Burns

Burns

A Chapter by Mirror
"

Elz Black meets Liam the new staff. She also heard her father's claim on her.

"


The warm mint air passed through my red lip, almost through my nostrils too, and greeted the air. Soft sigh escaped, with all the wishes and wants.

Thirty " one. Tall.  Dark. I was bold-faced and pretty " in my own way. I placed my palm beneath my chin. Relaxed my face in its warmth. I had allowed the chill crispy air froze my skin pores and I suddenly felt the urge to off the air-condition. Its ability to elaborate my designer fragrance and make my client focus on me as though I was from vanilla’s village was the only thing I loved about air-conditions. At least I have a fleeting attention that had nothing to do with the reason I stayed unmarried. All I want is money. I realized that I want it more than what others want for me.

They will seat across my desk, mesmerized. The clients.

They comment on my fluid handwriting. They comment on my accommodative smile. They thank me for always listening " understanding. They say I do my job well. But beneath it all, I know they were not themselves " plainly speaking. Even with that, I believe them. Oddly enough, I do my job because when I close my eyes I see my pay cheque. Sometimes, I try to let them know it was because of the pay cheque. A fruitless labour because they end up saying “You do it with all your heart. And it fits you so.”

With my long heels, bouncing strides, stealthy smiles, my usual way, I walked confidently into the commercial department throwing the spell of high-fives and friendly kisses to nice colleagues. This fateful day, I was unaware of the fact that I was in total slow motion. Audio-less. Like in the movies. There sat two lone sexy eyes. Nothing, no one, was there in the office. Just him. And for once I hesitated to cast my spells on him. It was as though if I did, I will be damned " burned. It felt dangerous without a reason. All I could say in seconds before my head could process the words were “Who are you?”

He was silent. He, too, was trying to understand something.

“Why are you here? You should be in the field, I suppose.” My mouth was running before I really, really, understand what I was even saying. I looked at the customer service desk hoping for some words of rescue there. Instead, I heard myself ask the lady behind the desk, “Amy, who is this?”

I dared not look at him.

I walked slowly to the desk over his left where Amy was. I could feel his cold stare fixated on me; first, it was on my sleek black heels, then my strong long legs, then my curves, then on my inexplicable anger. Still, I dared not looked his way.


Why I avoided him was senseless. Childish. I wanted to pinch myself. Instead I turned and faced him leaning partially on the desk. Amy rose to her feet and checked out who I was referring to. Amy was a light skinned nerd with her glasses narrowing her eyes. She barely wore makeup yet she looks virginal and cute. She always likes having me around her to make her laugh although she complains that our bonding times are always short lived. I was not stationed here in the Head Quarters. I had been transferred to the third branch off South east. Anytime I came around the headquarters, it was fun. “Just your humor” Amy would say. When she stood up, she half expected a junior officer there in the Marketing Wing. Amy had sensed the sudden tension in my voice.

“He is the new staff, Elz.” She said. “I don’t think he knows you.”

Then the cold eyes shifted. Or maybe I imagined it. His stare was still on my face. Now he had a silent smile on him. But he still didn’t say anything. I was not comfortable with that. I had no right not to because I knew I wasn’t his boss. I shouldn’t be asking those questions. But I felt obliged since I was one of the oldest staffs. Besides, he didn’t say “Hi” I wanted to at least do something. Let him know I was older staff? Or maybe I was the best? Or maybe talk to him first indirectly by asking questions? All the same, I didn’t understand myself. It is rare to lose myself unexpectedly. I decided to leave the place immediately.

I had work to do. Most annoying part. His eyes followed me.

 

*********

“Mum, not much is happening around here. The people that caused those conflicts have been transferred. Even though there are little tiffs here and there, it is normal now. It is expected in any healthy working environment. And the new staff are completely mature. I am ok.” I said over the phone while shoveling through the sheets looking for the good lenders’ application.

“I thank God for that. I pray every day for you. You have gone through a lot in that company. You deserve a raise. Twice you said you will be promoted but nothing.” My mum lamented

I could see her worried face in my mind’s eye, “Mum, One day I will be promoted.”

“I don’t like that job.” She groans. “God knows”

“Mum,” I said with cautionary tone. She knows I don’t condone pessimism. “Mum, please let me attend to customers. I will talk with you later, ma’am”

“Okay, darling. God bless you. I love you.” She hurriedly said

“I love you too ma,” I said and ended the call.

