New Woman – Chapter 3

Vicky didn’t get to work that day until midday. Every time the office door opened, my chest tightened. Just the thought of Vicky got me feeling nervous. It wasn’t even the kiss we shared…well in fact that was the major part of the anxiety I felt every time I heard someone mention her name or if I heard high-heels clicking on the marble floor. What I think was causing my nerves to be all other place was the first contact we would have to share in front of everyone, knowing what we did and trying to act as though it didn’t happen. I tried to focus on the article I was meant to be writing for next week’s issue, however every once in a while, I’d get an email from Eileen asking me whether I’d seen Vicky enter her office.
*Rebecca@NW.com – I haven’t seen her come in yet.*
*Eileen@NW.com – Is anyone taking her emails?*
*Rebecca@NW.com – I’m sure she’s got her email connected to her phone or something?*
*Eileen@NW.com – not her internal emails, I’ll ask the tech guy to get her emails forwarded on to someone.*

I hoped I didn’t see any of Vicky’s emails pop up in my inbox. Even though I may be seen as her personal assistant, that was not my job and I didn’t intend on being anymore involved with Vicky than necessary. Just as I tried to focus back on my article, the office door swung open and in came Vicky. With sun glasses covering her eyes, she walked straight to her office without greeting anyone, without even acknowledging me. Not to say I was upset, I should have expecting Vicky to blow hot and cold – that was the way she functioned. With the awkward phase out of the way, I focused back on the article, noticing it was coming up to lunch and I had only managed to get 500 words written. Sooner or later I found myself engulfed with work, almost forgetting that Vicky was sat opposite me in her office. The article was coming together and I needed to make sure this was ready by today to have it double checked by the sub-editor so that I could get it published in next week’s article. Just as lunch was creeping ahead, Eileen came to my desk.

“You going out for lunch?” She said swinging her handbag on her shoulder. I looked at my article and realised it was best to keep writing, when a writer was in their zone, it was almost suicidal to take a break.
“You know what, I’m currently in my zone right now. I’ll catch up with you later on.”
“Make sure you eat; all that drinking yesterday needs to get soaked up by something.” I smiled as she waved goodbye and got back to the words before me. This was the first opportunity Vicky had given me to actually be part of the team and write content for the publication. When I first arrived, I was doing the meaningless jobs, proof-reading, getting coffee, setting up meeting rooms, but finally I was given the chance to write up my own article. I was given a topic, ‘Women in today’s Society’. It wasn’t a topic to go crazy other, but nevertheless I counted my blessings and made sure I wrote the best article I could. And to finally find my zone, after my thoughts had been drowned by last night’s event was great! I hadn’t noticed Vicky step out of her office until I heard heels click on the ground just in front of my desk. Not trying to make things anymore awkward than necessary, I slowly looked at her, ready to put that façade on and be cordial.
“No lunch today?” She said barely looking at me, but more around me. I guess she was just as embarrassed as I was.
“Just working on the article.”
“Make sure it’s in my inbox by 9AM sharp tomorrow morning. We’ll be holding a meeting on the content and marketing and I need all articles ready for then.” In a clipped tone, she walked back into her office and gently shut the door. Taking a deep breath, I tried to get annoyed, knowing this was how Vicky was and that I literally had to take her for how she was. I could work to a deadline, it wasn’t impossible, whether or not Vicky thought it was possible for me was another question. I saved the document and then put my computer on sleep, grabbing my back, I walked out the office knowing it’d be best to get lunch now as I knew it’d be a long evening for me.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Writer’s block they call it – well that’s what I’d hit. Nothing innovative was coming to mind, in fact I was now repeating myself, waffling like I was back in high school. For ages, I stared at the last sentence I typed, hoping the words would spark an idea, another point, but nothing. It was getting close to the end of the day and here I sat still struggling how to complete this bloody paragraph. I had done everything I could, I’d gotten up to take a break, drank coffee, went outside for fresh air and nothing. Everyone had begun gathering their belongings getting ready to leave. Eileen came to my desk, noticing that I hadn’t grabbed my stuff, ready to rush out of here and get back into bed (even though that’s exactly what I wanted to do).
“You not leaving now?”
“I’m struggling to get the end of this article written up. Nothing is coming to me.”
“I don’t blame you, we’re suffering from a massive hangover, maybe you just need some rest and then something might spring to mind. Why don’t you take it home, get some rest then get back at it again?” The idea was more than gold. However, I wasn’t too sure that I’d wake up after my head hit my pillow. My headache that had disappeared for a few hours had crept back slowly, gently tapping on my brain to warn me that I was overworking myself. I rubbed my forehead, trying to ignore the pain and looked at Eileen.
“I’d rather get it done now, so that when I get home I can just sleep and not wake up until tomorrow.”
Eileen chuckled, put her handbag on her shoulder and for the second time today waved goodbye to me. I kicked my heels off, feeling more relaxed hearing silence and knowing it was just me in the office, this way I could focus on the article and get home before it was too late.

An hour went by and I had only managed to produce 200 words. I rested my head on the desk, the headache now in full swing and took a deep breath. I needed to focus, if I kept trying nothing was going to happen. I closed my eyes, allowing the silence to envelope me, when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Waking up suddenly, I shot up.
“You was sleeping.”
I looked around me and remembered I had put my head on the desk to calm the headache and also in hope to gain an idea of how to complete the document on my PC screen. But without my knowledge I must have slept and was woke up by Vicky.
“Oh, sorry. I was just trying to get rid of this headache and finish this off.”
“No need to be sorry, I think you should go home. It’s late and the meeting isn’t until 10:30AM tomorrow. So, you still have time ¬–”
“No,” I said cutting her off. “I can get this done.” She looked at me and then walked around the desk, once she got behind me, she leaned forward, giving me a brief sense of her perfume. The sweet scent played around in my nostril, as she proceeded to save the document and shut down the PC. Trying with difficulty to not let her being this close have an effect on me, I scooted back in my seat slightly giving her as much room as possible. What was wrong with me? I was letting this woman affect me, it was bad enough that every time I thought about the kiss it made me heat up, but to even feel tempted to reach out to her as she’s stood a few inches away from me made no sense. Was I beginning to react to Vicky in a way that I would with a man that I had an interest in? This was how I began behaving with Jonathan at first, however this time it was different. Almost as though the more time I tried to ignore the kiss we shared, the more my body decided to react harder and stronger than necessary. Vicky looked at me over her shoulder, a stray hair falling to her face, giving her a more feminine edge than normally. The electricity that was once present in our journey home the night before had returned. A million thoughts ran through my mind, one being the fact that we were stone cold sober. I couldn’t blame the alcohol if I proceeded with the inevitable, secondly could I truly help myself? Even though every muscle and fibre in my body wanted me to rush out of the office, I somehow found myself staring back her. My heart pounding in my chest as she came closer to me. The closer she came to me, the more I felt myself hold my breath, waiting for her to make the first move. It was only when she was a few inches away from my face did we hear the sound of the cleaners just outside the office doors. Instantly we repelled away from each other, our breathing both ragged and out of place. Before she spoke, I had already gathered my belongings and was rushing to leave. I didn’t know what I was doing, my feelings were everywhere. One minute I thought I knew what I wanted but then the next, I’d find myself doing things that was so foreign it didn’t make sense. Before Vicky chased after me like yesterday, I made sure I got out of the building and into a taxi before she could catch up to me.

