Thursday, 14 December 2017

FALSE PRETENSES Episode 19

Princess couldn’t believe the turn of events. She’d been listening in on the conversation between Ise and that trashy girl enjoying it immensely until the part he’d said she’d begin working under her. Princess had thought she would go into an apoplectic shock. She didn’t want an assistant, it woudn’t be bad to have help because it would reduce the workload on her desk but she didn’t want someone else sharing her office, moreso one whom the boss seemed to have the hots for.
She’d heard them over the intercom. He knew about her boyfriend and he’d said something about her having issues at the moment. She wondered how well they knew each other. The girl was seriously getting to him, it had been in the angry way he’d addressed her, she could tell he haboured some feelings for her from the way his voice had shook with annoyance.
This had gone so wrong, Princess wanted the boss all to herself, if she couldn’t have him, no other woman would, not while she worked there and she would make damn sure of that.
She knew she had to do something to come between the two, she’d done it before and it had worked out well without anyone being the wiser. She would definitely do it again, Ise couldn’t be allowed to fall for the low life tramp.
Parking her car into the parking space allotted her, she felt renewed and with a purpose.
********
Kite wasn’t really in the mood for work the next morning, the dressing down Ise had given her the day before had brought her really low. She’d told the girls about it last night although she’d omitted the part where she’d spent the time out with Izu, it wasn’t time for them to know about them getting together yet but for the life of her she still couldn’t come up with a reason why Tessy would do what she did, she’d gotten along well with her since she’d resumed work there. All the thinking she’d done at night hadn’t allowed her sleep peacefully.
Lucky had practically dragged her out of bed that morning, she’d just wanted to hand in her resignation letter, she didn’t think she’d survive under a day under that P.A who didn’t hide her contempt for her but Lucky had advised her otherwise. She’d told her not to quit until she was shown the door. Besides wasn’t she Kite? Lucky knew she was tough as nails and could be crafty too when she wanted to be but Kite had wanted to drop that side of her for this job. The job meant so much to her and she’d gone in with the mindset that she would impress everyone with her abiities. She’d wanted to be civilised and act cool for the first time in her life but it seemed that wouldn’t work at all. These people seemed to want to get dirty, she would just have to get messy with them too.
She’d felt a bit better after coming to that realisation, if the useless P.A wanted a war, then she was going to go there. Kite wondered what was even doing the chick sef? Was she still annoyed because of the incident that happened that other time? She would have apologised but she had a feeling it wouldn’t be accepted. The girl had deeper issues with her and Kite would get to the root of it.
Glancing at her wrist watch she saw the time was already eight a.m. “ Damn.” She muttered under her breath. She was late already, Ise ‘mean boss’ Williams had instructed she get there not later than eight. She was almost there anyway, latest she was sure she would get there was at eight- ten a.m if the damn cab she was in would move.
In her hurry, she’d gotten into the worst of all cabs, it was a five person cab that stopped to pick and drop people. Worst of all, the piece of junk was practically crawling along the road and was smoking everywhere, inside most especially. Was it even healthy inhaling smoke like this? she would sure smell of smoke when she got into the office.
She was in the front passenger seat and had kept her face averted and looking out the open window onto the road.
“Oga, why this your car dey smoke like this na?” One of the guys in the back seat asked mirroring her exact thoughts.
The driver didn’t reply, what was he supposed to say anyway? But the passenger wasn’t finished, this time he muttered to himself “Person go just dey smell like mechanic.”
Kite just wanted to get to the office as soon as she could, she didn’t want another dressing down like the one of yesterday from Mr Boss man, Mean guy, Arrogant , she’d been calling him names anytime she remembered the events of the day before. She still shuddered at the look he’d given her but somehow, it was good it had happened, she’d seen him for what he really was to her. Her boss and that was how it would be from now on. She would no longer be sharing personal information with him, come to think of it, he knew so much about her and she knew nothing about him other than the general things which people knew when s he’d read his profile on Wikipedia and then of course, she also knew where he lived.
