I was in a hurry when I left home for office. However hard I tried, I was always late when he was there. My late coming was not a regular thing, I was the most punctual employee. Well, that’s the word, these days, WAS! Ever since Unbearable Erin had come as the Assistant to the Brutal Boss, it was like hell let itself loose in the Editorial board of the Starry Fashion magazine.
Well, Starry Fashion magazine was an upcoming fashion magazine where we tried to bring up new ideas, new talents and new fashion trends, before anyone else could. Brutal Boss, actually his name was Brutus, you won’t believe he even looked like Popeye’s Brutus. And he was equally brutal, only that his words were brutal like the cartoon’s punches. And no, spinach wouldn’t help us to escape.
As I stepped into the office, dressed in a simple, calf length black skirt, with black jacket and a cream colored top, I heaved a sigh of relief when I didn’t see Erin in his cabin. I started walking towards my cubicle. Erin’s cabin was all glass walled, cunning fellow, with those he could always keep an eye on me!
Why me, you ask? I am his ever tormented secretary. Since his appointment last Monday, he has earned me all the sympathy and concern of the other staff members. People have started betting, how soon I will be leaving this job.
Actually working under Samantha, the previous Assistant to Brutal Boss, was a smooth ride. But then she got pregnant after 10 years of marriage and applied for maternity leave. And entered into our haven, the man monster Erin!
As I slowly tried to tiptoe in my high heels which were ticking aloud while they hit the polished floor, I was startled when I heard the voice, “Late again, Miss Anna!”
Why! Why did he have to always be on time? Why did I have to be the one after him to come to office? Why didn’t his clock or wrist watch stop or better, just explode?
With these thoughts and annoyance on my face, I turned my head to see him. He was standing at the door of his cabin, which opened just where it wasn’t supposed to! Into my cubicle. Wearing a crisp white shirt, which seemed so stiff and freshly ironed, it made me wonder, did he iron and wear it or wear and then iron!
I smiled innocently at him and looked at my wristwatch. It was 9 o’clock, I was on the dot so I proudly declared, “Well, Erin, I am on time. I believe that should be enough!”
“Yeah but a secretary should be in office before her boss, isn’t it Anna?” He gave me that glaring look.
“I will try to do so, but I don’t think I can run my life as per your timetable..Sir” I replied, stressing on Sir so that he would just tell me the work and go away. Since he had joined, his main work was to go through our archives, check on all the work done and torment me.
How I hated this man!!
I moved towards my computer and switched it on. I laid my purse at the corner, and took my seat. I turned back and found him, still standing and looking at me, with an amused smile.
“Is there something wrong, Erin?” I asked when his presence started unnerving me.
“Well, I was wondering when would you ask me,” He replied very firmly.
“Ask you what?” The date he would leave the office or the day he wants my resignation! I questioned him in my mind.
“Miss Anna, how can you forget so soon!” He smirked. I deserved a peace prize for restraining myself.
“I told you so many times. The moment you’ve settled in the office, I would like to have a strongly brewed cup of coffee. Do I need to remind you everyday?” He barked.
Man, he could have just requested for it, but no, he will ask for a cup of coffee in the most impolite way. As an order. I wonder if he would have sent it as an urgent mail or a warning memo if I didn’t get him a good cup!
“Oh! I am sorry. I will get it. Will just go for it now.” I mumbled and stepped away from the chair.
I wanted to bang the chair to his feet, stamp over his well polished shoes, these were the thoughts as I brewed his coffee.
I took the cup and knocked at the glass door. He raised those grey eyes of his. They had so much warmth in them. While he was silent, absorbed by whatever was on the computer screen, he looked a kindhearted and understanding person. The fire he spitted was what made him the monster. He nodded and I entered his office.
It was all neat and everything seemed to be in place. Not a strip of paper seemed out of spot. I wondered how he maintained it so prim and prop. It was a fact that he was a systematic professional person.
How much I disliked him, I couldn’t deny that he was hardworking and disciplined. As I went close to hand him his coffee, I could smell the strong scent of the after shave he had used, probably in the morning before he stepped in office. It caused a strange sensation to me, it was strong and made me desire more of it.
I always felt that he was a perfect gentleman for all the others in the office, but he was always the beast for me. He seemed to do it deliberately. He looked into my eyes, while my fingers touched his, when I transferred the cup from my hand to his. And suddenly the warmth of his eyes changed.
With a voice filled with annoyance, for no reason I knew, he said, “Thank you! I thought I might have to wait till lunch for it!”
I knew, the moment his lips would open, his words would be nothing but venom! I didn’t want to apologize again. I gave him a contemptuous smile and walked out of the office while he sipped his coffee peacefully.
I sat back in my chair and glanced at my computer. The messenger window blinked.
Thanks for the coffee!
My mouth was left gaping when I saw that message was from the monster himself. Erin had messaged ‘thanks’ to me. He usually said it but today I hadn’t waited to hear him, I had left even before he assigned me any work.
What was his plan now? Was he willing to break the ice or was I thinking too much between the lines, because of few words that came from him?
Let’s see Anna, I told myself!
(To be continued… )