For the whole weekend, I worked on some ideas for the pitch. Knowing I wasn't going to be paid extra for it but I wanted to impress Weston, even more than before. I'm not sure what exactly I was trying to prove but I just wanted him to notice me, as sad as that sounded.
I had no idea who else would be working on the pitch, they might have bigger and better ideas than me. So I wanted my own to be sharp, when he asked me about them I could explain them with depth and purpose. My heart desperate to make a good impression on Weston and Theo and the company.
Valentina went out with some of her friends, to take her mind off the situation with Arran. She invited me out but I knew how much girl time is vital in circumstances like these. She moped around the flat on Sunday, severely hungover. And I was not envious at all.
By Monday I was in the office early again, disappointed that when I walk by Weston's office, he wasn't there. As I reach my desk I ponder for a moment, why did I all of a sudden seem to care about seeing Weston?
If anything I hated the feeling of being around him because he made me feel nervous and I found myself being awkward for no reason. But now it's like I want to bump into him, to see him more. Those days over the weekend seemed like far too long. This thought makes me laugh and I shake my head to start focusing on my work.
Soon the office becomes flooded with employees and Theo and Abi are nattering away across their desks. "How was your weekend Micah?" Theo directs towards me.
My head peaks up from my screen. "Hmm?" I say. "Oh, yeah was okay, didn't do much. What about you guys?"
Theo nods at me before smiling. "Fair enough," he says. "It was my mums birthday so we did a family Skype call, then went out Saturday to some gig. Was pretty good."
"Sounds like fun," I tell him.
"So I went to Dirty Martini in St. Paul's," Abi says instantly as she sits back in her chair, twirling her blonde hair between her fingers. "They do unlimited pornstar martinis for two hours and oh my god, I've never been so drunk in my life."
"You're drunk every weekend Abi," Theo holds his hand up, one holding a pencil.
"And your point is?"
Theo and Abi go back and forth across our desks, bickering about Abi's level of 'drunkness'. I'm pretty sure only their voices could be heard in the whole office. My skin crawled with embarrassment, why did they have to be so loud?
I slide my chair back slightly and lean onto my desk with my elbows. My hands covering my eyes as I attempt to look directly at my screen.
"Nice to see you guys are so vibrant on a Monday morning," Weston's voice shoots between Theo and Abi's, shutting them up instantly. But it wasn't a warm welcoming tone, it was a warning.
My elbows swipe off the table and I glance up at him, stood behind Theo. Wearing the most divine grey tailored suit with a white shirt. His blazer fit him like a glove, as did his trousers but I tried my best not to look. So I force myself to look into his eyes but he's not looking at me.
"Theo's being annoying," Abi says from beside me in a fake whiny voice.
Weston exhales an irritated sigh. "I don't care."
Theo turns his chair towards him. "Sorry man," he says as he claps his hand into his arm.
"I don't know what's happened this year but the noise levels have gone up, please spare thoughts for those who are actually trying to focus on their work." Weston states as he folds his arms across his chest, his dark eyes capturing mine.
I blink back at him and adjust my glasses, Abi glares at me for a moment before turning back to Weston's attention.
"Yeah no problem," Abi spits out passive aggressively. This seriously agitated her and in a way I loved it.
"Micah," Weston addresses me and I nod back at him. "We've got a quick meeting with my directors at twelve, would you bring what we worked on last week please?"
"Of course, I'll be there," I say obediently.
Weston lingers for a few moments, his eyes smiling back at me. I gulp silently as he continues to look straight into my eyes. "Great, see you then," he says before patting his hand down onto Theo's back.
I might have made it up or it might have really happened but as Weston turns, his eye drops into the subtlest wink. Almost missing it completely, like it never happened. Abi doesn't catch it because I knew she would have been at my throat, throwing accusations around.
Instead she sulks like a student in detention and I've never seen anything so immature. Maybe something happened between them before, which is why she is so caught up on him. Because in my head, none of this makes sense. If he's not giving her the time of the day, why would she chase? Quite honestly, it's embarrassing for everyone involved.