The guy was way out of her league, how had she started becoming really comfortable with him? Anyway, yesterday he’d reminded her he was the boss and could fire her at anytimeso she wasn’t to get too cozy with him.
She couldn’t help the hiss that left her mouth. The driver glanced at her frowning and she was tempted to tell him she wasn’t hissing at him but even this his cab was pissing her off as it was getting her late.
Her phone rang and she brought it out. It was her missing love now returned.
“Hi Izu.” She said unable to hold down the smile.
“Hi love, how you doing this morning? You feeling better?” He asked. She’d gisted him about all that had gone down the day before.
“I’m good now, I picked up what was left of my pride and decided to give it a go again.”
“That’s the fighter I love.” He told her “You still on the road? There’s so much noise.”
She rolled her eyes, the smoky cab had a broken exhaust or something and was causing so much noise.
“Yeah, but I’m almost there.”
“Okay dear, just wanted to check up on you. Can you do dinner after work? I’ll pick you up.”
“Ummm…I’m not sure when I’ll be done.”
“Anytime you’re done.”
“Okay..Let me get back to you on that?”
“Alright, but no excuses, we’ve been apart for so long and I really missed you.”
She smiled “I know. I really have to go now, I’m at my stop.”
“Alright dear, laters.” He hung up.
She put the phone back in her bag and rummaged through her purse for the cab fare. “Driver, stop there abeg.” She pointed.
He parked, she paid and got out. Glad to be out of that smoking furnace, First thing she would do when she got to the office was to run into the bathroom and check if she smelt of smoke.
She was walking through the parking lot when Awe called her, she turned to see her coming out of a cool black KIA elantra.
“Hey.” Kite called back to her smiing and walking over.
“I didn’t see you yesterday but I heard you’ve been transferred to the Boss’s office? Assistant P.A, that’s really awesome.”
“Yeah.” Kite pasted a fake smile on her face, if only she knew. “Is that your ride?”
“Yes o, just got it a few months back, had to take a loan but its worth it. You don’t have a car?”
“Not yet.” Kite replied.
Awe opened her eyes like it was an abomination. “That’s got to be stressful, where do you stay?”
Kite hesitated not sure how to say it “Ummm…Jikwoyi.”
“Wheres that?” Awe frowned.
“Ummm, after Karu.”
“Oh, all those areas outside town.” She said.
Those areas were actually in Nasarawa state but they liked to caim the FCT.
“Anyway, how are you fitting in?”
They were walking toward the building now. Kite shrugged “I’m okay but some people here are really mean, imagine Tessy telling Mr. Williams that I spent three hours at lunch break yesterday?”
“What?” Awe shrieked stopping in her tracks.
“Yes, I was shocked too.”
“No,” Awe shook her head “Tessy wouldn’t do that, come we’ll ask what really happened.”
Awe said hurrying her foot steps as they went into the lobby. Tessy was behind her desk as usual.
“Tessy goodmorning.” Awe told her and then went straight to the point without waiting for Kite “Is it true you told Willie Kite here spent three hours outside yesterday?”
Tessy paused, her eyes going from Awe to Kite and back. She frowned “No, of course not, why would I do that? When Princess asked me how long you’d been away, I told her fifteen minutes.”
Kite raised a brow and locked eyes with Awe, she wasn’t at all surprised. Just then the subject of their discussion walked past them on the phone, she was also just resuming. She went to the elevators without so much as a glance at them.
Kite turned back to Tessy “Thanks, maybe there was a mix up somewhere then.” Awe took her hand and led her to a corner, a frown on her face.
“Whats with you and the PA? She was the one who obviously told Williams that lie.”
Kite wasn’t sure also, was all this really because of what had happened that other day? Was Princess still smarting from that? She seriously needed to get over it.