I was back to my branch with so much work to do. So, I stared at the application before me. My desk was in its exhaustive state of mind with white sheets sleeping on it and a name tag elegantly placed by the side ELZA BLACK. My computer was tired but stayed robotly awake. Working as a banker in a Microfinance Institute was as hard as working for larger commercial industry. My industry focused on grassroot banking and petty traders and other SMEs. The one way to describe my bank is that it is into empowerment and project financing. Our profit margin is depends on how much we lend and the percentage of interest accrued to each loan. In short, we are cooperate loan sharks.

I have to face different people and different problems that need financial assistant every day. This I do with all enjoyment because I love to help. Maybe because I and my family had gone through these financial rigors to go through life despite what the George Family say about us. They were rich. We were not rich. But right here, right now, while I sat there in my office, opportunity has present itself to change all course. The application paper in my hand just escaped a chance of being shredded into pieces because I was too tired to tolerate ineligible writings. Yet, I persevered. No application date, no signature, and no salutation. Who is this? I asked loudly in my mind.

“Christy,” A melodious voice replied.

I glanced up, “I didn’t say anything,” I said. Or did I?

Nse was standing opposite my desk in her black pencil skirt which outline her slim waist with a red shirt. She doesn’t like using her ties except her name tag boldly crested NSE DANIEL. She was very pretty today in her black curly hair.

“No, you didn’t.” She replied, “For now.”

I raised a brow. She continued, “The headquarters called in today for impromptu meeting with commercials. I heard new staff intake”

“Met one today,” I scoffed. “He was looking at me as a droll. The funny thing is I was also shifting in my pants as a day old. Can you imagine that, Nse?” I asked with an angry frown at her. Nse was laughing quietly and still managed to maintain a concerned face.

“Is he handsome, Elz?” She asked

“Not all handsome men make me shift.”

Nse raised a brow, “What are you saying exactly? So, this one does?”

One look at Nse, I understood her. This person is a total stranger. I shouldn’t be this concerned about my shifting. I looked at her hand, “What is there you are doing?”

“Reports. Hate might be coming for auditing this week.” She threw a glance around the small but beautiful office space. The flower in its vase by the window and the chill air condition gave the office a grand but simple feel. “When is the branch manager coming back? Do you think one of these new staff may be posted down here?”

“I really don’t know, Nse.” I answered. All I wanted was someone to come and I return back to my own desk. Relieving the manager and combining my job was too much multitask I could handle. “When is the meeting?”

“By 4: pm”

“Okay. What reports have you made so far?”

“Monthly performance reviews and the branch total risk asset portfolios.”

“Do you know the exact day Hate is coming?”

“You know Hate,” Nse sighed, “He can call in anytime of the week mentioned. Don’t worry; I will get the work done.” She said heading for the door

“Thanks, Nse.” I said, grateful to have her around.

“Always welcome. Just tell me the color of the stranger eyes when you are back” She said as the door shut behind her.

 I sat there trying to assimilate everything all at once. Hate is coming next week and all work has to be tidied. I have meeting in the next few hours where I might possibly meet the strangest stranger again. With the last thought, I felt warm below.

                        In few hours I was in the headquarters’ conference room.

                        I saw my Branch Manager, Mr. Oko, seated opposite me. He smiled at me. He could see that I’ve missed him. I smiled back at him. He was a very kind man in his late forties and was very lovable. He was sent to be the Head of Business Development in Headquarters while Mr. Michael Maurice was on leave. Now, Mr. Maurice is back and this was the first meeting he has called. I knew things will soon return back to how it was. I looked around and saw the new faces and old ones. There sat the stranger on my far left studying some files that were before him on the conference table.

         He had a very serious expression. His eyes narrowed as they journeyed to and fro whatever was the content of the file. I got a glimpse of his neatly trimmed nails, masculine fingers, on to his silver plated wristwatch. My eyes decided to study his profile. I mischievously hid my smile about it. At least I will have a detail or two for Nse. I rested the small of my back on my leather seat and went on my course. He wore a white shirt on navy blue pants. His forest green tie forged a CEO look on him. It surprised me that I never took note of his skin until now. He was creamed chocolate. Hairy. I studied his brow. His deep frown. He had bold brows that canopied his moon-shaped eye. He was clean shaved. Then, next were his lips. I drank the sweet sight in.

                        As though he could tell that he was being watched, he looked up.

