It was barely nine a.m. when the secretary called requesting her to report to the office.
Katherine entered the office bracing up for the worst. The secretary was filing her nails.
“You sent for me.” Katherine said, the lady never ceased to amaze her.
“You, I just don’t know what you think you are.” She hissed and took a letter already enveloped from her table. “The AD asked me to give this to you.”
“Let me have it.”
Katherine hand dropped.
The secretary jumped to her feet. “Good morning, sir.”
He covered the distance and stood across her. The secretary left her table to hand it.
Katherine recovered and wondered at the secretary’s uneasiness. With pursed lips, she waited.
When he’d spotted her and heard what the secretary said, he was compelled to intervene. He unsealed the envelope and perused. His brows knitted in annoyance because he hadn’t expected Patrick to be so callous.
The silence was just too much that she wished for once she could read minds.
“Yemisi,” He dropped the letter on the desk.
“Have this letter retyped but this time, address it to Patrick. I am waiting to sign it.”
Yemisi blanched but recovered quickly. “But, Sir…”
Kelvin’s face held a grimace. “Are you questioning…”
“Not at all, sir. Not at all.” She genuflected before rounding her desk.
He sat, crossed his legs and picked one of the magazine meant for visitors. “Sit.” It was then he glanced at her.
Katherine didn’t trust the atmosphere or trust his invitation. She shook her head.
Kelvin directed his attention to the Yemisi; it was so easy to see her discomfort and was certain she was having an affair with her boss.
Yemisi stood and placed the paper on a pad.
Kelvin covered the distance between them, removed a pen from the inner pocket of his suit and signed. “Have this letter photocopied and handed to the Director of Amin and the other handed to the recipient. Do you understand, Yemisi?”
“Yes, sir.” She nodded.
“I am giving you ten minutes to be done and get back to Precious.”
“Yes, sir.” She set to work.
“Come with me.” He headed to his private elevator.
Katherine had no other option but to follow him, but not without a final glance at Yemisi who looked like she might burst into tears any minute.
He had barely dropped his mobile phone after receiving an international call that started as soon as they got into his office. He flicked a button on the intercom.
“Sir, Yemisi is here to see you.”
“Let her in.”
He glanced at his wristwatch and took a mental note. “Come in.” He said at the knock on the door.
“I have done as you’ve asked me to sir.”
“Excuse me.” She turned to leave.
He waited till her hand was on the door handle. “Yemisi.”
She turned to look at him. “Yes, sir.”
“You were a couple of minutes late. I have been getting complains about you, you being rude and I witnessed an episode not too long ago. Be very careful.” His voice was so calm, it could pass for a whisper but the message was succinct.
Katherine’s expression remained blank as she watched the exchange.
“I will sir, thank you.” She took her leave.
Kelvin handed her the letter.
“Go ahead.” He focused on her face hoping to read her facial reaction.
Katherine read the letter from beginning. “Was it necessary to return fire to fire on my behalf?” She concentrated on folding back the letter.
“Not on your behalf, I would have done same for any member of staff in your shoes. Patrick failed me and…” The phone rang.
“Sir, sorry to interrupt but the Account Director is here to see you.”
“You should know better than interrupt me.” He replaced the receiver.
“I was beginning to think you’re stalking me. Thank you saving me once more but how come?” She averted her gaze. “Do forgive me for asking but I need to know.”
He nodded. “Sometimes, I feel obliged to know what is happening in the company, what my staff do in my absence, so I breeze about unannounced.”
“Same for today and the other day?”
“Yes.” He wondered what was going through her mind.
She was overwhelmed, God was there for her. “Em… what do I say?” She became tongue tied lacking words to express her gratitude.
“Say your name.” He stated simply.
“Please.” He added.
“Katherine Sylvester.” She told him.
“We share first letters of our names.” He smiled. “Do you want to know my name?”
“Who wouldn’t want to know the name of his or her saviour?” She replied tactically.
“The K and S, nice. Thank you very much for everything. God bless you, sir.’ She stood.
“My Pastor said that one of the best prayers one can get from a fellow human is—God bless you.” He rounded the desk and accompanied her to the door. “I have more to say to you but Patrick is waiting. ‘
“I hope you will oblige me when I send for you.” He glanced at her face.
“Like I have a choice.” She chirped and he chuckled.
‘Thanks, Precious.” She said when she got to her desk and greeted the director.
He sprang to his feet. “I will deal with you in such a way you will curse the day you set foot into his company!’
Precious looked up from the report, taken aback.
Katherine walked on, ignoring him but he wasn’t going to let her get away easily. He quickened his steps and pulled her arm with such force she whirled almost losing balance. “You, a mere cleaner challenging me? Oh, I swear, you will cry blood.”
She met his gaze but said nothing, aware of his nail digging into her skin.
“You good for nothing…”
“I beg your pardon, sir.” Precious interrupted sharply.
He raised a hand to slap her.
“Don’t you dare, don’t dare place your filthy hands on me, you shameless man!”
He held her on both arms and shook her. “You’re an idiot.”
Katherine shook herself free with such a force that surprised Patrick and slapped him.
“What!” He flinched as he held his cheek.
“What is what, ehen? I it by force? What is the meaning of this toothless bull display? Do your worst already.” She met his gaze.
“What is what?” Kelvin demanded, stepping into the office. “Patrick, you’re incorrigible! How dare you lay your hands on her after molesting her?”
Precious stared, flummoxed.
Katherine ran to the elevator.
“Right now, I don’t feel like hearing you out. You better come along before I change my mind.” He left for his office.
Patrick followed after Precious sized him up with her eyes.
“Put a call to Katherine, make sure she speaks to you and confirm that she is fine.” He said to his secretary via the intercom.
“Yes, sir.” She replied with a smile because it was as if he just read her mind. She was interested in her welfare.
Katherine was panting as she entered the ladies and locked the door. She rested on the door and glanced at her reflection. “Oh God.” Was all she could manage before bursting into tears.
Can things just go on smooth with her as with others?
Kelvin waited for him to begin the conversation.
“You know you can’t do this to me, Mr Sigismund. Not after I have given my best to this company.” Patrick said with eyes like that of a hungry puppy whose meal had been kept high above reach.
“An extra pinch of salt can spoil a good meal and render it distasteful. I didn’t do anything to you; you added that extra pinch of sand to your work over the years.” Kelvin explained, rocking his chair.
“She insulted me.” He blurted.
“Action and reaction are equal and opposite. No sane being will insult his or boss without a cause.” He sat forward. “Let’s be realistic, what you did was wrong. It is an act of immaturity and punishable in my book.”
“But…” He began incoherently.
Kelvin stood. “Your service so far is highly appreciated. You may see the Director of Admin now.” He said with a note of finality.
Patrick left the office as tears welled his eyes. What was he going to tell his family? Where was he going to start from? Where was he going to start from after losing employment in one of the best employees’ oriented organization in the country?
He should have known the most beautiful ones usually pose more problems, but hers had nailed him. His wife was never going to forgive him if she got wind of the details.
Meanwhile, in his office, Kelvin settled in his seat and called the administrative director to issue instructions and then Precious.
*** ~~~ ***
Esther Ugbaja is professionally an ophthalmic nurse but she loves to write and focuses more on Inspirational Literary Fiction. She is hoping to delve into the published authors’ world someday soon. Meanwhile, she blogs, when she is free and able, on exceptionalstar.wordpress.com.
Ricochet Of Cataclysm is one of her many stories. I hope you do enjoy it.