trailing after me.
"Are you alright?" I shook my head.
"I need some air" I managed to say.
"It's too early for you to start having panic attacks. You'll get plenty of those later." He said with grin. "I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself. I'm Jason Mr Maximo's assistant. You're supposed to meet me at your desk so that I brief you on the project, instead I saw you heading here." I remember being told to go to my desk in five minutes but I just need to breath.
"Let's go to your desk, you can take some air on the balcony." With that I followed him.
When we entered the office, I quickly made my way to the balcony and took in as much air as I could to calm my senses. When I felt more relaxed I returned to the office where Jason prepared some documents for me to review as well as a digital model scale presentation of the soon to be 'Astek' hotel. He got so much work done in one day and a few hours. I was impressed.
"He will explain everything to you in detail after he finishes with his meeting. But you can look over it for as long as you like. Make yourself comfortable and if you need me just ask front desk." With that, he left shutting the door behind him.
I was flushed. What is going on with me. He's just a person, then again the man knew how to command attention. Why I felt the way I did couldn't be expressed. It was strange, I didn't like it.
The following hour's were spent in silence, ok most of them were. Jason kept me company from time to time.
I had to admit, the guy was being worked hard. He would sit for a brief moment on his computer and next thing he's answering his phone and exiting the room.
While there, I spent the time going through the representation and the model, did some editing and then sent it to Makaika. He didn't reply though. Typical.
After lunch, Jason informed me that the Sir was out of his meeting and will be with me shortly. I agreed with little hesitation.
I was so busy working myself that I didn't realize someone looking down at me, until they cleared their throat.
"Ms, I see you are well acquainted." He spoke slyly. "You came late and I'm working on a deadline which means we have much to do today so make yourself comfortable." He walked away letting his words roam through my mind. I didn't know why his words made me a little uncomfortable but they did.
"You did all this in such a short time? It's impressive." I said facing my computer. Oh no. I felt his gaze on me. What is wrong with me? Why can't I pay attention just once? I am so screwed. I thought to myself.
He moved closer to me. So much for making a good impression. I looked around just to be reminded that we were alone in the office. Again screwed. That wasn't my territory, it was his. I thought the air I was breathing wasn't mine but his. I could smell him. Damn he close.
"Look up." That was definitely a command. I faced him. Oh he was close.
"Who was with you today?" He asked looking at me intently.
"He didn't tell you the rules, did he?" He spoke not needing an answer. He took a few steps away from me. I finally released the breath I didn't know I was holding before he spoke again looking me in the eye.
"Firstly I'm your boss and you'll acknowledge me as so," he began. I let out a sigh of relief. I felt like a pupil in the principles office on the first day of school. "Whilst here you address me as Sir, you will do as you are told, you will not disrespect me or anyone that represents me or this company or is superior to you," he listed. "This is a work place and you are to treat it as such, everything that happens here, remains here as part of company policy. You're not allowed to pry for information that is not work related or that is none of your business." I listened in astonishment. I knew by the way he spoke that he was dead serious. I shifted from his gaze and he walked towards me making me stand. He moved closer to me and I froze again. He stood just an inch from me and I could smell him. He smelled a mixture of musk and mint. His eyes were big globes that held a fire I couldn't comprehend. Dark brown almost black. He smiled noticing my discomfort, showing off his dimples that I was surprised I never noticed before. His smile was neither friendly nor evil.
He lifted my face up by my chin with his thumb and index finger and stared at me hard with that smile of his. "Most importantly, look at me when I address you and when you address me," he paused "call me sir.Break my rules and you will face the consequences intern." He spoke almost whispering in that deep tone of his that made me a little afraid. He took a few feet away from me before uttering the next few words. "Let's go back to work intern. We have much to do today." He was at his space, switching on his computer and acting like our little conversation hadn't just occurred. I didn't have the strength to answer him at that, I just continued my work in silence.
I arrived a little earlier and took a shower. I had asked Elijah to come get me after work and he did so without any complaints. I spent the whole trip home just staring at him shamelessly. Creep.
I was walking down stairs with my German Shepherd. It was completely dark and I couldn't see a thing. Chota prepared my plate. I ate like a lunatic. I forgot that I hadn't had lunch for reasons I'm not even sure of.
"Hey there dear? Enjoying dinner?" Uncle beamed as I heard him pull out a chair.
"Yes, just exhausted. How was your day?" I wanted the conversation to be about anything but me and the weird day I had. Sadly, I could only wish it would be so.
"It was the same dear, arguing with your cousin and more paperwork. I want to know what happened with you. Did you fill in an application to continue working for 'Shax Co' after this project of yours?"
"Uncle I will make my intentions known after the project. I want the Sir to have faith in me, that way it won't be difficult to be hired when I have an actual interview." I told him.
"Ok dear. Tell me, you comfortable? How's your boss treating you? Is he good to work with?" Oh questions.
"He's closed up and distant. I don't know what to say," I continued. "He just cares about doing his work, he isn't cheerful or friendly, he's just the boss I guess. He's ok as long as you don't get in his way. Or and I think he drowns himself in his work. I don't think he has anything else to keep him busy."
"So he's not married?" Uncle asked.
"I don't think he is. From what I heard about him which isn't much, is that he doesn't like people prying into his personal life. He gets infuriated." I concluded.
"Maybe he's hiding something. Something serious. Otherwise, why would he be so secluded."
"Uncle he has a friend who I think might answer your question, besides I only met him today and he made it very clear to me that if I pry for information that's none of business, there would be consequences." I finished.
"Only a friend, just one? He's definitely lonely. You try to be nice to him, you know be a friend. Remove him from his little bubble and into the real world." Uncle chuckled softly.
"And get myself fired? No thank you. I'm ok. Let's talk about something else." I exclaimed.
"Alright alright dear. Tell me about Elijah then." I froze. What does this old man know. I mean I knew how observant he was but he honestly couldn't-.
"Tai come on, do you have feelings for him?" I was surprised. Should I come clean? What harm would it cause right.
"Sort of." Nailed it.
"Come on my dear little girl, you get nervous when someone mentions him, you smile when he touches you, you fantasize when he's near you my love. I think you are in love with him."
His words broke me. I was speechless. My mind loomed trying to digest the information. If he knows who else does? Mak? Elijah? Or no definitely not him. I'd be damned if he did.
"Uncle I-I... I... maybe it's....no.. look I," thanks brain for giving up on me. Thanks a million much.
"Honey if you have feelings for him, tell him. There is no one in his life for all I know. Which gives you an advantage. Don't give up an opportunity at happiness love, it hurts when that happens. Trust me on this." If only I had the courage to bear Elijah's rejection, I would have told him a long time ago. I'm not a coward, but with him, I sort of was.
"I'll think about it uncle." I told him.
"Ok honey but don't take too long. Time waits for no one." He paused.
"Is Mak home?" I said ending the silence.
"I left him in his office, I bet he's drowning himself in his work."
"Uncle I know Mak can be childish at times, but he just wants to impress you." I began." He's your only child and he doesn't want to disappoint you."
"That there is the problem honey, he can't keep to his work and forget his own life. He is a grown man and my son. No matter how immature he acts I won't love him any less. Maybe I have been putting a lot of pressure on him, but he shouldn't put his life on the sidelines."
"You should talk to him, remind him that he's not getting any younger."
"I just might," he said with a laugh. "Don't forget to talk to Elijah honey, understand."
I fidgeted with my hands before muttering a "yes sir" under my breath. After we ate in silence and went to bed.
I tried to call Mak but his phone was off. I drifted off to sleep thinking about Elijah again. Could l have been more desperate.