I was taught. I wanted to look away as fast as I could. I wanted to run. But there, I couldn’t even blink or do either of those things I thought of. There was a depth, a color, a god, I found in there in his brown color eyes. We held each other eyes for a second. As fleeting as that second was, it felt as though it was a minute. My head spurned as I looked away. He too looked away and talked with someone. I wasn’t the same again. I knew he knew I was staring at him. Oddly enough, I felt somewhat ashamed that I dared doing it. My usual mischievous strength abandoned me. I blinked and looked at the chairman. He was saying something about the upcoming auditions of each department. He also introduced the staff.

                        “Well, the management has employed more hands that can help in the work. More for marketing unit, credits, and special assets,” Mr. Maurice said and went on, “But I will love to introduce Susan Luke, Joel Adams, Peter Oke, Cynthia Manka, Williams Williams, Penelope Eteng as the new marketers. Our new Head of Marketing Wing is Mr. Liam Ofana. I will also like to inform the marketers about the change in policy. Daily call memos and weekly deposit mobilizations should be submitted every Thursday to Mr. Liam Ofana”

                        Mr. Maurice looked at the man, Liam Ofana. My eyes followed him and landed on the stranger.  Mr. Maurice went on, “Mr. Ofana, Let me introduce you to the two top branches and their HMWs. They are Ms. Elz Black and Ms. Rose Nsansa.”

My head was already swimming with too many strange names. I quickly said “Excuse me” and rose up to my feet. In minutes, I was in the long porcelain corridor trying to breath. I felt stressed. I had been up since 4:00 a.m and very tired. I checked my wristwatch and it was already 7:30 p.m. I closed my eyes and breathe in. Then my phone rang in my left suit pant pocket. It was mum calling.

“Good evening, Ma.” I greeted

“How are you? Why are you sounding upset?” Came my mum’s small voice. I gave a weak smile although I knew she couldn’t see it.

“I am alright, Ma. Just exhausted. I will soon go home.” I reassured

“I need to see you. Please come over and see me as soon as you can.” She said with concern. I became alert. Was something wrong? My mum could sense it that I was anxious. She puts in immediately, “It is nothing. It is about your father. He has served a court order to legally claim you as his child. I am worried dear. But we have seen worst. And honestly, it’s somehow sounds silly.”

“It is silly!” I exclaimed with burn sensations in my stomach, “I can’t bear his name if l am working in his company, he knows that. What is he up to? Ruin my life again?”

“My dear. Just come let’s talk. You are a grown woman. Both of us can’t do anything without your consent.”

“Okay, Ma. I will.” I said and sighed as I end the call. I then turned round to go back to the meeting. There, I turned to see the stranger looking at me with a phone in one of his hand and another hand on the conference room door knot. And damn him for making me have a wisp of his designer perfume. In front of me, that close, I felt my skin burn more and more. He gave a slight nod, or maybe I imagined it, and strode passed me to the other end of the corridor still fiddling with his phone. I didn’t bother looking twice at him either. All men are snobs. They ignore you and one day surface again as though they are final determinant factors. I don’t have time to for any distractions right now if I have to deal with the George family.




© 2017 Mirror



Author's Note

Mirror
The chapter is now completed. Both Liam and Elz are too distracted. I guess it is to build a better conflict.

My Review

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Featured Review

Hi, as you said you want a critical review of your chapter, I would like to first proof read it a bit and add a couple of minor grammatical fixes that I could spot on the top of my head. (highlighted by brackets will be the changes)

A soft sigh escaped,

Thirty " one. Tall. Dark. I was bold-faced, (remove the comma here) and pretty "

I realized that I want it more than what others wants (remove the s) for me.

They thank me for always listenijng(listening) "

Audio less (Audio-less)

He was silent. He, too, was trying to understood (understand) something.

I looked at the customer service desk hoping for some words (of) rescue there.

Instead, (add a comma) I heard myself ask the lady behind the desk, “Amy, who is this?”

I dared not looked (look) at him.

first,(add a comma) it was on my sleek black heels, then my strong long legs, then my curves, then on my inexplicable anger. Still, I dared not looked (look) his way.

Instead,(add a comma) I turned and faced him leaning partially on the desk.

Amy rose on (to) her feet and check (checked) out who I was referring to.

Amy was (a) light skinned nerd with her glasses narrowing her eyes.

She always like(s) having me around her to make her laugh

And these(the) new staffs(staff) are completely mature.

“Mum,(add a comma)” I said with (a) cautionary tone.

“I love you too ma,(add a comma)” I said and ended the call.

