I am the CEO
Life was beautiful.
I had always considered it to be, but as I processed the words Liam whispered in my ear, I didn’t find an ounce of beauty in this life.
It wasn’t beautiful anymore.
It was cruel.
The cruellest of them all.
It had been two hours since the news arrived and I was sitting on the floor afore my bed, knees pulled to my chest and my left cheek resting on them as I stared blankly into the mirror.
A pathetically sad and lost person stared back at me, her eyes red but her cheeks dry and a brown nest sitting atop her head. Her shoulders slouched over her own frame as she hugged herself - eager to bring some comfort.
The room felt chilly and my icy fingers held onto each other. My shorts were damp with the tears I had shed earlier, and as I stared at my reflection, all I could think of was the pain Dev must have been feeling.
The minor cut Liam had said about were three huge gashes of mirror slicing his flesh and many tiny pieces piercing into his back. When Liam had arrived, Dev was lying on the floor in a pool of broken mirror pieces and broken phone, trying to get up but failing. His constant tries had resulted in the sharp pieces slicing deeper into his chocolate skin.
By the time they reached the hospital, his shirt was soaked in blood. And because of the forsaken lockdown, they had to travel to two different hospitals before he even got admitted. He was taken into the emergency room immediately and, as they tended to his wounds, they pumped his stomach out because Dev had drunk himself to poisoning.
It was a long procedure. They had to check and remove every particle of the mirror that had pierced his skin. And there were many.
Right now, as I stared at my reflection, Dev was sleeping in his hospital bed, trying to undo the effects of his excessive drinking and heal his many injuries.
He wasn’t critical anymore; he was safe; there was nothing to worry about. But my worry didn’t seem to realize that. It pulsed in front of my head, throwing pictures of his bloodied body in front of me.
I couldn’t stand to see that. To see blood gushing out of his back, slowly soaking his white shirt as his eyes struggled to be open; to see the large mirror that sliced through his chocolate skin, colouring everything red as he struggled to get up; it was too painful.
So I stared at myself.
I stared at the woman who was responsible for his condition.
I stared at the woman who had broken her promises.
I stared at the woman who sat helplessly while her lover suffered.
It was revolting, the sight of me, but his pictures in my head were worse. If I had to suffer one, I would easily choose to suffer my reflection than see him injured.
I wanted to talk to him. I needed to. I knew that was the only thing that would pull me out of this misery, but he was sleeping and he needed his rest.
If I could, I would have jumped on a plane right now and flew to him, just to see him sleep. To watch him breathe. To see if he really was alright.
But this lockdown had made that impossible.
All I could do now was wallow in sadness until he wakes up and calls me; if he calls me. A huge tear rolled down my cheek and my heart clenched. I had thought my tears had run dry; it seemed I had a secret reserve in-store, and even after hours, the thought of losing him was just as painful.
I closed my eyes and clenched my fists, gulping down saliva as I tried handling the pain that gripped my body.
Was I getting weaker? Or was it hurting deeper?
Because each time, it seemed, I felt a little more; a little more pain, a little more guilt, and a lot more lonely.
Just as that thought crossed my mind, I heard a knock on my door. Pulling my knees closer to my chest, I called, “Yes?”, but my voice came out croaky. Clearing my throat, I tried again, but Aarav had already invited himself in.
He stood at the door in his dark blue suit with a glare in his eyes. Staring down at me, his thick brows scrunched as he tapped his right foot repeatedly.
This was uncomfortable.
“What?”, I asked, my voice snappy and raised my brows in question.
A moment later, he answered and finally stopped with his ‘tap, tap, tap’, “You were supposed to be at my desk an hour ago”
“But… what?”, I had no idea what he was going on about. Why would I be at his desk?
With my head still on my knees, I quizzically stared up at him. He was too bloody tall. My neck ached.
He didn’t say anything, just continued staring at me with a weird expression on his face. A frown on his lips, but his forehead held concern; he looked annoyed, but I could detect a sense of sadness behind it. His emotions looked complex and while I was curious, I did not have the capacity to try and interpret it.
So, I ignored his expression and instead focused on his question, why was I supposed to be at his desk? Only then did the thought pop in my head; I was his bloody assistant and my work starts at nine am.
Shit! I was a working woman now and that meant I had to be punctual. I groaned internally.
‘Whose idea was it to work again?’, my little bitch snapped.
But I was depressed, anxious and worried, I couldn’t work now.
Did other people work like that? Highly unlikely. I didn’t think other people did, they perhaps took leave.
Exactly, that makes sense; they take leave and that is what I was going to do.
“I am taking a leave today, thanks”, I announced and returned to my state of depress.
“Your leave is not granted. Under the company policies, you ask for leave at least two days ahead. Remember that next time and...”
I interrupted him in his little speech and said, “But company policies don’t govern me! I haven’t signed any contract with your company, I have only dealt with you. Besides, how was I supposed to know, two days ago, that I would be sad today?”
He stared at me for a while, a long while, and then pointed at himself.
“First, don’t interrupt me. I am the CEO, and you are working for me AND my company. The policies apply to you”, he said in a fake-patient voice–the kind we used to explain to annoying little kids.
And as if the voice wasn’t enough of a burn, he ruthlessly added, “And people don’t take leaves when they are sad. So get up”
“Fine”, I snapped and got up from the floor. Swiping the back of my palm on my cheeks, I walked towards my closet to select my fit, but before entering, I turned around, “Get out then, let me get ready”
“Just wash your face. You look presentable as it is”, he commented.
I looked down and did a visible sweep of my body. I was wearing a baby pink silk shirt and shorts, and my feet encased in fluffy white polka dot socks. A sneak in the mirror told me the condition of my face, and it was a mess.
While I never sleep with my makeup on, my cheeks and nose looked like I had overdone on my liquid blush and my eyes looked mascara smeared, but the problem was that I hadn’t applied anything. My skin was bare; night cream being an exception.
If he called this presentable, I had some serious questions in my head.
“With all due respect, do you perhaps need spectacles? As your personal assistant, I’d be happy to help you get one”
He rolled his eyes, and this little action brought a small smile on my face. He looked years younger.
“Just do as I say”, he commanded and bolted out of my room
What do you think I did? I will give you a clue, I definitely did not do what he asked me to.
I took a shower, did my makeup, styled my hair and left my room only after I was satisfied with what I was wearing. In my lime green pantsuit and my clear heels, I looked ready to rule the world. So what if I was depressed and worried out of my head? I had no reason to look like that.
And just to prove that I could be a serve even on my low days, I winged my liner just a tad sharper and walked into his study room to put his position in shame.
I was the CEO.
I ruled this world.
Thank you, next.
Author's note -
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