Are you death or paradise?

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Chapter 2

“How did you get my name?” I’m surprised; how does he know who I am?

"You really don’t remember, do you?” His voice remained monotonous.

"I’m sorry, no, I’m afraid I don’t know you..?" initially I was informing him but then it turned into a question. Because I wasn’t so sure.

"It’s me... Eugene. Third grade we were in the same class." As he walked slowly towards me, he said casually, his gaze fixed on me.

"Eugene! Of course. You used to sit in front of me." I was faking it, and I have no idea who the fuck he was... Eugene didn’t exist in third grade, as far as I recall.

He walked closer to me; but stood quite far away, but the distance between us felt closing in as he looked even more intensely into my eyes. He paused for a moment before asking, “You don’t remember, do you?”

I was so taken mesmerized with the bright green color of his eyes that I forgot how to respond and stood there staring into his eyes for a few seconds before saying, “I don’t.”

“We were both in community college. I moved to Chicago four months later, and I believe that’s why you don’t remember me.” His gaze remained fixed on me. And I just stood there wondering if I had met him or not. ‘Was he in accounting or psychology with me? Obviously.... accounting?’

“Did we ever take accounting classes together?” I was still trying to recall his face but couldn’t.

“Oh, yes, we did. I used to sit behind you...,” he trailed off, perhaps thinking I wouldn’t remember him. And I have no recollection of him. Why don’t I recall him? I felt like I’d seen those green eyes before as I stared at him. Langston, Eugene.... I stood there staring right into his green eyes for a few minutes and then remembered, Ahh yes... he was a transfer student from Chicago, he joined the college in junior year but then moved back to Chicago.

“Is it true that you are the transfer student? I couldn’t even place you. ” I smiled, a ‘oops, I’m sorry boss, I don’t fucking remember you’ smile. Basically, it’s an awkward smile with a hint of embarrassment.

“It’s not a big deal. At the very least, you remember me.” He wasn't smiling.

"I apologize for not recognizing you. You used to look so different back then.” I feel bad for not recognizing him. And I also made a bad first impression on him.

“Did Dorothy hire you?” He asked as he sat in his chair, pointing to the seat in front of him and asking me to join him. He didn’t even respond to my apology. Fuck!

"Yes. I’ll be starting from today. ” I smiled as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Because the man in front of me is staring right into the depths of my soul. And I don’t like that.

"That’s great. Was she there to walk you through the office policies and procedures?” He inquired once more, without breaking eye contact.

“No, I was supposed to bring her coffee and then we were going to discuss the policies and procedures.” I informed.

“All right, then, you’re free to go.” He informed and walked around to his chair, where he immediately began working.

It took me a moment to respond,

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Come by here before you leave for the day; I need to discuss my plans for the week with you.”

“All right, Mr. Langston.” and walked back into the cafeteria for coffee after leaving his office. I had to make us coffee again because the cups I had left on the counter had disappeared. Someone had to have taken it away. I met Dorothy in the conference room in five minutes.

“Are you okay? ” Dorothy inquired.

"Yeah. I’m good.” I gave her a friendly smile. “Mr. Langston wanted me to go over the company policies.” I informed her that I needed to double-check the rules.

"I’ll notify Axel to send you one.” Dorothy cracked a grin. "And ohh, your office is close to Mr. Langston’s. Chris here, the intern, will give you a tour of the office later. And for today, I’ll send you Mr. Langston’s routine and plans, so you can figure it out before you talk to him.” She informed.

"All right. Thank you very much!” I chirped because I’d finally gotten a job. It is not yet permanent, but if I work hard enough, I may be hired permanently.

I didn’t quite notice the room outside the main CEO office until Sarah showed me to my desk in that room, I in earlier. I reviewed the company’s policies as well as Mr. Langston’s schedule. To be honest, I’m a clumsy person, but this schedule is even clumsier. His weekly meeting times are not set in stone. Meetings at various companies take place on different days. He doesn’t take any days off, as if he wants to work all the time.

Chris arrived around 12 p.m. to show me around the office and introduce me to everyone I’ll be working with. They all appeared to be nice and friendly. The entire lunch break socializing and office tour with the chatty intern who probably doesn’t want to do his work took me 3 hours. I began putting together a rough schedule for Mr. Langston, arranging and rearranging a slew of events and meetings for the next two weeks. I finished my work for the day around 5.30 p.m. And, according to his schedule for the day, he was in a meeting that would end in... 30 minutes.

I made general small talk with Sarah in the reception area, such as where she lives and how she travels. Around 6 p.m., two men exited Mr. Langston’s office. After a few moments, I walked over to his office and knocked on the door.

“Come in.”

I walked in and saw him jotting something down. I waited for him to look at me for a few seconds, but he was preoccupied and was with Axel.

“Sir, I-”

"Call me Mr. Langston, Ms. Wright.” He cut me while still doing his job.

