Trying to keep it together
As soon as I got out, his car maneuvered and off he went. I stood on the pavement feeling my hand still tingled from his touch. Minutes has passed and fought the urge to chase after him wanting him to hold me. I flashed back to the time I was in his arms as he cradled me close. I wanted so much to feel his arms around me. I argued with myself probably looking like an Idiot.
“Angela?” I froze as I heard a male’s voice call me. I quickly turned but in mu disappointment I was faced with a face familiar yet I couldn’t quite think of who this was.
“Oh, It’s Riley. Remember? Starbucks?”
My mind started functioning again and I remember who he was.
“Oh- yeah. I’m so sorry. My mind was still processing. Riley. I’m really sorry about your shirt again. Has the stain been taken care of?” I ask him. What a question Angela Snow Morley! My mind just smacked me in the head.
" Oh, no problem. I really didn’t mind at all.” He says
“So what are you doing here? Besides standing on the sidewalk?” He continues
“Oh, Company outing. Bowling.” I smiled at his stating the obvious opening conversation.
“Would you like to join us? Maxine’s here too.” I say inviting him.
“Really? Am I allowed to do that?”
“Of course, I planned the party after all.” I say dragging him in the bowling alley.
We walked towards the bowling lane as he marveled at the bowling place. Telling me how he never thought of coming to a place like this. I’m not usually good with talking to guys, but Riley is easy to talk to and very pleasing to the eyes as well. He was charming and just made me feel it was ok for me to let my guard down.
“So, this is where you hide, Friday nights.” He surprises Maxine as he leaped behind her.
Maxine turned and I could visibly see her turn red like a ripen tomato. She smiled and froze. I felt the need to help her out so I butt in and distracted Riley.
“Max. Say something.” I whispered.
“Riley, it’s nice to see you again. What are you doing here?” She asks hugging him and I knew Max was back.
“I saw, Angela out front and she invited me in.” He explains.
“Angela, Where’s Mr. Sleigh. It his turn, we’ll never win the trip.” The girl on my team whined.
“He’s out. He had to fly-out tonight. It was something urgent.” I apologized.
“Why don’t Riley play with you guys?” Maxine says giddily.
“Sure, I don’t mind. I’ll just grab the shoes” He says and disappears.
When he came back, ready to bowl. I introduced him to Aunt Brenda who seemed to be delighted with him. Riley upped his game once he knew there was a free trip involved. He was really good at bowling, even better than me. Maxine and him really seemed to like each other; they talked, giggled and whispered when it wasn’t their turn. After what seemed like hours of bowling we finally reached the end. Only three our teams were left in the contest for the trip. The accounting group, Some Marketing people, Maxine’s group and Mine.
“This is it, the last game. The highest score wins the 6 tickets to Hawaii.” Maxine announces
“First team up is the Accounting group”
The accounting group came close if it wasn’t for the guy who got distracted and scored a 0 on his last throw. Maxine’s group won against the accounting group by a strike. Next was marketing versus my team. They were no match for Riley and me. Some of the girls reveled in the handsome Riley and got distracted.
“So it’s just your team against mine.” Maxine says like we were in a sudden death match.
“What are you going to do about it?” Riley bantered
“Win the game and make you cry.” Maxine flirted
“Let’s see you try.”
Maxine was the last person to throw her ball and hit a spare. The game was pretty tied up all we needed were 2 more strikes and we would win. Good thing it was Riley’s turn or we’re doom.
“Watch and learn.” Riley winks at Maxine who blushed at his command.
Riley took a ball, concentrated and took his stance. Started to walk , as soon as he was about to let go of the ball.
“Riley! I love you.” Maxine cheered and the rest followed making Riley off his game and aimed the ball straight to the canal.
“Nooooo!” Out team cheered.
Riley, laughed hard and amused at Maxine who looked like she was challenging him.
“That was cute” Riley says stepping closer to Maxine who seemed to be delighted that her distraction worked.
“If I win, You. Me. Friday.” He says touching her chin.
Maxine was speechless. Riley went back up to retrieve the ball to throw the last two turns. Aunt Brenda and the rest of the team tried to distract him but nothing worked. Riley hits a strike and smiles wickedly at Maxine, who was looking very nervous.
“Go! Riley Go!” I cheered him on. Maxine shot me a scared glare, mouthing “NO” back at me.
As everybody held their breath the Last throw hit the lane then.
“Yes!” Riley hits his fist up and our team ran to give him a hug. After all the praises, Riley stepped out of the small circle we enclosed him. Making his way to the defeated Maxine, who, seemed to have mixed emotions boiling in her.
“I’ll take those tickets now.” Riley announces to Maxine in front of everybody. Maxine hands him the vouchers to be claimed anytime for the ticket to Hawaii.
