Crap fucking hell.
How did this happen. How did he know? He called me by my name. My fucking name. Did he know all along? Or was it something that he came to know when I put down my papers.
God! My head was spinning. I could hear my heartbeats thumping inside my ears. I could taste the bitterness arising in my mouth.
I didn't know what I could do now. All this while, I had run scenarios in my head if ever Roger came to know about me. If ever, my identity was disclosed. But now that I was faced with the reality, I was scared to see what would happen. His words, Arin, revved up in my mind. He called me by my name. Had it been a normal situation, I would have been on cloud nine. I would have danced and sung and hopped on my bed so hard, its legs would have given up.
But it wasn't a normal situation now, was it?
The worst of thoughts drove up into my mind. It was in situations like these where I have realized I wasn't a calm person. I was a host for chaos and every time it knocked at my doors, I had flung to the safety of my nerves. Yes, I was a ball of nerves and what remained of me was consumed by my anxious thoughts. How would I face Roger in office?
I wished for the earth to be parted into two and swallowed me whole. The mere thought of him knowing, of thinking of scenarios where I would have to face him drove me crazy. In my state of delirium, I picking up the call and dialed Selene.
She might have told him. It was the only logical explanation to Roger knowing about me. Although knowing how dearly she treated confidentiality, doubts did their dance across my mind, I shoved them to a side. Like a drowning person, I was looking for anything to keep me afloat and Selene's name held me up.
I walk around the apartment and the moment she answered, in a fit of nervousness and anxiety, I blurted. "Didyoutellrogeraboutme?"
She chucked, heaving for air. I had to repeat my question by when she decided it was time to greet me again. "What happened Arin? Is everything alright?"
Pacing around the apartment, I inhaled deeply. Anger would not be the right weapon in this situation and neither would be blaming someone without proof. I somehow managed to compose myself, oxygenating my lungs and heaving through my mouth. "Did you by any chance tell Roger about my identity? About who I am?"
Her voice stuttered, she sounded confused, "Who Roger?" It dawned on me, she wasn't the one who revealed anything. Anyone who would have done it would have reacted differently, tried hard to justify or sounded guilty. Selena depicted none of those reactions. "Wait are you talking about Roger Murphy of the Murphy Enterprises?"
With a "yes," to her, all faded doubts rushed back. "How did you know I was talking about Roger Murphy of all people, Selene?" Letting out the question with a gush of air, I asked in a stern tone.
Pondering over my question, I could hear her breathing over the call. On the other end, I was fully prepared to catch her red handed if indeed she was lying. "Because he acquired the call center a while back. We are now owned by the Murphy enterprises."
Like missing puzzled, everything fit in place. It was clear how Roger would have discovered the truth about me. He must have gotten his hands on the employee list and my name would have appeared in it. In a way it was strange that an observant guy like him took so long to discover my secret.
"Is there a problem?" Selene's voice brought me back to reality.
"No no problem."
"Okay because I thought there was a problem with the payment of something for you to have called back."
As this was my last day, I never even in distant dreams assumed to have placed a call so soon which had nothing to do with my payment.
"Wait.." Selene's voice came cracking back. The background of hers had sounds of papers ruffling. "Are you Arin as in Arin Rafferty as in.." her voice emerged intonated and with every word she spoke, she stuttered.
I could hear the anticipation in her voice, awaited my answer. There was no point in lying to her anymore. She would eventually come to know now that the call center was acquired.
Nodding I replied. "Yes..That's me." In a sense, I felt proud in stating it. I was the heiress who worked a call center job and rose up. It was what made me who I was.
"OMG OMG OMG." The shrill voice greeted me from the other side. Selene's squeaky voice made me unplug the phone from my ears till her excitement died down. Before she could say anything, I replied.
"Selene if you could not tell anyone about what I did here.."
Another squeaky voice, answered. "Yes. Yes, of course, mum's the word."
We talked for a little longer. Selene was apparently a fan of Arin Rafferty Oswald and she ensured not to miss a chance to talk to her celebrity. I wished her luck for the new job which thankfully had nothing to do with attending calls.
Although I discovered the source through which Roger came to know about me, about who I was, I still wasn't prepared for tomorrow. It still launched my heart into my throat, whenever I tried to think of facing him. My mouth still remained sour and no amount of water or lemony soda was able to replace the sensation. In a way, my body was merely preparing itself for the impending doom. It was already receiving premonition signals from the future of the events yet to happen.
Placing my sore body on the couch, I closed my eyes shut. Deep revitalizing breath didn't do any shit to me. All it did was rile me up more. It was like adding water and air to a mixture of concrete. All it did was solidify my resolve. The one I had decided after careful consideration and weighing all pros and cons.
I had to leave this job.
It wouldn't take a genius to figure out, if I met him face to face and tried resigning, he wouldn't let me. Hell I wouldn't be either. His stone cold eyes would scan the deepest of my secrets and I would come undone. Plugging in my laptop, I decided to go with the easiest way - mail resignation. I filled in my details and attached my experience sheet. The HR was tagged too but before I could hit send, something dragged my fingers away from the enter key.
Thoughts rarely took the shape of a human being but that day it did. Mrs. Rose's face, Georgia's giggles and Roger's stern voice all echoed in my ears, danced as imaged in front of my eyes. I was already office sick even thought the letter was yet to be sent. I craved to see the place one last time. I wanted to sit on my desk one last time. Call if the departing syndrome but had I known I would be leaving the place and work in the middle of the night, I would have cherished staying in the office a little longer. I would have sat and rotated in my chair, taking the aura of the office. the thoughts of the office came rushing back into my mind.
