Love Like Blooming Vine: A Short Story In Notes On Love And Other Stories

Excerpt: Love Like Blooming Vine:

A Title In The Anthology: Notes On Love & Other Stories

Chapter One

Love, I’ve heard grows like blooming vine. Slow at first it sprouts, but nurtured with patience and care, it steadily spreads its warmth like the Cypress on a powder-white trellis, adding color and light to our lives.

It felt like a tale carved out of folklore which was made up by silly, elderlies to preach love and patience to little, oblivious children because I know better and have learned my lesson the hard way. The reformed me was smarter and more vigilant, ready to squash any distractions with the heel of my Louboutin.

This was the resolution I made as the double doors swung open from the inside to grant me access into the visitor’s area of the colorful and brightly lit, pristine office.

“Mr. Felix will be with you in a moment, Miss Anne. Please make yourself comfortable,” the smiling young lady at the receptionist desk with Ella boldly scrawled on the name tag across her chest.

I nod, acknowledging her words while shoving aside thoughts about men and the devious ways they crawl under one’s skin without notice, only to dump you in the ditch for the smooth ride. I needed to bring my A-game to the table if I intended to scale through the final stages of this interview.

Ella ushered me inside with a short whisper, “You’ve got this girl. Just be yourself,” she said, with a small smile before shutting the door behind me.

“Miss Anne Thompson, welcome to our first physical meeting. I must say, you’re quite taller in person. Please have a seat.”

I tentatively took my seat, replying, “There is no law that forbids tall girls from becoming great accountants. Not even the rookie ones.”

“Great sense of humor too, Miss Anne. Good to know.” Adjusting his small frame into his seat, it felt more like I was towering over Mr. Felix instead of the other way around but before he could continue, the door to his office burst open, and in walked the seduction in a suit.

My jaws dropped wide open. Staring for a full, heart-stopping second at the candy pop that just waltzed into my life-changing meeting – discarding the silent resolution I made only minutes ago – I didn’t realize Mr. Felix has said something until he flashed those pearly whites in return.

I melted away in my seat; the burning desire to reach up and fist my fingers into his coal dark hair was a temptation too strong to resist and my ticket out of here if I as much as lifted a finger.

It would be the creepiest thing I have ever done. Thank goodness I was the queen of restraint or else, I would be dusting my application from the rack I just dumped it two weeks ago.  

“Sorry sir, I didn’t realize you were in a meeting. I’ll drop this final draft of the payment slip with you, so, you can go through it later and endorse it before we push it out to the bank,” seduction in a suit said – his name tag was missing – to Mr. Felix.

“Drop it on my desk Franklin and do well to knock next time before barging into my office; we don’t want guests to think we act unprofessionally here,” he said, trying hard to hide his smile, same as Franklin, who gave a curt nod and a tight-lipped reply before leaving.

I was already anticipating the thrill of working here if my guess was right and he was also an accountant. The bitch slap I got from my inner self drew my wandering thoughts back to reality, the devastating events of the last two weeks returning with a vengeance.

My eyes stung when those buried feelings rushed up to the surface, but I managed to hide them before it ruined my day and opportunity at a fresh start. I know I vowed to keep off the male gender for a long time, hell, I’m changing jobs because of it, but I couldn’t help but notice the fuzzy feeling in my stomach when Franklin walked in.

Dismissing it as just nerves, I gave my full attention to Mr. Felix who seemed oblivious to my inner turmoil and bland responses to his open-ended questions, which was fine with me, seeing as I didn’t have it in me to explain why my cheery disposition minutes ago has suddenly turned sour.

“You did well Miss Anne and I’m impressed with the level of composure you’ve shown so far. We sometimes have to work under high pressure and I have no reservations about your ability to deliver. Your resume, although sparse, speaks highly of your acquired knowledge in the profession, which is something I can work it and you can nurture. How would you like to start Monday?

The wide triumphant smile that broke out after that was the kind that said ‘in your face Robert, I did it without you.’

“Monday works just fine for me,” I said, extending my hands as I stood to accept his congratulatory handshake as we stood.

He drummed his fingers on the wide desk between us – a habit I presume he does when he’s skeptical – staring hard at my file. My heart thumped a little, getting all superstitious about something bad happening just after one gets such good news.

Well, I have my friend Vanessa to blame for that silly thought. What could go wrong, after scaling through to the end?

Everything apparently when he asked, “why did you leave Landley Pharmaceuticals with barely six months on the job? Seems odd to me that you resigned from such a lucrative position. Is it a story worth adding to your file or personal?”

If by ‘story worth adding to my file’ he meant typing out my experience of getting used by the person I thought meant the world to me and had my back, after which he threw me under the bus to be crushed, on a piece of paper to be scrutinized all over again, then it’d be a hard pass.

At least, I was lucky not to have that dent on my permanent record. It’s a miracle I will forever be grateful for. Imagine having to explain to a million and one potential employers, that I was played for a fool because I was blindly in love and trusted wholly without upholding the ethics of my profession.

The emotional turmoil would have had me crawling into a deep, dark hole to spend the rest of my days until I withered away in misery.

Choosing to opt for the obvious option, I replied with all the confidence I could muster, “It’s personal sir, nothing worthy of note. I decided to leave Landley and that decision doesn’t affect the position offered to me here in any way.”

“Good to know. How about I show you around the facility while we give Miss Ella a few minutes to get your starter pack ready. Everything you need to know about us is expressly stated. Make sure to read through the handbooks provided within and study every inch of the professional code of ethics. You will need to master it if you want to flourish in this company.”I nod again, mentally creating a checklist of all the important stuff he just mentioned as we made our way out of his office and stepped outside the restricted area of the facility, only meant for senior executive staff.

“Welcome to Velocity World.”

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