Jide Babalola did more than jump back fromFlorence Iheanacho when the unexpected voice interrupted their kiss. He actually pushed her away reflexively.Florence staggered backward, arms flailing in the air as she tried to regain her balance, as well as the senses the kiss had stolen from her. She failed in the latter. In what seemed like slow-motion, her legs went out from under her and she fell to the floor, a shocked ‘oof!’ sound exploding from her mouth as her bum jarringly kissed the floor.Jide stood, frozen, watching as Florence fell,the hurt and shock on her face twisting his insides. But most of his attention was focused on the person who had interrupted the kiss. He found himself gaping, his mouth opening and closing like that of a fish that had found itself out of water. Now he understand why all the people caught in such an unfortunate position in movies wereunable to speak. Faced with a jeering smile, his head had gone absolutely empty.Florence swallowed the tears that had rushed to her eyes when Jide had watched her fall and done nothing. She struggled to her feet, trembling. Her head told her he wassimply in shock, but her heart had other ideas.Is this how a man in love acts?! He pushed you down, you stupid girl. Stop making excuses! “Seriously this is kinda romantic.” Anita’s silky voice broke the shocked silence again. She closed the office door and leaned on it with her arms crossed.
A sardonic smile danced on her lips. “It’s the stuff of romancemovies and Telemundo shows. Handsome, rich boss falls in love with secretary and sweeps her off her feet and out of poverty. Wow!” Florence opened her mouth to retort, and then snapped it shut. It was not her place to speak.Jide found his voice. “Look, Anita, this is…”“…This is certainly interesting, yes it is.” Anita completed, grinning. It was obvious that she was enjoying their discomfort. The gloating was too much to bear for Florence, who was still smarting at the fact Jide had pushed her away from him. She started to make her way towards the door. “Excuse me,” she mumbled, eyes cast down. “I’m sorry, I have to…” Anita’s voice sharpened, her acerbic tone stopping Florence in her tracks. “You better remain where you are, you little strumpet. Not unless you plan to physically pull me away from this door.”“Okay, the name calling is uncalled for!” Jidesnapped in reflex, missing the look of gratefulness Florence sent his way. “There’sno need to let this get ugly…”“Says the man who pushed her to the ground.”
Anita reminded him.Jide felt shame edge his indignation aside and he avoided Florence’s eyes, his gaze hot as he glared at Anita. “That wasn’t intentional and you know it, damnit.” Anita rolled her eyes and stepped away fromthe door with a dramatic flourish.
“Fine. You can take the walk of shame out of here, MissSecretary. Give your boss one more lovely view of the swinging butt0ckz he was squeezing as you return to your little desk.” Florence bit her lower lip to stem the flood of angry responses that threatened to emerge. It was a terrible position to be in, and she knew if she reacted thoughtlessly, she may well find herself jobless the next day. She could not afford it.With another quick look at Jide, she made her way out of the office quickly, her skin burning as Anita’s derisive gaze followed her every step of the way. Just before she close the office door behind her, she heard Anita give a long hiss and spit out a virulent word that burned a hole in her heart. “Ashawo.” Jide saw red. “I won’t have any of that gutterlanguage in my office, Anita!” he roared as the door shut close behind Florence.
“What moral right do you have to call her that?” Anita laughed mockingly and clapped her hands slowly. “And who told you i have morals, darling? Where did you get that idea from?” she walked slowly towards him, dramatically swaying her waist from side to side as she closed the distance between them. Jide stood still; face stony as Anita came close enough to feel the heat pouring from his body. She ran a lingering hand down his chest, a familiar hunger in her eyes. “You can call me anything, darling. Foryou, I’d gladly be an asha…” Jide stepped away from her abruptly, leaving her finger hanging in the air. “Don’t use that word around me. I hate it.” Anger swam into Anita’s eyes at the rebuff, but she shrugged and turned away to perch one rounded hip on the corner of his table. “Whatever, Saint Jide. If adultery is okay by you, but bad language is abominable, I wonder who really has no morals between us.” Jide didn’t rise to the bait. He slipped his hands into his pocket, firmly keeping his rising temper in check. “Please, leave my office. I have nothing to say to you, Anita. Not anymore.” Anger finally blossomed on Anita’s face, her features contorting into very unpleasant lines as her voice rose. “You think you can talk to me anyway you like? Use me and dump me, then move on to the gullible, willing secretary? In this Lagos, Jide? I’ll deal with you!”“You’re the only user here.” Jide said tightly. “Now get out of my office and go do your worst!”Anita glared at him for another long moment, and then stomped to the door. Her hand on the doorknob, she muttered withoutturning around. “Today is just the start. You’ll regret all these.” Jide watched her leave. The door she b@nged shut behind her vibrated with the force of her anger as she left. He wondered if she would stop to embarrass Florence and hope she would not. He had not stood up forFlorence as best as he could, but he would not let the situation devolve further.But what struck him were Anita’s last words before she left.Today is just the start.Jide chewed worriedly on his lower lip as hepondered over those words.
What exactly did they mean?
What had Anita done already?
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