Now time to review it, I like the way you paint the scene, it really does feel like a corporate environment. I feel the charisma and attitude of the lead character Elz. She has this kind of independent, strong characteristic to her but yet you can tell she is layered and under those layers is a vulnerable girl who is figuring everything out as she goes. I like the chemistry expressed between her and this new male staff, you can just tell there is a wild connection there just through glances and eye contact which is well expressed through your words and not easy to accomplish. I'm looking forward to knowing how her story continues and also wanting to meet other background characters that will play a vital role in her outcome to make a name for her self amongst the wealthy.

I do understand this is a long review and has some critical corrections and I will delete the review on your request as I do not want to put any negative spin to your art form. It's only because you asked, hence I delivered with whatever proof reading I was capable of. Great first chapter, keep writing!

Posted 2 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

"...I will delete the review on your request as I do not want to put any negative spin to your art f.. read more



Reviews

this is a great story mirror,i enjoyed reading it,it flowed well

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

Thank you sooooo much Word, that means a lot. :)
This is so good. You made the scenes come alive. The strong description allowed the reader to feel the thoughts and the needs create. You set-up perfect situations and made the reader understand. Thank you for sharing the outstanding story.
Coyote

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

Coming from you, Coyote, I am most flattered!!! You are a good writer. I am honored by you!!! Thank .. read more
Coyote Poetry

2 Months Ago

You are very good and you are welcome my friend.
Some mums are overbearing by nature - cannot cut the apron strings - ever! but they always do it from a place of love.
Interesting snippet of a life and relationship Mirror.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

Ah! True. I am still mummy's girl. I think my character is reflecting that part of me... Thank you T.. read more
Tony Jordan

2 Months Ago

I think we write best when we write what we know.
welcome Mirror
Hi for me letters are too big. I cannot read without breaks. I don't have nothing much say about English cause is not also my native language . But other wise you make very well descriptions what's happening , where is happening and you also let reader wonder why. I really like it.Like first version is excellent . Keep writing and you will be great.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

Thank you, Stranger. Thanks a mil.
Hi, as you said you want a critical review of your chapter, I would like to first proof read it a bit and add a couple of minor grammatical fixes that I could spot on the top of my head. (highlighted by brackets will be the changes)

A soft sigh escaped,

Thirty " one. Tall. Dark. I was bold-faced, (remove the comma here) and pretty "

I realized that I want it more than what others wants (remove the s) for me.

They thank me for always listenijng(listening) "

Audio less (Audio-less)

He was silent. He, too, was trying to understood (understand) something.

I looked at the customer service desk hoping for some words (of) rescue there.

Instead, (add a comma) I heard myself ask the lady behind the desk, “Amy, who is this?”

I dared not looked (look) at him.

first,(add a comma) it was on my sleek black heels, then my strong long legs, then my curves, then on my inexplicable anger. Still, I dared not looked (look) his way.

Instead,(add a comma) I turned and faced him leaning partially on the desk.

Amy rose on (to) her feet and check (checked) out who I was referring to.

Amy was (a) light skinned nerd with her glasses narrowing her eyes.

She always like(s) having me around her to make her laugh

And these(the) new staffs(staff) are completely mature.

“Mum,(add a comma)” I said with (a) cautionary tone.

“I love you too ma,(add a comma)” I said and ended the call.

Now time to review it, I like the way you paint the scene, it really does feel like a corporate environment. I feel the charisma and attitude of the lead character Elz. She has this kind of independent, strong characteristic to her but yet you can tell she is layered and under those layers is a vulnerable girl who is figuring everything out as she goes. I like the chemistry expressed between her and this new male staff, you can just tell there is a wild connection there just through glances and eye contact which is well expressed through your words and not easy to accomplish. I'm looking forward to knowing how her story continues and also wanting to meet other background characters that will play a vital role in her outcome to make a name for her self amongst the wealthy.

I do understand this is a long review and has some critical corrections and I will delete the review on your request as I do not want to put any negative spin to your art form. It's only because you asked, hence I delivered with whatever proof reading I was capable of. Great first chapter, keep writing!

Posted 2 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Mirror

2 Months Ago

"...I will delete the review on your request as I do not want to put any negative spin to your art f.. read more

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Added on September 25, 2017
Last Updated on October 3, 2017
Tags: Chemistry


Author

Mirror
Mirror

Calabar, South South, Nigeria



About
I am simple, easy going, moody at times, but very playful sometimes i don't recognize myself. what i know is that in those playful times, everyone want to be like me. Yet, behind the curtains of my sm.. more..

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