The story so far…..
Catherine, the daughter of the owner of Bliss Ghana Limited, has been receiving cookies from an anonymous person and although everyone around her finds it cute and romantic, she finds it creepy and is bent on finding who it is. Comfort Aning, Catherine’s overbearing and annoying boss, is also locking horns with Vitalis, her father and the owner of the company over the management of the company. Then there’s the everyday drama with her work colleagues and their individual lives.
Previous Episode: Episode 5
Vitalis laughed and shook his head. Comfort Aning never ceased to surprise him.
“Comfort, do take a seat and stop acting up.” he said.
Reluctantly, she sat.
“So tell me, what brings you here and why are you aggravated?” he asked her.
“Are you asking me? Don’t you know what you’ve done?” she shot at him.
“Comfort, relax. I don’t understand your aggressive behavior. We’re still good, so what’s all this?” Vitalis said and sat up.
“Oh, we’re good? I see. Yet, you couldn’t confide in me when you planned on expanding the company and listing on the stock market.” she said.
The facial expression on Vitalis changed from surprise to annoyance.
“Why should I confide in you when I’m taking decisions concerning my company?” he asked.
“Your company! Of course, it’s yours. Don’t forget I helped that company to be where it is today.” she told him.
“Cut that crap!” Vitalis bellowed. “The fact that you helped in establishing that company doesn’t mean you should shove it in my face. I really didn’t want to say this but before you met me, you were nothing. You had nothing to your name and I helped you up on your feet and look at where you are today. It’s a win-win situation.”
Vitalis was angry and Comfort Aning was taken aback.
“Vitalis, really?” she asked. Her tone had dropped.
“You can’t dictate to me what I should do. You asked why I didn’t confide in you. It’s because of this attitude of yours. You’ve changed into a selfish, domineering and greedy person. You’re no longer the industrious and disciplined Comfort Aning I used to know back then.” Vitalis answered.
“Oh, I’m no longer industrious. Is that why you want to throw me out of the company?”
“Who said I was going to?”
She grabbed the newspaper he was reading and opened to the page containing the advertisement and flung it onto the table by him. Vitalis took a look at the advertisement he had placed in the newspaper and shook his head.
“Which part of this ad says that I’m kicking you out, Comfort? It’s only necessary that I get more employees since the company is expanding.” he stated.
“You think I don’t know you have plans to kick me out? Stop acting modest, Vitalis!” she said.
“You’ve become unbearable, Comfort. Seeing you like this, makes me believe all the reports I’ve received so far.”
“Reports from that spoilt princess of yours?”
“Watch your words. Catherine isn’t the only one who works in the company. Why do I have this feeling that you’re being dishonest with the company’s records? Otherwise why would you freak out over an audit or the fact that I didn’t inform you about it? Just know that your worst fear will become a reality if my suspicion is proven right. I’m tired of you!” he blurted out.
Comfort Aning panicked and went silent. She was contemplating whether to play her last card or wait for another time. Vitalis watched her intently, wishing he could read her mind and wondered why she had suddenly gone silent.
“Vitalis, if you throw me out of the company, I’m going to let out your secret. The whole world will know the kind of person you are.” Comfort Aning threatened.
“Oh, I’m so scared. If only I knew what you’re talking about.” he chuckled.
“You don’t think I’m aware of your secret activities but walls have ears so I’ll be decent about it.” she said and walked up to him and whispered into his ears.
Vitalis blinked with every word that came out of Comfort Aning’s mouth and when she was done, he was visibly shaken.
“So you see, you kick me out, I let it out. I won’t go down alone, you’re coming with me.” she winked at him and picked up her bag to leave.
Suddenly, what Catherine had said some time back came rushing back into his mind. “It’s funny how she thinks no one sees what she does.” Catherine’s voice rang in his ears.
He wasn’t so sure what Catherine meant but he was willing to take a chance.
“It’s funny how you think no one sees what you do. I’m not the only one with secrets, you know.” he blurted out and waited for her reaction.
Comfort Aning stopped in her tracks and turned to face him with surprise written all over her face.
“It worked” Vitalis silently rejoiced.
“Wh-what is that supposed to mean?” she asked.
“You know what I mean. You’re an elder at church too and you don’t want your church members knowing about your dark side, do you?”
Comfort Aning felt trapped. There wasn’t just one but many secrets. Which one was he referring to? Vitalis enjoyed watching the confused expression on her face and wondered what it was about her that Catherine had found out.
“So now I can use the same words you uttered to me earlier against you. I won’t go down alone, you’re coming with me.” he picked up his newspaper and walked out on her.
Comfort Aning walked slowly to her car and slumped into the seat. There were so many questions on her mind. She abandoned all plans of driving back to work and went straight to her house. She was too drained to focus on any work.
Catherine returned home from work that night to find her dad seated in the living room which was unusual because he spent his Friday nights catching up with his friends.
“Hi Dad” she greeted and went over to sit by him. She wrapped her arms around him. They chatted for a while and suddenly, without any warning, he asked her what she knew about Comfort Aning.
“Daddy, why are you asking me this?” she sat up and asked. She wanted to dismiss the question but one look at his face showed that he was serious about the question.
