For the first time since her breakup with Tim, Selma actually took her time dressing beautifully to work. She could not allow John think any less of her! She had replayed the plan multiple times in her head. Act like he isn’t there Selma! Simple and short. After all, that ship sailed a long time ago and she was definitely over him…right? Ofcourse she was. He will not have the power to make her uncomfortable in her own office! She parked her car in the lot and sat still for a minute before taking a deep breath. “I need a fucking drink” She said, as she pulled out a stainless steel flask filled with Vodka from her bag and took a large gulp. “Where is that gum?” She said, looking for the orbit spearmint gum she left in her car the day before. “Ugh where is it?”! She heard a knock on her car window and turned her head to see Angel waving and smiling. She turned her car off and stepped out, grabbing some files from her car before shutting the car door.
“Why are you so happy this morning?” Selma asked, as they both walked towards the office. “Well…I and Blake had a good conversation last night” Angel replied. “Jake…like your son’s father Jake?” Selma responded in surprise. “Yup. Jake like my son’s father Jake” Angel said, blushing. “I know what you are gonna say and I know it sounds like a terrible idea but he has been putting in more work lately and I don’t know Selma….I think maybe…” “I think maybe it is a horrible idea” Selma responded, cutting her off. “Jake has put you through hell Angel with not wanting the child and then leaving you for someone else while you were pregnant and deciding to do the bare minimum as a father…like should I go on now? because I can. Girl hell no! That man aint worth it” Selma said. “I understand that Selma but I can’t help the way he makes me feel and I really think he has changed. Like I said, he has been acting different lately” Angel responded, dropping her bag on her desk and following Selma into her office. Selma dropped her files on her desk, opened her laptop and sat down. “That man doesn’t deserve you…but I can sit here and tell you hundred reasons why and I bet you will still have one convincing reason to go down that path again. Doesn’t he even have a girlfriend?” “Well it isn’t working out so that will be over soon” Angel responded. “You gotta be kidding me! He still has a girlfriend?” Selma responded raising her voice, as Angel gently closed her office door and took a seat.
“He told me he is gonna break up with her this weekend because It isn’t working out. I believe him because he has been spending the night at my place lately” Angel said. Selma stared at her in disbelief! “I know I didn’t tell you this but yeah he has been having relationship issues and..” Angel was cut off by Selma’s office door opening. She turned around and she couldn’t believe her eyes. John Coleman!
“Can we help you?” Angel asked, with a nasty attitude. “Hi Angel. I came to speak Selma but I can come back later if this isn’t a good time.” John replied.
“Or you can meet me at my desk later and I’ll be sure to pass the message along, how about that?” Angel snapped back.
“It’s okay Angel, I’ll see you at the meeting in an hour” Selma responded to Angel. “Are you sure?” “Yeah I’m okay” Selma replied. Angel stood up and walked to the door before turning back. “Let me know if you need anything” She said, as she took a long look at John before leaving Selma’s office.
“What do you need Mr Coleman?” Selma asked, as she started typing an email on her laptop. Ofcourse the email was to no one but she knew she needed to remain calm and the best way of doing that was not to make eye contact! Looking at him could ruin everything, and she would be damned to give him that pleasure!
“If we are gonna be working in the same company then I really think we need to talk” He replied.
“You can ask all your questions during your orientation. We also have a meeting in an hour so feel free to ask any urgent questions there before the orientation if you would like.” Selma responded, still making no eye contact.
“Sel we need to talk about us. You know what I mean” John said, as he walked closer to her desk.
“There is nothing to talk about. The past is the past and I moved on from that a long time ago John..” She paused and then closed her laptop and stared at him, as she continued.
“From now on, we are co-workers. I would appreciate it if you can keep things professional starting with calling me by my full name Selma. I would also prefer to have only work related conversations with you and if you insist on having personal talks, you might have an HR related issue. So Mr Coleman…do you have any work related concerns you would like to discuss?” She asked, without breaking any eye contact. John slowly shook his head and murmured “no”. “Great! well I guess I will see you at the meeting later then. I have to catch up on some work now, so feel free to let yourself out. Thanks” Selma responded, as she opened her laptop and continued typing. John stared at her and smiled before walking out. Selma raised her head up and stared at the closed door.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes to stop the tears from forming. All these years and he still had the power to make her feel….worthless. She had worked so hard to move on from that pain and he had the audacity to bring it all back. What was his aim? To hurt her more? Or was the salary just that appealing? What kind of man shatters a lady’s heart and makes the decision to remind her of it everyday? She hated him! or did she? Ofcourse she did! How could she not hate him for making her feel this way? For opening up a can of insecurities that has haunted her since their relationship ended? All the work she had put into feeling better about herself and he suddenly appears now when she is heartbroken about her breakup with Tim? So fricken messed up! But she had to be strong. She couldn’t be crying at work over personal issues….she had to be much stronger!