“Awe, I cant talk now, I have to sign in but we’ll talk later.” Kite told her.
“Okay, but be careful, that Chick doesn’t play fair at all, especially since you are working so close to her now.”
Kite nodded, she already knew all this but did Princess want to really get this dirty? If she did, then ‘GAME ON!’
*************
Ise had just about fifteen minutes till his first meeting that morning but he was stuck in traffic and seriously hoping he wouldn’t be late. He would have left earlier but his mother had insisted on breakfast and he’d given in, he had a weakness for food and she knew it. She’d used the time to tell him how she’d spent the past week, as usual she’d met with a few of her friends and their daughters. There was one in particular whom she really liked, she was a surgeon or something, Victoria and she would be coming in to dinner on Sunday. The woman wouldn’t just give up. To her, he’d seemed to be listening silently as she’d outlined Vicki’s achievements and attributes when he’d infact been enjoying the taste of the spicy chicken broth and soft buttery buns he’d been eating.
The woman and her conniving, when would she finally realise he would never be interested in any girl she pushed toward him? He liked to find his own girls although so far that hadn’t worked out too well. Isabel, whom he’d already planned his future around hadn’t worked out and now Kite whom he’d been getting too attracted to so fast had put a damper on his feelings by going back to her ex. When he’d heard it from her yesterday, he’d suddenly become consumed by a feeling he’d later realised had been serious jealousy and anger. Anger at her stupidity but he didn’t want to think about it now.
Maybe Kenny had been right, she was so far down his ladder and could never fit into his lifestyle. During their flight out to TelAviv, Kenny had adviced him to leave the girl alone, he had an image to uphold and it didn’t include being seen with a girl like her. He could have his pick of any society girl from one of the wealthy families in the country, why go for a random girl like her whose background he knew nothing about and could very well be a gold digger?
It was probably better for him this way as she’d gotten back with her ex, better for both of them, he thought even though those feelings he’d had for her were still very present in his heart. He would have to fight them, maybe a distraction would help?
He could give Fiola a call, he was sure she’d calmed down enough by now, maybe she might agree to lunch with him one of these days. He wouldn’t be surprised if she hadn’t gotten over it yet though, what Kite did to her that day hadn’t been funny. Aside from hurting her it had been quite humiliating. The girl was so ghetto sometimes he wondered if there was really any hope for her.
His attitude toward her the day before aside from being fuelled a little by Jealousy had also been because he’d been angry at the nonchalance she’d shown by leaving for three damn hours to spend time with her boyfriend. He’d been really angry, here was a girl he cared about and was helping but still acted like she didn’t give a damn about anything. Like there would be no consequences to her actions. She’d been wrong, if she wanted to keep her job, she would have to earn her place in the company or he would fire her, feelings or none!
Then there was the lying, had it been so ingrained in her that she couldn’t help but result to lies instead of just coming out clean? Was he going to regret giving her this job? He seriously hoped not.
Finally, the traffic seemed to have cleared up a bit, he just might make it after all. “Sal please step on it, I have to be at the office in ten.”
“Yes Sir.” The ever faithful Sal replied.
*****
Kite had been watching back and forth as the meeting had dragged for close to two hours already. She was seated in a corner of the room typing the minutes on her laptop. From time to time, her eyes had wandered to Williams and she could see he was tired, it showed visibly on his face, he really did need some rest.
Present at the meeting were two representatives from the VILDE group who were recent customers of WOLTEL, the telecommunications branch of WOLCORP. VILDE group was an oil and gas company and were having issues with connectivity on their off shore rigs.
Oil rigs are notoriously known for their isolation. Since they are in the middle of nowhere, telecomm operators didn’t find it profitable to operate in such locations as there is no population, so instead the rigs depended on satellite communication.
