Time stood still for Amanda as she sat quietly in her uber ride. The driver occasionally spied at her through his rearview mirror. He still couldn’t understand what had happened to her.
Blood stains painted the corner of her lips and a few drops stained her shirt. Her hair was rough, and some of her blouse buttons had been ripped off. She was a mess, she knew it. And if her boss was truly what she had come to picture him to be, then she was definitely in a bigger mess; one she wasn’t sure she’d be able to manoeuvre.
Things had happened quickly. The weeks had breezed by, turning into months; 4 months actually since she got employed as an accountant at JExpress.
Amanda never thought in her wildest dreams she’d quickly move from unemployed, to employed, and then to Joseph’s personal finance assistant. All other accountants in the company; even those more qualified than she was, took permission from her before making any move.
Joseph had lived up to his biblical counterpart only that in this case, God wasn’t lifting him up; he was using him to lift her up.
Every afternoon he made it a point of duty to take her out for lunch, except on days when they had to meet up with certain important documents needed to close huge deals.
Tony had suddenly made it his duty to frown at her. If he was the owner of the company, he’d have fired them both for constituting a nuisance at the office. Once, she had heard him ask Joseph if it wouldn’t be wise to take his romance with her outside the office.
Well, Tony wasn’t the only one talking. The other staff’s talked too; mocking her and calling her names she never thought she’d bear. Obviously, Joseph’s open admiration for her didn’t sit well with them.
At first, she thought they were just being jealous. She reported to Joseph and after a brief talk with the staffs involved, the murmuring stopped. She could walk by without anyone making snide remarks at her.
It felt good being the boss’ favourite woman and employee. But now, she was sure her luck had run out, as he had tried to initiate sex twice, and twice she had turned him down.
The first time was when he had dropped her off at home after a business dinner party he had invited her to one Friday. Joseph had introduced her that night to every one of his friends and acquaintance, as his new financial assistant.
They smiled at her, gave a knowing look and walked off like she was an insignificant object. From their facial expressions, Amanda knew the only thought that must have crossed the minds of Joseph’s friends and acquaintances is “oh, he has another whore.”
The entire atmosphere that followed after each introduction didn’t go down well with her. And so when Joseph had tried to initiate a kiss after dropping her at her home, she refused him. He complained she was starving him. But she wouldn’t bend.
He pretended then that he was pressed and would love to ease himself. She let him into her house and as soon as she turned to close the door, his hands wrapped her waist from behind, pressing her hips against the bulge in front of his trousers, while his lips planted kisses on her neck.
It was a big struggle before she could break free and ask him to stop. Panting hard, after a serious shuffle, Joseph looked at her in disappointment as she threw her door wide open and asked him to leave.
“Why are you rejecting me?” His voice came in a whisper, “what wrong have I done to deserve this?
“You haven’t done any wrong, Joseph. Under different circumstances, I would have accepted you. I do like you too. A lot. But I can’t allow this. You’re still my boss. Already everyone thinks I’m spreading my legs for you hence all the promotions and fat entitlements. I still have my name and image to protect. I respect you, and I like you too. But we can’t do this. It’s not the time.”
“So what exactly would you like me to do?” He moved to sit on the long couch, “fire you, so we can be together?” He didn’t look like he was prepared to leave anytime soon.
“It doesn’t have to get to that?” Amanda trembled inwardly at the word, ‘fire’. “Didn’t you notice the way those people you introduced me to this evening threw stupid expressions my way? They already believe we’re having sex, hence my quick rise in your company.”
“But you and I know it’s not true. Why are you letting them get to you?”
“Because it hurts that people just look at me and pass judgement. They don’t believe I have brains of my own. If we give in to this now, then we’re indirectly helping them rejoice and nail more points on us.”
“Amanda,” Joseph scoffed, “I didn’t think you were the type to care about what people say,” he got on his feet and moved closer, pecked her cheek and walked out without another word.
Amanda shut her door and leaned against it. Her feelings were a mixture of relief and confusion. Joseph had left her for now, but would he fire her by Monday because she refused his advances? Or would he come on to her again, and maybe force his way?
The weekend was a restless one for Amanda. But thankfully, when she resumed work the following Monday, Joseph carried on like nothing had happened. He still took her to lunch and cracked jokes with her.
However, one afternoon when she was bent over in his office, going through some files on a lower shelf, she felt his hand cup her backside and squeezed. She quickly straightened up and tried to ward him off, but he wasn’t having it. Joseph grabbed both her hands and held them behind her with one hand, while he continued his assault, squeezing at her backside with the other hand and assaulting her lips with his.
She struggled until she decided struggling was a wrong move. She called down and let him kiss her. The idea was to make him relax, before sinking her teeth in his lips. Joseph cried letting her go as his hands flew to his bleeding lips.
“What is wrong with you?” He yelled.
“You, Joseph,” her eyes blazed with anger. She couldn’t believe the man she once had a crush on suddenly irritated her, “are you that sex starved?” She raised her voice now.
Joseph looked at her, still trying to decide what to do, force his way, or just fire her already? He decided both; have his way then kick her out. He’d teach her a lesson that nothing good was free.
“I’m going to have you, Amanda. And I’m going to have you now!”
“Joseph please just stop already. You heard my explanation for rejecting what you’re proposing. Can’t you help me build my image?”
“I’ve helped you enough. And you’re ungrateful.” He jumped at her. Amanda screamed and tried to move away from his grip. But he caught her, rained slaps and blows on her before pulling at her blouse in an attempt to rip it off.
As luck would have it, Tony chose that moment to come in. He had brought some files for Joseph to sign when he met a horrible sight.
Distracted by the open door, Joseph turned around to see a perplexed Tony carelessly throw the files on a nearby seat and rush towards them, saying, “please don’t do this.”
“Tony, I trust you to keep shut about this. Now please leave. You don’t have any business here.”
“Aggrr!” Joseph yelped. His hands flew between his legs as he gradually fell on his knees, and then the tiled floor, writhing in pain.
“What did you do?” Tony yelled at Amanda but moved to help his boss.
Amanda looked down at Joseph in disgust. The first 3 buttons in front of her blouse had come off, exposing a black bra and cleavage. Still dazed from the beating she had received, she staggered out of the office, ignoring the stares and murmuring that followed. Down the hallway to her office, she heard Tony call out for help. Some of the men and ladies ran into Joseph’s office, curious about what was going on.
Amanda got to her office picked just her handbag and mobile phone that had been charging at the corner, before exiting the office building. Now here she was, with no idea of what happens next.
To be continued…
A Pelleura Story; -Chapter Three. Written by Karo Oforofuo
First published on Business Day Media
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