Winter Part Two
Six Weeks Later
The Lunch Spot | San Myshuno
Money, sex, lies and betrayal was all everyone seemed to be talking about these days. With the latest political scandal all over the headlines, it was hard for anyone to focus on anything other than Governor Feng and his drama. This was especially true for Salim and the other employees of the San Myshuno Times who were feeling the repercussions of an increased workload and tighter deadlines, in more ways than one.
Camilla watched him on his phone — again — reading something then typing something then reading something else, not completely ignoring — but definitely not listening to — a single word that had come out of her mouth since they were seated at their table.
Annoyed and sick of being in constant competition with his phone, she came up with a plan — one that was sure to get his attention before their scheduled time together was over.
“I’m pregnant,” she said, watching him closely for a reaction.
“Really?” he replied, eyes still glued to his phone.
“Yeah, with triplets.”
“That’s great,” he continued scrolling.
“No, what’s great is they’re not yours,” she leaned forward, weaving a messy tale of promiscuity and infidelity, “I actually don’t know who’s they are. I mean … there’s the guy from the gas station not too far from the house and then there’s that one incident, a couple of months ago, with the bagger at the grocery store we always go to. Could even be that waiter over there’s,” she shrugged, “I mean we do meet up in the bathroom every time we come here for lunch. Is that going to be a problem for you?”
“No, whatever you want is fine with me,” he replied as casually as if she had just made a suggestion for a new swatch of wall paint or something — letting her know that she was definitely the least interesting thing at this table right now and there was no use trying to change that.
Noticing how quiet she was, all of a sudden, he sat his phone down to finally give her the attention she was seeking but looked up to find her with her arms folded and a discontented frown on her face. Something he had been seeing a lot of lately.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized, something he had been doing a lot of lately, “It’s this—”
“Story,” she rolled her eyes, finishing his excuse for him, “I know …”
“So then you know that when I’m on my phone like this, I’m working, right?” he reached for her hand, interlocking his fingers with hers, “And that it’s just like this now, while all this stuff with the governor’s going on, but it won’t always be like this— maybe just a couple more weeks, then things’ll go back to normal, you know that right?”
Except normal — wasn’t really normal anymore. And it wasn’t just the story taking over their lives, there were other work things for each of them that they were both struggling to adjust to. Things that have their schedules turned completely upside down, leaving them to figure out how to make it all work.
“But you’re still mad?”
“I’m not mad,” she sighed, “I just thought the whole point of us taking our lunches together was so that we could actually spend time together since you’re always working late now,” she pulled her hand back, folding her arms again, “I could’ve had lunch in the break room, by myself, if I wanted to be ignored.”
“You know I’m not ignoring you, Camilla.”
“I just told you that I’m having some random guy’s babies and you didn’t even notice,” she pouted.
Random guy’s babies? That announcement, as false as it was, somehow flew right past him without him even noticing. He may have been more distracted than he realized and judging by the look on her face, out of apology chances too. He’ll make it up to her later, but first — he wanted to hear more about this imaginary pregnancy of hers.
“Babies?” he raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, you’re right,” he reached for her hand again, this time caressing it under the table, “but, I’ll make it up to you, I promise, okay?”
“Okay,” she replied reluctantly.
“But we do have something else we need to figure out though.”
“What are we going to about all these babies?” he smirked, determined to get a smile out of her and end this lunch on a good note. “We have two already. Five might be pushing it. I’m going to need another promotion to afford all this. Actually, you might have to start doing some overtime too.”
“I hate you so much right now,” she covered her mouth, trying to disguise the huge smile forming on her face.
“I know,” he smiled, “You won’t later though.”
Fifteen Minutes Later
Webot Home Office | San Myshuno
When Camilla arrived back at the office, she was surprised to see a note posted on her monitor, from her boss, with the words come see me written across it. They didn’t have a meeting or anything scheduled and she wasn’t behind on any of her assignments, in fact, she was ahead of schedule, so she had no idea what she could want, unless — this was some kind of performance review or something. Her employment was a little over the one month mark with the company so it would make sense …
She placed her things on her desk then headed across the floor to Sofia’s office.
She knocked on the glass door and waited for her to acknowledge her presence before stepping inside. “You wanted to see me?”
“Yeah, come in,” Sofia glanced up from her computer and motioned for her to come over, “How was lunch? Go anywhere special?”
“No, just to this restaurant downtown,” she sat in one of the seats in front of her desk.
“With that writer boyfriend of yours?” she continued typing.
“Yes,” she smiled.
“Cute,” she spun her chair around to face her, “So, what I called you in here to talk about is this project your team’ll be taking on—”
“My team?” she interrupted to make sure she heard her correctly.
“Yes, your team, now—”
Her team? An entire group of people reporting to her? Decisions that had to be made by her? Responsibilities that fell directly on her shoulders?
“But, I’ve only been here for a month, Sofia, I don’t think I can—”
“You can and you will,” she replied sternly, shutting down whatever self-doubting excuses were about to spill out of her, “Now are you going to let me tell you about the project or are you going to sit here and name off more reasons for why you can’t do your job?”
“I’ll … be quiet.”
“Good. It’s for a new scheduling software who’s goal is to make its user’s life more organized, simple, stress free, all that jazz,” she waved her hands around. “Now, before we go any further, let’s call in your team and set some things in place.”
“Bianca, Fallon, Vanessa, Monaé,” Sofia stuck her head out the door, signaling for a group of her other software developers to join them in her office.
All four women stopped what they were doing and quickly followed, forming a small huddle around her desk.
“Ladies, we have a new project for our team, “Sofia announced, “that Camilla will be taking the lead on. You’ll be reporting directly to her for for all things related to this project and in return, she’ll be keeping me updated via weekly meetings. Any questions?”
All of the women shook their heads, forfeiting their opportunity for questions — except one.
“I have a question,” Vanessa raised her hand.
“Go ahead,” Sofia replied.
“How come she gets to be team lead and she hasn’t even been here that long?”
All of the women look at Camilla who was looking at Sofia. Vanessa’s delivery was … off, but she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t still wondering the same thing too.
“Well, Vanessa,” Sofia placed her hands on her hips, “the last time I checked, I was in charge of deciding who does what. Now if that’s an issue for you, you know where the door is. So will you be clocking out?”
“No,” Vanessa corrected her tone, “I’m … staying.”
“Good,” Sofia gave her one last look, making sure they’re on the same page, “We’ll meet first thing tomorrow morning to go over the specifics and develop an outline. You’re all dismissed.”
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