My goodness, and here I thought I was going to spend the rest of my day streaming Supernatural, but I end up opening my WP and typing away…..have a good day guys, enjoy the chapter…
Tia heard her cell phone ringing again. She threw it into her drawer and stacked her clothes on top of it. She closed the drawer and jumped on to her bed.
He had been calling her since the day after the party, but she wasn’t ready to speak to him. Tia was feeling unsure about herself and about her relationship with Ahmed.
She spent the whole day in her bedroom, she didn’t feel like talking to anyone, much less her crazy cousin who seemed to magically appear in front of her door every time her cellphone would ring persuading her to answer her phone and talk to Ahmed.
“Don’t be stupid. All you need to do is talk to him and be nice to him. Let him see you but don’t give him anything more than a smile. If you keep avoiding him, he’ll get bored and depressed, and then he might try to find consolation in his fiance…” Hafiz told her.
“Get out and stay out.” She threw the pillow at him.
“Remember what I told you, fly him like a kite…” He shouted threw the door.
Tia covered her head with her pillow to keep his voice from invading her ears.
* * *
“She locked herself in her bedroom all day and refuses to come out.” Raden Nabila said to Ahmed as they were sitting in the living room.
“Bunda, what should I do?” His voice betrayed a hint of despair. “Last night she was talking normally to me, and now she’s withdrawing.”
“Give her some time. Her change of attitude is because she’s still processing the situation.”
“Yeah, mother is right..” Hafiz agreed, “It’s not easy for a girl to see her boyfriend get engage with another woman, and at the same time find out that he used to sleep around.”
“Hafiz, you’re a jerk! It was you who told her that,” Ahmed huffed. “And that’s all lies, I don’t sleep around, I’m not you! My crime was dating the wrong girls.”
“That’s enough! I can’t understand you young men, you speak about a shameless sin as if it was something normal.” Raden Nabila scolded. “Instead of talking rubbish, we should think of a way to get your mother to approve of Tia and how to cancel your engagement with what’s her name….”
“Ratna,” Hafiz replied.
Raden Nabila frowned, “Ahmed, how was your mother with Mita?”
“Oh, she was very loving an supportive. Then again Mita’s a daughter of a monarch, so my mother saw her as a person from her social level.”
“Hmm…..” Raden Nabila brooded.
“Good afternoon…” They heard Tia’s voice greeting them.
“Tia….” Ahmed stood up when he saw her.
“Can we talk for a few minutes?” She asked softly looking at him.
“Mmm, the two of you can talk here, Hafiz and I have something to do inside.”
“Tia, what do you want to talk about?”
“Let’s sit down.” She gestured while placing herself on the couch. “I’ve been thinking all night, I don’t think I can do it. I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is already engaged with another person.”
“What are you saying, Tia?” Ahmed had a bad feeling.
“Ahmed, let’s end our relationship, starting tomorrow, we should go back to our regular work relationship. I’ll consider you as my manager, and you should consider me as nothing more than another employee in the company.”
“But why?” He asked.
“Because that’s the right thing to do.” She exhaled, “Now excuse me, I want to go back to my room.”
Without saying anything else he stood up and walked away.
Hafiz and Raden Nabila came out from behind the door.
“I can’t believe that girl.” Hafiz mumbled as he paced back and forward. “If I was her, I would go as far as challenge the other woman to a cat fight.”
“Thank goodness you’re not a woman!” Ahmed mumbled.
“Ahmed, what do you plan to do with Tia, are you going to agree with what she said and end your relationship with her?” Raden Nabila asked.
“In her dreams….”Ahmed said almost to himself.
* * *
Tia stretched her arm up reaching the top shelf to put in the binder. She sighed and shook her head, when she got there she couldn’t find the step ladder and she wasn’t in the mood to go search for it just to put up one binder. She jumped up and pushed it with the tip of her finger. Something was blocking it. She growled lowly to herself standing on her tiptoe she pushed the binder again to no avail. She looked to her surrounding trying to see if she can find something to climb up on. There was nothing solid there, so she pulled out one of the office chairs. She pushed the back of the chair against the cabinet, took off her shoes and climbed on. She saw that a booklet had fallen out from one of the other binders and is obstructing the space. Tia reached for it and read it, trying to find out which project it belonged to so she could file it properly. Looking at the labels and found the folder she was looking for. She pulled it out and kept the booklet in it before putting the folder back to its original place. With the space for her project folder free. Tia pushed the thick hardcover into the opening. She sighed in relief when she realized that she had finished. Suddenly the chair moved and she lost balance, Tia swung her arms around grabbing the filing cabinet to stabilize herself.
“Safety first, Miss Chang….” She heard Ahmed’s voice as she felt the chair had stop moving.
Tia glanced down, Ahmed was there holding both armrests securing the chair. “Thank you…” She sighed in relief, her face was pale and her hands shaking.
