Independent—Episode 4: Welcome to Hell

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Continued from here

KIM

It’s been two weeks now since the disgusting duo moved into my office. Well, not disgusting anymore, as I am now friends with Lekan the cute goatee guy. After that first handshake, he walked me to the BRT bus stop and made sure I got into the bus before he went on his way. I thought he was nice then, but he has proved himself to be even nicer. I smile to myself as I remember one of his jokes from last week and immediately shake it off; no reason for me to have warm thoughts of another man so soon after Iyke. I decide to turn on my computer and get started on work; there is an article about a new product on Konga that I have to approve for publication on the Magazine website. Not up to five minutes after I’ve started and in walks the devil himself.

“Ugly” I mutter and roll my eyes; he has been absent for the past two weeks, since that first day he was moved into my office
“Good morning to you too.” He says in response to my eye roll and sits in his chair; I ignore him and continue working. I wonder what type of assistant doesn’t resume with his boss, and then strolls into the office two days later. The fact that he is an assistant registers in my brain, and suddenly it occurs to me that I am his senior too.
“Excuse me” he doesn’t answer; I clear my throat and call out louder “EXCUSE ME” He jumps in his chair and glares in my direction.
“What?”
“What? What?!” I try not to be shocked at his insolence, but I can’t help it. “You are not allowed to speak to me that way.” I say and take a deep breath when I see that my voice is gaining that screechy quality again
“I’m sorry” he says with a sneer and I take another breath. His connections to the higher ups has messed with his mind so.
“Please come” I say “You have to go get something for me at the front desk.”

He drags his feet to my desk in the most sluggish way and after I tell him what I want, he drags out of the door. I shake my head and smile; this one is going to learn today. In no time, he is back with the files I want and I take them. He makes to go back to his desk, but I stop him
“Yessssss?” He says with another sneer, but I ignore him and smile
“I’m sorry, this is the wrong file. Please go to the logistics department and ask for it there.”
He sighs and makes to leave, but “Oh! I forgot!” I say and he stops
“What?” he says in an almost snarl
“Please, get me a cup of coffee when you’re coming back. Linda at the front desk will tell you how I like my coffee.” He leaves the room without a word and I start laughing.

The logistics department is all the way across the building, and it’s really hard to find for someone who’s new in the office. I pick up my phone and place a quick call to the front desk; I confirm from her that Ugly is there, so I ask her to give him the wrong directions and make him work harder than is necessary to get the coffee. She is already used to my “breaking system” so she says okay and ends the call in the most business-like way possible.
I start laughing to myself again as I imagine how Ugly’s face will be when he comes back.

WALE

“Wale!” Lekan calls from behind me, as he runs up the stairs to catch up with me. One look at my face and he bows his head and carries the large stack of files I am carrying.
“Why are you late?!” I snap at him
“For appearances sakes sir” he replies “I am your boss here, so I shouldn’t resume work before you every day.”
I sigh and continue the journey upstairs, then pause when I get to our office door and motion for him to give me the files. He hands them over to me without hesitation, and it’s all I can do not to kick him. I enter the office and deliver the files I’m carrying, trying very hard not to sneer this time so she won’t send me on another errand. This is the seventh errand I’m returning from, and it’s not even 10am yet. I have to give the girl points for bravery, seeing as all my snarling and scowling does not scare her in any way. She is not so good at stealth though, if the loud peals of laughter I hear every time I close the door behind me on my way out are any indication.

I go sit in my chair and wait for the next instruction, and when it doesn’t come, I almost ask her why. Lekan enters a few minutes after me and heads straight for her desk, and she looks up at him and smiles. The transformation on her face is so shocking I feel it in my stomach. It’s like a light bulb has come on inside her skin, and she can’t help but show it. She stretches out her hand and says “What’s up?” and he is smiling at her goofily as he nods at her.

“So what did you end up eating for dinner?” He asks and she says “Both of them”, and they burst out laughing, and it infuriates me because I don’t know what they’re talking about. When did Lekan and this fat girl become friends? Why is Lekan smiling at her like that? Why is she smiling at him like that? How long was I even gone?
I clear my throat, more out of jealousy than anything else. Lekan had no right to make me the third wheel in this office.

The noise I make startles both of them, and I hiss; they are already in their own world. Kimberly peeks at me from behind Lekan’s body, as he is now sitting on her desk and blocking my view of her face.
“Do you want something?” she asks
“No” I reply
“Oh? Okay then. It’s almost noon, please go to the front desk and ask Linda to direct you to the place where I get my food.” She says and then looks at Lekan. “Do you want anything?” she asks him; he shakes his head no.
“Linda will tell you how I like my food.” She says and waves dismissively
I try as hard as possible not too show it, but I am so angry I can barely breath. Does this girl know who I am? Lekan’s shoulders start shaking, and I know he’s laughing at me. I stalk out of the room and head down to the ground floor. If this girl thinks she can play games with me, I am so ready.
Now, it’s game on and may the best man win.

Maybe hell is not empty; maybe there are a few demons left.
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Independent—Episode 5: All is Fair in Love and War
Independent—Episode 3: Changes

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