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Chapter Eight

The time has come to get back to my office and face the music. Everything’s going to change, I’m sure G will explain everything, or at least, enough for me to know what the plan is. I’ve done everything I was supposed to, gave up everything to be given this chance. I knew that if I messed this up after G had chosen me, I’d feel the full force of her wrath. She made that clear enough that she had power over me. If she can be so powerful without anyone knowing then I’d be in deep trouble. Who knows what she could do? If I turned her down, I’d be fudged. She’d fudge my life up and there would be no family to save. Have I made the biggest mistake of my life? Well, I’m in deep now. Can’t turn back. Even if I wanted to, Stacey wouldn’t have me back. She’s made that quite clear. It seems she was just waiting for the day we broke up so when she got the opportunity, she jumped on it. She didn’t want to be the one to do it, she depended on me after all.

I don’t even know this G girl properly. Maybe we won’t click. Well, I’m going to have to make it work. Even if we just keep it professional. I know she fancies me and that I can’t take my family with me where I’m going, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to be with G and stay with her. I’ll play it by ear and see how things go. If I get introduced to other important people, then I can start working with them and if after that at some point, me and G didn’t work out; people will be understanding and still let me work there. Regardless, it’s a new chapter in my life. I’m glad to get this opportunity and I’m going to put my all into it.

I walked past the security guard at reception and it’s a different one this time. Up the lift and into the office. There she is, busy writing something. I say “good morning” and all I get back is the slightest acknowledgment. ‘Great. Back to playing fudging games,’ I thought this shiz would be over given the circumstances. ‘Don’t be too annoyed, she’s got to keep her cover.’

Lunchtime comes, I know she’s playing games, so I’m not going to reward that kind of behavior. Off to the gym, got to keep my strength up. She’s a bit put out that I haven’t tried to chat to her on my way out.

At the end of the day, I’ve just given up everything because of her, so I’m still a bit annoyed. That should be enough, I don’t now have to throw myself at her, so if she wants to play hard to get, she’s not fooling anyone. She can keep it up, but she’ll snap out of it soon enough. I won’t be rude, but I’ll play it cool.

It made me feel more normal being back at work with everyone else. Nothing had changed for them, and it grounded me quite a bit. I’m quite a reserved person when it comes to separating work and home life, so I didn’t tell anyone there that I’d gone through a break-up. I also didn’t want any of the other girls to think I’m single and play games by trying to hit on me and getting annoyed if I didn’t entertain it. Girls who turn sour can be more trouble than they’re worth. I’ll keep my cover to avoid attracting any unwanted attention.

I see G chatting to the company director through the glass walls and while I walk past, they both go silent, look at me and smile with a look on their face that said ‘I know something you don’t.’ What are they up to?

Later on that day, I got asked by the director if I could work on a new military project. This surprised me because I was on the biggest project in the office, and we had a lot of work to do. But I’m glad to have a change regardless. I’m asked to design a training facility for high-level officers in the Navy at a classified location. Is this madness linked to the military? I hope not, but if that’s the work, then I’ll do my best in any industry. I just thought it would be something different. Military in my eyes works by starting as a young recruit and working your way up. Not outsourcing from civilians. Well, I’m only working on buildings so maybe I’m thinking too much into it.

It’s a building next to the sea where the military ship will be stationed. The brief is to have it resemble the design of the ship, so I put something together. No budget on this one. Awesome. Protected weapons area, training rooms, sleeping quarters. Put a green roof and a glass atrium through the middle. At the top of the atrium, I place a large anti-aircraft gun located half in and half through the glass roof. When I was modeling the front of the ship to be in the style of a hull, the modeling program created a split from the base right at the front all the way up to the top and tapered open as it went. I liked the look of it, so instead of correcting it, I put some glass between the gap on it and kept it.

It reminded me of a ring place holder, so to put my spin on it, I modeled a glass diamond to sit in the center just because it popped into my mind. I asked my colleagues what they thought, and they liked it. I was surprised I wasn’t scrutinized for putting the diamond there, so it went in as a proposal. It was a good-looking ship-building if you ask me. A masculine big gun on the roof and a feminine touch where the model of a girl would normally go. Makes sense.

I sometimes pass people on the floor and raise my hand as I walked past and just miss the top of their head. Nobody minded, usually laughed, but never flinched. It was kind of my thing for a little while and seemed to get a chuckle without the need to converse.

