I woke up with beads of sweat on my forehead and with the same dream of that night with that man. It had been a year and a half since that night. I knew because I have counted it after I walked away from that very night since then I'd always dreamt about it. It was like a broken CD that keeps on playing on repeat.
I thought when I would start my work and live here in San Diego CA. I would be able to forget about that. But too bad that night and that man was like a permanent tattoo on my mind, couldn't get rid of them.
I reached for my phone under my pillow to check the time. It was Saturday so Noah doesn't have school and Melissa his mom informed me last night that it was her day off that was why we decided to have a movie night last night and ended up sleeping really late. I started living with them when the apartment building where I have used to live was forced to shut down the authority explained that the building was no longer safe to live.
I met Melissa through a fellow Filipina Maya, she was used to be my roommate. she told me that Melissa was looking for a babysitter for his five years old son. So I grabbed the opportunity simply because I needed to earn extra money.
When I looked at the time I was shocked to see that it was twenty minutes before eight. As if on cue I became hyper-aware of everything the sleepiness was no longer there. We had an important client and our boss reminded us that no late is a must.
Oh no no no! Why did this have to happen today to all of the seven days why it has to be this day? Fuck my life big-time.
I hopped out of the bed and grabbed whatever clothes I got and went to the bathroom. I took a shower in record time. I think that was the fastest showered I've ever had.
I dressed immediately and wrapped my hair in the towel and put some lip tint on my lips, mascara on my lashes, before curling it. Since I didn't have time to put some eyeshadows on.
I hurriedly got my bag and put my phone and wallet inside and ran through the door. While I was putting my shoes on Melissa went out of her room still half asleep. She looked at my way and smile or more like grimaced.
"Hey, good morning, I'm heading out, see you later." Before she could respond I head out of the apartment.
I ran as fast as I could. I looked at my watch to see that I had three more minutes before the bus would leave the station.
"Wait! wait wait for me! Don't go!" I shouted like a banshee and ran faster than ever, people around stared at me like I was a madwoman.
I thank my lucky star because I got in time before the bus door closed. I blew out a breath and sat at the nearest vacant seat. I fished out my hairbrush before brushing my wild hair.
After 10 minutes the bus stopped at the next station. I hurriedly went out. Time was running there was no room for slacking.
"Hey watched it!" Some passengers shouted at me when I bumped into them.
"Sorry!" I shouted back without glancing back. The office was four blocks away from the station. I looked at my wristwatch again I had ten minutes before eight, I inhaled deeply and sprinted towards the office.
Along the way, I was occasionally bumped with other people walking around the street.
"Sorry," I apologized to the old lady I'd just bumped with. Still running but not looking to where I was going. Suddenly I was bumped with a strong hard wall twisting my neck I was surprised to see that it wasn't a wall in fact it was a chest a hard one chest of a well-suited man and his coffee was spilled all over his well-tailored and definitely expensive suit.
"I'm so sorry mister. I wasn't looking." I apologized while trying to dry his now drenched suit with my hand. It was very futile though. I heard the man hissed. I immediately removed my hands on his chest.
"Mister you see I'm so so sorry, I spilled your coffee it wasn't my intention. But I really have to go." I fished out my wallet from my bag and hand out a 10 dollars, funny right. And handed it to him. "Here take this, this is all I can do to repay your spilled coffee." The man in question didn't take it, he just stood there not moving. As if portraying the wall that I've thought of him.
When I looked up at the man in front of me, never in my wildest dream I have imagined seeing the man who hunted my dreams every night standing there in flesh. I felt like a bucket filled with ice was poured all over my body. I felt cold and couldn't move my limbs. I knew my eyes were as big as a saucer and I was sure I was gaping like a fish. No words left my mouth. It was like time had stopped and it was just the two of us in the busy street of San Diego. His face was the exact opposite of mine. Shocked blasted mine whilst his was crammed with amusement.
Light! My mind screamed but no words left my mouth.
"What a nice encounter isn't it? If I were you I will close that mouth right now Red." Light stated.
His voice was still the same. That damn sexy voice of his.
"What? Has the cat got your tongue?" When I did not answer. A grin twisted his lips. He moved closer and bent so he could whisper in my ear. My breath caught up in my throat, my heart beats wildly in my chest.
"Long time no see Red, this time there will be no running away." I gasped not because of his words but because he discreetly bit my earlobe.
