Chapter 1: The Promotions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 665

I keep on looking at my watch. It’s 4:14 in the afternoon. 7:00pm is my out. The time has gone so slow. I would really like to go home now, rest and have a peaceful sleep. My job has drawn a line between me and my leisure. Yet of course, my job is my living. Money. Though it’s not the most precious thing on earth for some people, I’m on the contrary. How do you pay your rent if you don’t have money? How do you eat well if you don’t have money? Terrible. Miserable. Money is everything, that’s always on my mind.

I glance at my watch again. Finally, it’s 5:30pm. The grim seconds are about to come to an end. I think of the refrigerator in my apartment. I knew I kept two doughnuts last night. Oh, I could taste it now. I am damn hungry.

My boss, Sir Martin, approached me. “Jess,” he touched me in the shoulder. “Are you done with your report?” He looked at me critically. “You know I need it tomorrow.”

“I’m on half of it now, sir.” I said flatly. “I’ll be done soon.”

“No, not again, Jess.” He waved his hand. “No, you are not going to render OT again. It’s your 10th for this cut off.” He crossed his arms.

I grinned. “Kidding, sir. Almost done.” I showed him my monitor. “See, only a few more polishing and I’m done with it.”

He sighed. “That scared the hell out of me.” Suddenly, he burst into laughter. “You always know how to make me laugh, Jess. That’s what I really liked about you.”

I replied no more but a forced smile.

“Well, then,” he slowly walked away from my working place. “Send it right away after you’re finished. Tomorrow’s a big day.”

Hell, yeah. Tomorrow is another presentation for the bigger bosses, including our company’s richest investors. My report is the high light. The company profit, daily fund report and a lot more stuff with regards to money. See, money make their asses move in order. From rich to richer. Money helps the world spin on its dying axis due to population increase. I wonder how much weight the earth could carry.

After a great deal of waiting, I conquered freedom at last. It’s 7:15pm.  I packed up and cleaned my always messy table. In an instant, I remembered my family. I haven’t seen them for long. Two months I think. I left our house to stay in an apartment near the company. It’s hard to travel each day after working long hours. Before, I visit them every week, but when I got promoted as Assistant Finance Officer, that stopped. I just call them now, send money every pay day and that’s it. They hear nothing from me but, “I’m fine,” “How much money do you need?”, “I’m busy, I’ll call you later.” The latter made them seldom call.

But that’s just it. I work for them. I spend more than eight hours a day working like a machine and go home in intense exhaustion.  It just pays off when you finally got your pay. Much more than winning a competition. You are aware that you’ve worked for that money, and there is no doubt that you deserve it.

 I had clarified this thing to my family before. It was my fifth month in the position. I was from work. I received a call from my Mom.

“Jess, hello?” my Mom muttered over the phone. “Are you there?”

I was changing my clothes. I was really bothered and uncomfortable with the uniform. I tried to reach the phone again. “Yes, Mom. I’m changing clothes. Can I hang up for a while?”

I heard her sigh. “When will you be coming home again?”

My grip tightened on the phone. “I don’t know.” I looked at the calendar hanging on my door. “I need to meet the deadlines. I got a lot of work to do.”

“Your Dad wants to talk to you.”

This wrenched my heart. Every time that Dad talks to me, he always ended up crying. He really misses me. But no. I can’t go home. I need to work hard. I need money.

“Jess?” Mom said.

“Okay.” I closed my eyes. “I’ll talk to him.”

At first I heard Mom raising her voice. Louder. Telling Dad that I’m on the phone. He had a bad hearing after the accident. He was drunk that evening. He came from a friend’s party. He was walking through the stairs. He lost his balance, and fall off. I remember how he writhed in pain, his head bleeding. The fall got his brain that crucial. Dad was confined for two months. He had gone through therapies and medication. He found it hard to walk after the accident, his eyes blurring, and even his hearing got affected. Doctors say that it’s also because of his age. He was sixty-three by then.