“Oh and I’ll claim you, 8 for our date this Friday.” He says before facing us with tickets raised as we cheered on, he grabs hold of the blushing Maxine and leads her to our group who cheered with glee.
“Aunt Brenda! We did it! Sorry you lost. Here you deserve this.” I say handing her the plane ticket.
“Oh no, my dear Buggy. This is yours who knows you might need this for a rainy-day.” She says hugging me.
“Aunt Brenda, you’re the best. Did you have fun?”
“Oh dear, the most in years. Thank you sooo much” She prasied.
“Anything for you, Aunt Brenda.”
Over the weekend, Aunt Brenda and I flew to the Hamptons to help her get settled in her new estate she bought from her savings over the pass years. After arriving in the airport, we headed straight, somewhere in Bridge Hampton. We passed through houses big enough to house three families. The houses looked prestigious those can be viewed through the gates had perfectly manicured lawn acres of green and tons of flowers. We arrived to a mansion with a moving van parked on the driveway.
" Aunt Brenda! This is unbelievable, I’m so visiting you often.” I excitedly drooled over her new acquired house.
“Anytime you want to come over, you are always welcome. You could pick out your room.” She surprises me
“What? No. Really?” I blabbed in negation with myself die to my excitement.
“Of course, It’s you and me buggy.” She reassures me and leads me in the house.
The wooden floors, the double volume ceiling made the house feels really inviting. The cozy furniture made you want to dive in and just rest there and not move.
“Aunt Brenda, this house is already filled what more would you want to add here?” I ask walking pass the cascading staircase.
“Just clothes and some valuables, pictures, just to make it my own.” She says.
“You better pick a room and come down afterwards we have a lot of things to do.” She continues as she lets the movers in.
I rushed up and searched for the perfect room, After debating with myself as to which room I should take, I finally choose a room with white furniture with the same hardwood floors and hints of blue for décor. Perfect.
The day dragged on and we were able to finish up and all the boxes were kept and stashed in her new garage. After sweeping, moping, folding, and cleaning every nook and cranny. We both dropped in front of the fireplace wanting to catch our breath.
“Lemonade? What do you want for dinner?” Aunt Brenda asks
“Thanks. That was quite a workout.” I say breathing heavily.
“I could have never done this without you, thank you Buggy.” She says nudging me as we sit side by side on the floor with our backs on the foot of the sofa.
Beep. My phone rang and I was quick to check who it was, to my surprise it was a message from Robert.
Check your email. I already sent to you the papers to file and reports to be made. Send the reports as soon as possible. Also in other meetings that you have to join, let Miss Morris accompany you. Any more questions, don’t hesitate to call.
Robert Sleigh CEO, Sleigh Holdings Incorporated
I stared at the message, feeling stressed out by the papers and the future meetings. I guess Aunt Brenda caught my stress plastered on my face.
“Work? Is that Robert?” She asks
“Yes.” I whined
“Don’t worry, Buggy. You’ll get the hand of it. So far I heard, Robert is very pleased with your performance.” She cheers me on
“I guess, but Aunt Brenda, is this going to be my life? Answering calls, cleaning up his mess, making romantic appointments for the girls that he swoons?” I ask suddenly feeling sulky.
“Oh dear, No. This is just temporary; I know after you’ve saved enough money, you’d be able to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Take this job as a stepping-stone towards your future. Plus having a gorgeous boss while getting very well paid isn’t such a burden is it?” She says
“Gorgeous, totally off limits, bossy and unpredictable.” I continue her description of Robert.
We both chatted the night away, Aunt Brenda taught me tricks and all the who’s who in Roberts business, she told me the longer she stayed by Roberts side made her learn a thing or two about his company and how her runs it. She taught me to take notes and always try to learn Robert’s strategy.
The Next day I find myself on the sofa, waking up to the sunrays shining through the windows. I searched the room and found a coffee mug with a sticky note stuck to it.
Be back soon. Gone Shopping for food.
I waited for Aunt Brenda who arrived at noon bearing treats form the grocery and lunch for the both of us. Later in the afternoon before I leave, we decided to just drive around Hamptons, go sight seeing and check out the new neighborhood. As the afternoon sun was chasing us, we made our way to the airport where my perfectly stress-free day ended.
I lay flat on my belly, looking out the dawn sky, not wanting to get up and just sleep in. Since it was too early, I searched for the report on my laptop, brewed a cup of coffee and started working. Minutes passed and I was able to finish the first half of my draft. Pleased with my accomplishment I decided to take an early bath and dress for work.
After all my morning routine, I refilled my coffee once more and went back to my laptop. A pinging sound has set off and I realized that my Skype was bouncing off the dock. Opening it, I was greeted by Mr. Robert Sleigh’s greeting.
Why are you up so early?
Seeing it was sent earlier I replied seemingly hoping he was still on the line.
Well, There’s a saying the early bird gets the worm.