The director’s pet was getting more and more annoyed when I’d get offered the prized jobs and he had noticed that the director had a new favorite. He would regularly go to the director’s office as soon as he heard something on the floor that would have a negative effect on other colleagues. He was the office rat. When I was talking about some punch bag training I’d been doing in the gym, the rat became nervous. After the conversation, he bulged his eyes like ’ooh I’ve got some information and went straight to the director’s office. I can’t be fired for doing martial arts, so I wasn’t too concerned. But it’s still not good to be on the wrong side of the Rat. He’d previously bragged about getting people fired by saying they’re no good. Even with the director on my side, I could do without the conflict.

He started to look at me afraid, but I wouldn’t hit anyone at work even if they were a weasel. I walked past him in the corridor and did what I sometimes do, and raised my hand to pass over his head. Instead of not caring, he shiz himself and flailed his hands up in the air, pushed my hand up (even though I was never going to touch him). Then yelled, “You were going to hit me! Don’t hit me!”

Well, that was ridiculous, and if I get questioned, I’ll explain. I wasn’t anywhere near hitting him so thought nothing of it. No punches were thrown so no big deal. It did seem strange that he would think I’d want to punch him though. What has he said about me?

When I pop into the lads’ house after work, a film was playing in the background. A scene of a ship out of control whilst drifting into the dock and not being able to stop in time. It smashes through the harbor and just as it comes to rest, it hits a clock tower’s bell, with the front tip of the boat ringing the bell. The bell rested on the tip of the boat, almost exactly how the diamond building boat was drawn earlier that day! Fudging hell, this is like a proper Hollywood movie. Another great coincidence! Not just some internet streamed film or BBC. It just keeps getting bigger!

Well, unless they managed to find a film that had that scene and decided to play it, then it was not edited. But this is on a TV channel. That means the weekly schedule would have been in the papers already, before I even designed the diamond in. How the fudge would they know?

I knew what was niggling in the back of my mind that would explain everything, but I wanted to eliminate every other logical explanation before I thought that. It’s been one of my fantasies since a young age, but everyone knows it’s not possible. Time travel! Surely not though? If we had that, everyone would know. Or would we?

Come to think of it, it would be far harder to keep people happy if they knew that time travel has been cracked. But that’s an enormous secret to keep that from us! Well, let’s not jump to conclusions here. It might just be some very clever trickery. Or a complete coincidence once again.

After all, many magic tricks baffle me, and this might just be one of them that has a logical method to it, without using something as mind-blowing as time travel. It would also be very extravagant and expensive to use that technology just to show me something I’m working on, in a fudging Hollywood film!

I need to find out, and the only way is to hear it from the pretty horse’s mouth. We get chatting at reception, and she’s a lot more responsive. She doesn’t want to play the blanking game either so is relieved that I’m chatting to her and initiating things. We talk about climbing, and she’s keen to come along with some people in the office who go with me. This would be a better place to talk to her, maybe on the way there or something, or I could pick her up?

So, I let my climbing buddies know and one sends a climbing email around 5 of us. G annoyingly didn’t accept the invite. Seems a bit two-faced, but maybe it’s because she was intimidated. Fair enough I thought. I’ll get her. She’s there for me, just play the game. Why can’t it just speed up? It seems like a waste of time even being in this office. Are we going to go somewhere else? I mean, we’re not going to take people in the office with us. Or were we? Nahh, probably not.

The words “Big changes are going to happen around here,” kept ringing in my head from the Christmas party speech. When is it going to happen? What have they got planned? I keep working harder and harder, just plowing through work, trying to do everything right. I’m thinking I might get a promotion or will be asked to go somewhere else, one of the two. So much showing off with their powers while keeping me in the dark of their plans. They must be having a whale of a time fudging with me like this! All this colluding is starting to do my head in!

The office director calls the whole office to the foyer. He then says, “I regret to inform you... That I’ll be leaving as office Director. It has been a pleasure working with you and meeting you all.” Ohh shiz! It seemed to me that as soon as G came into the office, he was trying to set me up with her. Like he’s in on setting us up and all this madness! I’ve seen them chatting through the glass wall quite a few times, far more than with other employees. Their body language seems to be very relaxed and if they see me, they both smile, and he gives a small nod towards her as in to say ‘You should get together.’ But he’s now leaving. He was saying his speech to the entire office staff but kept looking at me the whole way through. Very unexpected!

