What am I doing here again?
“Do you want some? It’s tasty, if I may say so.”
What am I doing, sitting in front of my CEO, with a plate of cookies and a glass of hot chocolate in between us?
Where did I go wrong?
Ah… I know. It’s all because of my pen obsession. Because of that one small mistake, I’m stuck in here, together my handsomely cold CEO.
“So? Where’s your mother?” he asked once again.
He was done urging me to eat cookies, so now he was getting straight to the point.
‘Aren’t you busy? Aren’t you supposed to leave right away?’ I wanted to ask.
But, of course, I couldn’t. However, instead of answering him, I just lowered my head and acted shy, when in fact, I’m already thinking of a way to escape.
We are here inside his office. To get outside, I have to pass through two closed doors. Just exiting his office door is already hard enough, and yet, I still have another door to cross to completely leave the room.
I’m doomed… really doomed.
“Can you understand? Oh… maybe she’s deliberately obtuse?” he was more like speaking to himself but I still found it offensive.
Did he just call me, his secretary for a year, an obtuse person? I just refuse to speak, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand what he says nor am I ignorant. I really wanted to tell him that, but a five-year-old child wouldn’t speak like that. So, instead of voicing my thoughts out, I just fiddled with my fingers before parting my lips to speak.
“I’m… lost.” Was the first thing I could think of.
I can’t decide whether to introduce myself as Tiffany’s child or not, so for now, I’ll just try to bend the topic towards a different direction.
I then saw how the CEO’s brows shot up. He then picked up his cup of coffee, taking a sip, before speaking once again.
“Really? How?” he sounded unconvinced.
My heart was thumping so hard that it’s even making my forehead sweat.
“I… I was…” ha… I can’t think of a reason.
How stupid can I be? Lying is really not my forte…
“Never mind that. I’ll ask again…” this time, I really lowered my head to the point of almost curling on my seat. I refuse to look him in the eye. “Are you Tiffany’s daughter?”
That’s the question.
What should I say? Should I just claim it? Or no?
If I claim it, then I can explain how I ended up in this office, but how can I explain where Tiffany is now? What if he asks me to stay here and wait for Tiffany to come back and get me? What should I so?
But, if I deny it, then how could I explain being lost and reaching this place? In the first place, how could a little child like me even enter the building?
Ah… time is running. I don’t know what to say.
That is, until the CEO moved.
“I’m waiting.” He said.
But my eyes weren’t on him.
Instead, my eyes were darted to the thing he just placed in the table. At first, I couldn’t believe myself. But the longer I look, the more I recognize that thing.
“T-that is my…” fountain pen.
“Hmn? Your what?”
I almost said my fountain pen. This is bad… he’d find out for sure if I keep this up.
So, to avoid being caught, I lifted my head and smile at him.
“That is my… mother’s pen.” Finally, I decided to be my self’s child.
This way, I can take the fountain pen with me on the pretense of giving it back to my mother. I’ll just think of a way to shrug this boss of mine off.
“Really?” he once again said, sounding very much unconvinced.
This time, I nodded my head with strong resolve. This is the only chance I have to get my pen back. And it’s not like he can find out that I’m Tiffany, right? I mean, I look completely different. The age and build, I mean-- not the face.
“Do you want it back?”
“Yes!” I couldn’t help but answer right away.
It was kind of like a reflex, but I still regretted it.
“Then, before giving this back can you get me the paper on my table? I saw it earlier but failed to read it.” He said.
I’m sure the paper he’s talking about is the resignation paper I left earlier.
But instead of standing up and following his order, I remained seated in my spot, looking up at him with an innocent pretense.
“My mother left it for you. She said it’s a resignation letter.” If I’m planning to be my self’s daughter, then I should put my heart into acting.
If not, all will be end up in vain.
A simple mistake could lead me to more doom.
“She left it herself?”
Hmn, this CEO of mine is really sharp. He looks like he’s just asking but I can tell he’s interrogating me. How brave of him to do this to a five-year-old child.
“No. I left it, that’s why I’m here.” I answered, sounding confident.
“Then, she’s here?” he asked back almost immediately.
“She left already. My dad’s coming to pick me up. My mom left me here and told me to wait, but even if I do want to leave, I couldn’t because I don’t know the way back down. That’s why I said I’m lost.”
Ha… what a perfect alibi, Tiffany! I’m so proud of you!
Now, let’s see how you’ll react, Mr. CEO…
“Is that so? Then, do you want me to lead you down?” he casually asked.
At this point, I already consider this my victory.
He might sound unconvinced, but what can he do? In his eyes, I’m just a five-year-old child. Surely, he wouldn’t pressure a young kid like me, right?
“If you can, then yes please… I’ll wait for my Dad down below.” So I can leave whenever you leave.
Mwehehe… I’m so bright.
But first of all, let me take my fountain pen back.
“Mister, can I take the pen back?” ah, my voice is so cute… I, myself, couldn’t resist the cuteness.
Just like that, the CEO pushed the pen towards me.
I knew my eyes were twinkling the moment they landed on the pen, but I couldn’t care more. All I want is to finally touch that pen and keep it safe back home… And just like a habit, I reached for the pen with my left hand, rubbing the tip with my forefinger, before finally hiding it in my pocket.
That was such a small gesture.
That’s why, I didn’t expect that small gesture to be the end of me.
“You…” I heard his voice once again.
This time, I already had no problems in lifting my head to meet his eyes. But his next words made me freeze, realizing just how careless I become.
“You’re Tiffany, aren’t you?” he sounded so sure.
He sounded so sure and he looked so serious.
What should I do?
Do I deny?
But if I do… I have a bad feeling about it.
“I want nothing but the truth. So… are you?” his voice sounded so cold.
He’s scary… scary to the point of making me hug my tail.
“Uhmm…”Think. Tiffany, you have to think! Use that healthy brain of yours! Remember, you’re the secretary of the cold and black-bellied CEO of the Arsiel Group of Companies, Von Zacharias Arsiel!You are a competent person! A bright, brilliant, and reliable secretary!Why be blank right now?!“Uhm…”But I really can’t think of any right words to say… what to do, what to do?“Like I said, I want nothing but the truth. It’s just a simple yes or no, so why do you have to think that hard?” my CEO is scary.I watched as his lips formed a small sly grin, accompanied with his crescent shaped eyes, seemingly looking down on me.I could hear the ticking of the clock. No one spoke between us.Until finally, I couldn’t take it any longer.I released a heavy sigh before parting my lips to speak.“…Yes.” I answered.