“Excuse me, you just can’t barge in there…” The door to Ted’s office burst open.
Ted looked up.
“I’m sorry, sir; she wouldn’t listen…”
“It’s okay; you may leave us.” The secretary left the office.
“After all my hard work and tireless effort I’ve invested in your company, that’s how you want to repay me? You’re throwing me out?” Anita asked.
“Point of correction: my mum threw you out; I didn’t.”
“It feels the same way because either it was you or her, I’m now jobless!”
“You should have been smart with the cards you were playing.”
“I sacrificed everything to see it to that you’d take over from your dad smoothly as you have and now you’re treating me like I’m nothing?”
“I’m sorry you feel that way. I never wanted things to get this complicated.”
“So un-complicate them! You’re the boss now.”
“I’m not so sure I want to do that.”
“Don’t be a jerk and an ingrate, Ted.”
“I thought your first punchline would be you carrying my child but since that didn’t pop up, it kind of confirms something, doesn’t it, Anita?”
Anita glared at him, tears forming in her eyes.
“Don’t push me, Ted. I could make life very unbearable for you.”
“Threats, that’s great! Bring it on.”
Anita turned to leave.
“And Anita…” He paused for her to turn around, “don’t you dare barge into my office again, okay?”
Anita stormed out of the office and slammed the door so hard that Ted flinched.
The door opened and Lucia entered.
“Who was that?”
“Anita? What did she want?”
“She wants me to revoke my mother’s decision to dismiss her.”
“And what? Of course I’m not going to do that. Then she began to throw threats at me. She’s really good at that.” Lucia sighed and sat.
“I think we should cut her a little slack.” Ted glanced at her.
“It could have been me in her shoes, you know. You broke her, Ted. She fell in love with you, you proposed to her and then broke it off with her and started dating her bridesmaid. That’s too much for a woman to take. And when we had a fight, you went to her for comfort and you put her aside when I returned. She becomes pregnant but you went ahead to marry me,” Lucia narrated.
“What are you driving at, Lucia?”
“She’s in a lot of pain, Ted. You were her world and you took that world away from her. She has no one and she’s pregnant and no one seems to care. And now, the only thing she’s got which was her job has been ripped away from her. You’ve pushed her far too much. She has nothing to lose now so if she decides to hurt you, hurt us, there’s no limit to what she would do.”
“So what, you want me to take her back into the company and accept her baby? Is that what you’re proposing? Are you only saying this because you feel sorry for her, that you feel guilty for taking what should have been hers?” Ted asked.
“No, Ted; I don’t feel guilty. I do feel sorry for her. All I’m saying is that, take time and talk with her. She just wants someone to hear her out. Only she understands what she’s going through and she wishes that you Ted, would at least get her.”
“The last time I was with her…”
“I know but you won’t this time because I’m here and we are okay. Just talk to her and make a deal with her. Then when the time comes, we’ll have the paternity test and we’ll see how we proceed from there,” she advised. He nodded.
“Okay, I’ve heard you. I’ll talk with her.”
“Thank you.” She got up, walked over to him and kissed his cheek.
“I’m going over to my dad’s office. I’ll see you at home, okay?”
“What do you want for dinner?” She asked.
“Anything you come up with is fine with me.”
“Frozen chicken and pasta with no sauce is okay for you?” He chuckled. They kissed.
“Take care on the road.”
“I will, bye honey.” She left the office.
In the late afternoon, Anita heard a knock on her door. She opened it.
“Hello, Anita,” Ted greeted.
“Did you lose your way or something?”
“Nope; I came to see you so we can talk.”
“Huh, does your wife know you’re here?”
“She told me to come talk to you.”
“Oh so it’s either your mother does the talking for you or it’s your wife who pushes to talk yourself.”
“Can we not fight? I really want us to talk.”
“Okay, come in.”
“Oh not here. Over dinner.”
“Why not here? We can order pizza,” Anita suggested. Ted smiled.
“No, I prefer we hang out outside.”
“Why, what do you think would happen if we stayed indoors?”
“Nothing, actually; I’m just taking precautionary measures.”