A real shame that he will be going but I know there will be something lined up for me. As sad as it is, I’m relieved that things are changing in the office. What next is planned? Who’s going to oversee this project that I’m working on? Too many unresolved questions. But I’m not worried, everything will become clear soon I’m sure. This head fudge can’t keep going like this. I fudging hope it doesn’t anyway.

Over the weekend, I think about what is going to happen. G is clearly the highest person in the office (not officially of course). Is she going to get someone she is connected to in? If I’m going to get promoted, what to? Well, she might own the company given what she’s explained. She might have me running a larger team to give me a taste of running the company. It will be hard, but it makes sense if they want me to do something bigger. One step at a time. Ideally, I’ll be sat with her in our own office room, and we can work together. See how we work together and get to know each other better instead of her knowing loads about me and me just getting hints and clues while knowing very little about her.

Songs about promotion keep coming up on the radio. I read the local paper that’s delivered through my door. There’s an article with the headline: “The youngest director of a large company just got promoted.”

I put on the cartoon that G must have control over and there it is again, talking about promotions. This is good news. I can’t fudging wait! Sure, it is smaller than I thought, but upon reflection, it’s a massive opportunity to prove myself. At this age and potentially becoming a director! Everyone’s going to think that’s awesome!

I’m going to turn this company around. Find hard-working people, maybe implement a better reward scheme. If it’s G’s company, it needs to grow. Take payments via shares in chosen profitable companies instead of just fees. Focus on growing it and make it a better place to be. I can use my young drive and ambition to the companies advantage!

I need to get some new clothes, look my sharpest. Some clothes from shops I wouldn’t generally go to. As I’m walking around town, I come across Hugo Boss, sounds quite fitting! I’ll be able to afford it! They won’t put me on a shiz salary if I’m promoted. So I go in, and there’s a girl who looks a lot like G; Again. She’s flirting and I’m bouncing back with her. She comes to check on me when I’m in the changing room to see if the shirt fits me well. She knew what she was doing, sees me with my top off, and looks at my tattooed torso up and down with a naughty look in her eye. ‘Well I am single,’ I thought to myself…

Better not fudge this up. G can probably see me, and she might get annoyed, jealous, or both. How are there these girls that look like her in the places that I’m going on impulse? Each time they’re looking at me with a flirtatious way about them?! I get a full outfit, that apparently, I also need a belt. £120 for the belt the till rings up, what the fudge?! Well, I didn’t want to look like a cheapskate. Plus, I needed to stay positive that this is going to go ahead, ‘don’t get any niggling doubt in your head.’ Grab the bull by its horns.

I go in on Monday, looking super sharp. All weekend there have been messages of promotion over and over. It must be on Monday, it seems the most logical day to do it. ‘Will it be on Monday?’ I think to myself. “Monday is the big day! Make sure you look your best!”

Monday came.. And fudging went... without anything happening. What the absolute fudge? Do they drag their feet on everything? Are they trying to wind me up?

Days go by and my team keeps working with me, the ex-director is speaking to the associate, overseeing the project without being in the office. The associate tells me, “he’s keeping an eye on me from a distance.” Weird. ‘Maybe he will do the same when I’m promoted. Makes sense. Maybe he’s gone with them and can see everything I do now? Potentially.’

G’s still playing it slow and it’s starting to annoy me. She’s fudging watching me and pretending like nothing’s happening, and still sending me messages at home and when I see her. If I tell her what I’ve been up to, she looks at me and mouths the words “I know.”

Well, if she knows, keep the conversation going or give me more than the weird watching me confirmation!

It’s starting to wind me right up that she’s not opening up and it’s reflecting in my work. I’m stressed, trying to juggle the head fudge, running the project, renovating in the evening and also processing my recent breakup. In the meantime, Stacey has said she needs space and doesn’t want me to see her or the kids for a while! It is hard not to see them but it will only be for a few weeks so if that’s what she needs then I guess that’s acceptable.

At that time, I didn’t know where to put the ring, but it looked cool, so I thought it would look good on my key chain. It’s hard enough to withstand a few knocks so why not? As I buzzed my way out the door for lunch with my key fob, G saw the ring. Her eyes lit up just like everyone else had when looking at it. Instantly mesmerized. When I come back in, she’s at her desk looking at her hands. This time, there’re three rings on her left hand, all except her engagement finger. Even though I was walking past and slightly in a rush because it was a long lunch, I could instantly see that they were all the same hint of yellow and full of fissures, just like mine.

