In span of twenty fours hours, my life had turned upside down. I never thought someone would control my life. I had freedom before–except in dating because Chris made sure to keep boys away, and I was thankful for this as I loved solitude.
An hour ago, Ethan made me quit my previous job, and it was hard to say no to my father. Breaking this news to my father was gut wrenching, and after the call, I cried in bathroom. My father, however, had no problem with this; he was rather happy. This typically seemed that Ethan and I were in love.
Right after getting my MBA, I came to know that my grandparents had promised my hand in marriage to a complete stranger. And I was not ready for this marriage, and I knew how much I protested. How much I tried to convince everybody that the marriage was not for me because I knew about I being an extreme introvert and this self reflection told me that this marriage was going to be very difficult if my husband didn’t understand my nature and expected me to change myself.
But the personalities do not change. Personalities are the part of our psychology and nervous system. Expecting an introvert to change is just like expecting a serial killer to become a saint, which is, perhaps, almost impossible.
Anyway, after months of protest, I had to give in because there was no other way because I loved my grandparents, and I wanted to honor their wish as this was the first time when my family asked me something. Moreover, I had to get married one day, so I accepted this even though I wanted to marry after thirties.
Another reason was also that my family assured me that Ethan was a great man, and they also told me that they would have my back if this didn’t work out. But I was not the type of girl who burdened my loved ones with the troubles of my life — another introvert trait. Because seeing them hurt would hurt me as well.
I started working with my father as I was not very much comfortable around people and doing his assistant job was easy as I also had experience of being an assistant since I worked with Chris as his assistant before the start of the college. I hoped that I would work for my father and in this way, I would have some normalcy in my life. But now, this hope seemed like a mirage.
And for the last half an hour, I had been trying to understand this Empire. Turned out, it was a multi-business Empire dealing in hotel, restaurant, stationery and bakery business– hotel and restaurant were its primary business sectors.
There were so many things to remember, and my mind was not ready to concentrate on anything because I was forced into it– I had no interest in being his assistant, but I was going to get used to it. I just needed time to convince my stubborn brain which never accepted changes very easily, just like this marriage.
The funniest thing was that, note the sarcasm, I was the only assistant who had to manage all the businesses, and I knew it was going to drain my energy.
“Hey, are you the new assistant?” there was a knock on the door, and I turned to see who was there.
A well built guy with light brown hair stood in my office doorway, he had a friendly smile on his face. With one look, I was sure I was going to be friends with him.
He stood there awkwardly, and shifted on his feet a little before rising his brows as if he was expecting an answer. I, then, remembered his question, and my face heated a bit on realizing I was again day-dreaming and staring.
“Um… Yes. I guess it’s me. I’m Crystal,” I shrugged at him. I deliberately avoided telling him my last name as I wasn’t sure what name to tell.
“Crystal?” he arched an eyebrow while flashing his pearly whites and came inside my office.
“It's Crystal J.,” I avoided eye contact.
“J? As in alphabet ‘J’?” he asked again.
Oh God! What have I gotten myself into?! Please God! Send an alien ship and let them take me away. Or give me a superpower to erase everyone’s memory.
“No. It is J. A. Y. Jay,” I gave him a forced smile, and he knew I wasn’t going to talk more, and he dropped the subject.
Apparently, Ethan showed me my office, and it was an adjoining room to his office.
“I’m Jaden Cooper, I’m the head of the marketing department. And I’m here to brief you on your duties on a special request…or you can say on a special order,” he shrugged and chuckled.
Jaden seemed a nice guy, and we talked for a while. He helped me to set up my office and gave me little inside scoops to stay away from some people, and my husband was one of them.
“This man has temper, and when he rises his tone, try everything in your power to get away from him because he’d chew you like a T-Rex,” he whispered as if he was afraid that Ethan would hear him.
“Okay, thanks for telling me,” I didn’t know how to reply him.
He stood there, looking at me intently as if he was trying to measure me up.
“Do I know you?” he asked, tilting his head.
“I don’t think so,” I had no idea how to answer this.
“But you look familiar. I’ve definitely seen you somewhere.”
I was little nervous, I didn’t want to tell him that I was his boss’s wife because I knew he wouldn’t be carefree in my company. And I wanted at least one company in this office since I was going to work here. Also, I had already lied about my last name.
“I think I’m one of those faces,” I shrugged nervously. He studied me for sometime then he shrugged as well and dropped this topic.