“I see; come on in and take a seat. I’ll go change.”
“Thank you.” He sat.
“Want anything while you wait?” she asked.
“I’m okay, thanks.”
“I’ll be right back.” She entered her bedroom. Ted took his phone.
Lucia picked hers up.
“Hey sweetie, are you on your way home?” She asked.
“Not exactly, I’m at Anita’s.”
“Oh okay, what time should I expect you back? I’m almost done with dinner.”
“I think you better go ahead without me.”
“I’m having dinner with Anita.” Ted heard Lucia drop something.
“Are you okay?”
“What do you mean, you’re having dinner with her? Can’t you just talk with her and join me for dinner?”
“That is the only way I can get us out of her apartment. Would you prefer that I stay in her apartment to talk with her?” Lucia didn’t reply.
“I’ll try to make it home early.”
“I’ll tell Anita you said hi. Love you,” he said and hang up.
“I’m ready,” Anita said as she came out of her room a few minutes later. Ted stood.
“Let’s go then.”
Ted pulled up in front of Mavic’s. When they sat down, Anita remarked, “This is where we had our first date, remember?”
“Yeah I do.”
“Have you brought Monique here before?”
“Lucia and I have totally different memories together. I wouldn’t want to mix up history,” Ted said. Anita ordered a wrap with a smoothie whiles Ted only ordered a smoothie.
“Eating light?” she asked.
“I have dinner waiting for me at home. I have to at least eat something when I get home.”
“The diary of a newly wedded man.” He laughed.
“I want to say I’m sorry about your job. It’s rather unfortunate that my mother took such a drastic measure. Honestly, it was on my mind but I had my reservations because of your…situation. If you like, I could write you a letter of recommendation so you can gain employment with an equally big company,” Ted offered. She shook her head.
“Don’t bother; I can take care of myself. It is either you’re taking me back or I’ll find work myself.”
“And I also want to apologize for how things went between us. I have been hard, mean and a jerk to you and I’m sorry. For proposing to you although I was not ready to commit to you and later, breaking it off, it was inconsiderate and I apologize.”
“Is that you or your wife talking?” Anita asked.
“Why do you ask?”
“I want to know if you came to the realization of the hurt you’ve caused me yourself or it was your husband-snatching wife of yours who enlightened you on the reality of the situation.”
“Both; I know we’ve come far. We’ve been through a lot together, you and I and despite your shortcomings, I still consider you my friend. You have always been there for me ever since and I appreciate it. I do know there are feelings involved and I’m sorry I can’t reciprocate that.”
“And the baby?”
“Let’s wait and find out what the paternity test results will tell us, okay?”
“So you don’t trust me, huh? Why would I lie about this?”
“Because you love me and you’d do about anything to have me. And I won’t be surprised if you’re still seeing Jake under the covers.”
“Don’t insult me, Ted.”
“I’m not; let’s be honest here. I do have the right to question the baby’s paternity considering your past infidelity. I just want to trash out whatever bad blood might be brewing between us.”
“Does that mean I’ll have my job back?” Ted sighed.
“Let me talk to my mother and see how it goes. No promises.”
“Okay; truce then.” They held hands and smiled at each other.
Ted returned home to find Lucia watching TV. He kissed her cheek.
“How was your dinner?” she asked.
“It was productive. We got talking and it really helped.”
“Are you full?” He asked.
“I got us some shawarma; interested?” Lucia’s face lighted up.
“Great.” He sat by her and gave her one.
“Thank you, Lucia.”
“For your advice today; it was really wise. What would I do without you?”
“Probably nothing. And thanks for the shawarma. I couldn’t eat dinner because you weren’t here.”
“I figured; that’s why I bought it so we could eat together. Anita wants her old job back.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“Should I give it back?”
“It’s a bit tricky. It would be wise to keep her close so to put a leash on her. We could monitor her activities; on the other hand, the farther away she is from us, the better. Whatever you decide, I’ll be fine,” Lucia said.
“I’ll talk to my mum tomorrow. I doubt she’ll be in favor of that though.”
“Uh huh, want a drink or something?”
“Okay, I’ll be right back.”