“Get down from there!” He ordered, putting both hands around her waist and heaving her from the chair, helping her gently to the floor.
“Thank goodness you passed by here, I can’t imagine what would have happened if you didn’t help me break my fall.” She braced herself holding her beating chest with one hand.
“Have you read the employee manual?” He said in a low tone, moving closer towards her.
Tia stepped backward not daring to look at him in the eye, realizing her mistake. She stopped as she felt her back against the cabinet.
“Not only could you have hurt yourself, but you also could have brought a huge liability to the company.” He didn’t stop walking towards her, now he was standing only a few centimeters away from her, putting his hand against the cabinet, trapping her between it and his body.
“I’m…I’m sorry….” She whispered, “It won’t happen again…”
“That’s not enough, as your manager, it is my duty to remind you of article twenty three of the manual, which states that any acts of recklessness that can affect personal safety is a grave misconduct, and as the penalty for that mistake I should give you an administrative suspension without pay for two weeks.” He threatened.
Tia looked up at him, she pleaded “Please don’t, I need the money, I’m still paying off my credit card for the plane tickets I bought, you know, when I went to Bali.”
Ahmed smiled he leaned forward pinning her he used his finger to trace her arm, “Hmm….I have to consider that carefully….”
“Th…th…this is sexual harassment!” She finally let out.
“Is that the way you want to go at it?” He sneered pulling himself back. “Actually, I decided that I wouldn’t behave as your manager, but as a concerned boyfriend, then I wouldn’t have to suspend you, would I? But since you accused me of sexual harassment, then…… ”
“What are you getting at?” She was beginning to become suspicious with his mind games.
He stepped back, “Boyfriend or manager?”
“What?” She raised her eyebrow.
“Am I your boyfriend or your manager?” He asked again.
Tia bowed her head, “boyfriend…” She murmured.
“I cant hear you!” He teased.
“Boyfriend!” She repeated loudly.
“I thought you would reconsider…” He replied, “Come to my office after you finish work.”
“Why?” She asked.
“Because that’s what girlfriends do…”
* * *
“Mr. Ahmed,” Suzy his secretary called out to him.
“Yes, Suzy.” Ahmed stopped.
“What do you want me to do with the step ladder? You asked me to bring it here from the filing room, but you didn’t tell me what to do with it.”
“Don’t worry Suzy. You can bring it back to the filing room now.”
* * *
“Why don’t you come with us to a girl’s night out at the karaoke.” Winnie said while leaning over Tia’s shoulder, “We’ve also invited the girls from HR, reception and the other finance assistants”
“I can’t go.” Tia shook her head.
“Why not? You’ve been too busy to go out with us lately.” Winnie frowned.
“I’m sorry, the thing is I have some work that I have to finish.”
“All work and no play, makes Tia a very boring girl today.” Winnie tried to be funny.
“We can go another time…” Tia made an empty promise.
* * *
“Ahmed, may I come in?” Ratna knocked on his door, opening it without waiting for him to reply.
“You’re already in.” Ahmed replied.
“Ahmed, I’ve invited our parents to join us for dinner tonight, I reserved a table at the restaurant by the bay.” Ratna said, “Why don’t we go together from the office, the reservation is at seven.”
“Ratna, I don’t know if I can make it tonight. I already have plans.” He didn’t bother to look up from his computer.
“Ahmed, we’re already engaged. I think it’s only right if we spend time together. If you have plans, I’ll cancel the dinner with our parents so I can go with you.” She insisted.
“Ratna, if I wanted you to go with me, don’t you think I would have invited you myself?” His voice was cold.
“Why are you so cold and indifferent with me?” She began to sound upset.
“I’ve always been this way with you? Why should I change?”
“Because I’m your fiance now. I’m the woman who’s going to be your wife. You should pay more attention to me!”
“Ratna, the other night at the party, the only reason I played along was to save my parents’ face, I didn’t want to embarrass them by rejecting the engagement in front of all the guests. But if you think that you have any rights towards me, you’re wrong. As far as I’m concern nothing has changed, I see you only as the daughter of one of the investors, and a fellow employee of this company. Nothing else.” He continued.
“if you don’t behave properly towards me, I promise, I’ll make you regret!” She began to become angry.
“I do behave properly towards you. I never act rude, I don’t try anything indecent, I never try to touch you, and I am always polite.”
“Ahmed, you know that’s not what I mean!” She shouted.
“Ratna, we’re still at work, I hope you can maintain a professional demeanor here.” He said calmly.
“I’m going to tell your mother about this.” She slammed her hand against his desk.
“Okay, fine. Tell her about whatever you want. I don’t see her in this room, so if there’s nothing else, you can go out now.”
“I’ll make you sorry you’ve treated me this way!” She shrieked stomping out of her room.
* * *
“How could you do that to Ratna?” Princess Latifa arrived at his office at lightning speed.