From Jaden, I got to know that how big of an asshole my husband could be. Until yesterday, he had four assistants to manage his work, but at around midnight he fired them on email except for Jaden.
Jaden was promoted to the head of the marketing department, and he needed this promotion. Although he wasn’t married, he had a girlfriend and twin boys who were two years old.
Ethan was a demanding boss, after every ten minutes he had an order ready for me— sometimes he asked for a glass of water, sometimes I had to go several floors down to get some file from someone, sometimes I had to fetch him coffee. He even went further to call me frequently just to readjust the temperature of his A.C., even though his office was A.I. equipped.
He had the time to bark his orders at me, but he didn’t utter instructions to his A.I.
Right now, I was standing in his office, and he was checking a contract of a new hotel. I was shifting on my feet as my feet were sore from all the running, and I was tired as well. Now, I was experiencing the aftermath of a sleepless night. I just wanted this day to end, so that I could sleep. But my boss had other ideas.
He put down the file and turned his attention on me, “where is the financial report of this project?”
I was startled because I didn’t remember if he asked that one as well. I was kind of zoned out when he gave this order; hence, I was completely defenseless. I didn’t know if he was playing with me or not. I fidgeted under his gaze, and he noticed my movement. His eyes traveled down my body, but his poker face gave nothing away. His green eyes went back to my face, and he placed his forearms on his table interlocking his hands.
“Um… that..that report—” I fidgeted under his gaze, and I started doing hand movements pathetically.
He got up and walked towards me slowly like a predator, and I, the prey, was rooted to my place as if my body was frozen.
He tipped my chin up and made me look at him.
“Where is the report? Don’t make me repeat my question again,” he spoke in a dangerously low tone, and his eyes bore into mine.
I was between the devil and deep sea, either way he was going to lash out at me. I knew defying him would cost me, but I had no excuse to give.
“So, you like to live in an imaginary world in your head, and seriously don’t pay attention to your surroundings,” I was taken aback at his words. He observed me, and read me correctly!
He smirked, “I pay attention to my surroundings unlike you who lives in her head more than in real world,” he said while stroking my chin with his thumb.
I was contemplating the ideas to get out of this situation when the door to his office opened, and he pushed back creating some space between us.
“Oops! Did we interrupt something?” my mother-in-law giggled like a school girl who just saw her crush. She came inside and my father-in-law was also with her.
“You two look really sweet together although a little taller girl would’ve matched his personality better,” her remark was piercing, and it was downright insulting. But the way she spoke, it sounded as a light humor. This women really knew how to cut through someone with a smile.
“Candice—” my father-in-law tried to cut her but Ethan interjected.
“What do you want, Candice?” Ethan spoke harshly while glaring at her. I was baffled that he called her by her name, not mom or mother.
She shook her head, “we went to your house, but you decided to come in office with your wife and that too on the next day of your marriage,” she tried to get some information out but Ethan remained silent.
“Anyway, wedding was a private affair, and many of my friends couldn’t make to the wedding, so we have decided to throw a party for you newlyweds.”
Party, that meant I had to socialize, but I had already reached my monthly quota of meeting new people at the wedding, and I had no wish to waste my time in the meaningless gatherings.
“We’re busy. Hire someone else for your party,” Ethan sneered and crossed his arms.
“Ethan, this is an unacceptable behavior, apologize right now!” His father shouted at him, but Ethan didn’t apologize. He simply stood in his glory. He was the rudest person I’ve encountered in my life.
“Crystal, sweet child, try to convince your husband, he’d listen to you. After all, you are his wife,” she turned to me, and I knew she was trying to shoot off my shoulder, but I had no answer. I looked at Ethan, and his eyes were already on me. His poker face was on. I had no idea what he expected of me.
“Ethan I’ve always been lenient to you, but you can’t have your own way this time. Party is tomorrow at eight; don’t be late,” Daniel— my father-in-law ended the conversation and took his wife with him.
When they left, I heard a loud noise. I turned and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw Ethan was fuming and he had thrown paperweight on the wall with such a force there was a dent in the plaster. He was real angry and scenes of last night replayed in my mind.
“Bring that report,” he said calmly as if he didn’t just throw an angry tantrum. I hurried off his office without wasting any time.
As I didn’t know who had the file, I asked Jaden. And luckily, he knew that person and fetched that file for me.
I stood outside his office like an awkward girl who was prolonging her meeting with principal, and everyone on the floor was casting glances at me while whispering in each other’s ears. I was the hot topic today just because I came with their boss, and I was inside his office when his parents visited. For them, I was a mystery.