“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”
Those were the words, artistically inscribed
beneath the portrait of American billionaire, Steve Jobs. The portrait hung on the white wall in Ken’s office. Beside the portrait was a book shelf, which was well stocked with business and Finance books. The air-conditioner, mounted at a vertex, which was adjacent to Ken’s official seat, was blasting at a medium.
It looked like the ceiling lights and the white
walls had formed an alliance to ensure the
office was really bright . Ken liked the
phosphorescence; according to him it
facilitated an aura of comfort.
“Secretary please let the next applicant in” Ken said over the phone to his secretary, who was seated in a small glassy cubicle, which served as her office.
Her office was right outside Ken’s office. She
had always admired her boss, right from the very day she got employed in Silver Lining
Ken skimmed through the business proposal, an Investment analyst submitted some days back. The report had an array of numbers and graphs
. Studying such a detailed literature, is an activity he didn’t feel he is up to this morning. The thought of his erstwhile friend, Caterpillar, was bothering him.
He sent Caterpillar packing from his house the previous night, after a fight they had. The last time he engaged in a fist fight, was back then in his teenage days, when a commercial cyclist slapped his late mother. He beat the man to pulp.
“Little bastard. You punch my face because of that ashawo you call your girlfriend. I swear I don chop her and she ain’t even tasty. I made you rich Ken and I can also make you poor!” those words by Caterpillar, hit Ken hard like cannon balls.
“Could Caterpillar be serious, when he said he made out with Miranda?” he soliloquized.
He was lost in thoughts, he didn’t even notice when the applicant he called for entered his office.
He thought of Miranda for some seconds. His left fist was tightly clenched, while he used the right hand to wipe his face, which was bowed and facing the floor. Briskly, he banged his table out of anger.
The loud sound sent fear to the lady who was standing before him. She threw off the sheets of paper, which she held together in a file.
“Oh I’m so sorry” Ken said as he proceeded to help the lady pick her papers from the floor.
“I’m so sorry my dear” he repeated.
“I was just absent minded. Please forgive me…Wait Aria?”
A mixed countenance of surprise and shame was evident on her face.
“Ken? You’re the HR?” she asked inquisitively.
“This is my company. Aria! Two long years! Where have you been? Please sit” he motioned her to sit with a stretched arm.
“Ken I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you the way I did” she said, while trying to kneel
“Oh dear! Please don’t do that. You did what you thought was best for you”
“No Ken. Your friend, Caterpillar blackmailed me. I had to…” She used a white handkerchief, to wipe the hot stream of tears that sailed down her cheeks.
“What the hell are you talking about Aria? I saw your chats with him. You cheated on me with my childhood friend!”
“Yes I did but that was because he blackmailed me. True, I was dating another man aside you, but that wasn’t why I broke up. You remember the weekend you travelled to attend the interview with Pyramid bank? I had just finished my final exams. Your friend offered to take me out to celebrate my signing out. I agreed, and honestly I had fun. Going to clubs was something you never liked but I loved to party and you knew that. That Saturday night, I was drunk and we had sex. I never knew he recorded it all”
“But Aria you could have told me!” Ken said angrily
“I know! I ought to. But then I was so ashamed. I fell for his blackmail. He threatened to show you the videos if I didn’t break up with you”
“Crazy world! It’s so hard to trust people these days. Aria you know what? I want you to tell me all about this. Please wait at my secretary’s office. I’ll join you shortly. Let’s talk about this over lunch”