When I finally got my wits backed I pushed him off of me. Giving him one of my venomous glared he'd just answered it with his arrogant smirk. Then suddenly it hit me that I was almost late for work. I groaned and sidestepped him and started to run again. The obnoxious man had the nerve to laughed at me.
"You can run Red but you can never hide again from me." He yelled. Despite the silliness of his tone, the threat was still visible. It wasn't a warning it was a promise. I did my best to ignored him and continued my sprints towards the office.
It was half-past nine in the morning and the important client of our shipping company was still not gracing us of his presence. He was supposed to have a meeting with my boss at exactly nine o'clock. I was answering some queries online when suddenly the phone rings.
" Front desk good morning, how may I help you?"
"Hmm. Sal Mr. Vitéli is on his way now. He will be here in five, you already know what to do right? Just inform me when they have arrived."
"Yes sir. Noted, anything else sir?"
"Just keep smiling." A chuckle escaped my mouth.
"Sure. Thank you, sir." Our boss was one of the best, he treated his employee as his assets. Like any other asset, he treasured and took care of it. He took good care of us, he acted just a friend around us, he was not just your typical boss. The boss who would forced power on you, the boss you didn't want to work with, and whenever he was around you couldn't work easily and competently because all you felt was pure pressure. Lucky for me my boss was not like that, he was the exact opposite. At the age of thirty, he already achieved so much in his life. He started this shipping company from scratch. I also liked his wife she was the sweetest thing ever and she was also a Filipina like me. She was born and raised in Batangas Philippines.
I was wondering what kind of man this Mr. Vitéli was, I hoped he was like my boss. But I doubt it, as much as his company would help and benefit our company so was his. He doesn't have to act like a VIP and be late on their very first meeting. That would leave a bad impression. My thoughts about the mystery man were put into a halt when the automatic glass door of our company opened. I plastered a smile on my face.
The smile I put on instantly faded away as the two well-suited men entered. One of the two was the man I just encountered earlier that day and had prayed to God to never have encountered again.
What the heck is he doing here?
The man just smirked and casually walked towards my direction like he owns the damn place. I was thankful because there was a concrete desk between us preventing him from getting closer— it became the barrier between us.
I cleared my throat and smile at him. I hoped I looked as professional as I wanted to be.
" Good morning sir. Welcome to Highlights shipping company what can I do for you today?" I asked them professionally. With amusement on his face, he straightens his back and brushed some unseen dirt on his suit.
Well, that wasn't the same suit he wore when we met earlier.
Duh! Of course, he'd changed his suit. You've ruined it with his coffee remember? Most of the time I hate my subconscious especially when she was acting like a bitch.
"Well, I believe Mr. Barnes is expecting me today." The man who invades my dreams said. No fucking way this man could not be Mr. Fucking Vitéli!
I cleared my throat again.
"You must be Mr. Vitéli then sir. Pardon me for not recognizing you. Please have a seat first while I inform Mr. Barnes."
"I think I'm good here but my secretary will take the seat then." He looked at my nameplate then add. "Sal, what a nice name but I think there's another name that will suits you better perhaps Red?"
The nerve of this guy.
"Thank you, Sir. Vitéli that so kind of you. But I think my name is good as it is." I told him still with a forced smile on my face I just hoped it looked as genuine as his smirk.
I informed my boss about this fucking Vitéli. Seconds later he met him personally in the lobby and pleasantries have been made.
"Apologies for not being on time, please don't think of me as a man who is always late or slacking. It was so happened I met an unfortunate accident on our way here." When he said the last part he looked at my direction.
" Oh no it's no big deal, but are you alright?" My boss asked with genuine concern on his face.
"I'm good, a little burnt there but I am totally fine." Guilt crept through me.
"Let's not talk about it."
"Okay. Let's go to my office, then."
"Yeah sure, by the way, you do have a competent receptionist I must say. One of a kind." Mr. FuckingVitéli stated still with his sickening smirked.
" Oh yeah of course I only settled for the best." My boss remarked proudly.
"Of course just the best, I hope she won't run away from you."
What the? is he crazy? This fucker will surely be the death of me
My boss looked at me then back at the man quizically.
"I'm sure she won't to that, right Sal?" I nodded my head to answer still with a plastered forced smile.
The secretary cleared his throat after that they went to Mr. Barnes's office. I banged my head on the desk and groaned.
One thing played on my mind at that time, this will be an exhausting day and I hope I'll be able to survive it.