The issue here was that their internet connectivity was quite slow and almost always failed due to constant heavy rainfall in the region which they needed a quick solution to. The engineer who, to Kite seemed quite full of himself, possibly because he was seated in the boss’s presence had said it was due to too much sharing on their bandwidth which had to be increased to deal with its slowness but there was nothing that could be done about fades when there was a heavy rainfall. Kite knew otherwise, the small company she’d worked with last were usually contracted to go into remote locations to install small satellites and she had an idea of their operations.
She knew of a solution that could very well work but the problem was she wasn’t sure if it was in her place to speak up.
Seated in the back in a corner, she was quietly doing her typing while Ise Williams flanked by Princess and the Communications director on either side were seated at the oval shaped conference table along with the engineer and two representatives from VILDE.
Kite watched them as her hands flew over the keyboard; she was a very proficient typist and didn’t need to look at it while typing thanks to a year learning typing when she’d awaited admission into the university.
That Princess Lady was really feeling good with herself; seated at the right hand side of her boss she’d been feeling really important, it was in the way she took down her notes on her PC.
When Kite had gotten into the office that morning, she’d acknowledged Kite’s greeting with a slight movement of her hand without looking at her, as if she waving off the greeting with an irritated look on her face.
‘Nor be her fault, na because I open mouth greet am,’ Kite had thought to herself. They’d not exchanged any words except for when she’d haughtily told her she was expected to take down the minutes of the meeting.
“Are you sure that nothing can be done about the fades?” Ise was speaking, looking at the engineer.
“Yes Sir, it’s a normal thing, there’s ……..” the engineer started.
Kite didn’t know when she began talking, cutting off the engineer “How about a wireless last mile?”
Everyone turned to her and she thought she would shrink into the wall.
“What?” the engineer asked.
“Ummm…a wireless last mile link to the closest fibre optic P.O.P as in point of presence-“
The engineer was looking at her now like what did a secretary know about Satellite Communications? “I know what a P.O.P is but what is its relevance here?”
Kite swallowed. She should have just shut up in the first place, now six pairs of eyes were on her. “They are complaining of a weak connection and since they are too far from the closest fibre footprint, I was thinking of a wireless last mile link which will provide a perfect, cost effective, high-speed wireless connection either through radio or microwave, that carries data or voice to the nearest Wireless High Site from where it is delivered via a fiber ring backhaul.”
When she was done, every one paused for about two seconds, that self conscious feeling came upon her again and she looked down at her hands.
“Okay, that sounds like an idea, makes a lot of sense” Ise said, he was the one who recovered first “But it doesn’t stop the fades during heavy rainfall.”
“ Not if you try the STM solution.” She replied
“The what?” That was the Engineer again.
“The STM solution, where you deploy a versatile, small footprint Ku band VSAT with a 1.2m VSAT antenna, deployable in four hours, then communication to these isolated rigs can be set up. Once the link is up, it is used to carry, data, voice, and video traffic. It’s worked before, its even deployed on floating rig platforms, I’m quite sure that if we can integrate components like Stabilized antennas, connectivity should improve greatly.”
The Engineer guy still had a frown but he seemed to consider her idea for a while.
Ise turned to him “So? What do you think about her idea?”
“It does make some sense….” He seemed to be going over it in his head before he came to a quick conclusion “Yeah, it can work.”
Of course it will work, duh? She thought to herself.
“Thank you, Kitty.” Ise said and Kite’s head snapped up to look at him, he had a smile on his face as he winked at her ever so lightly. Kite felt the blush creeping up her neck.
‘Damn this light complexion!’ She thought to herself as she nodded, her eyes moving from him to Princess’s fuming face. Jeez! Her look spoke pure hatred for her. Did she kick her dog in a past life or something? Kite wondered a bit scared at that that look.
They began rounding up the meeting as Ise directed that the engineer work with Miss Omoh on the project and when they were done they got up to leave. Ise leaving with the men from VILDE first, the ICT director and the engineer following.
Kite was going through the minutes for errors when she looked up to see Princess in front of her. Kite rolled her eyes, what was it now?