“Okay, Mr. Langston, I’d like to talk about the meetings and events-”

"Inquire with Dorothy; she knows everything.” still not looking at me.

“Mr. Langston, You asked me to pay you a visit after I finished my work for the day, and I need to ask you some questions about the meetings so that I can make a better schedule for you.” I informed quite sternly. Axel murmured something to him.

He dropped the pen and asked, “What’s next on your schedule today, Ms. Wright?” Fortunately, I memorized today’s schedule.

“Meeting with Mr.Mark at 6.30 p.m.” I informed him, without breaking our eye contact.

“Good. So, meet me after the meeting is done.” and he went back to work.

“However, it ends at 8 p.m., and I need to leave around 7 p.m. to get home.”

“Did Dorothy mention working late to you, here?” I opened my mouth to respond, but he abruptly cut me off. "I’m certain she did. I’ll meet you after the meeting because I have some important work to do.”

"Do you want me to take down notes of the meeting, Mr. Langston?”

"Yes, Ms. Wright. Be here by 6.30." he said flatly, and I left.
Before the meeting, I decided to get something to eat. I checked my phone, and there were 13 missed calls from Lana and Nat. Today was supposed to be my dinner date with them. I texted them that I might be late and asked to meet some other day.

At dot 6.25pm I was in Mr. Langston’s office, with a notepad. Axel briefed me on Mr. Mark and the discussion of the meeting, apparently Mr. Mark is the top company which buys smaller businesses, like Langston Enterprise, but he controls other parts of city.

Mr. Langston asked me to be at my desk and come in when he asked for me. And Mr. Mark appeared. I was called in at 6.30pm sharp. Axel was there too, helping me out during the meeting. The meeting ended at 9. ‘This is bad, If I take the train I’ll reach home by 10.30, or I’ll have to take a cab. I just... hope this doesn’t happen everyday.’

"Ms. Wright... Ms. Wright... Eleanor!” While I was thinking, Mr. Langston called out.

"I’m Sorry. I still didn’t get a chance to discuss the schedule with you.” I informed quickly.

"Hmmmm. Okay, let’s finish this in 30 minutes, okay?” I looked at my watch, 9:03pm... fuck it, today's my first day at work, I need to make a good impression. "Axel, send me the documents tomorrow."

"Yes, yes. See ya, boss." he waved at him, he was so casual with him. "Good night, Ms. Eleanor." He smiled at me and I exchanged the same words.

"All right. I’ve noticed a consistent pattern of meetings occurring during the week, so I wanted to ask if we had a set date for these meetings?”

" No, we don’t. Do you have a solution?”

“Yes, sir, I did send you an email with a draft of the schedule... I’m also carrying a printout.” I then handed him the paper.

“Ms. Wright, there are a lot of fucking changes here.”

“Changes are required. That schedule was a bit..."

"Go on say it."

"Messy. You don’t have a single day off, not even Sundays.”

“That’s the fucking point; I don’t want a single day to go by wasted. And... no, I’m not cancelling my club times; they’re still the same.”

“Okay, if we keep the club hours and everything, you can still get 12 hours free on Sunday.”

“No fucking free time,” he said. “Keep it open for meetings that need to be cancelled or rescheduled, okay?”

“Yes. How about the meetings?”

“To be honest, the meetings do not follow a plan or a schedule. As you receive emails, create a daily schedule for meetings. I’ll cc you and Axel on the meetings I’ve sent via email.”

“I’ve also freed up Saturday evening. You can get some rest.”

"Ahh..." he pointed his hand at me, "Come on, no free time. I really appreciate it but I can’t help but need to do my work.” He was sweet about it but he literally has no free time. To be honest, he could easily spend the weekends alone, but he rarely does.

At 10.48 p.m., the scheduling and professional wrangling over his schedule was completed.

“Finally, it’s over.” He looked at his watch and then at me, saying, “It’s almost 11 p.m., and.. you’ve officially wasted my time discussing this.” ‘Keep your cool; you’re not finished for the day yet.’

“As I previously stated, necessary changes.” I put on a fake smile.

“Ahh but you did a good job, my previous assistant, Axel, was and still is a complete mess,” he chuckled to himself. Maybe they are friends?
"Wasn't Dorothy your last assistant?"
"No!" he chuckled slightly "Dorothy is the Manager, she was an assistant when my dad was the CEO... but she said she'll be retiring, so I asked her to get me a good assistant before she leaves, and then Axel becomes my manager. Anyways, I’ll give you a ride home. Don’t worry Eleanor.” He gave me a friendly smile.
“Thank you, Eug- Mr. Langston.”

“Oh no worries-” he popped out some mints and aggressively gritted on them- "grab your belongings and meet me in the lobby.”
The way that he just said the last sentence gave me chills, his voice was so calm and the way he eat the mints was so aggressive. He really is something.
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