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Her Secret – Part 1

Tala rolled up her sleeve, to check her watch for the third time that hour, 16:47. She knew Vince would eventually not show up, especially after the last public display they shared together. They hadn’t only embarrassed themselves, but had also highlighted their personal issues to their counsellor and anyone who had close proximity to her office door. She looked at Dr Bailey, who had a stack of reports across her desk. Aware of her gaze, Bailey looked up and gave Tala a smile, aware that time was passing by and Vince had not yet showed up to their appointment.

Tala reached for her phone, which was wedged in her pocket and tried Vince’s cell phone for another time, cursing softly under her breath when she was directed to his voicemail again. With her annoyance rising, she begun tapping her boots against the marble floor, trying to find a solution to what seemed to be a downward spiral that she had found herself to be apart of. Taking another sneak peek at her watch, she rolled her eyes knowing their appointment ended at five o’clock. She wasn’t even sure why she had waited for so long. She knew deep inside of herself that she should have taken her jacket and left as soon as Vince started playing hide ‘n’ seek. But she didn’t and it was because she was still scared of letting a relationship of nine years go to waste. She knew if she had walked out when she really wanted to, then she wouldn’t be returning. As soon as she stepped outside Bailey’s office, she would have finally given up on Vince and that wasn’t something she could do so easily after building a family with him; a family that she was bounded to. And for that reason alone, is what kept her sat in Bailey’s leather seats, constantly hoping Vince walked in.

She was never sure why she let Vince convince her in going to relationship counselling. She knew way before he did that their relationship had come to a sour end and all counselling did was make their issues more obvious. Instead of rebuilding their damaged bond, counselling in fact had strengthened Tala’s resentment towards Vince. Every night she’d found herself wondering what her life would have been like if she hadn’t met Vince that Friday night in the bar. If she hadn’t let his lies and façade paint false images of him for all those years, she probably won’t be sitting in a counsellor’s office waiting for a stranger to help solve her personal problems.

Thoughts about Vince always caused her teeth to clench in anger. If only she was smarter she would have noticed the signs from early, but love had blinded her to the point that every indication of his actual self was disregarded. Then she had Deanne and things started to change. The arguing wasn’t as frequent and their focus was on their first child together, they didn’t have time to notice each other’s faults. But of course she knew it was only a matter of time before old habits slipped through the cracks of their act. It was the little things he did that caused problems, never wanting her to leave the house, making her feel like a maid instead of a mother. She hadn’t even realised when she’d stopped communicating with her friends and family, must have been when she was still trying to please Vince and his unreachable needs. But it happened, and it meant that whenever things got too heavy for her, she had nowhere to run to apart from the bathroom, where she found herself frequently. In the same position every single time, crumpled to the ground next to the sink, crying until she felt better.

With things as bad as it was it surprised her when she found out she was pregnant again with Paige. She contemplated aborting Paige, shuddering as she feared her second baby would look at her with questions in her eyes, the same way Deanne’s had. But as soon as Vince found the pregnancy test in the bin, she was further constrained to him. So she’d brought another beautiful baby into a fragile and damaged home. There was no escape for her, because if she left she’d have to think about her daughters, think about them seeing their father, think about how they would feel, so for four years she sat, waiting till the moment was right. But it never was and here she was, sitting alone in Dr Bailey’s office.

The weight of the leather chair shifted slightly to the left side of Tala, pulling her out of her thoughts and back into reality. It was then she realised she was crying as Bailey held a box of Kleenex in her hands.

 

“Oh, excuse me Dr, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be ridiculous Tala, you need no reason to apologise.”

 

Tala took a few tissues from the box and wiped the tears that had found their way down her face. It was bad enough that she sat here alone for so long but now she’d begun crying in front of Bailey, she took time to suppress her emotions before grabbing her jacket and leaving once and for all.

“I know you’re upset Tala, it’s obvious that there’s things you’re dealing with that you haven’t shared with anyone and it’s getting too much for you to handle by yourself.” Bailey moved closer to Tala, as Tala wrapped her arms around her body remembering how alien she was in her own family.

“I have no one to speak to…”

Her words trembled as they left her lips, feeling naked to her emotions she huddled more into herself. Taking note of her stance, Bailey moved close enough to Tala that she could embrace her, using her right arm as a belt, she gently held Tala as she remained hunched and pulled her softly towards herself. Allowing Tala to understand her presence was there for her.

“I’m here Tala. You can speak to me, you can tell me what’s truly bothering you, tell me the things you hide from the world. I’m here for you.”

It’s as though Bailey’s words were filled with a key that opened a door to Tala’s vulnerability. The more Bailey spoke, the more tears continued to fall from Tala’s face and into her laps. She hadn’t felt so naked before, she made sure she stayed strong in front of everyone, even if that meant she broke down almost every day privately, she was okay with that. But here she was, feeling like a child in her mother’s arms, just looking for some guidance.

Bailey moved the box of tissues to the table in front of them then faced Tala, feeling a wave of sadness rush through her own body seeing a grown woman cry uncontrollably because of her partner. She pulled Tala to sit up, unwrapped her arms and then held Tala’s hands. With tears still streaming down her cheeks, Tala felt embarrassed for letting Bailey witness her in such a state. She looked into Bailey’s eyes hoping for an answer, or an escape but saw nothing but big brown eyes stare right back at her.

“You don’t need to cry anymore Tala, things will get better for, I promise that.” Tala closed her eyes, her eyelashes wet from all the water and nodded, hoping Bailey’s words held more than truth but reality. She looked back at Bailey who’d watched her in pain. She didn’t want anyone’s pity, hating the feeling of being helpless, Tala released one of her hands from Bailey’s grip and made sure all tears that may still be visible was gone with the back of her hand.