“So freaking cheesy!” I exclaim to myself , Before I could rant out more my laptop pings.
That, or your nervous about today, because last time I checked no worm is up this early Miss Morley.
You could say that … I’m not sure I could keep your company from catching fire and burning down.
You have nothing to worry. I know you are capable of doing so because I wouldn’t have placed you in that position if I know you’re not capable of excelling.
Excelling? Now I’m REALLY nervous.
Relax, it’s too early for you to be ready. It’s 4 in the morning for Pete’s sake.
I’m usually up at this hour. I just wanted to sort things our before I watch over your company.
I applaud your dedication Ms. Morley, maybe you should run the company.
Thank you Mr. Sleigh, but I’m perfectly fine in my current position.
Good. Any more questions, Skype, email, call, write a letter or text.
Ok. Mr. Sleigh I promise to send you a snail mail, if any problems should occur. Anything I could do for you Mr. Sleigh before I burn down your office?
None. I just think you forgot something ANGELA.
As I saw my name in all caps, I realized I have been calling him Mr. Sleigh.
Sorry, Rob – Robert. Calling you Mr. Sleigh is like asking a smoker to stop smoking, Hard.
Well, Ms. Angela Morley, I’m no longer stopping you.
Just like that, my morning became brighter and inspired. As soon as I finished the first draft of my report, My alarm started to go off, I headed down the lobby and about to take a cab when Joseph calls my attention.
“Ms. Morley! Your car is all set for you.”
“My car? I don’t have a car, Joseph.” I negated, confused if he was addressing to me.
“Yes, Mr. Sleigh said you are to use your car to head off to work.” He says handing me a key of some sort as he showed me the midnight blue hatchback Ford Focus 2013 gleaming in the sunlight waiting for me to drive it.
“Jo, are you sure this is mine?” I ask enthusiastically. I never owned a car before and this is something very new to me. I feel giddy like I did ridding Robert’s Aston Martin.
“Oh, yes miss absolutely sure. Drive safe now.” He says ushering me in the car.
I sit in the driver’s seat turn on the ignition. I sit there marveling at the new car smell and the cool wind gushing out of the air con vents. This car is a piece of heaven, I try and remember my driving skills, and it’s been to long since I’ve driven a car. I slowly rev the gas pedal and ease out unto the street.
I reached the office and stopped in front. I was debating with myself as to where I should park my car. Before I could slowly ease out to find a parking space and person tapped on my door. It took me awhile to realize it was the valet. He opens my door and I quickly grab my stuff.
“So,um how much?-” I trailed off not knowing a thing or two about valet
“Miss, Henry will take care of that.” Albert the centurion’s door man says to me as he greets me.
“Oh, thank you Henry.” I say
“I’ll be here in the lobby with you key miss.” He says nodding at me
As he leaves the driveway, I give Albert a nod and a greeting and hed up. I was quick to catch the elevator ride, that was filling up. this was unusal seeing how Mr. Sleigh manages to have an empty car. As soon as the car reaches my floor, I made my way out of the car and unto the lobby.I walk pass the cubicles and I feel all eyes are on me. I didn’t t even dare look at their faces. I just rushed as fast as I could to my desk.
Minutes later Maxine enters the entry way and greets me
“Hey, Max. Busy day today?”
“Yup and you’re the boss.” She says smiling at me
“Excuse me- Ms. Morley, these are the papers Mr. Sleigh asked for you to sort.” A petite girl walked in brig upping a bundle of folders
“Oh, thanks just leave it here.” I say letting her settle the folders on the To-Do tray.
Before I could answer Maxine’s tease with a good comeback, another employee comes in and asks my opinion, telling me Mr. Sleigh asked for my opinion. Another came in bringing more things that I should do.I was beginning to feel the stress and about to burst unto tears if it wasn’t for Maxine helping me cope with people coming in and out.
“Oh, Max you should have been in my situation, you know all these better. You can be the boss and I’ll fix your schedule.” I say marveling at her confidence.
“No, thank you. Your job is going to drive me crazy. I’m only good with numbers, statistics, stocks and all that falls under those area, but your job? Is a death sentence. Onky the brave could survive that position.” She lectures m
“No it isn’t. I’m just bringing coffee, answering calls, fixing schedules, sort out papers-” I trail off as she interrupts
“On call form24 hours, picks up after the rich guy who had a sleepover, never having a social life, due to the fact that she is needed all the time by a boss who flies in and out of the country, need I say more.” She looks at me as if daring me to tell more about my demanding job.
“Trust me, you’d be able to do this with a blind fold on.” I tell her.