“It’s nothing. She’s just an annoying person.” she said.
“Are you going to keep lying to me?” he asked her and explained everything that had happened in the afternoon to her, leaving out the part where Comfort Aning had threatened him with his deadly secret.
Catherine was shocked at how reckless her father had been and how risky the situation was. Unwillingly, she told him about Comfort Aning’s secret relationship with Mr Hammond, the HR manager. Vitalis was beyond shocked and it dawned on him the reason behind Comfort Aning’s confused and shocked expression.
“Catherine, you have to be really careful around Comfort.” he warned.
“And about next Friday’s meeting, there’s been a change in plans and I want you to be conversant with them before we face the board.”
He beckoned her to come closer and revealed certain PowerPoint slides to her and showed her a lot of paperwork.
“Catherine, I need you to be smart and extra vigilant. I’m going to entrust you with so much responsibility and henceforth, the future of the company rests on your shoulders.” he concluded.
A confused Catherine looked at her dad and wondered if anything was wrong.
“Daddy, you seem troubled. Is there something I should know?” she asked, quite perplexed by the responsibilities she now had and the presentation of her dad’s idea she had to give, come Friday.
“Everything’s fine, dear. I just want to make sure that you’re fully equipped for the task ahead.” he tried to reassure her.
Deep down, he was greatly troubled by Comfort Aning’s threat about revealing his secret. He feared she could play a dirty trick on him with that information and once she was aware, others would definitely be aware and it wouldn’t be long before it came to light. Before that, he had to make sure Catherine was safe and would not suffer. How Comfort Aning got wind of it baffled him because he was sure to leave his tracks covered.
By Monday, Catherine had become well versed with what was required of her during the presentation and she was quite confident of nailing it. She walked into the office in high spirits and paused when she realized no one was in the office. She looked at the time. 6.17, the clock read. She dropped her bag, slumped into her seat and plugged in her earphones. She shuffled through her music playlist and settled on Justin Timberlake’s “Mirror”. Her mind suddenly drifted to Curtis and she smiled. She was about to open her desk when Lariba walked in with a frowned face. Just when Catherine was about to ask her what the problem was, Mark walked in with an apologetic look on his face. Lariba looked away when he approached her desk. Catherine looked on, quite surprised with what was happening right before her and when Mark realized, he walked away.
“Lariba, what just happened? It’s clear that there’s something wrong.” Catherine asked.
Lariba explained to her how Jacinta had been trying to come between them and how Mark seemed indifferent about it anytime she complained.
“I’ve given him an ultimatum and asked him to choose between us. I’ve grown past the stage of competing with another lady over a man.” Lariba finished.
“I never expected that from Jacinta, to be very honest. What does she seek to achieve from doing this?” Catherine stated.
The doors of the office burst open and Comfort Aning stepped in, looking sharp in her linen outfit. A mischievous idea suddenly popped into Catherine’s head upon seeing her.
“That’s how office relationships are, my dear. They are always full of trouble and drama. No wonder some try to keep theirs a secret.” Catherine said, her eyes fixed on Lariba.
What Catherine said hit Comfort Aning. She felt dazed and the pace at which she was walking slowed down. Lariba cast Catherine a confused look while Catherine kept a straight face.
“It’s a coincidence” Comfort Aning convinced herself. “There’s no way anyone in this firm knows about Mr Hammond and I. They’re just having a normal conversation”
She muttered a barely audible “good morning” and walked into her office. She banged the door loudly behind her.
“What was that for?” Lariba whispered, looking quite peeved.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t referring to your situation. I just wanted to ruffle her feathers” Catherine whispered back, pointing towards Comfort Aning’s office.
“You need to be careful, Catherine. What if she catches on? You know how sly that woman can be.” Lariba whispered.
Catherine went silent. The door opened once more and Eugene walked in with Curtis. Catherine’s heart skipped upon seeing him and she broke into a smile. He waved at her and went over to Eugene, who had quickly booted his computer and was pointing out something to him. After about five minutes, he smiled at Catherine and walked out of the office as Agyeiwaa entered.
“Guys, you won’t believe this. I discovered a new food joint over the weekend” she announced as she placed her bag on her desk.
Lariba and Catherine burst into laughter.
“It’s amazing how you’re always the first person to discover a new food joint.” Catherine said amidst laughter and opened her drawer.
She felt her fingers against a box and immediately guessed what that meant. Cookies! She brought the box out and opened it and surely, there were cookies in it.
“I could do with some of those cookies, you know” Agyeiwaa said as she approached Catherine.
Catherine lifted the cookies out of the box and handed them to her while Lariba looked on. A second look into the box revealed a piece of paper with a typed note.
“Sorry for keeping you in suspense all this while and I know you’re dying to know who is behind this. How about meeting up on Friday at 12 noon? Lunch’s on me.” the note said. The venue was written boldly behind the note.
She felt quite nervous and beads of sweat began to form on her forehead. She raised her head to find Lariba frowning at her phone. She walked over to her desk.
“Lariba, you need to see this.” she said and dragged her out of the office.
By Amanda or MandieTalks or Cediwaa. She is a Ghanaian author