Chapter 12 : Mr Woods
I took my tray of lunch and sat on an empty table in the office staff canteen.
I took a spoonful of rice that's when I saw Greg coming near me.
"May I sit here?" He asked gesturing my opposite seat.
"Sure." I politely said.
I didn’t buy any seat in this canteen, of course you could sit.
I internally rolled my eyes.
"How have you been lately, Elizabeth?" He queried taking a bite of his sandwich.
"Doing good. Hope everything is fine with you too." I responded.
"Yeah, you don't usually come to office parties or gathering. Would you mind sharing each other's numbers?"
I groaned in annoyance. Here we went again.
What should I say? I couldn’t say no, it would be so rude.
We exchanged our numbers. I chose an empty seat so that I could eat a bit peacefully, but Greg started blabbering nonsense with me.
"So do you have a boyfriend?" He questioned out of nowhere.
"Why are you asking this all of a sudden?" I asked back.
"No, I was actually wondering if a beautiful woman like you are already taken?" He replied.
Men and their flirting - I was tired of both.
"What if I aren’t?" I queried.
"Then I would definitely ask you out." He stated smiling.
I knew it.
Already I was ignoring my boss, Archer. Now this guy.
I lost my appetite now.
What was wrong with men nowadays? Why were they being so interested in me?
I hated men.
"I am single, but actually not interested." I stated.
"Oh that's a shame. But you should try at least, who knows maybe I am the one for you." He winked.
His words were so cheesy that I felt nauseated.
I ate little more but couldn’t finish the rice. My appetite was gone. I couldn’t feel comfortable around any man who was interested in me, who wanted to develop a romantic relationship with me. I always tried to avoid men, knowing that someone was targeting me or trying on me, it made me anxious and nervous.
"I have works to do. If you don't mind, I would have to get going. See you, Greg." Saying, I quickly escaped from there.
I returned to my cabin with a can of Pepsi. I opened the can and took a sip that's when the telephone on my desk rang.
"Hello," I took the call.
"Elizabeth, come to my cabin." My boss ordered.
"Yes, Sir. I am coming." Hanging up, I headed to his room.
He was tying something on his phone as I asked, "May I come in?"
"Yeah," With this he looked at me.
"What about the files that I gave you two days ago? Have you completed it?" He questioned.
"Yes, Sir. I did complete it sometime ago. I am bringing it." I was about to go out, but he stopped me.
"Stop, I have more to say. Elizabeth, you must not forget that you are an interior designer firstly, and personal assistant later. So, I expected you to amend the last design you submitted to me and do it within yesterday. Are you done yet?" Archer's brows raised.
I bit my lips, I was still doing the designs.
"Sir, actually I am still not done. I need some hours." I replied.
"This isn’t what I expect from you." Archer remarked.
"Have I burdened you with more responsibilities than you can handle?" Archer queried.
Thanks for understanding. I spoke internally.
"Umm. Sir," I bit my lip, pondering over should I give him a blunt reply.
But when I looked at Archer, his eyes were fixed on my lips. His gaze was hungry, he gulped once.
He cleared his thought and moved his eyes quickly when he realized I caught him.
"Sir, actually it gets a bit tough for me. I have to organize everything for your meeting, go with you everywhere, keep track of every thing as your personal assistant. And at the same time, I have to design as before. I admit that you are paying me much more, I am dedicating more time for works. I work when I am home too, but still it doesn’t seem enough. I apologize for that." I explained politely.
"I understand. Then do something, work as my personal assistant from now on. I will pay you whatever amount I pay you now. You don't have to worry about the salary." mentioned.
"Sir, I am an interior designer. Designing is what I learned to do. Can't I get my job back as an interior designer? You will get someone worthier as personal assistant. I am sure they would work more efficiency than me." I spoke.
"That's impossible. I can't let you go!" Archer exclaimed making me surprise.
"Excuse me?" I frowned.
"I mean, I have already told you before that I want someone as my personal assistant who is knowledgeable enough in interior designing and architecture. This is why I need you. I know I can get another persons assistant who is also knowledgeable in these areas. But I don't have the time, and I am not sure if I can get someone who can work with me, cope with my pace. So, bear with me and I will try not to give you more pressure." He stated.
And whatever he said, it was ridiculous.
"Thank you for your consideration, Sir." I tried to say politely, but didn’t know why it came out as sneer.
Archer raised a brow at me again.
"Then I will be going back to my work, Sir." Smiling at him, I returned to my cabin.
Three days later,
I was ignoring my boss with my utmost might. Except for work related talks, I completely avoided him.
I could see his sullen face, him yearning to talk to me. I even felt pity for him, but still didn’t talk to him.