“I’m sorry Dr, I should go, but…thank you.” Bailey smiled and surprisingly gave Tala a light hug. Stunned, Tala stared blankly at Bailey’s embrace. Not knowing what to do, she sat waiting for Bailey to let go, unsure of how she should take Bailey’s action, but she didn’t move. Involuntarily she found herself resting her head on Bailey’s shoulder and for once allowing herself to be looked after. She couldn’t help but enjoy the feeling of someone truly caring for her, a feeling that had become so foreign to her. She hugged Bailey back, hoping that everything she was going through was a dream and that she’d wake up and everything would return to normal.

She felt Bailey’s chest rise and fall against her own, taking note of the amount of breaths she took, noticing how her fingers penetrated warmth on her spine and how her hair smelt fresh. Something about the way Bailey was, made Tala feel safe. She didn’t want to leave the microcosm she privately built with Bailey, because she wasn’t sure when she’d return. She hummed silently as her reality slipped away and she found herself lost in Bailey’s touch. Bailey’s fingers circulated against Tala’s spine leaving small flames everywhere she touched, causing Tala to draw closer to Bailey.

Bailey knew this was beyond what a normal counsellor would do for her client, but seeing Tala wait for her husband and then surprisingly start crying had triggered something deep within Bailey. Tala deserved more, she definitely deserved better, and it pained Bailey to know she could do nothing but sing empty promises in her ear. After a few minutes, she loosened her embrace on Tala. It may have felt like the right thing to do, but she was not ready to lose her job over a woman who’s husband barely cared for her.

When their eyes locked Tala felt a surge run through her. She wanted to crawl back into Tala’s arms, she wanted to remain there until things had gotten better, Bailey seemed like a secure place to lay her nest and that was what she wanted to do. But she had never felt like that with anyone. She wasn’t even completely sure if it was a sexual emotion or just raw emotions getting placed in wrong categories. But after staring at each other for longer than necessary, Tala grabbed her jacket and rushed for the door – feeling so vulnerable and exposed, she knew the only place she wanted to be was in her bathroom.

Bailey watched as Tala rushed out, trying to ignore what she knew she felt, as it was beyond inappropriate. She closed her door behind Tala and sat back at her desk, her heart beating against her chest hard. She felt her chest, disbelieving the way in which her heart seemed to crash into her when she felt the pebble beneath her shirt. Looking down ever so slightly, she saw her nipples were erect. She never mixed her personal life with work, but that hug had overstepped the mark and now Bailey knew she was going to have to have the upmost restraint if she ever met Tala again. Because Bailey not only understood her pain and wanted to resolve it, but she wanted to be the reason why Tala smiled and the way Tala held onto her, she knew Tala wanted the same.

Toxic – Part 5

Josh hadn’t spoken to me for the rest of the time we were at the house. Avoiding my touch, my gaze and any interaction with me. It hurt, but I was aware of what I had done the night before and forced any type of pity deep within myself. We drove to his parent house in silence, not in the radio could drown out the awkward tension between us. I could tell Josh didn’t believe everything I had said to him back at the house, but the mere thought that his wife could have slept with her best friend or his brother was probably too much to bare, so silence was his only option.

He’d wore a nice grey snug knitted jumper, with dark black jeans and dessert boots. I’d worn a presentable dress, that came to down to my calves and plain black ballerinas. My intention was not to stand out this evening, my plan was to be as invisible as possible. Say my ‘hi’s’ and remain as quiet as possible, I had already made a fool of myself today, there was no need for me to do anymore.
Josh had parked outside of his parents home and took a deep breath. He looked at me as if wanting to say something but thought better of it, he turned his gaze away from me and proceeded to get out of the car, without saying a word to me. Tears welled up in my eyes, but knowing I didn’t have the right or time to be emotional, I wiped the strayed tears that had fallen out of my eyes and composed myself.

I stepped out of the car and waited for Josh to lock it before following his lead. Before we’d gotten to the door, Josh had grabbed my hand with such force that it hurt. There was no affection in the way he took my hand, if anything the force of his hand crushed into my wedding ring finger, which pressed into my other fingers, squeezing them tightly till they rubbed on each other, rubbing onto the bone. With a little wince, he knocked on the door and before a second went by, the door swung open and there stood his sister, Anabelle.

“Joshie!”
Josh threw my hand backwards as he embraced his younger sister. Ana was only 23 and was one of my bridesmaid at me and Josh’s wedding. She always seemed to make me laugh and understand me in a way that always shrouded her true age – almost making her a chameleon to anyone she came into contact with.
“Anabelle, how you been?”
He swung her around lovingly.
“Great! Hi Sash!”
She jumped off of her older brother and gave me a tight squeeze. She stepped back and allowed us to enter. The house was modern. Wooden floor boards surrounded by cream walls with family photos hung chronologically on the wall gave the house the ambience of love and warmth. It was what defined it from a standard house to a loving home. We entered the living room, and out bursted a room full of people. Young and old, everyone sat mingling with each other.

“Josh how have you been?”
His mother kissed his cheek twice affectionately whilst his father made his way to me, giving me a bear hug.
“Good to see the lovely Mrs Fletcher again.”
With a tight lipped smile, I hug his mother who welcomes me just as warm as her husband. For a long time after our little greeting with Josh’s parents, I simply follow Josh. I watch him greet his family that he hasn’t seen in a long time and others he barely recognises. Soon it’s dinner and we’re all packed around his dining table that has been extended, so that everyone is able to have a seat. I sit between Josh and Anabelle, and find myself staring at the empty plate on the table in front of me because it seems Josh has, when possible, ignored me and placed all his attention on his family at each opportunity given to him. The door bell rings and Anabelle rushes to open the door. Moments later, we’re all welcomed by the sight of Mike, who has managed to find my gaze before anyone else’s.

Stood confidently at the doorway of the kitchen, wearing a plain white shirt, tight enough to show off his physique with smart black trousers, sends images of my hands trailing over his chest the night before. I looked back at the empty plate before me whilst Mike walked round greeting everyone. I tried to ignore the tingle I felt deep within myself, but the closer Mike was getting to me, the more I felt my heart race and my legs tightened shut together. I felt Josh’s chair scrape out as he rose to hug his brother. They both gave each other a firm pat on the back, which didn’t last enough for me to compose myself. So I decided staying seated was my best option. Mike bent down to hug me, wrapping his strong arm around my neck as our cheeks touched each other briefly – but enough to spark a flame within me. I made sure my face didn’t replicate the feelings I felt within me, the tension that was becoming almost too much for me to bare, the way in which my insides had tightened to a tight ball waiting for Mike’s touch to unravel it. I took a deep breath as his arm unwrapped from my neck and he moved to the next family relative.

