Back at my desk, early Monday morning, I felt miserable. There were bags under my eyes and every move felt like an effort. The weekend had gone by in a blur.
I had woken up late on the Saturday to find the bed empty beside me. A million emotions had run through me at that point. But the one feeling that stood out the most was the aching emptiness.
The usual chores that I would get done over the weekend, were abandoned. All I had managed to accomplish was to sit in my favourite chair and stare blanky at the sky outside while my mind replayed every single moment that had passed between Thomas and I. And with every positive thought, a negative one would rear its ugly head until I was drowning in a sea of turbulent emotions.
My eyes involuntarily travelled to the small note that lay on my work desk. When I had first seen it lying in the kitchen, I had felt so excited and nervous at the same time. Every part of me wanted to call him. To hear his voice once again and ease the emptiness that had taken residence in my heart.
But of course, I had found a thousand reasons not to give in to that temptation. He was like a drug and it was really starting to worry me.
Sighing, I looked back at my screen.
Since I knew nothing about the man that I was obsessing over, I had decided to do a bit of research and see if I could find something about Thomas online.
But luck it seemed, wasn’t on my side. All I could find was a company website and a few articles about their shares, company expansion and the like. There wasn’t even a social media page!
I mean, who the hell doesn’t have some form of online presence these days? And how is it possible that someone this rich didn’t have a picture or an interview or something in the gossip column on them?
As I was perusing through the different articles, a picture of a man caught my attention. He was dressed in a sharp suit and stood looking straight ahead. His dark eyes eerily staring at the camera. His white hair was slicked back which enhanced his jaw, giving him that rugged look. There was an air of seriousness about him that was scary to say the least. Even through the picture, this man emitted an aura of power and dominance. But what really caught my eye was the fact that Thomas somewhat resembled this older man. Was he family?
Just underneath the picture was a name. Nicholas Carson.
Yup. That solved the mystery. Whoever this man was, he was definitely related to Thomas.
The article was about a lawsuit against Carson & Sons for breaching health and safety standards in one of their mining sites. It went on to say how the company had a habit of cutting corners and how they managed to get away with everything because of their connections in high places.
The article carried on about other things the company was involved in and to be honest it didn’t really put them in a good light. It didn’t put Thomas in a good light.
“So, we’re perving on old men, are we?”
I whirled around so quick that I almost toppled off my seat. Looking up quickly, I noticed Sasha standing with her arms crossed and a wide smirk on her face.
“For fuck’s sake! Can you stop doing that?!
Laughing, she jumped up to take her usual spot on my desk. Peering over my shoulder, she looked at my screen with an amused grin.
“I didn’t know you had the hots for older men”
I scowled “Shut it!”
Normally, I appreciated Sasha’s sense of humour and her ability to make everyone laugh. But today, I did not care for any of it.
Noticing my look, she raised her arms up in surrender. “Woah! Relax ! I was only joking. Besides... I come bearing news”
Honestly, I just wanted to be left alone. I was exhausted and did not have it in me to cram my mind with office gossip. Which, knowing Sasha, was probably the precise reason why she would be here.
I sighed. Maybe listening to whatever nonsense this was would help distract me from my current mood.
“Go on. What is it?”
Turning her head around, Sasha’s eyes roved around the office making sure that no one was listening in or coming our way. Satisfied, she leaned in closer and began in an urgent whisper.
“It’s Jennifer. She…”
But before she could continue, I held up a hand. “Stop. I don’t care. I’m already having a lousy day and I don’t want to hear about that crazy bitch”
Sasha’s eyes widened at my blunt response. I have never been rude or impolite with her but I just couldn’t help it.
“But she’s been saying shit….”
“… about you!”
It took me a good five seconds to register that whole sentence. Once it did, I looked at her in confusion. “About me? What do you mean?”
Straightening her back, she looked around once again before turning to look at me.
“Well... I heard that Jennifer has been telling other department heads that you were meant to be fired that day at your meeting with the board. Apparently, it was decided that they didn’t need anyone from the marketing team.”
A feeling of disbelief went through me, paralysing me to the spot. What the hell? This didn’t make any sense. My mind went back to the meeting I had with Thomas where he mentioned how happy his team was with my work and how they were looking forward to me coming on board.
I looked at Sasha feeling completely lost.
“I-I don’t understand.”
An audible gulp escaped her before she continued.
“Yeah. She’s telling everyone that the only reason you didn’t get fired was because of the new boss. That Thomas dude. And also... some other stuff…”
My heart was racing a mile a minute and a sick feeling had started to grip my insides. Although a part of me did not want to hear anymore, I couldn’t stop myself. “What other stuff? Tell me exactly what you heard Sasha!”
She gave me a nervous look.
“Umm… She said that before the meeting Thomas had agreed that they didn’t need you and all of them were confused when he ended up giving you the job the next day.”
She sent another nervous glance before speaking hurriedly.
“And she thinks that the reason is because you might have given him some kind of sexual favour when the two of you met alone for your meeting.”
Grabbing my hand in hers she spoke in a comforting tone.“But I wouldn’t take her shit seriously Mia. You know this is what she does…….”
At this point, I had completely tuned out of what she was saying.
My heart clenched painfully and tears pricked my eyes, as the feeling of betrayal cut deep into my core.