Archer was a gentleman, he didn’t force me to do something or coerce me into talking to him. He was a grown up man who respected women. His parents brought him up so well, her mother must be so proud.
"Elizabeth, tomorrow I am going to have a meeting with the Managing Director of YTD technologies. Organize everything within 10 am, he is going to come here within 11 am. They are interested in working with us and this partnership may be beneficial for us too. And try to make reservations in a good Italian restaurant closely if possible or not make sure to at least get high quality Italian dishes delivered here for lunch." Archer spoke.
"And you have to attend the meeting, to help me with recording, keeping notes and suggesting ideas as interior designer. So, dress properly, Elizabeth. This meeting is important." Archer emphasized.
"You may leave now, Elizabeth."
The next day,
Third person's POV:
Elizabeth arranged everything for the meeting. For the last time, she was checking again if everything was okay. Feeling satisfied with the preparation, she let out a sigh in relief.
Elizabeth called Brooke, she was receptionist of the first floor. She would wait and guide the Managing Director of TYD technology to the meeting room.
Elizabeth, Archer and other executives were already present at the meeting room. When it was exactly 11 am, the Managing Director of TYD technologies entered the room.
Everyone stood up from their chair.
"Hello, Mr. Woods. You are really on time." Archer smiled at him.
"Thanks Mr. Johnson. I like being punctual." He smiled back.
"This is my secretary, Tracy." He gestured to the woman standing beside him. The woman politely smiled and said Archer a small hello.
Archer also greeted her back.
Archer introduced all the executive members to Mr. Woods.
At last, he turned to Elizabeth.
"This is my assistant and senior interior designer of this company, Elizabeth Sanders." Archer spoke.
But Elizabeth couldn’t say anything, she didn’t even move. Archer narrowed his eyes at her and frowned seeing her expression.
Her face whitened like she had just seen a ghost, her body was trembling. She was looking down.
"Are you okay, Elizabeth?" Archer asked her.
But Elizabeth didn’t answer, it was like she couldn’t hear it in the first place.
"Elizabeth?" Archer lightly tapped her shoulder once.
"Ah!" A squeak left past her lips as she jumped.
"Elizabeth? What's wrong with you?" Archer asked her. This time Elizabeth looked at him, panting.
Taking a quick glance in the room, she was reminded that she was at the meeting room. Everyone was staring at her strangely.
"I think your assistant is not feeling good." Mr. Wood spoke, and after he finished talking, his lips turned into a smirk.
Elizabeth looked at him but instantly took her eyes off him. Her heart was beating fast in her chest. She closed her eyes as her head spun.
"I am not feeling good. Can I leave now?" She said looking at Archer.
"But Elizabeth I need someone to help me during the meeting." Archer responded apologetically. He felt genuinely bad for making her work when she was feeling unwell.
"I understand." Elizabeth nodded with a sigh.
The meeting started and continued for more than one hour. This one hour was agonizing for Elizabeth. She could hardly concentrate on her task.
She had already made three mistakes.
Furthermore, she wasn’t looking up, except for writing and helping Archer with meeting, she kept her gaze rooted on the table.
She was scared of looking up, she didn’t want her eyes to meet with Mr. Woods at all.
Archer sensed something was wrong with her. But he couldn’t ask her now as they were in a meeting. He decided to ask her later.
Even though Elizabeth was uncomfortable during the whole moment of the meeting, it ended successfully. Both companies agreed to sign the deal.
"It's really wonderful." Archer spoke to Mr. Woods.
"Thanks. Then we will send you the contract soon." Mr. Woods replied.
"Of course. We look forward." Archer said.
"This design of this meeting room is nice. Your company really do have good taste." Mr. Woods asked.
"Thanks. It's designed by Elizabeth last month as far as I can remember." Archer answered.
"Oh really? Then can I have her to design my penthouse apartment? As I will be working with your company for some time, I am thinking of buying an apartment in this city." Mr. Woods depicted looking at Elizabeth.
"It's not up to me. I can't decide for her. Ask her yourself." Archer asserted.
"What do you say, Elizabeth? Will you work for me? I will pay you good." Mr. Wood smirked again.
"Sorry! I am busy! " Elizabeth uttered. It came out as a rude yell and Archer couldn’t understand why Elizabeth was behaving this way.
"It's a shame then. But I am sure I will get you work for me soon. I don't want to lose you without having a taste." Mr. Woods voiced.
Archer narrowed his eyes at him.
"I mean I don't want to lose such a great artist like her without having a taste of her work." Mr. Woods added quickly.
"Please, excuse me." Elizabeth said and left the room without caring for any permission.