He Stood in Her Sunlight
It had never been a good idea for her to do the balance sheets at this time of the day.
On the one hand, neither sides of her brain would speak to each other. On the other hand, she's become slightly lethargic after inhaling a chicken roti for lunch. The second one of the week, thanks to the other half.
It had been a crazy morning with two unexpected bulk deliveries and no space immediately available to store them. The news the boss was back on the island, seemed to have sent everyone pushing their panic buttons to the on mode. Suddenly, this needed to be done, and that needed to be completed, and it all should have been yesterday. Sara had been in the office for three months but had only spoken with him on the phone. The boss had been away at the head office in the United States the entire time.
She recounted the receipts. Once more, she double-checked the amounts on the receipts matched with the figures on her sheet. Finally, she was satisfied and began crunching the numbers through the calculator. Her concentration was now broken by the ringing of her desk phone. The caller had the wrong company, and so she could quickly return to her paperwork. She then realised another telephone was ringing and had been for a little while in the back office next door to hers. She was sure she had heard laughter coming from there just a few moments ago. She'd cry, but she is all cried out with her womanising other half.
Yes, the one that brought the chicken roti for lunch.
She gets up to answer the incessant ringing of the phone in the next-door office and is greeted by two ladies having a chinwag. One of whom manages the said back office. Slightly frustrated and with a straight face and smiling eyes, she apologises for interrupting what could only be classed as 'the joyous mouth bashing' of another lady's love life.
With a firm voice, she said, "Ladies, can we kindly answer the phone or forward the line to my desk." She then turned on her heels and left. An act fraught with repercussions. No sooner had she walked out of the door than one of the ladies hushed.. 'Ahh, did you hear what she...'
Sara continued in her stride back to her desk because what these two gossip-mongering ladies heard or thought they heard about her was of no interest.
More importantly, there was a balance sheet that needed balancing.
At this time of day, the afternoon sunlight rides in like a white horse from the right side of the open double doors onto her desk in the front office. She moves the balance book into the sunlight and once more starts counting. Out of nowhere, a shadow falls across her pages. Who dares stand in my sunlight, she thought. She stops to collect her thoughts and note down some figures before looking up, when a voice said.. 'You should avoid reading in the sunlight like that, it's not good for your eyes!'
Her thoughts definitely needed collecting then. For that was the silkiest West Indian tone to have ever glazed her ears. Slowly she lifted her head, and then her eyes gave his five-foot, 11-inch frame a twice over. From his grade one haircut to his combat shorts and military boots back up to his loose but slightly defining of the muscle t-shirt. And then their eyes clicked and locked like the door on a Stockinger safe.
Tall and dark with a military physique and absolutely handsome. To say anything less would have been short-changing this beautiful figure that just stood in Sara's sunlight.
'I'm here to see Paul, is he in?'
Now there's only one Paul in the entire building but goodness she had to keep him talking.
'What's Paul's surname?' She asked knowingly. And he sensed she was toying with him but politely answered either way. Balance sheets were forgotten, smile as wide as the river Nile, she picks up the phone to dial Paul and asked 'Whom should I tell Paul is asking for him?'
'Its Cohen Broderick!' he said.
It rolled off his tongue like the smooth, sweet and silkiness of sweetened condensed milk.
'He will know who I am.'
She puts the phone down. ''Gosh, that is an unusual name for this little island' she said and to herself - a sexy one too!
''My parents saw it somewhere and liked it.''
She rolls back the chair from behind the desk and stands and straightens her belted purple playsuit. For the first time that day, she regretted not wearing the pair of heels her mother brought her from the UK. Her matching purple flats that do nothing for her short legs will simply have to do. She could at least be grateful the playsuit shows off her bum well and, more legs than any other work attire would allow. She walks towards the front of the desk where he is standing. An act that provides her the opportunity to stand face to face with his handsomeness. It was then she noticed the fragrance he wore.
Goodness, he speaks well, looks hot and smells great!
She offered to take him to see Paul and lead the way.
'I have not seen you here before!" he said
She looked back at him and smiled. But not before pondering on the fact he had been to the office before and could possibly return again.
''Neither have I!" she said poking fun at him. The conversation was smooth, and Sara went on to say she was covering maternity leave. At this point, they had arrived at the door at the end of the hallway. Sara was about to open the door, but he reached out, opened the door and gestured for her to enter. To say she was taken aback would not entirely cover it.
At five-feet, four inches tall, she had to look up to see into his eyes. As she did so, she smiled and calmly said - ''It would appear chivalry is not dead!'' And he smiled back.
Just at that moment, bounding towards the door in his usual excitable strides, was Paul. As a matter of fact, Paul's entire being seemed to have been hit by a bolt of excitement. "Heh Seyrah, I was just about to come see you!"
While everyone else is happy to call her Sara, Paul, in his usual enthused self calls her Seyrah!
''Seems like I've saved you the job'' she retorted with a giggle.
He then noticed Cohen standing behind Sara. Not sure how he would have missed him. They greeted each other like only good old friends do, and Sara was soon forgotten. She closed the door behind her and leaned back onto it. And to anyone who could hear her, audibly went - "Well he can stand in my sunlight any day!"
She got back to her desk and sat with her legs tightly crossed and took a deep breath. She needed a cold drink, but getting up would be a misjudgment. For one, neither sides of her brain were speaking to each other, that is, if they were speaking at all. She really needed someone to hold on to her heart because it was beginning to take on a pace she was unsure she could manage. And her knees definitely would not have supported her legs standing any more. She remembered the bottle of Ting she had placed in her desk drawer after lunch. It was slightly warm now, but it would have to do.
She popped the lid, wiped the mouth of the bottle and drank straight from it. She decided the books she tried so desperately to balance earlier may be best done first thing the next day. At this point, the message light on the phone was flashing vehemently. She went through the ten messages waiting and distributed them. One of which was from the boss questioning why there was no one to answer the phone. She quickly called him back and discovered what he wanted was to find out whether or not his favourite brand of coffee was in his office. And it was.
Some twenty-five minutes had now passed, and Paul came bounding into the front office. With bated breath, she waited for the second figure to follow, but it was just Paul. He noticed her slight disappointed.
"He has left," Paul said.
"Hmm" was all Sara could respond, pursing her lips and looking away from Paul to the open double doors.
"But he did ask about you" Paul chimed on.
Sara quickly glanced back at Paul with enthused eyes.
"Yeah!" said Sara.
I told him you are in a relationship though, Paul continued. You are, in a relationship, yes?
"Aha" was the only word Sara could muster and even then she almost choked saying it. Her breath had temporarily left her body. She glanced at the balance books at the side of the desks and pulled them towards her. They suddenly seemed appealing.