‘I fudging knew it!’ I thought to myself. It’s good to have a sanity check now and again and this is a clear confirmation that she set the auction up and wanted me to get that ring. It was larger than all of hers, and she likes that style and wanted it. Well, she might be playing the waiting game, but I’ll be waiting until I’m sure I have known her for a long time before she gets this from me. She must have been carrying those rings around in her handbag all the time, just to not wear them?! She must love them, but not want anyone else to know she’s wealthy. Well, she might have some fooled, but many people in the office could see straight through that facade.

People had been behaving very strangely at work. Nobody was sure what was going to happen and it’s got people very unnerved. Some have figured out what is going to happen and are looking at me with jealous eyes. Rightfully so, as some have been there for decades, working their way up. Then, I come along and potentially jump straight to the top!

A very strange thing happened where a colleague stood up, looked at his computer, and said “I want to go home” in a very odd way. While he said it, I got a very eerie feeling that it wasn’t him talking at that time. I could have sworn that his eyes changed so that they appeared alien in shape. They morphed and looked like the typical gray alien eye shape. This freaked me right out. Was he always an alien? Nah, surely not. I’ve got to know him well over the years. But I’m questioning everything at the moment. All I know is that he looked nothing like he usually does when he said that. Maybe he was manipulated somehow? Whatever it was, it freaked me right out. I didn’t panic, I’ll go with everything that is thrown at me and it doesn’t seem like they are here to hurt me. So, whatever happens, I’ll be alright. As long as I don’t do anything to piss them off.

I get an e-mail requesting a meeting with one of the top bosses and the financial director tomorrow. Finally! The next day I go in, ready for this. Say hi to G, she’s very smiley and looks like she’s as excited as much as I am! I go into the meeting room trying to suppress my smile to give off the appearance that I don’t know what’s about to happen.

I sat down, and the financial director says in a very serious voice. “We appreciate all the work you have done here. We have been going through some company restructuring and I’m sorry to say that we’re going to have to let you go.” What the absolute fudge??! It was more than likely because of that fudging rat! “I’m a bit shocked but that’s okay,” I said in a solemn voice. I walked out and exactly where I lifted my hand over the Rat’s head and swung a hard right-hand hook to the pillar next to me, putting a hole straight through the plaster and firmly onto the steel pillar. At that time, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was just a holograph and I went straight through it as to not hurt myself. All those references to how important my hands are, if they have time travel, they would know I would do that and change it if I was to hurt myself. It felt like a test to the new reality, but also satisfying to release the pent-up rage.

I walked past G at her desk, she looked up and says “Go on,” While gesturing her hands in a shooing motion with a caring smile. Mental! I got into my car on the top floor of the car park opposite the office. Put the stereo on full blast and decided to do a bunch of wheel spins on the roof before I drove off.

‘Why would she be happy that I’m leaving? Why does she still look like she really likes me? Maybe I have to be in another office for us to work? She didn’t look like she disliked me and that she was happy for me to be out of her life…’ So unexpected, so strange. Regardless of the weirdness, I’m fudging fired?! What the fudge! I need a job, how dare they take that away from me as well?!

The radio has people laughing, talking about people getting fired. Great. What a fudging joke. “Well we needed you to start your journey and it wasn’t the right place to do it there.” I guess that’s true to some degree. But it would have been good to start it there, now what am I going to do? I get a call from my mum soon after, work has been in contact with her. They say not to worry about the wall but that they are worried about my mental health and should look after myself. What a fudging piss take!

I would never have taken it so badly if it wasn’t for the accumulation of colluding shiz that’s been building up since G joined. Before she came along, I was doing great! Very relaxed, hard-working and popular colleague. Although my relationship was falling apart, I still had a family, a project to keep me busy and I could rely upon a solid circle of mates. Now it’s all going downhill. They’ve taken everything they could from me. I thought the least they could do was keep me in my job. That’s not too much to ask, right?

G had a connection with the management team. It would be too big to have thought that rat was behind it. It could have been him though. Would she really do that to me? If she did, she’s fudging everything in my life up. Stacey and I had been torn to shreds and it now transpired my career was fudged! This, from a girl who is meant to like me. She’s one twisted bitch by the looks of things.

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