“You think you’re smart now, do you?” She asked
Kite frowned “Excuse you?”
“Opening your mouth and butting into conversation which doesn’t concern you? Next time you shut up and focus on the work you were given to do. Can you get that simple instruction into your head?”
Kite couldn’t help the smile that spread slowly across her face. See this short thing talking to her like this? Chai! She don die!
Princess continued “ You just resumed here how many days ago and you’re already plotting your way up? It doesn’t work that way my dear. I’m your boss around here and you play to my rules.”
Oh really? Kite wanted to ask her but couldn’t speak. She wasn’t the type to talk so she just watched her wanting to slap that haughty attitude out of her life for good.
“You do as you are told and you shut up until you are asked to speak, get that?”
Kite just continued smiling as she got up to her full six feet with the help of four inch heels of course dwindling Princess’s Five eight. Quietly, she picked up her laptop and folder containing some papers, she wouldn’t bother answering the little id’iot and she didn’t want to slap her so she decided it was time to leave the vicinity before she lost the control she was seriously hanging on to but she should have known that she wouldn’t be allowed to go just like that.
As she was about leaving, princess dragged her back by the sleeve of her shirt saying. “Bi’tch did you hear what I just said or have you suddenly gone dumb?”
Kite’s reflexes took over immediately, she stopped thinking on hearing the B-word. Her hand went for her tea cup which contained the remainder of tea which she’d not finished. Instantly picking the mug, she flung the contents in Princess.
Princess screeched as the contents landed on her face and shirt, she looked shocked, like she couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Kite laughed, loving the look on her face. “oops….I’m sorry my hand just slipped.” She said as she turned and walked out damning the consequences of her actions.
**********
Princess was in the toilet cleaning up her tea splattered face and shirt and angry as hell. She was so angry she wanted to break something on that b’itch’s head. She’d definitely gone far this time and she was going to show her. Oh no! but she had it coming, she really had it coming. She had better watch her back because by the time she was through with her, she was going to wish she’d never met the Princess.
Her closest friend Dara ran into the bathroom.
“Princess, Oh my goodness! What happened?”
“That tramp, that low life, gutter rat tramp poured tea in my face, can you imgine?”
“Oh my goodness! Look at your hair? Did you report to Mr. Williams?”
He’s not in the building and I cant go around looking like this. Can you imagine? She made me a laughing stock! She’s going to pay, I swear she is!”
“What happened between you two?”
“I was reminding her her place in the company and next thing I knew she flung the drink in my face.”
Dara’s eyes were wide “In the presence of everyone?”
“No, we were alone in the conference room.”
“Wow.” Dara said incredulously “What audacity?”
“As in, eh? The girl has just started, I will show her! I will show her who she dared to miss with! I mean, just look at what she’s done to my Chanel silk blouse that I bought from Paris just last month. It’s totally ruined.”
“Awwww” Dara sympathised “But how is it that she was moved up to the twentieth floor just like that?”
“Girl, didn’t I tell you? She and Ise have something going on.”
“What?!” Dara’s eyes were wide as saucers
“yes o, it’s looking like some bottom power things are happening, I’m not sure but its what I suspect.”
“They might be sleeping together?”
“Think about it, he sends her in from nowhere, no job application, no interviews, gives her a job appointment just like that? I even went through her C.V and there was really nothing of importance there except for one P.A job in a non existent company like that, so you see, put two and two together and what do you get?”
Dara was considering it “Girl, you better be careful, she might be aiming for your seat next o!”
Princess resisted the urge to hiss, was that what she was thinking? She was more concerned with separating Ise and the girl but she nodded “I know, anyway, I’ve got it all covered, she will wish she never crossed me.”
“Just let me know if I can help, will you?” Dara offered.
“Sure, will do.” Princess replied “Abeg, come check if tea pour for my weave for here abeg.”
********
Tbc

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