Her office door swung open and she opened her eyes, as the tears she was holding back came trickling down. Oh no! All her preparation for this day had just gone down the drain, as John stood in the middle of her office staring at her. She didn’t bother to wipe the tears, as there was no point. She stared back at him with all the hate and hurt that she felt at that moment, with no words making its way out of her mouth.
“Selma, I need you to know…. that I am genuinely sorry for everything.”
“I can’t stay out drinking for too long cause I have to rush back home to make dinner for my little munchkin” Angel said, as her and Selma sat down at a table at the bar down the street from their office. “That’s fine, I understand. I just need a drink and a friend” Selma said, smiling. Angel looked at the bar and back at Selma “Is that the bartender that you yelled out? ” Angel asked. Selma took a quick peek. “Yup thats the guy!” She replied. “You got mad at THAT guy? Girl I would have let him buy me more than one drink! He is freaking cute, are you kidding me?” Angel gushed. “No I’m not kidding. I don’t care how he looks, he was being rude.” Selma replied. A waiter walked up to them and offered them a menu. “Would you like me to start you up with something to drink or you need sometime to look at the menu?” The waiter asked smiling. “Give us a couple minutes, thanks” Angel replied smiling, as her phone began to ring and the waiter walked away. Angel answered her call “Hey Jake whats up………not yet why?…..really?….I actually was just about leaving the office now so I’ll see you in like ten minutes….okay bye” She said, hanging up. “What was that?” Selma asked, looking confused. “Girl I’m so sorry but I have to go now. Apparently…Jake made dinner reservations for us and is on his way to pick me up from my place. Ladies night tomorrow?” Angel said with a sorry face. “Sure, just leave me to drink alone as always!” Selma responded sadly. “Tomorrow I promise, I’ll bring some wine over to your place” Angel responded, as she got up, hugged Selma and left. The waiter walked back to Selma. “Are you ready to order?” He asked. “I’ll start with a long island, thank you” She replied. The waiter smiled and walked to the bar.
When did she become a lady that could not go through the day without having a drink? She didn’t want to turn into an alcoholic because of some jackass that walked back into her life. How was she going to deal with this situation? Maybe start dating again? no hell no! She needed to fully heal from her relationship with Tim. Request for a transfer to another location? Nah that would just make him feel like he won again! She needed a way to deal with working with her ex and she needed it fast. How could she deal with the hurt and hatred she felt just being in the same office with him? She knew the only way for her to be close to being comfortable working with him was to let go of the past and forgive him; but that was nearly impossible. She is human! Could she really forgive a man for tearing her heart apart? She just needed a break from it all. Maybe just ask to work from home for the month? Ugh then she wouldn’t get any work done. Maybe a vacation? “Here is your long island” A male voice cut through her thoughts and she looked up. It was the bartender that she had yelled on a week ago. Something about him was different…well he wasn’t dressed in his uniform anymore. He put the glass on the table and smiled. “Is it okay if I take a seat with you?” He asked. She nodded “Sure”. He sat down opposite her. “I saw you sitting alone and was heading out after my shift.” He said, staring at her. There was an awkward pause before he smiled and continued.
“Well, I just wanted to say I didn’t mean to be disrespectful that night. I honestly just wanted to buy you a drink but I should have just backed off I guess. Didn’t seem like a good night for you”
“No I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve to be yelled out. Just had a pretty rough night” Selma replied, as she gulped down her long island.
“Still having that rough night?” He asked, as she looked at him and giggled.
“Work has been pretty hectic lately so yeah the nights have been quite rough for me. Do you offer drinks to all your customers with rough nights?” Selma said smiling.
“A couple times I have.” He replied laughing. He definitely had the cutest smile she had ever seen! And those green eyes were just….magical. How didn’t she notice all of this that night?! He looked just….perfect. Those arms looked so cozy like he could hold her and keep her warm all night. Okay Selma stop it! Guys that look this perfect never treat ladies right. She of all people should know that! Just look at her dating history filled with gorgeous men that don’t know the first thing about how to keep a woman happy. This guy would fit right in!…or would he? maybe she shouldn’t be so judgmental….he could be different. Actually whatever! Why is she even thinking about him anyway? Well because he is sitting right infront of her and she couldn’t help the attraction. Maybe it was the long island just having a pretty fast effect….It was actually a pretty strong drink.
“Would you like another drink?” He asked smiling. Did she want another drink?….Maybe…Maybe not. She wasn’t too sure about the drink but she definitely wanted something else…him! Maybe this was the perfect way to deal with all her man troubles lately….sex! Ok no Selma, this could only complicate everything and make it worse. or could it? maybe she just needed to have sex to get her mind off everything. Was that a good idea though?…
“We could grab a bottle of wine and go to my place” She replied smiling.
He looked at her and smiled. “Alright. We can pay for this at the bar on our way out”