For the rest of the week, everything runs smoothly. Topper decides to behave and co-operate. I’ve been showing him around and showing him all the important details that he needs to know and he’s been quite keen.
It’s Friday again and just as I am about to leave and head back home, I am summoned to his office. I obey and head over there to hear what he has to say. When I enter, he signals me to have a seat and I oblige quietly. He rubs his cleanly shaved chin and sighs.
“Meghan, thank you for helping me out. You sure are very focused and dedicated to your work. Keep up the good work,” he says with a small genuine smile on his face.
“Thanks,” I reply as I tuck my hair behind my ear.
“I just need one last favor from you,” he bites his pen and keeps his eyes on me.
“What do you want?” I ask as I cross my legs under the desk.
“Since you’ve been of so much help, I would like to show my gratitude by taking you out to diner,” he says and I am taken aback by his words. I don’t even remember the last time I went on a date with anyone! Should I go out with him or should I not? I know him too well to know that he’s not joking at all. His blank face tells it all. He’s quite serious about it.
What do I do now? I can’t let Nancy know that I went out with Topper, she’d be disappointed. Right now I know that if I decline his offer, he won’t let me be, so I agree to go out with him tonight.
“Fine then. But only for tonight and that’s it. As from next week, you’ll be on your own by the way,” I say.
“Yes!” he claps his hands once out of excitement, “Did you come to work with your car today?”
“No,” I say and he informs me that we’ll ride in his car.
When we arrive at the restaurant he chose, I’m amazed at how expensive everything looks. From the tables and chairs to the interior decoration, to the cutlery and even the people inside. It smells of candle wax and expensive fragrances. He pulls a chair for me to sit and unexpectedly, he orders a meal that we both used to enjoy eating together during dates. It makes me feel nostalgic and within no time, tears are threatening to fall, but I manage to keep them at bay.
As we eat, he keeps stealing glances over at me and my entire face feels hot as color creeps up my cheeks. Am I blushing? Because of Topper? Wow! Unbelievable.
“You know, I had really missed doing this with you. When I said I missed you, I meant it, Meghan. Stop fighting the feelings, I know you still love me and I still love you. I would do anything to have you back in my life,” Topper says after he’s done eating and I stare at him with eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights.
“It’s unprofessional to date your boss,” I say as I take a sip of some water and I cut our eye contact. His eyes have always had this thing that made me give in to whatever that comes out of his mouth.
“Come on, why are you playing so hard to get? It’s not like we don’t know each other. You’re the most beautiful woman I have ever come across and never have I ever looked at another woman the way I always look at you. Just…,” he sighs, “give me a chance. I’ll give it my best shot-” I cut him off. I am tired of the very same words from him. This is so cliché and it sounds so childish, immature!
“You always say that. You might not notice, but those are exactly the same words you used the first time we broke up and you wanted us to get back together. What do you take me for? Huh? I’m not some dumb teenager and I am done playing these games, okay? It’s either you grow up or you’ll never find a woman who truly loves you genuinely as I did,” I deadpan and he seems to be taken aback by my words and he lifts his hands as if saying ‘you win’.
From behind me, a slender woman with ebony hair, too much makeup on her face, and very strong perfume walks straight towards Topper and she leans in to hug him. I stare at him, bewildered. Okay, what is happening here? She sits on his lap and begins stroking his well-shaved jaw, tracing his cheekbones and jawline before she speaks in a very high pitched voice that could break glasses if she decided to be more audible.
“Oh, honey. It’s been quite a long time since I saw you around here, why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” she asks him and I notice he looks uncomfortable. I roll my eyes and snort when he looks at me. From the uniform she’s wearing, a yellow buttoned blouse and a short white skirt, and white sneakers, I can tell she works in this restaurant. Then she turns to me, “Is this your sister?” she asks and I gasp and stand up, push my chair behind and grab the glass of water and pour it on her face. My eyes catch her name tag and it reads ‘Veronica’.
“Why did you do that?” Topper asks out loud as Veronica leaps from his lap.
“Because you disgust me, Topper.” I eye him for one last time and I storm out of the building and think of nothing but to flag down a cab. I just want to get home. He may as well buy Veronica dinner for all I care. I gave him a chance to see if he has changed, but I sure was wrong. I should not have come here. I should not have listened to him, but his words are always so tempting and soothing when he speaks, no one can say no to him. That’s one thing that he takes advantage of. He knows that people can’t resist him.
Why did I ever meet him? Urgh!
Written by: Anthea Kioko