“Oh Mike why don’t you sit next to mum!”
Anabelle offered as there was no other available seat apart from the one opposite my seat. Mike was going to decline, but when he realised he had no option, he gave Anabelle a small smile and pulled the seat beside his mother out and took his position. I looked back at the only place I seemed to have found solace today, wishing I was anywhere but here when Josh randomly reached for my hand and this time, with more care, started to caress my skin gently, ever so slightly rolling his finger across my wedding ring as he watched Mike greet his father.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 4

“What’s wrong baby, did someone hurt you?”
Why did men think all signs of emotion from women meant we were hurt? It was me who has caused pain, if only Josh knew, I’m sure his anger would dissipate. I shake my head, throwing tears left and right.
“Then why are you crying?”

I took a deep breath, in attempt to inhale the overflowing emotions that threatened to show itself.
“I just…I’m sorry.” Sorry for going out yesterday, sorry for making him scared and definitely sorry for being intimate with his brother – all the things I wanted to say but kept it trapped within the deepest depths within myself.
“Sasha…what happened last night? Where were you?”
God, here it comes. The fabricated truth, the story smeared with hazy lies. I fear to look him in the eyes, so I keep my gaze to our feet and take a deep breath in.

“I drank too much,” Lie. “Then I saw Mike,” Truth. “I’m not sure how, but he was worried…I think.” More lies. “So he took me home and then I woke up this morning embarrassed and left to go home.” It was more or less what had happened. The bare outlines of yesterdays events. I look at Josh through my wet eyelashes and see the concern in his facial expression.
“Why didn’t you go home with Clarissa?” It was then I remembered Clarissa had lied I was with her. I needed to explain why Clarissa would have lied without mentioning that I was aware I knew she tried to make an excuse for me.
“I think I wondered away from the group a little…”
“WHAT THE FUCK WAS YOU THINKING?!”
His outburst made me jump. I didn’t expect this from Josh. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that I had said that had caused his reaction.
“Sasha you’re acting stupid! I knew Clarissa was bad influence – what if Mike wasn’t there to help you?”
My lip trembled as I couldn’t quite fathom a response. I had been more than stupid – in fact I had been out right brain dead. But I was prepared to take stupid over him knowing how the truth.
“Never, you’re never going out with her again!” Something bubbled in me, who was Josh to tell me who I could and couldn’t see.
“She’s my best friend!” I said through tears, from both sadness and a slight hint of anger.
“I don’t care Sasha! What if something happened to you?”
“Nothing –”
“Wait,” He interrupted me, looking at me like something didn’t add up. “When did you drink that you’re that out of your mind that you can’t even get yourself home?”

I shrugged, not having the brain power to think of a response. I wiped my tears with the back of my hand and internally told myself to control my emotions. Stop the tears that continued to be rebellious and show itself even though I fought so hard to keep them at bay. Stop trying to defend Clarissa, there was a time and place that I would be able to bring justice to Clarissa’s name and today was not the day. For now, I just needed to accept that I was wrong and then clear the grey areas at a later stage.

“Something’s not right Sasha, why didn’t Mike let me know you were with him?” Because we were fucking on the floor and then on his couch and then literally on every appliance until we reached his bedroom. My insides flare up with small voices reminding me how good it was with Mike. How he made me scream, how I grabbed him with passion leaving scratch marks on his body as he plunged deeper and deeper. God, the thoughts were so real, I could feel myself tensing up. My core tightening and slowly getting moist as I thought about our passion.
“I was scared you’d be upset, I was a mess.”
My voice came out huskier than necessary – thicker almost with Mike still on my tongue. Just as Josh was about to say more, his phone rang, pausing him in his tracks. He gave me another glare and reached for his phone.
“Mike…” My eyes dropped to the ground, what if our lies hadn’t matched? We didn’t thoroughly think this through. I looked back at Josh who had me under strict scrutiny whilst speaking to Mike. “Yeah she’s home safe…thanks for your help Mike…fuck I forgot about that. We’ll see you at mums.”

The phone was off. He gave me one last look and then left. But before he was out of ear reach he shouted, “It’s my grandfathers anniversary, we’re going to my parents. Get cleaned up.”
I rushed to the shower and took a long bath. I thought things were already difficult, but now we had to play happy family in front of his actual family was not ideal or even part of the plan. This was going to be one extended evening.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 3

Throughout my journey home I can’t help but question who I really am, who’ve I become? It was bead enough that I had thought about cheating on my husband on multiple occasions, but the fact that I had actually committed the act almost left me bewildered. Who was the woman that sat in the black cab, wearing a body con on a early Saturday morning? Because I sure as hell knew it couldn’t have been myself… I risked my marriage for what? A night that I probably wouldn’t forget for the rest of my life, it sounds exciting when I think about it, but was it truly worth it?

I should have thought about my actions in more depth. Even though I’ve felt like this for a year, I’m not sure if I had truly contemplated the aftermath if I had went ahead and actually slept with Mike. I’m not even sure why now, sitting silently in the back seat of the cab driving me to where I thought was home, but sounds weird to call home now is where I contemplate my actions. I knew what I was doing yesterday – I could hardly blame it on the alcohol, I barely drank any. And even if I drank a cup or two…or the whole bottle, I knew what I wanted from the start, the way Mike had touched me in the club and even more so when our lips touched was enough to remind me that I knew exactly what I was doing.

My conscious was beyond clear at that point, maybe if I was intoxicated it would be a better pill to swallow, rather than having the guilt slowly choke and suffocate me silently in the back of the cab. Before I had even knew what I was doing, I asked the cab driver to stop and requested to walk the rest of the way. I paid him the fare and got out of the vehicle, clutching myself tightly as the cold London air blew wildly on my bare legs and in my short outfit, more suitable for 7PM than 7AM. I ignored the quizzical stares that Londoners couldn’t help but do and hugged my body as I walked home. Getting some air should help me think.

I needed to plan how I was going to approach Josh. What I was going to say, in which way would I say it and whether he would believe me or not. The lie Mike had told me to stick to sounded ridiculous. Far too close to the truth for me to remain settled, but the more I thought about other lies that could replace Mike’s one, I realised why Mike had wanted me to stick to his own lie. The guilt from cheating and the hint of truth would make it more believable to Josh and with Mike as a sturdy alibi – Josh would know I was telling the truth.

I cannot believe I have come to this. Thinking of ways to lie to my husband to get away with infidelity. Where was the determined and strong woman who knew exactly what she was doing the night before? Because if she could show herself now, then maybe confronting my husband wouldn’t feel as hard as it did now. I wasn’t strong enough for this, even as I think back to Mike, back to the night we shared, I can’t help but shudder. Thoughts of us constantly replaying in my head as I ponder when the next time will come…hoping it would be sooner rather than later.