"Sorry Micah," Theo says sincerely from over his desk. "Monday's are just rubbish."
"I agree," I smile in his direction, offering him some form of consolidation for their loud extravaganza.
"I know you're super busy with the pitch," he tells me. "We'll be more considerate."
Abi doesn't say anything to back up Theo's words, instead she ignores everyone and turns her attention back to her computer. Not missing how she had half her screen on work and the other reading The Daily Mail.
I didn't want to be the biggest spoil sport but in all honesty, this was work, not school. We are getting paid to do our jobs, I don't mind the occasional chat but really, I'd rather listen to heavy metal than Abi speak.
She seemed like such a fun person, but having any form of intellectual conversation with her was like talking to a brick wall. I wasn't entirely sure how she secured such a high up job but she must be doing something right. Even if she didn't know that Wales was a part of the UK. But I let it slide because I know that not everyone has the best educational upbringing and other struggles.
I'm never one to ridicule someone for not knowing things, or making them feel bad and putting them down in front of others. Theo always laughs and calls her thick but as they're friends, he can get away with it. I'd be afraid she would purposely throw her mug of coffee all over my pitch ideas if I said that. Which is why I refrain from saying anything at all, hence having an intellectual conversation is merely impossible.
Her hot topics were influencers on instagram or Selling Sunset on Netflix. This just sums up every reason why I zone out and focus on my own work.
By the end of the week I found myself spending most lunches in Weston's boardroom with his directors, discussing the best way to present at the event. I mostly kept quiet, not wanting my opinions to overrule anyone who was higher up than me.
On Friday I'm the last to leave the boardroom, Weston collects his belongings and I slowly make my way to the door. "Micah," hearing my name come from his mouth made me want to scream. I turn back to him and he stands from his chair, phone in one hand. "You should have said more this week, especially today. Why didn't you?"
"I like to listen," is what I reply.
Even I'm disappointed that this is all I can say.
"You can listen and share your ideas too," he tells me with a gentle smile. Picking up his blazer from the back of his chair and sliding it along his thick arms.
"I know," I agree with him.
Weston's lips part slightly, watching me as he adjusts his blazer on his body. "I saw what you have planned on your laptop," he pauses which raises heat against my collar. "The financial margin between the production and the distribution, how that has expanded over time and what the new model will create."
I stare back at him, no words able to form out of my mouth. "Why didn't you say anything?" he shoots back at me.
My throat closes for a split second before I force it open again. "I didn't want to interrupt anyone and I hadn't shown you yet, I didn't want to surprise you."
Weston shakes his head, flashing me a smile with his gorgeous white teeth. "Micah, you always surprise me."
My heart pulsated painfully, my hands beginning to turn numb. This was not good for my body or my mind, because I would be replaying that sentence in my head all night.
"Well I can bring it up on Monday?" I say in reply, my lips trembling ever so slightly.
"Don't be afraid to bring anything into conversation," Weston tells me seriously. "We are all here to work together and we wouldn't be a team if we didn't listen to everyone. I love your ideas Micah and I know they will too."
I love your ideas Micah. I am gushing.
I nod back at him, worried something stupid will fall out of my mouth. "Okay, I will do," I force out.
My feet carry me out of the boardroom and back to my desk without stopping, not realising how fast my heart was currently beating. Or the fact I was sweating under this shirt. I could feel my blood rush through my veins like a shot of adrenaline.
All I wanted to do now was work even harder.
. . .
Vee makes me dinner when I get home and we sit across from each other at the table, something we rarely did. "Was work good?" She asks as she shovels sweet corn into her mouth.
I nod as I chew on my own food. "Yeah been alright," I say.
"You sure?" She arches an eyebrow before swiping her tongue against the inside of her bottom lip.
My shoulders drop and I fall back into my seat, the fork resting on my plate falling onto the table. "Something bad is happening in my mind."