“So. I’m going to Mr. Sleigh’s meeting this morning and I’m guessing it’ll end by lunch, so are you ok eating by yourself?” She asks
“Oh yeah. Of course just come by minutes before our appointment this afternoon.” I say
“Ok. Lates.” She says
Morning passed and it seems I haven’t made a dent out of the huge pile of papers stacking higher by the minute, I moved as quickly as I could to sort the papers file them, arrange and place them on the respective cabinets. I’m running in and out Robert’s office like I was running a marathon in heels. I looked at the pile and I was getting disappointed. Time flew by fast and I was up for a deadline seeing how I have 2 scheduled meetings with Maxine, 3 stops to make for Robert’s errands and I haven’t stil found the right place the file in my hand was to be placed. Getting frustrated, I sat on my desk and placed my head on my hands and breathed in hard.
My phone sets off jerking me back to reality. I searched for the app that rang and I noticed a badge on my Skype app. I opened it and found a message from Robert and decided to reply back seeing he is still on line.
I’m guessing everything is going smoothly since you haven’t called me once to ask for something.
You could say that, I’m still sorting out papers, Maxine is going to come and get me for our afternoon meeting.
You’re still working?!
Ofcourse, i meed to finish this today.
It’s noon, Angela. Go and eat. I didn’t ask for thee papers to be finished today.
I’m fine, i’m not hungry yet. I’ll just grab a sandwich or a biscuit or something.
No. you have to eat.
Honestly Robert, I’m fine you dont have to worry. I ate a hefty breakfast. Now, I need to go if I’m going to finish this today. I’ll call you later.
Before he could reply, I placed my phone on silent and shoved it in my drawer and continued my sorting. A few minutes after, my stomach was grumbling so I decided to go on the pantry and find something to eat. I walked pass the empty cubicles and into the pantry,I took some nutrition bars and a coffee and hurried back, before people comes back from lunch. I hurried and noticed a man was standing by my desk holding out a takeout package.
“Hi, Ms. Morley?” He asks
“A package for you, careful it’s hot.”
“I didn’t order anything.” I say confused
“Yes, A Mr. Robert Sleigh called in and orderd for you, it’s been paid for.” He says smiling at me
“Oh. Thank you.” I say
“You’re welcome.” He leaves the meal on my table and heds out the office. Before I could process, I quickly took out my phone and scanned our conversation and his latest reply says, YOU’RE EATING, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
I quickly dialed his number and waited for the ringing to stop.
“Sleigh.” He says and the sound of his voice made every inch of me tingle.
“You really didn’t have to bring me food, Robert. I told you I’d take care of it.” I said in a heated voice.
“I didn’t have too, but I can. You were being stubborn and I can’t have my representative looking pale and fainting in front of my clients. What message will that bring to my clients, that I over work and slave my workers?” He rants
“Well. I was going to eat and then your man showed up.”
“Good. Saves you the time of going down.” He says
“if you keep on doing this, I wouldn’t have enough money left if I keep on repaying you.” I say smiling uncontrollably at his gesture, good thing he isn’t here to see me.
“Angela, You don’t have repay me. As I have said you’re my responsibility, if I don’t look after you Brenda will hang me upside down in her dungeon.” He says comically and I laugh at the thought of him hanging upside down. Before I could reply he cuts me off.
“Now, I have to get back to my meeting, now eat and be ready for this afternoon.” He says and hangs up.
I stare at the bag of goodies on my table that’s oozing with delicious smell. I love food. I excitedly opened the packages one by one and realized this was from the Mercer. The lintel soup smelt divine that my stomach started growling at me to eat. I finished the entire takeout and relaxed on my chair. The tastes of the food are still dancing in my mouth. I adore food. After a few minutes of relaxing, I took out my phone and texted Robert.
Thanks for the lunch
Remind me to treat you when you get back.
I know a sandwich restaurant you might want to try when you get back
Best lunch I’ve had so far. Thank you for the meal.
After my contemplating on various messages, I finally sent a very professional message. I prepared my bag for the meeting and kept on sorting out papers while I was waiting for Maxine.
The days passed in a tiring, non-stop work with late lunches and dinners blur. Wednesday morning came by so quickly and all the staff was unusually hard at work, even Maxine wasn’t there to greet me and wish me luck, I was all by myself. There were no signs of Robert as well so I guess everything was fine.
Afternoon ended so fast and I realized I still hadn’t finished sorting all files. I didn’t know if I could finish all the paperwork by Friday so I decided to get an overtime to finish sorting. Maxine dropped me off the office after our meetings that afternoon. I went back up to my desk as people passing by bid me farewell as they head out the office. I stowed away my belongings and determined to finish at least half of the papers on my desk.
It was getting late and I was getting exhausted, The plush sofa in Robert’s office was calling my name so I decided to just sit and relax while I sort the papers on the coffee table.
“Ms. Morley. Ms. Morley.” A vague urgent voice has called me.
I jerk up trying to force my vision to clear. I panic as two hands has grab hold both my shoulders.
“Ms. Morley Are you alright? She’s here.” He yells out