- Genre: Romance
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Taylor Brooks
“You have this weekend to evict the apartment, Erin.”
She remembered the words from the email she received earlier in the day, and a tremor ran through her spine.
Sometimes, life seems to be at a standstill. It seems like everything has come to a halt. At such times, we feel every last ounce of strength seeping out of our bodies.
Erin was in this exact kind of situation. She clicked on documents on her laptop animatedly, her brain used to the familiar click of the mouse. It was like every part of this job was imprinted in her mind, such that even when she was not concentrating, it turned out well.
She slowly picked a file, which was dumped on her table earlier that day, lifted the cover, and peered over the words, trying to wrap her head around them.
“Erin, what the hell are you doing over there? My office, now.” She recognized that voice. It was her boss’s. He was probably out to frustrate her again. Since she rejected his advances toward her, he seemed more determined to make her stay in the office hell. A confused Erin dropped the file she was holding and hurried toward his office. She got into the office and shivered a bit when her eyes met his. She bounced on her feet and looked anywhere but the fuming man’s face. “I have been calling you for the past ten minutes.”
“I was sending the emails you asked me to send. I was almost done before you called again,” Erin explained. Angry, he rose from his seat and walked closer to her. Erin glared at him with her emerald green eyes like she wanted to chop his heart into tiny pieces. She tried to make sure her features held no sign of hate she felt in her heart for that man. He moved closer to her, stopping a few centimeters away from her.
“You report to my office as soon as I call you next time, is that clear?” He hissed. Erin nodded in agreement and bit down on her tongue to prevent her from saying anything provocative. She looked around the office, letting her eyes rest on the framed picture of Joe and his wife. The couple had no child, and it was rumored that it was because of Joe’s wife. She did not want to ruin her shapely ass and firm breasts.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to relieve you of your duties,” Joe informed, breaking her out of her thoughts. Erin blinked once, twice; her lips parting but words seizing to come out.
A dry laugh escaped her lips, and she shook her head in disbelief. How? Why?
“Why?” Her voice was barely a whisper.
“You’ve been a good employee, Erin…” Joe said, trailing off and rounding his office desk. He pulled out his chair, settled in it, and adjusted his jacket. “...but this company has rules, and one of them is that you should not have or attempt to have an affair with anyone at the office.”
Erin was mortified. The accusation was appalling.
“What are you talking about, Joe?”
“It’s quite simple. You see, I received an email from your desk two days ago. You sent an email professing your undying feelings for me. Aside from the deal that I am a married man, I am your boss.”
Erin’s eyebrows knit together in confusion. Her head was reeling. She had clenched and unclenched her fists so much in the last thirty seconds that she was almost convinced the blood flow had ceased.
“I’m afraid, but you are leveling a false accusation on me,” she said as calmly as she could afford. She was boiling on the inside, yet she did her best to hide her anger. She was uncertain where she got that ability, but, at this moment, she was glad she had it.
“Am I really?” Joe asked her. He pushed himself forward, typed something on his computer, then turned it for Erin to see. Her eyes squinted as she tried to make out the words on the computer. Her eyes widened when they came across the words on the screen.
Seeing that she had seen it, Joe pulled the computer toward himself, a smug look plastered on his face.
“That is not true. I don’t know how you managed to get something like that sent to you, but it wasn’t me, I swear,” Erin said, her voice desperate.
She could not believe it. She would never. It was true – she hated the job, and she hated Joe even more, but she would never send him such a suggestive email. She would never try to flirt with him. She knew the consequences too well.
The more she tried to wrap her head around the situation, the clearer it became. She certainly did not send the email herself which meant that someone else did. If someone else did that…
“What the fuck, Joe? What in the world will you gain from this?” Erin snapped. She finally got it. Nobody else had access to company emails except Joe. What she could not understand was why he would stoop this low with her. She only wanted to work, not get in his way.
“What are you talking about?” He asked, feigning ignorance. Erin angrily gritted her teeth, wiped her face with the back of her palm, then walked around the table to where Joe was.
He stared up at her, curious about her intentions. Suddenly, before he could figure it out, Erin lifted her right palm and slapped him across the face, hard.
She heaved a satisfied sigh, a small smile plastered on the side of her lips. Heaving a heavy sigh, she rounded the desk and went back to her position. Joe stared at her, shock and disbelief clouding his features. Joe slowly rose from his position and made his way around the desk.
Erin took two steps backward, mentally preparing herself for whatever he planned on doing next. She should be afraid, but she suddenly wasn’t. Joe was a manipulator. She had had enough. Perhaps if the rental agency just let her live without bothering her for rent, she would have no issues being in her apartment all day long instead of coming to this shit hole and facing shameless Joe.