But what was done was done, right? The damage has been created and it was now sealed. I was a fragile glass yesterday that shattered under Mike’s touch – my only hope now was that the cracks that were more than evident didn’t reveal themselves to Josh.
I was coming up to the house now. 17…15…13, the more steps I took the more my heart crashed into my chest. I have never feared my husband – never needed a reason to, but today the fear that resided in me, was wrapped around me like another layer of skin. It wasn’t welcoming, but I was aware I gave it room yesterday to take place in my body.

Sucking in my breather, I open my white wooden gate, wishing I was returning with a clear mind. But after having spent the night with Mike, my mind was far from clear. Even now, when I remember how our lips touched in the club makes my libido dance in excitement. God even thoughts of him can spark me to life, even in such situations as the one I was in currently. Before I get to open the door, Josh has it opened. Rushing to me like a mother reunited with their abducted child. He hugs me tightly, too tight and very one sided. I think because I’m too stunned to move my arms left alone my body, I am left in a one-sided embrace. He stands back to watch me and then draws me inside the house.

Walking in silence, my breath comes out shorter, he faces me again and embraces me once more. This time with less worry but with more love. It was then I realised I was a horrible human being, weak and selfish. My husband stood in front of me, me in his arms, his breaths coming out in short rapid spurts, and I can tell he is happy to see me safe. And there I stand, arms planted to the sides of my body, scared that if I touch Josh, I’d ruin him like I have done so with this marriage. I feared tainting him but was too emotional to pull away. That was when I found myself in tears, a flood of emotions rushing out of my chest before I could stop it.

What had I done? Was it truly worth it? Could I just erase such mistakes from reality and act as though none of it occurred – was that a possibility? Because if it was I was ready to do anything to undo my mistake and go back to the woman I was only just a few hours ago.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Hayley’s Story [Working title]

It’s happened again.

Once again I’m laying on my back, looking at the ceiling thinking, ‘is this it?’ No, like really, is this it? I look to my left and there he is, hugging me like a little child, snoring. I look back to the ceiling and sigh. Is this how it will end for me? Every night, looking at the ceiling wondering is this it. I’m sure I didn’t cum, wasn’t even close. Yet there lays my boyfriend, hugging my body tight like a lost puppy, completely tired. I can’t believe I’m back in this same position again. I even have enough time to recollect my whole life.

A few minutes pass and he wakes up.
“Sorry baby, I just slept.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ve got work tomorrow, when do you think you’re leaving?”
“Babe! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have slept – I can’t leave without pleasing you.” I chuckled quietly under my breath.
“Don’t worry, just go and we’ll talk tomorrow.”

I just wanted him out as soon as possible. It was bad enough that he slept, but to think he can now please me, when I am sure to be dried up down there like a dessert – was an absolute joke. So even though he was my boyfriend, he had to get out. I was beyond annoyed and I had work tomorrow, which I was not looking forward too. A good fucking would have probably made me walk into work a little more chirper, might have even put a spring to my step! But as that isn’t going to be the case, all I wanted to do was sleep and forget that night ever happened.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was lunch time and I still couldn’t forget the horrors of last night and called the one person who I knew would be a great ear to listen too.
“Hey Veronica, you alright?”
“Yeah I’m good, yourself?”
“Meh! I could be way better.”
“What’s up?”
“V hear this. So Marcus comes to see me yesterday. Of course I’m thinking I’m going to have a nice intimate time with my baby. But when we start to do our “thing”, he lasts for like a minute…two tops!”

Instantly Veronica started laughing. It took a while for her to stop, but once she had, I continued on with my tragic story.
“You think that’s bad, he then hugs me and falls asleep. Bitch is he being for real? Like I know you had a long day at work or whatever, but you do that and then fall asleep, whilst I’m practically still wet?”
“Hold on! He fell asleep??” Out came another burst of giggles. “God Marcus is hilarious.”
“It’s not funny V, it’s annoying. How selfish can you get?”
“Yeah but, is sex really that deep for you Hayley?” I rolled my eyes and took my food out of the microwave.
“It isn’t – well I thought it wasn’t.”
“I didn’t know getting bad dick could ruin your day.”
“It could ruin your whole week V, trust me!” We both chuckled.
“But Hayley, is it that big of a deal? Just talk to him.”
“And say what? ‘Aw babe, I can’t deal with these sessions we have, it’s just not cutting it?’ He’d be offended!”
“Well don’t say it like that you idiot. Be more sympathetic, let him know he hasn’t been satisfying you for a while and maybe he’ll put more effort in.”
“I understand what you’re saying. But to even think he asked me to,” I looked around to see if anyone was listening, and when I realised no one was eavesdropping I carried on. “suck his dick, was like a slap in the face. He’s already had his thrills and then he asked me to do that.”
“Hayley, I am on break this is too much over the phone.” She said through laughter. “Look, come meet me after work, we’ll have dinner a few drinks and then I’ll get you some good old elderly sister advice.”
“Thanks V, because I totally need it right now.”
“Oh get a grip Hayley, it’s just sex.”

Work didn’t last too long, answering calls, dropping calls, sending emails – the usual. Anyway, I got into my SmartCar and headed off to see my sister. One thing I was grateful for in this world was Veronica. The fact that I could count on her whenever and tell her almost (!) anything, was something to treasure. Even though it seemed like I was bitching about Marcus, who else was I meant to speak to regarding this issue? I couldn’t trust no one other than Veronica. I met her at our favourite bar (which happened to be five minutes away from her house, lazy bitch) and grabbed a menu.

“I am starving!”
“Hello to you too.”
“You know we don’t need to say hello.”
“It’d be normal and polite if you did Hayley.”
“Yes V, what have you ordered?”
“Nothing yet.”
“Great, let’s get two Proseccos and dough balls.” Before she could protest, I was already calling the waiter and giving him our orders.
“Prosecco? Damn you act like getting rubbish dick is a crisis.”
“Because it is V. I really didn’t think it was an issue, but I think it might be. Like I love him–”
“And that’s where I stop you. If you love him, then sex is just a thing you can work on.”
“But why has it gone downhill, not improved.”
“Maybe because you moan too much.”
“Phrasing!” We both chuckled, whilst the waiter put our glasses on the table. Just to let you in on this sisterly lingo, when we say ‘phrasing’ it just means that the phrase prior was ambiguous.
“But it’s true Hayley, if you love Marcus that much, then why let poor sex bother you?”
“Because it’s happening all the time. I don’t know V. It’s not just that, yes the sex annoyed the shit out of me, but we’re falling out a lot too. I want to have a future with him, but when his mother is like a monster to me, it just doesn’t help. Add shit sex to the mix and you have a real problem here!”
Veronica chuckled whilst sipping on her drink. “Okay, his mum is out of our control. Your petty arguments you can control. Maybe just sit down with him and try to work out how you can reduce the arguing.”
“V, when we argue, he makes me feel like it was all my fault. Like I was the one who caused it.”

