Amanda was still embittered by what had transpired between her and her boss. She wanted to know if he survived the hit she had given him between his legs. Most of all, she wanted to know if she still had her job.
At the moment though, she couldn’t because her phone was switched off and she had gone over to her friends’ house to lay low; just in case Joseph decides to try something stupid.
His attitude had taken her by surprise. She wondered why a cool, calm, collected guy would stoop so low to wanting to rape her. That was the highest degree of sexual harassment in the office. Truly, all that glitters isn’t gold. Just looking at Joseph, one would think he is the most wonderful man in the world, not knowing he’s a devil incarnate.
“I can’t believe he made such an attempt on you. Some men are really evil,” Ella, the banker among the friends, frowned.
“I can’t believe either. I still think it’s a dream,” Amanda curled up on the sofa; hands around her shaken body.
“Babe, why don’t you just sue this guy?” Brenda suggested. She only got to know Amanda a few months back through Ella, and both ladies have since been friends.
“Brenda, how on earth can I sue the owner of JExpress; a well-known business mogul?” Ella looked perplexed, “suing a man like that can’t work. I’m certain about that.”
Amanda looked away. She wasn’t giving ears to Brenda’s suggestion.
“You aren’t sure about that Ella, don’t let Amanda get discouraged and leave this devil Incarnate to keep ruining lives. He needs to be thought a lesson,” Brenda insisted. She couldn’t understand why her friends were not just getting it. Sexual assault was an offence, but the society doesn’t even give a hoot about the perpetrators. They believed in letting sleeping dogs lie.
“What lesson? You can’t just sue your boss, Amanda. Think about it. He is the Boss, the business Mogul. He is powerful and wealthy and you, who are you? Nobody knows you in Lagos. Amanda, you only have 500 followers on Instagram. Which means no one knows you,” Ella was simply saying the truth even though it hurt.
But never has anyone sued the mighty and won the case. The Elephant always trampled on the Ant anyway.
“Even if I want to sue him, I can’t afford any of the best lawyers in town,” Amanda was simply tired of everything.
“I can help. You know I’m one of the best lawyers in town. I would do anything to help. You just have to trust me, and agree to sue him,” Brenda smiled. She was undoubtedly one of the best lawyers in town. Although she was still working her way to becoming one the best three, it would be a dream fulfilled if Amanda would agree to sue Joseph. The case would be a big one and she’d fight tooth and nail to win.
“I’m not sure about that, Brenda. I just feel like it won’t work. Besides, I’ve got no evidence,” Amanda sighed. In truth, she hated what Joseph did. But she wasn’t sure she could bring herself to sue the man.
She just wished she hadn’t met Joseph at all. She wished she had simply left the company when she was told she wasn’t qualified to work as the company’s accountant.
And now she had turned into a fugitive, seeking peace and protection by staying at her friend’s place. She didn’t know how long she was going to be there for, but she wasn’t moving back to her apartment any time soon. She’d only go to pick up a few things.
The week was at its end already. Joseph was baffled when he heard from Tony that Amanda wasn’t still at work. He knew he had messed up big time. He shouldn’t have handled her the way he had, but she was turning more beautiful by the day and very irresistible to ignore.
He was a man and he had blood flowing through his veins, but Amanda seemed not to understand this. What self-image was she trying to protect anyway? Who even cared about self-image these days?
It was officially 5 days since the incident, and his crotch still hurt from her brutal attack. If she was that brutal with her knee, he wondered if she would also be brutal in bed.
He had asked Tony to send her a message stating that she could resume work the following Monday, or tender her resignation letter. But he doubted she would read the message, let alone act on it.
Perhaps if she came back, he could still woo her, but.., if she didn’t comply, he would simply fire her. After all he owns the company.
On second thought, instead of waiting for her to show up the following Monday, he could simply show up at her place and apologise for his attitude, or not.
No. He wouldn’t apologize. He didn’t need to. But he was going to drop by her house and convince her to come back to work.
At the close of work, Joseph drove down to her house. He needed to talk some sense into her. And as luck would have it, he met her locking up. A travelling bag sat on the floor by her side.
Where is she going? He thought; strolling in her direction and loosening his tie a bit.
“Hi Amanda. How have you been?” His eyes assessed her, and he could tell she looked scared. She was definitely not expecting him, not after the incident that transpired between them.
“Did you get Tony’s text?” He asked, keeping his hands in his pocket.
“What do you want?” She raised a defiant chin to him.
“Look, I know you are surprised that I’m here. But its simply to let you know that I have forgiven you. Okay? Try to come back to the office. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your position given to someone else,” he smiled; obviously proud of his statement.
“Shouldn’t you be saying something else?” She was not moved by his arrogance.
“An Apology, Joseph!” She didn’t want to call him Joe. He had since lost that respect the minute he harassed her.
Joseph’s face creased into a small frown. He couldn’t apologize. He wouldn’t.
“Just come back to work, Amanda, and we would sort out the rest,” he turned to leave.
Her word stopped him in his track. He turned around in disbelief. “What? Why?” No one had ever turned him down.
“Because you are an arrogant, self-conceited man! You are selfish! I can’t keep working under you after you harassed me without an apology!” She yelled; half glad that her neighbours had all gone out. It was Friday, and Friday evenings in Lagos meant no dulling at home.
Joseph looked her all over; like he was trying to understand why he even liked her. Amanda was obviously too full of herself.
“Right,” he turned to leave again. He didn’t know why her last statements cut through him. But it did.
“You know what? On second thought, expect me on Monday,” Amanda said from behind.
Joseph’s lips twitched into a smile. His plan worked. He threw his arms in the air to celebrate, but at the same moment, he caught sight of her walking past him to a Toyota Camry parked just in front of his car. The guy at the steering could pass for a regular guy.
Does she have a boyfriend? He thought as the Camry drove off. Joseph sighed, and for a moment, he looked frustrated. He wasn’t sure if he felt sad because he handled Amanda roughly, or because he just saw her go with another man.
To be continued…
A Pelleura Story – Chapter Four. Written by Funmi Akintade
First published on Business Day Media
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