Hello, fellow romantics!
How have you been?
On my side, I am finally catching up with work somewhat. My health is improving and life is more stable. I am happy to share a big chunk of teaser with you today!
“Only English at the office,” Nathalie said and nodded. “No problem and understood!”
“Excellent, because we want everyone to feel included at all times,” Elise said. Nathalie’s new boss pointed at the office next door. “That’s yours. It’s small, but you’ll have more privacy than most other people here.”
Nathalie took in the opal glass window separating Elise’s large office from hers. “That’s great,” she said.
“I’m thrilled you accepted our offer,” Elise said. “I think we’ll make a great team.”
“This is crazy,” Nathalie thought. “I got so lucky getting this job and she makes it sound like *I* am some catch.”
“I think so too,” Nathalie said, smiling. “I really look forward to making your life easier.”
Elise laughed. “Lots of low-hanging fruit there. I should have hired a new assistant ages ago. My calendar is a mess and I haven’t made it to my yoga class in time for ages.”
Nathalie grinned. “I will try to fix that as soon as possible.”
“Please do,” Elise winked. “My ageing body will appreciate it.”
Chuckling, Nathalie shook her head. Her new boss didn’t look like she had missed any yoga classes recently. On the contrary.
“IT will stop by with your laptop and phone soon,” Elise continued. “Until then, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the coffee machine.”
Nathalie nodded eagerly. “How would you like your coffee?”
Elise laughed. “I meant you should get yourself some coffee. I can get my own.”
“Oh,” Nathalie said, blushing. “Of course.”
“The coffee machine is in the kitchen,” Elise winked again and opened her office door. “It’s at the end of the hall, to the right.”
“Thanks,” Nathalie said and ran a hand through her hair. It felt light after a haircut yesterday.
“Just take a moment to get comfortable and meet some of your new co-workers,” Elise smiled. “You’ll be very busy soon enough.”
“Alright,” Nathalie said, a little sheepishly. This was not what she had expected on her first day as an assistant to the CEO of a successful software company. She had been ready to dive in and kick ass.
“I’ll come and get you when IT shows up,” Elise said.
“Thank you,” Nathalie said and stepped into the hallway.
She inspected her outfit as she walked towards the kitchen. Her linen pants still looked okay. It had been risky to wear them on her first day, with all the crinkling, but the late summer temperatures had made Nathalie decide to put them on anyway.
With the linen pants, Nathalie wore a loose blouse. She had rolled up her sleeves. The thin leather band on her right wrist was a gift from Kim. The sneakers she had bought for the occasion still looked pristine.
The kitchen was much larger than Nathalie remembered. She had been there briefly when Elise had given her a tour after her job interview, but Nathalie had been too nervous to take everything in.
A large wooden table with a fruit bowl stood in the middle of the room. The furthest wall had the fridge and cabinets installed against it. There was also a large counter. Boxes with healthy snack bars were lined up on it.
A short guy with scruffy cheeks walked into the room and grabbed one of the bars. He looked up in surprise as if he hadn’t seen Nathalie before. Nathalie spotted some white hairs on his dark sweater, probably from a dog or a cat. She smiled.
“Good morning,” he said. “Are you Elise’s new assistant?”
“I sure am,” Nathalie said, straightening her shoulders.
His face lit up. “So happy to meet you, Nathalie! I’m Sergio, the PR guy.”
“Oh, right, Elise told me about you,” Nathalie beamed back. “She said we’d be working together quite a bit.”
“We sure are,” Sergio nodded. “I am going to need you to get Elise to sign off on a lot of stuff and it’s always last-minute.”
Nathalie felt a growing enthusiasm in the pit of her stomach. She was really excited about this job and she still couldn’t believe she was actually here.
“We might have to work on that last-minute attitude,” Nathalie said.
“My wife keeps saying that too,” Sergio laughed. He leaned against the counter. “So, what does life look like for you when you get home? Do you have kids? A partner?”
“No kids,” Nathalie said, shaking her head. “How about you?” she asked in return.
“Can’t you tell?” Sergio replied and pointed at the dark circles under his eyes. “A two-year-old and a second one on the way next month. Plus, two cats!”
“Congratulations!” Nathalie chuckled. “It sounds like you have two full-time jobs.”
Sergio scratched the top of his head. His dark hair was thinning out a little here and there. “You can say that again.”
Nathalie smiled sympathetically. “Well, I’ll try to make your full-time job here easier by getting you the necessary approvals from Elise.”
“Excellent,” Sergio grinned. “Well, I better get back to my meeting. I only came to pick up a snack. I get hangry, you know.”
“I can’t tell,” Nathalie said.
Sergio laughed. “Only a matter of time.”
“Consider me warned,” Nathalie replied and waved as he walked out of the kitchen.
He had a sparkle in his eyes as he waved back over his shoulder.
Nathalie took in a deep breath and looked around the empty kitchen again. She rubbed her stomach as she processed the conversation she had just had. Sergio had asked her if she had a partner. The first person she had thought of was Raven.
“This is so fucking ridiculous,” Nathalie thought. “It’s been three months. I should be over her by now.”
Her chest tightened and she pulled out her phone from her pocket. Nathalie opened the messages app and read the message from Raven again. It had arrived yesterday. She had read it at least forty times since.
💜 Dear fellow romantic,
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