“Are you sure you’re just not reading into things too much, I know how you are?”
“V, if after every petty argument, I feel like I am a issue, that’s saying something about our relationship. Is it making me a better person or worse?”
“Don’t overthink it Hayley, I think shit dick and petty arguments have gotten you a little too observant.”
“But it’s true V, no playing around now.” She put her glass down and watched me talk. “We have these arguments, and then we don’t talk. When we do talk, I feel like shit, because apparently it was all my fault.”
“What makes you think it’s your fault?”
“He says stuff like, ‘I don’t get why you behave like this’ – like my actions have caused yet another disagreement between us. It’s stressful for me.”
“Wow, see how rubbish sex can shine one hell of a light on a relationship.”
“I know. It sucks, and I want to speak to him about it, but I cannot handle another, ‘babe where do you get these thoughts from?’ Making me sound crazy.”
“You know what Hayley, lets have a good time tonight. I know you feel a little down and I know that shit sex didn’t help, but lets not think too much about this. We’ll drink today and then sober up tomorrow and think of how to deal with this issue.”
“Alright.”

So we drank and ate and drank some more. It was nice just being with my sister. She was more like a best friend that I never wanted to lose. We joked around and never shared a cringing moment, like others do. After drinking and finishing another bottle of Prosecco, we knew it was time to get home. Luckily for her she lived just a few minutes away, but for me, I was in no state to drive.
“Stay at mine then!”
“I can’t, I have work tomorrow. I need to change.”
“Call Marcus then, he’ll get you home.”
“Yeah I will. Don’t worry about me V, you get home. I’ll text you once I get home.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I’m bloody sure, now get out of here!”
She chuckled and began walking home. I didn’t want her to get home too late, so it was best she went home before I did. Even though she was my big sister, I was more confident and aggressive than she was. If anyone was planning on jumping me tonight, I was going to put up a fight. Sober or drunk, it wasn’t going to be easy.

I got my phone out ready to call Marcus, when it slipped through my fingers and on to the ground.
“Shit!”
I bent down to pick it up, when I felt someone else’s hand cover my own. Instantly, I jumped back, whilst grabbing my phone tightly. In fright, I stumbled backwards and lost my balance, landing straight onto my back. With my legs tangled up together and my sight  getting more unbalanced, I wasn’t too sure whether being left alone was the smartest idea.
“Are you okay?” A lady’s voice spoke. Closing my eyes tight and then opening them up slowly, my vision returned.
“Yeah I’m fine.”
“Let me help you up.” Before I could shoo her away, she had already managed to pick up me and lift me to my feet. The motion was a little too fast for me to handle, causing me to sway left to right.
“Okay doll, how are you getting home?”
“Marcus, I need to call Marcus to drive me home.”
“Do you want me to call him for you?”
God, was I that much of a mess. Not only could I not stand alone, but I couldn’t even call Marcus without help. I needed to get myself together and fast.
“No I should be okay.” I tried to walk away from her, but without her help, my knees wobbled, causing me to hit the ground once more. She lifted me up again and walked me to my small SmartCar.

“Is this your car doll?”
“How did you know?”
“You’ve been pointing your car keys at this car for a while, so I took a wild guess. Come on let’s get you inside.” She opened up the passenger door and sat me inside, gently reaching over my shoulder to put the seatbelt on. And then went to the drivers seat and got in. Closing and locking the door behind her.
“Oh God, if you’re going to rob me, do it now. I can’t fight back. But don’t kill me.” She chuckled and faced me.
“I’m not going to kill you or rob you, I’m going to drop you home.”
“But you don’t have to, Marcus will do it.”
“Marcus… I assume is Mr.Lame Dick?” My eyes widened at her remark.
“Excuse me?”
“The more you drank, the louder you got. So I kind of heard you speaking about lame sex.” She laughed once more, “It was funny.”
I closed my eyes and inwardly moaned. This cannot be happening. How have I ended up in a situation like this?
“So where do you live doll?”
“18 Dorset Avenue.”
“I’ll get you home in no time.”

And with that I fell asleep.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Job Offer [Part 1]

My mind kept telling me I should turn away and run, but every muscle in my body refused to obey my command and instead, I stayed sat in her midst. She looked at me numerous amounts of times, biting her lip every so lightly every time she took a glimpse at me, but that wasn’t what had my heart jumping. It was the way she managed to slide her fingers past the lace of my dress and in-between my bare thigh.

I thought about telling her to stop, but then her nails grazed my heated skin and I found myself grasping involuntarily. I had wanted more and she knew of this. I wasn’t even sure why I had wanted more, but it was as though she knew exactly how to make me dissolve under her touch. She gave me a side-glance, causing me to bite my lip as I tried to regain focus. I wasn’t even sure if she was what I wanted, I had never ventured like that with a man, let alone woman, yet she wasn’t giving me a chance to think. With her fingers crawling up my leg, leaving traces of desire and fire via her touch, my breathing increased ever so slightly. Loud enough for us to both hear, but quiet enough for no one else to notice.

Eventually, her wandering fingers found there way to my disobedient hungry heat. I hadn’t known I was holding my breath until she had now turned her full attention to me. Feeling light headed, she used her free hand to pull my bottom lip free out of the hold I had on it and whispered ever so lightly.

“Breath.” It was only then my lungs began to work again. Taking in more air than needed and with the same speed taken, the air rushed out of my lungs, burning my throat as I tried to work my voice into saying something. With her fingers slowly stroking the wet heat that came from in-between my legs, she moved closer to me, bringing her lips close to my own. Without moving, I watched as she grabbed a handful of my hair and wrapped it around her fingers. Her eyes roamed my body, taking it all in before coming back to my eyes. She smiled and in sync, came close enough so our lips were barely touching, whilst her fingers had found their way through my lace thongs, and between the damp crease that had grown even more famished.

She traced her finger along the crease of my sex, making me shudder uncontrollably under her touch. She watched me as I attempted to digest everything, finding it hard to comprehend what she was exactly doing to me. Just as I began thinking about the many ways I could pull myself away from the situation, she parted me with her index finger and gently petted the ball that had grown erect. My back arched almost instantly, my body pleaded for more whereas my mind had finally begun to register what was occurring. She gave me a small smile, and strummed the hard ball faster and a little rougher than before; causing me to grab the nearby pillows, in hope some of my frustration would seep out through my fingers and into the couch pillows. But that did nothing to decrease my desire, as my lips parted in an ‘O’ shape when her fingers had travelled further down, nearing where my disobeying body had ached to be fed.

