When Nancy arrives, she’s brought pizza and my favorite fresh orange juice. We sit on the couch and munch on the pizza, as we watch a soap opera on T.V. Nancy is such a sweetheart, she’s always ready to listen and she’s always there to help and it’s been like this for the two of us for the last four years.

Tonight she’s in a cute purple, floral dress, a white coat, and some wedges which she took off when she entered. Her dark hair is loosely dangling on her shoulders and her vibrant expression changes when she notices I’m not that excited like she is. We both love pizza but from the way I’m eating it, you’d think I’m about to hurl my guts out.

“So, what’s wrong?” she asks after finishing her second slice of pizza while turning to look at me. I sigh heavily and scratch the back of my neck.

“He’s back,” I say as I sip my orange juice.

“Who?” she frowns deeply, her perky lips slightly parting.

“Topper, that’s who. Sebastian Topper Lexington is back in town and he literally doesn’t want me to breathe. I’ve been suffocating all day seeing him walk around the office,” I complain, nearly pouring the juice on myself.

“Hold up. What was Topper doing there?” she asks, curiosity written all over her pretty face.

“Topper is my new boss,” her jaw drops, “Well for the next couple of months, or years maybe. I don’t know,” I shrug and slump my body against the couch. Talking about it makes it even worse, it’s like reminding myself of my worst nightmare!

Nancy gasps loudly, her hands covering her mouth.

“Where did Mr. Lawrence go?” her questions are now tiring me already.

“He’ll be traveling a lot, he said. So he brought in an acting CEO and he didn’t tell us for how long he’ll be gone. And what’s worse, I embarrassed myself in front of everyone thinking I would be the one left in charge. I was ready to be given that position, Dylan warned me but I ignored him… I should have listened to him. Do you know what else Topper did? He treated me like a robot, sending me for stuff here and there and the guy had the audacity to tell me to get him some juice. I felt like I could strangle him, throw him out of the building or maybe pour the juice on him,” I say as I clench my fists. I definitely should have poured the juice on him. Why didn’t I?

“He’s your new boss anyway, whatever he wants you to get him, then you should,” Nancy points out and my jaw drops. Unbelievable.

Shocked Black Woman

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Nancy. Whose side are you on?” I wave my hands in the air aimlessly.

“Yours of course,” she says, after shrugging, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the fact that Topper is your new boss. It’ll be tragic for you,” she furrows her brow.

“I know, Nancy… I know and I feel like he’s already punishing me for ending our relationship,” I whisper. Our relationship started out fine, just like all relationships do, up until he became so obsessed with his goals and forgot about his girlfriend. The thought saddens me.

“Girl, I think you aren’t over him. I mean, you’ve never dated anyone else after you broke up with him. Are you still in love with him?” Nancy asks, shock clear in her words.

Am I in love with Topper? I don’t think so. It’s been two years since I saw him. I’m totally over him.

“No! I’m not in love with Topper,” I shout and grab a slice of pizza and shove it into my mouth, “I can’t still be in love with that man,” I say with my mouth full of food.

“If you say so. All I can say is that you should watch your back. You know how Topper is and please, don’t make a mistake of showing him any signs of weakness, he’ll take advantage of that and he’ll hurt you. Always watch your back. I don’t trust that guy at all,” Nancy says. She’s really good at giving advice.

“Thanks, Nancy. You’re the best,” I say and my phone rings, startling me a little. I check the screen and it’s a new number calling. I get many calls from clients so I assume it is someone who wants to talk business. I press the phone to my ear.

“Hello?” I answer after clearing my throat.

“Hey, Meg? It’s Topper,” he says and I angrily slam my fist on the couch. What is it with this guy?

“Leave. Me. Alone!” I yell and hang up, throw the phone on the table and intensely roll my eyes.

He calls again and I switch off the phone out of annoyance. How did he even get my number? I bet he got it from the list of employees, that nosey human, urgh! Why did he have to appear at a time like this? Why couldn’t we have probably met under different circumstances other than at my workplace with him being my new boss? This is extremely annoying and I can tell that it won’t be easy for me at all. I’ve dated him for two years and I know how clingy and convincing he can get.

“Ever heard of obsessive exes? Topper is one. He’s obsessed with you, sorry to say that,” Nancy says while patting my back, “He’ll be all up in your business now that you’ll be seeing each other a lot. Every day to be precise.”

Every day… I am going to be seeing my ex-boyfriend every single day for God-knows-how-long. Most people prefer not to have any contact or interaction with their former lovers and that’s exactly what I prefer but look at what the universe just brought on my table of life… Topper, and he’ll be around me whether I like it or not.

“You see, he won’t let me breathe!” I groan and pull my hair, “Me and my ex-boyfriend working together, under the same building… Great! Just great!” I brush my hand over my face.

Written by: Anthea Kioko

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