Valentina's eyes grow wide. "What like bad thoughts?" She asks, her voice laced with concern.
"No, no," I shake my head quickly as she takes a deep breath and continues to eat her food. "I've just—ugh I've—" My fingers dig into my eyeballs, not even wanting to say what I was thinking.
"Spill it," Valentina says sharply, pointing her fork in my direction.
"Fine," I say as I sit up in my chair. "I think I like my boss."
Valentina smiles at me. "Well that's good isn't it?" She replies causally. "Pretty sure you wasn't the biggest fan of him last month."
My hands move to rest on my face, letting out a frustrated grunt. "No Vee, not like that."
Her eyes remain tight on mine as she chews slowly. "You mean that you proper, proper fancy him this time?"
Pursing my lips and picking up my fork again. I didn't want to admit it but maybe I really needed to say it out loud before I burst. "Yeah," I let out, nothing in my body feeling better for saying it.
"What do you like about him?" She poses the question but in complete curiosity, her voice is soft like she wants to know.
I shrug but really I knew, deep down I could probably list a hundred things I liked about him. "He's just so different to other people I've met, he's kind and genuine. A proper gentleman, has the cleanest manners and he listens to me."
Vee leans forward on the table and rests her chin onto her hand, her eyes watching me. "And he didn't hate me for when I prejudged him, he tried to relate to me when I accused him of not understanding my situation. I'm almost sure he winked at me on Monday, I'm like ninety nine percent sure."
She starts to grin at me because in her head I knew she was already planning the wedding. "But he's the boss and I'm sure he isn't gay, at least I don't think he is. Obviously I don't want to mess up the job but I don't know what to do with these feelings. They're only gonna increase every time I see him."
Valentina swipes her hands backwards from the table and exhales loudly. "Well I mean if he winked at you, that's quite a personal thing,"
"But what if he was just being friendly?" I question to her. "What if he winks at everyone and I don't know about it?"
"I don't reckon most bosses wink at their employees, that's kind of strange," she comments as she narrows her eyes at the table. "I think you should just keep it to yourself for now, play it down."
"It's so unprofessional though, isn't it?"
Valentina chews the inside of her mouth. "Yeah it is a bit but some office romances last, pretty sure that's where most people meet their partners."
"He's the boss, boss though. Why would he even want to get to know someone like me?" I sigh out as I wipe my hand across my forehead. "I need to get over myself, he'd never be seen dead with me."
"Don't put yourself down," she begins to shake her head.
"I just need to get over this little crush and not let it change anything," I hold my hands up in defence.
"Of course," Vee says as she places her knife and fork together. "Just go to work, think of him as your boss and nothing more. Strictly professional. It's normal to have a crush on him, I don't think it's anything to worry about."
My cheeks puff out with air. "Yeah, I guess I should do that," I agree with her. "Have you heard from Arran?"
Valentina's eyes fall within a second and I almost wish I didn't bring it up. "Yeah, here and there."
"He's still giving you the silent treatment?" She nods slowly, subtly. "Vee, this needs to stop. You can't keep living like this."
"I know Micah I know, but when you have a relationship riding on so many years together, it's hard to let it go!" She yells out in frustration.
"This isn't a relationship if he's manipulating you into thinking you're the one in the wrong. I can't say it enough but it's emotional abuse." I stand my ground and watch as she squirms away from my eyesight.
"He said he will call me on Sunday to talk, so I'll see what he has to say."
My heart burns at the thought of the phone call, already knowing it will be full of screaming and crying. So I just nod at her. "Okay," I sigh. "We can talk about things then."
"Yeah," she rasps out before taking her plate towards the sink.
"Chin up, yeah?" I call out to her as I watch her aggressively rinse her plate.
She doesn't respond, I know her head is a war zone right now. I just wish I knew what she was thinking, to know if or how I could make this situation better. But I give her space, hating the idea of swarming her every given moment.
I just hope she learns to know her worth.