“I didn’t do anything to her.” Ahmed shrugged.
“According to her you acted condescendingly towards her, you ignored her and you replied to her with sarcasm.”
“And so she didn’t waste anytime to go running to you and complain about me, huh? So this is the kind of woman who you think will be a good wife for me?”
Princess Latifa bit her lips. “Just try to make your relationship work with her!” She ordered.
“Of course, the only relationship that I’m interested to pursue with her is a working one. Although, she was never my first choice for the position of HR Manager.” He smirked.
“Ahmed! I don’t even know why I’m wasting my time here.” She walked out again feeling upset.
* * *
Tia checked her watch, it was six thirty. She tried to find anything that she could do, to keep on working. Deep down she didn’t want to finish work knowing what that implied. She took a deep breath, gathered her documents in her hand and gently knocked the bottom side against her desk to straighten the stack. She placed it in the document tray. She tidied her desk, turned off her computer and got up from her desk.
“So I see you’ve finished.” She jumped when unexpectedly Ahmed was already standing behind her.
“Yeah, I’ve finished.” Tia replied.
“Let’s go, I’m hungry.” He pulled her up gently from the chair.
“Where are we going?” She hesitated.
“To go get some dinner of course. Let’s get something fast.” He replied calmly.
* * *
‘That was good…..” Ahmed pat his belly as they exited the restaurant.
“I love noodles.” Tia replied .
“Okay, let’s go back to my place..” He opened the door to the car.
“Oh, I see, so you want to insist in keeping our relationship as manager subordinate, do you? I perfectly understand.” His tone was menacing.
“Ahmed, don’t do this to me….don’t corner me like this…..” Tia whispered.
“Why are you pushing me away?”
“I’m not the kind of girl to get involved with the man of another woman….”
“Do you see this pen?” He pulled a pen from his pocket.
“Pay attention to me!” He repeated.
Tia did what he asked and pass her the pen. Ahmed reached into his pocket and took out a ringed shape wire, he put in on the pen. “Now I’m engaged to the pen too.” He said nonchalantly.
“What are you trying to prove?” She asked.
“Just because I put a ring on something, it doesn’t mean I’m engaged to it. Look it up in the dictionary engagement means a formal pledge or agreement between a man and a woman to get married. I’ve never pledged anything to Ratna. As far as I’m concerned, she’s nothing to me.” He explained. “Tia, stop hesitating. How many times do I have to convince you that you’re the only one for me? Instead of always doubting me and trying to break up with me, why don’t you trust me and hold on to me. Be a little possessive towards me, I don’t mind. I’m yours.”
She looked at him for a while before nodding, “You’re right.”
He opened the door for her and closed the door, circling the car to sit on the drivers seat.
“So, can we go to my place?”
Tia took a deep breath, “Yes, let’s go to your place.”
* * *
Ahmed couldn’t wait anymore, as soon as he closed the door to the apartment he began kissing her passionately while leading her to the bedroom. “I miss you..” He whispered.
Tia pulled opened his tie and unbuttoned his shirt throwing it on the floor, just as he began peeling off her suit. He pulled her shirt off above her head throwing it away without paying attention where it landed. He unzipped her skirt letting it crumple to the floor. Removing what was left of her clothes, he steadily caressed her now bare skin with the palm of his hand.
She pushed him on the bed making him fall on his back. Tia didn’t hesitate to undo his belt and pull down his pants before she slowly crawled on top of him.
Ahmed grabbed hold of her nape and pulled her head down to find her lips, his other hand free to roam her body. She straightened her posture, moving her body in rhythm with his. His eyes dimmed as he drowned in her warmth, enjoying the beautiful view before him.
* * *
“Good morning…” He kissed her shoulder, the sound of the alarm clock woke him up.
“Mmm…good morning…” She whispered. “What time is it?”
“It’s five thirty…” He tried to shake the sleepiness away.
Tia rubbed her eyes with her hand, she felt that there was something different, she observed her hand, pushing it farther from her face to be able to see properly.
“What’s this?” She asked seeing that there was a solitaire diamond ring on her finger.
“That? That’s proof of a pledge of marriage that a man makes to a woman.” He replied calmly.
“Shh!” He put his hand on her lips, “I put it on your finger while you were sleeping for a reason. It was because I won’t take no for an answer.”
“But what about your engagement to Ratna?”
“Didn’t I tell you that I’ve never agreed to it? So this is my condition, my parents made me get engage without my consent, my mother doesn’t approve of our relationship, and I’m sure she’d stop at nothing to see us separate. But I want you to know that I love you more than anything, I want to live the rest of my life with you, and I’m willing to fight anything and everything to achieve it.” He paused, “What do you say, will you accept me, and fight to have a life together with me?”
Tia looked at him then at the ring on her finger, “Yes!” She said firmly, “Yes, I accept.”
“You’ve just made me the happiest man in the world!”