“How dare you, Erin? Do you know the consequences of what you just did?”
“Oh, yes! I do, asshole. You are despicable, Joe. I feel terribly sorry for Anastasia, your innocent wife. I feel even more sorry for your daughter who sees you as an idol!” She hissed, her voice higher than a whisper. Joe’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets at her words. Erin felt a sense of satisfaction spread through her at his expression. He was an asshole enough to have a daughter outside of wedlock, and she was glad that it just became clear to him that his deeds were not secrets. “You do not deserve to be called a human, much less a father. Fuck you, Joe!” She spat, her nose flaring in annoyance.
“Get the bloody hell out of my office!”
“Or what? You gonna tell the entire office how you framed me? You’re going to show everybody the fucking thing you just did? What are you going to do, Joe?” She yelled out loudly, flailing her hands and brandishing her index finger at him.
“Get the fucking hell out of my office, right this minute!” Joe bellowed. Erin straightened her back, pushed out her jaw, and laughed sardonically.
“Can’t take what you dish out? You are a pig!” She yelled louder, ignoring the fact that there were other people in the office.
Joe took some steps forward and made to hit Erin, but was interrupted when his door burst open. The duo turned in the direction of whoever came in, and Erin rolled her eyes when Tessa, her co-worker, walked in. Tessa was a bitch so Erin assumed she was there to add fuel to fire, but her lips parted in surprise when Tessa shook her head, silently imploring her to not do anything stupid.
“Fuck you, Joe!” She spat one last time, then turned around, and stormed out of the office. She walked briskly to her desk and began putting her phone and pens in her bag.
“Erin,” Tessa called from behind her. She dropped her handbag and turned to stare at Tessa, her hands crossed over her chest in a feisty manner. “You shouldn’t have…” were the only words Tessa said before walking past her.
Erin stood there, confused and sad. Her shoulders deflated when the consequences of her actions dawned on her. She was screwed. There was no way she would be able to remedy this situation. Did she really want to, though?
She was packing her stuff into a box when her eyes caught the employee’s, who had a look of pity on her face. Erin did not recognize her. She could not remember seeing her at the office. It was probably because she paid little to no mind to her co-workers or because she just didn’t care.
She shook her head as a sudden feeling of pity enveloped her. She felt pity for the young girl who would probably become a victim of Joe’s mindless harassment soon.
“You can plead with him, you know? Maybe ask for time to search for another job?” Tessa said in a small whisper. The box slipped from Erin’s hands, and she felt her heart skip a solid beat. Tessa’s heart was full of pity for Erin, and she wished there was something she could do to salvage the situation.
“It is fine. I would rather be jobless than work for a man whose aim is to trample upon me at every given chance,” Erin said tiredly. Her words were met with looks of pity from Tessa. She placed a comforting arm on Erin’s shoulder and squeezed gently.
“I will inform you if I find an opening for you.”
“Thank you so much, Tessa,” she said, offering her a grateful smile. “I should start packing now before Satan comes out,” she said and added a shiver for effect. Tessa laughed at her antics and shook her head at her. She offered Erin some more words of comfort before walking back to her desk. Erin cleared up her desk and walked out of the office with her stuff.
She stood in front of the office building, waiting for a taxi. As she waited, she thought about the past couple of months. She looked back at the office and heaved a sigh filled with frustration and tiredness. She was tired of the way her life was turning out. She had no boyfriend, and she was twenty-six years old; almost twenty-seven. Her rent was due, and she was tired of ignoring the emails from the rental agency.
They were too frequent to ignore, and she stood the risk of being evicted from the apartment. She had nowhere else to go or, perhaps, she didn’t want to go anywhere else. Her apartment was peaceful, and she did not want to burden her best friend, Jasmine, by staying at her place.
A bright yellow taxi pulled up in front of her, and she sucked in a breath before bending down to look at the driver.
“Hey, pretty lady, where are you heading?”
“Hop in,” the cab man said, opening the door. She got in and dropped the box containing her stuff before ruffling her hair. She stared at her palms for a few minutes as if trying to read the signs and know what was going on in her life. “You look worried,” the cab man said, looking at her through the rearview mirror.
“I am fine, thanks for your concern,” she said, waving him off. She was not one to share her ordeals with random strangers.
She gave him some money and thanked him heartily when she got to her apartment before stepping out of the car. She got to her door, and her eyebrows furrowed slightly in confusion when she saw the door partly open. She pushed it completely open and peeped inside the house before easing herself into it.
“Erin!” The box she carried fell to the floor, all the content spilling as she froze on her spot.