I was an intern when I joined one of the most prestigious law firms in the country and was warned about one colleague – the head of litigation. He was a flirt, according to every girl in the office, and very married. At first, I never paid him any mind. When he greeted me every morning, I’d reply in my usual chirpy self. The managing partner assigned him as my supervisor which meant I would report to him and spend most of my time shadowing him.
He did his work diligently and any time he had a court attendance, he’d take me with him regardless of the distance. I came to learn that he also lived near my home so he’d give me a ride every evening. For me, I took this as a good gesture not thinking that he was warming his way into my life.
“You know, I’ve never been to Olepolos.” He remarked as we drove home one day.
“Really? It’s a nice place.” I answered oblivious of what he was hinting at.
“I’m looking for somewhere to go this weekend. Have you been there?”
“Do you mind accompanying me?”
It wasn’t uncommon for the staff to go on lunches every month. So, I agreed thinking he was scouting for places to host a company retreat. I also assumed he would invite other people from the firm or even the boss. On the day of, he came home to pick me up and we embarked on the long journey to Olepolos alone. I didn’t mind since we always had good conversations and I enjoyed his company. We made a detour to stock up on snacks then proceeded to the destination.
After several hours, we were at the beautiful location. It was more breathtaking than I remembered. The staff told us that it underwent a major facelift. We settled at the terrace and ordered the usual – lots of meat and drinks. The ambience was so good that I didn’t mind having a few drinks. Jeff was a perfect gentleman and didn’t bring up anything inappropriate the entire time we were there. We simply enjoyed each other company and finally, I started seeing his other side – the charmer.
He asked me to be his girlfriend soon after that day and I agreed. While at the office, we maintained a professional relationship though some of the staff were starting to get suspicious. It carried on for several months until I finished my internship. I had performed well as an intern and since I was looking for permanent employment, they decided to hire me.
I was ecstatic but my joy was short-lived when my boss summoned me to his office. As he briefed me on my new responsibilities, he dropped a bombshell.
“I know you and Jeff had a relationship outside of work.”
My heart dropped. I couldn’t reply so I sat quietly with my head down.
“There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as you know, he’s a married man and I wouldn’t want anyone’s personal life interfering with my work. The last thing I want is drama in front of my high profile clients. Am I clear?” He asked, friendly but firm.
I nodded my head and when the meeting came to an end, I left his office feeling slightly disjointed. I barely concentrated for the rest of the day and all I wanted was to let Jeff know that we couldn’t continue with the relationship, especially now that I was his colleague. However, I couldn’t do it. I had fallen for him deeply and was willing to throw everything away for this relationship. It was one of my dumbest moments.
I let him know about the conversation I had with the boss instead of breaking up with him. He took it rather lightly than I expected which made me feel even more comfortable.
“Don’t worry, babes. Nobody’s going to cause any drama.” He assured me.
We started becoming more open with the relationship even at the office. He bought me flowers, hugged me every morning, and even held my hand as we left for the day. It felt good since the other girls envied me. Also, Jeff treated me like a queen and he didn’t care who opposed the relationship – not even the boss.
Well, I quickly learned why business and pleasure don’t mix on one fateful day. I was going about my work as usual until a woman clutching a young child walked into the office. No one seemed to know who she was but she seemed familiar with the place. As the receptionist enquired about her, Jeff left his office hurriedly and made his way to the reception.
They both stood silently staring at each other until all hell broke loose.
“Where is she? Where is that so-called babes?” she yelled.
I knew this was the drama my boss had warned me about and somehow, I was prepared for it. Jeff tried to deescalate the situation but the woman was out for blood. They talked at the reception for a few minutes then the door to our office space swung open and she stood at the entrance like a hunter looking for his prey. Finally, she locked eyes with me and knew who I was.
“It’s you, isn’t it?” she asked. “You’re the one making my husband spend countless nights away from home without even bothering to know what we’re eating.”
By this time, Jeff had also made his way back to the main office space and was standing between me and his wife. I looked at him waiting for him to say something after assuring me that nobody would cause drama but he remained silent. I knew better than to open my mouth as well since it would make the situation worse. Eventually, the security guards came and took her outside but not before a sizable crowd had gathered outside the office due to the commotion.
Soon, everybody knew me as the “homewrecker” and I had to find another workplace for the sake of my wellbeing. Jeff and I continued to see each other but it ended after a year since we weren’t on the same page about the future of the relationship.
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