She tightened her grip on my hair, then plunged her finger deep within my drenched, salivating sex. A moan forced its way out of my chest that was quickly suppressed by her lips. Soft, but wet had kept our taboo going on for longer than it would have if my scream had made the ears of the others. Her tender lips kissed mine, both lips dancing together to the music of our ecstasy, whilst her finger had travelled depths that hadn’t been explored in far too long. Her finger, more welcomed than any other, had no difficulty in finding its way around my heat. Swimming its way through my moans and grasps, then stopping when it came across the bubble that held so many foreign feelings. It became hesitant at first, then slowly began stroking and pushing, causing me to clutch onto her shoulders, as her fingers had vigorously started to move faster around my hidden bubble. Before I could subdue my scream, she fully covered my mouth with her own, eating my screams, waiting patiently till the shudders had come to a halt and my body had stopped trembling.

She bit my bottom lip whilst smiling as she removed her finger from the place that treasured it the most. Giving a brief look at the others that seemed to be asleep on the floor, she sat on top of my still trembling legs and grabbed my left hand. She placed my hand on her neck, and slowly pulled it down towards her chest, with her finger glistening in the light. She placed my hand on her chest that had been rising and falling at a fast pace, then allowed my hand to cup her breasts. They felt tender and smooth under my touch, apart from the diamond that stood firm through her thin t-shirt. My eyes stayed focused on her nipples that seemed to get harder under my glare, until she spoke breathlessly.

“Rub it.” I used my thumb to gently rub the tip of her nipple as she threw her head back, allowing the pleasure to run through her spine. Whilst her head was still hanging in pleasure, I decided to pinch her nipple ever so slightly, using the same technique that turned me on, with her. She jumped and held my hand, moving her hips against me getting me stirred between the legs again. Using my right hand, I ran my fingers down her chest, ignoring the breast, as my left hand had focused on them and moved between her thighs, shocked that she had gathered juices.

I walked my fingers between her thighs and into her waterfall that was still producing more juices for me to travel through. With my left hand, I tugged her nipple lightly, causing her to grasp. I pulled again, harder this time then penetrated both my index and middle finger through her folds and into her sweet love. She hummed in pleasure as I moved my fingers through her folds, moving deep within her depths and then back to her walls. She opened her mouth to take small breaths, as I began increasing the speed, making sure I watched her face intently to be sure what both my fingers were doing was what she wanted. Rolling her nipple between my fingers and performing a come hither motion inside of her, had her thighs clenching around my hand. She grabbed onto the backrest of the couch and slowly lifted herself away from my fingers, meeting my thrusts as I continued to penetrate her faster. With her breasts now lightly bouncing around in my hand, I found it difficult to play around with her nipple. So instead, I pulled her closer to me and placed the hardened nipple in my mouth, proud and surprised on the strangled cry that burst through her lips.

I used the base of my tongue to lightly caress the hardened nipple, enjoying the feel of the hard diamond against my rough tongue. Our movements sped up, sending her closer towards her release. The motion in my fingers gained speed, whilst exploring every inch of her, whilst her thighs shook as she continued to slam back onto my penetrative fingers. I used my teeth to gently pull against the rock in my mouth, causing a strong wave of trembling to embrace her body. For a few seconds she remained hovering on top of me, shaking uncontrollably, until it came to a slow stop. She slowly descended onto my laps, letting her muscles become relaxed so that I was carrying her entire weight.

After a few long minutes she lifted her head to look at me. Passion and desire still written in her eyes, but now something new shone in her eyes. A look of satisfaction had been apparent, and I couldn’t help but mirror her expression. There were a number of mixed emotions that were running through my head, but at the look she wore and the way she made me feel both overruled any doubt that was currently swimming around in my head. All of a sudden a loud beep had begun ringing, stirring those who were asleep on the floor before us. Panic arose, as I knew we didn’t have enough time to gather ourselves, without them noticing that something had gone on between us. I attempted to locate the beeping noise, when my eyes slowly opened.

It was 6:30AM and time to wake up. The alarm beside my bedside had starting ringing, interrupting another heated dream I had. It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in a daze of emotions and desire the morning following a dream involving a woman. I wasn’t even aware when the dreams began. It didn’t even have to involve anyone I was familiar with, just a woman who had captured my eye during the day, would find her way in my dreams, hair between my fingers and tongue dancing with my own. And with each dream, I was always the one being pulled into the sexual activity, never instigating but always participating. I tightened my already closed eyes, wishing I could get a few more minutes of sleep, knowing sleep had been a disturbed feeling every since I had these intruding dreams pierce my subconscious. But, with the second alarm buzzing loudly I knew it was time to finally get up, earn money and then drag myself back into bed for another restless night.

 

*                *                *                *                *

 

During work my mind constantly drifted towards my dreams, making me question my sexuality. I wasn’t a lesbian, in fact, I’d had a recent partner who’d made me somewhat happy, until work had forced me to depart from the relationship. My job required too much of my time and I was aware of this, but he wasn’t. Up until recently, I was entirely sure that I was attracted to men and men only. Not like I’d pursued another relationship after the last one, but I hadn’t questioned what my preference was. However, after the dreams I wasn’t so certain. I never really looked at another female in the way to have made me feel as though I was attracted to them, but my subconscious was either playing a prank on me or trying to tell me some vital information that I was oppressing deep within myself.

I looked up from my computer, realising the email I should have sent to a client fifteen minutes ago, still stood static on my screen, waiting for the sentence to be complete. I inwardly sighed and rested against my chair, when I felt a presence behind me. I turned my head to meet Elise, a friend and colleague of mine, beaming a smile at me.

“You are far too happy in a place like this, what’s got you smiling? And can I have some?”

Elise spun my chair to face her properly and chuckled lightly at my expression of being forced to changed direction.

“You can’t tell a living soul!”

“Tell a living soul what?”

She placed both hands on the armrest of the office chair and brought her face close to mine. Memories of my dream flashed back into my mind, making me retreat almost instantly.

“You’ve got to promise me Cleo, you can’t tell anyone!”

In an instant, my hands flew up as though I was surrendering and nodded my head profusely.

“I promise, scouts honour.”

She slowly moved back, checking that nobody was listening and then returned her position in front of me with that same beaming smile.

“I found myself a new job!”

“Congrats!”

I jumped up and gave her a hug. Being the first colleague to approach me, Elise and I had grown quite close during our years at ‘Beverly & Co’. And as much as I was happy to see her move onto better things, it just meant my time here would instantly get dull. And with no one to take my mind off of the constant nagging clients, it would turn into a nightmare working here. As we held each other in a tight embrace, her chest rose and fell in excitement, causing me to feel her breast against my own. The image of me devouring a hardened nipple came into mind, causing me to stiffen instantly. I wasn’t sure whether the image of me being with a woman had me frozen, or the fact that it had caused my stomach to perform a pleasurable roll. Either way, Elise had sensed my distance and pulled away from me to watch my face.