“Dad?” I said.

“Jess.” He sobbed. “How are you?”

It was always his question, and so I gave him the same answer. “I’m fine, Dad, don’t worry about me.”

“I’m so sorry, Jess.” Now, he started to cry again. “I must be the one working, not you.”

“Dad, you are retired. It’s okay. It’s my time to support our family. It’s a usual thing.”

“Don’t push yourself too much.” He said, struggling to cry. “Do you eat the right food? Do you have enough sleep every day?”

“Of course, Dad.” I lied. “I’m absolutely fine.”

“That’s good to hear.” He coughed. “When will you be coming home?”

Again I glanced at the calendar. “Next week.” I said.

“Next week?” he asked. “Is it for sure? Your siblings want to see you again.”

I heard my sister on the phone, Casey, shouting from a far. “Ate Jess, let’s watch the new movie I downloaded.”

“Hear that?” Dad said. “They’re expecting you.”

This made me smile. “Okay. Next week, I promise.”

As if I could see them through a window, I saw that Dad smiled.

“It’s a promise, okay? Thank you, Jess. I miss you.”

“Miss you, too, Dad.” And I hang up.

Dad needed to stop working. He retired early. Right on the beat, I was graduating. After his retirement, I looked for a job. I wanted to help my family, for the sake of my three siblings. At an early age, nineteen, I felt the big responsibility bestowed upon me. It’s always the eldest who must give back first to the parents.

Well, looking for a job wasn’t easy. I failed for my first few tries. Later on, I got hired, but I hated the schedule, so I resigned. I got hired again, but I hated the co-employees, so I resigned again. I tried to apply on a different type of job. I became a receptionist. The job was so easy, so laid back, yet the pay was fine. As days moved faster, my boss recognized my potential in some sense that is not really connected to my job. He promoted me as his secretary.

“Jessica,” he called me. “You seem to perform great.”

I tried to conceal my confused smile. “Thank you, sir.” I told him.

“You should be promoted. I want you to be my secretary.”

After that, I got promoted as his secretary, unknowing that he did that because he likes me.  I just got the gossip from the HRD. “Sir Fred likes you and you’re not that pretty.” One of them said. “Geez.”

I laughed my ass out as I hear that. “Really?” I looked closer to that girl. “You’re in the HRD and you don’t even look like a human.”

That nonsense conversation came to Sir Fred, and instead of getting mad, he praised me. “Nice job, Jess!” he said. “The HRD staffs are not all that nice to employees. You brought vengeance for those who have been holding their temper to them.” He laughed again. “But wait, does it bother you having discovered that… I like you?”

On that moment, I was embarrassed to death. I never had that kind of talk with a guy. He was 29, and I was 19. What’s going on his mind?

“If it’s not in the romantic way then I guess I’m okay with it. I can actually brag about it, sir.”

He laughed manly again. “Okay, period. I like you in the same aspect.” He shook my hand. “Thanks for not freaking out, Jess. I think you’re not yet ready for some sort of this thing. Just focus on your work. Maintain the performance. I’ll be evaluating you again.”

Sir Fred is a cool, young man. He’s tall, dark and never mind. But I admire his down to earth treatment to all employees. He’s taking things easy as if his position as General Manager is just a big prank.

One day, he asked about my ambition. I told him I would like to work in line of my career.

“Then I’ll transfer you to finance department.”

“Sir?” My eyes widened. “For real?”

“Yeah. I’ll make a recommendation letter.” He casually tucked in his hands on his pockets. “Let me help you fulfil your dreams.”

And that’s where it all started. I had the job I dreamed about, Assistant Finance Officer. I earned more. I felt the achievement. Yet I broke my promise to my family. I wasn’t able to visit. I became very busy. That’s when they refused to call me that frequent again.

Submitted: June 22, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Shie Moriuchi. All rights reserved.


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