I shut my laptop flap to close and hopped back into the warm hold of my bed. My alarm was set for an early five in the morning call. If I wanted to see my office before Roger arrived, I had to do it very early. Very very early.
Sleep, to be frank alluded me. Tossing and turning around on the bed with Roger's words hitting me back and forth, eventually dozed off. Once the morning alarm rang, I pushed my quilt off and rushed for a quick cleanup. My bathroom mirror reflected my sleep hungover face but I felt too alive to notice. The only solace that comforted my senses was Roger's absence at the wee hours of dawn. Without him running interference, I would be able to bid my final adieu to office.
My warmer didn't help much with the cold but the determination inside me worked like a furnace. The winter wonderland that was London in December, drew my attention towards the closed shops which twinkled with starry lights on their window displays. The December cold was particularly harsh on one's body. I remembered this time last year, when even getting out of bed seemed like a difficult task.
Partly because of mom's demise mixed with my own lack of motivation acted as culprit. Avoiding the siren calling of the bed and blanket which wanted to wrap me up in a cocoon rather than push me out of it and nudge me to attend office, was a herculean task. A lot could change in a year's span. Although I lost mom, I met my dad. And while I made some new set friends, I found one intriguingly close to my heart.
But was Roger even a friend to begin with?
In all, the past year taught me the importance of personal growth.
I was wrapped in my own thought world to see I had walked past office entrance. Pushing the revolving doors, I heaved. The cold handles seared my palm with a frigid branding even thought I had gloves.
The night security eyed me with suspicion. There was no reason for a staff to walk into the office at the wee hours of the morning and he was rightful in straightening from his comfortable seating, muttering curses for breaking his cross legged seating. I flashed my employee badge and entered the steel entrapment which carried me up. Each spring pulling the metal box yawned from its sleep.
When the doors chimed open, I stepped into the deserted office. Distant lights made the place look like a scene from the horror movie. Every chair looked as if it was ready to pounce or worse, ready to straighten up and chase me.
I ignored the long shadows of the place and walked towards my cubicle. I sat on my chair and revolved a couple of times. This was the first thing I did every morning and it seemed to be the right choice be be done one last time. My stuff, photos, badges, souvenirs from whoever travelled, all were shoved into my bag. It was after cleaning up my place that my gaze slid up towards Roger's closed office door.
I placed a letter on Mrs. Rose's desk, ensuring it rested safely between her photos of me and her and one with her husband. It would be hard for her to overlook. Although I won't be there to talk to her and leave, the letter did all the explaining. It stated my reason too. It also stated, coupled with a lot of hand drawn smileys, I would visit her place soon.
With nothing else left to do, I pushed open Roger's office door and walked in. The early morning silence in his office with the distance skyscraper's streaming lights gave it a beautiful hue.
Placing my badge and the resignation letter over his desk, I run my hand over the neatly engraved mahogany table. So many times over the past year, I sat across the table and took notes and dictation from him. I only sat a few feet away from him in my cubicle but it was only over calls, I came to know how he was, hos likes and disliked. I may have met Roger Murphy in person, it was only on our late night talks where I really met him.
Roger was a closed off man and it took a call center girl to break him open.
Picking my tired, sleepy body from the chair I managed to sink in, I took a couple of deep breaths. Sourness of leaving everything behind engulfed me. My mind screamed at me, asking me to stay. My ears fakes all the laughter I had heard from my collegues. In the silence of te night and the office surrounding, I felt as if placed in the middle of a busy midmorning office.
I had to leave. I to break the hold the place held over me.
Never in my life did I imagine leaving a job would be so difficulty. The thought of leaving someone was more hurting. It pricked my throat and prodded me to stay.
Roger was never mine to begin with. He was someone else's. I was the third wheel. Third cheating wheel.
"Bye Roger," I whispered to the chair.
Before I turned, a voice hit me. "That's not fair."
I jumped back from my place. I saw a hooded figure in the dark. Scrambling back, I looked around for any sharp object to attack the man, if he made any advances. As he walked ahead, his face was revealed. Roger.
Although million thoughts ran through my mind, one specific one jumped out. "What the hell are you doing here? You scared me.."
He laughed out a soft puff of breath while taking his coat. "I am sorry but I could say the same. You scared me. I mean, I never thought of seeing batman in the wee hours at my office. "
Okay think Arin. Think Think. Your plan backfired. He was here. And he knew who you were. Think..
Nope. My brain decided to shut down at that exact moment when I needed it the most. Walking towards his table, I quickly pulled the letter and shoved it inside my pocket while Roger hung his coat.
His appearance was different than usual. He wasn't coming to work in his properly tucked-in insanely perfect fit shirt with pant and blazer combination. He was wearing a loose fit t-shirt and jeans.
Once he turned to me and smiled, I tried to walk away but my steps halted when he held my elbow.
"Any reason for you to be here this early?" He asked. His blue eyes stared hard at me and even in the dim lights from the surrounding, I was able to see them clearly. Widened, they pleaded for me to answer.
As my beautiful brain had decided to go on a strike, the only action I was able to conjure up was a wild nodding of my head sideways. Roger took a rogue strand that fell across my face, tugging it behind my ears as I strung a couple of words together. "What...you early.. doing here?"
Great, might as well just sign all the sentences. At least that would make more sense than this. However, Roger was able to decipher my coded language for his lips curled on the side, revealing his classic smile. Or smirk. I could never tell.
He simply tilted his head, speaking. "I came here for this." Bending his head, he held my hair from behind as his lips touch mine and I felt him for the first time.
I am being kissed by Roger Murphy.
Scratch that. By Master.
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