“You okay? I hope you’re not upset that I’m leaving?”

I pulled myself out of my thoughts and looked at her, smiling.

“Well I can’t say I’m entirely happy you’re leaving. You were amazing to me and it’s caused us to have such a friendship I’ll treasure forever. It just sucks I won’t get to see you all the time.” I performed a fake pout that made her shimmering eyes form tears.

“Stop it. We’ll still talk and meet up, I treasure your friendship too Cleo.”

I wiped a stray tear away from her face and gave another hug, this time shorter and not as intimate as the last one, before that caused my body to react in ways that I didn’t understand.

“I’m sure of it. Look, stop crying before Kasey comes in here and starts asking questions. I’m happy for you and you should be taking this new step with happiness.” She sniffed away a few more loose tears and then lightly tapped my shoulder.

“It was your fault I got all emotional.” Wiping her tears with the back of her hand, I rub her shoulder gently and allow her to compose herself.

“Super glad for you Elise.” She nodded and with a last quick hug, she began walking back to her area of the busy environment of ‘Beverly & Co’. Just before she completely left my vision, she bounced back.

“Oh! Before I forget, a bunch of us are getting lunch together. You have to come since it may be one of my last…” Now it was her turn to pout, I rolled my eyes and nodded, knowing I had emails and calls to make, but knew it’d be Elise’s last lunch with me so I was glad to slack off just for a little bit.

Lunchtime was busy and it was Nick’s bright idea to head to ‘Café de délicieux’ to get food. But as soon as we had gone inside, we almost regretted the idea. The line to be served had extended to the entrance of the café and there were barely any tables to sit at.

“Okay, bad shout. But we might as well wait here.” Nick shouted amongst the loud customers.

“I do have clients to attend to if you didn’t know.” Halle rolled her eyes, replying to a email on her phone.

“So do I, that Miss Uptom is one pain the neck.” Nick shook, visibly irritated by his client.

“Ugh, can we not talk about our clients. I’m with Nick, we might as well stay and enjoy this free time.” Elise shrugged.

“You know what Elise, you know what I like. You order my food and I’ll find us a table.”

Swimming through waiters and waitresses, I attempted to locate a table enough to fit the six of us. But, after a few ‘excuse me’s’ and ‘sorry’s’, I gave up and began heading back to the queue, when I bumped into a waitress, dropping her tray of cutlery’s.

“Sorry.”

She bent down to pick it the scattered contents, mumbling a few insults, most probably, and then stood back up again.

“Thanks for the help.” The waitress said with a small smile on the side of her lips.

“Oh, sorry. I was looking for a table and didn’t see you.”

“It’s pretty busy during the lunch hour, getting a table is difficult. Maybe if you’d helped me with the cutlery, I may have been able to get you a seat.” She winked an eye at me and continued with her journey, leaving me frozen in the place we’d met. Was she playing or insulted that I’d offered no help? I eventually walked back to the queue, where the line had only decreased by a few people.

“No seats I’m afraid.” Everyone groaned apart from Halle whose eyes were still glued to her phone.

“I guess it’s a takeaway. Damn Nathan is in trouble with the police again, it’s definitely a takeaway for me.” I felt my phone vibrate a few times, but decided to ignore it whilst Elise frowned. I gave her a light nudge and smiled, hoping the line didn’t take too long as duty was calling me too.

 

*                *                *                *                *

 

It was getting late and nearly everyone had left the office as clients and events never slept. I normally preferred to finish all work in the office, but after finding myself daydream one too many times, I realised I too, would have to take a number of paperwork home. There was a light cough that causing me to look up.

“Cleo I need you to do a favour for me?” Kasey stood, giving me a small smile.

“Kasey, whenever you need me to do something for you, it means a lot of sleepless nights.”

Kasey wasn’t a typical boss who failed to communicate with his team. If anything he understood us and was willing to teach us in areas where we lacked knowledge. However, even though everyone may have played and joked around with him, respect was still visible and no one ever attempted to cross the line.

“I know Cleo, however, you’re a very good worker and this favour is more of an opportunity for you…well the both of us.” I turned in my chair and faced him properly.

“Okay so what do you need me to do?” He entered the cubicle and leant against the desk.

“Recently our profits have been increasing and I’m more than aware that if it wasn’t for my team, those profits would be non-existent. However, I’ve gathered that the area you handle is currently becoming more popular.”

“Event managing and PR? I assumed that was a steady sector that neither grew or fell?”

“Well, ever since the Winston brothers hosted that ‘Great Gatsby’ themed event and invited nearly everybody in the industry known to man, it boosted the way events could be ran.”

“I see, so what do you need me to do?”

“I need you to host a presentation to a potential client, your potential client. This client is a big deal, for the company and for you too. They’re were looking for someone who acquired your skills and I thought of you.”

My spine shot up as I realised what Kasey was telling me. This was an opportunity that could jet off my career. It could be the first step of many more if I accepted the offer.

“My potential client?” He nodded smiling at my interest. I bit my lip nervously and thought about the prospect thoroughly. It’d mean I’d work double shifts, and probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to myself. However, the money opportunity is one only a fool would pass and it could be the beginning of something amazing.

“That’s if you think you have the ability to successful fill the role. But there wouldn’t be a reason for me to think of you, if I didn’t believe in you.”

I nodded, appreciating Kasey’s belief in me and understood that there could be no way I could pass this offer up. I smiled and stood up.

“You have me sold. Who’s the client and what’s the presentation for?”

He chuckled and straightened his posture. “It’s Sienna Woods.”

Her name sounded familiar to my ears… then I realised where I recognised her name. She was the actress who had recently received a golden globe for playing the lead role in a horror film that had released earlier in the year. My eyes grew in shock after realising how big the opportunity was and how bad it could end if I didn’t successfully do well enough with the client.

“Yeah, the Sienna Woods. So make a presentation on potential steps she could make for her career, look at her image, if there’s any places she needs work, then you tell her. Don’t be afraid of her status, but don’t be forceful, make sure she’s on-board with all of your ideas. She is your biggest client.”

I nodded and grabbed a notepad to jot down things to research and to conduct a background search on Sienna.

“Oh one more thing,” I looked up at Kasey. “She’s coming in at one o’clock tomorrow, so make sure everything is prepared by then.” He smiled and left my section heading back to his office. Tomorrow…I guess I won’t be leaving work anytime soon.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun