Calm before the storm
"Flowers huh? Can't say I hate them." Said the girl with a smirk standing in the guys arms who was taken by her witty ways.
"That'll work too." He said with misty eyes as he stared at the girl.
"You might want to save some charm for the second date." Muttered the girl tilting her head to the side comprehensively
"Not gonna leave any room for doubt. Not when you are this pretty." The guy said admiring her.
Her smirk widened as she closed her eyes and Inched closer towards him. A second passed before she felt him huff with amusement followed by a wet and warm sensation on her forehead. Resisting the warmth creeping up her neck she opened her eyes and shrugged off the tingly feeling in her stomach by a sarcastic reply.
"Not going for the customary parting kiss, huh?"
"Not so soon. Sleep well honeybun." He said as he loosened his grip around her and took a step back.
"I'll be waiting for that 'soon'." She said as she plucked a daisy from the bouquet and tucked it behind his ear.
She waited till he was out of her sight to enter the apartment complex. Checking her phone on the way up, she saw the recent messages from her colleague and 50+ messages on the dry group chat of her workplace. Presuming the group chat messages to be some nonsense, she opened the personal chat of her colleague which read.
'Ray, Mr. Torano died'
Ray typed the reply with one hand and hit send. It read.
She then proceeded to open the group chat and scrolled through the messages dismissing them for the nonsense she had presumed. She then pocketed the phone and jumped her way to her apartment skipping the steps.
Entering the apartment she placed the bouquet on the coffee table in front of her and switched on the news as she continued to check all the other notifications on her phone. The tv provided a background as she continued to scroll through her emails and messages from various clients.
'Can you send me the second revision a day earlier?'
'I need to review some changes.'
'Your work was well received. Can I send your portfolio to another client who is interested in your work.'
She decided to reply to all of them later not wanting to send half hearted replies. That is when the latch turned and a boy entered from the door. He walked past Ray without so much of a glance at her. She said behind him without looking up from her phone.
"Could you manage to keep your shoes not like an imbecile."
"Could you manage to not piss me off." He said as he continued to walk towards his room his head held high in a smug way.
"Could you manage to keep the music in a reasonable human hearing range today?" said the girl, her voice tired.
"Could you manage to fuck off like always?" He said as he walked into his room banging the door, his last words coming out muffled.
Barely a minute passed by before the music began blaring through the apartment. Ray sighed visibly and ignored it until she felt two knocks on her floor from below. She got up on instinct and walked the predefined steps to the electric switch that cut the supply for the entire apartment. She switched it off and almost instantly the grumpy guy barged out of his room and towards her.
"Fuck off, Ray"
"It'd be better if you do that, Justin."
"I swear I will leave one of these days and never come back."
"Be my guest." Said Ray with a deadpan look before walking out of there.
The lights came on behind her as she shouted.
"Keep the volume in check. Two more knocks and we both are homeless."
She walked in her room as she heard a muffled grunt from Justin followed by his stomps.
She enjoyed a prolonged bath thinking about her date earlier. Has she gotten lucky? Sameul Maverick. He was sweet. No actually he was better. He was yummy. He was better than average and less than perfect. That's what he was.
The next morning in the office everyone talked about Marceal Torano who died the day before. Alicia who had been biting her lips since morning finally let herself go and spilled her guts to Ray. She kept going on and on about how he was a great man this and that.
Ray was amused. She didn't reply to Alicia but she was listening to whatever she had to say about her former boss. When Alicia said that she is puzzled as to how this isn't a big deal among the media Ray couldn't keep herself from saying the following.
"Torano And Ferdinand Pvt. ltd. Is only one among the famous 500 companies in this country."
An unknown voice tried to get her attention over that very statement.
"Excuse me?" He prompted in a curious tone.
Ray turned her chair to find out the source of this voice. She found a macho guy tucked in a suit with a pretty face to be the source. She condemned herself for being a victim to the social beauty standards and finding this man conventionally pretty. He continued to speak.
"Isn't that commendable? Top 500?"
"No one ever goes beyond the first three names. With that attitude no wonder we are one among the top 500 and not the top three."
"Follow me." He commanded her.
"I'd like to know who I am following."
"Your new boss, starting today. Francis Torano."