“It’s a little bit too early for that. I haven’t gotten the job yet. Oh, you should come in,” I replied as I smiled back at her and motioned for her to enter.
Auntie Jane walked in carrying a bag as she patted my arm on her way in. I closed the door after her and gestured for her to take a seat on the sofa. Our apartment was small so there wasn’t much space to welcome guests which was why we hardly ever invited anyone over.
Auntie Jane was an exception because to my mother she was like an older sister in everyway and to me, she was like my second mother. She helped keep an eye on me when my mother was away working when I was younger since she only lives next door. Auntie Jane lives alone and doesn’t have children of her own, so it was quite natural that we quickly became like family to each other.
“Dinner is ready!” my mother called out from the kitchen with perfect timing.
“I’ll help!” I called back as I hurried into the kitchen to help carry out the plates.
“Is Jane here yet?” my mother asked energetically. It was clear that she was in a splendid mood.
“Yes. She just got here,” I replied smoothly as I helped my mother bring out the food.
“Monica! Your food smells so good as always. I’m here to congratulate your dear daughter in person! I’m so proud! I’m so happy!” Auntie Jane said happily as she clapped her hands together.
Once we were all seated at the dining table, the three of us chatted away while we ate dinner together. It’s moments like these that I think that despite all of life’s hardship that I am actually quite lucky. We were poor but we were happy enough. I have these two wonderful women who I consider family right here with me.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Here, I brought these shoes over so that you can wear them to your interview. You don’t have formal leather shoes, right?” Auntie Jane said as she handed me the shoe box that she had extracted from the bag she was carrying earlier.
“Oh wow…thank you so much,” I replied with a genuine smile.
She was right. I haven’t figured out what to wear to the interview and I didn’t have proper shoes for the occasion. We could have afforded something but, as always, budget this month was sort of tight.
“They’re not new or anything but they’re mine and still in pretty good condition. You should try them on. I think we’re about the same size…” Auntie Jane said.
“Thank you. I’ll try them on. They should fit well, no worries. You’re a lifesaver as always!” I said with a bright smile.
Now I just need to find some appropriate work attire. Something like a simple white shirt with black skirt and a matching suit would do.
Honestly, since the news of the interview came in, I had been so happy about it that the stress of it all hadn’t really sunk in. However, now that some time had passed, I realized that there were many things I needed to do to prepare for the interview. I had to get the right clothing, shoes, and make-up on top of preparing for the interview itself.
I took in a deep breath before stuffing more of my mother’s home-cooked food into my mouth.
I can do this!
Later that night, I lay in my bed with the lamp on as I read the content of the interview invitation letter in detail. It wasn’t that late in the night, but my mother had already fallen asleep on her bed on the other side of the room. Tomorrow was another working day for her and getting up early was the norm. I tried to stay as silent as possible to not disturb her much-needed rest.
The clutched the invitation letter tightly in my hands as I repeated to myself that this was really happening. The opportunity that I had worked so hard for is here right in front of me. If I can just get this job, then I can provide a better life for my mother. Hopefully a life where she could retire and stop working so hard.
It clearly wasn’t an easy road lined with red rose petals for me to get here up to this point. Since we were poor, I had to work extra hard at life in general. I knew we couldn’t afford the school fees and other expenses related to me going to school which meant that the only choice I had was to study my ass off so that I could secure a scholarship. I was a scholarship student all the way through school.
Being a scholarship student meant that I had to maintain my grades and also work for the school as well to support the teachers. I did all of that willingly to lessen the burden on my mother, hoping that one day my efforts would bear fruit that would lead me to a promising career.
I hardly had time for romance during school at all because, unlike my other friends, I had to work multiple parttime jobs to make ends meet. I would work parttime jobs afterschool and during the weekends. After my parttime jobs, I would study long into the night so that I could keep my grade above the scholarship requirements. I believed that if I worked hard and dedicated my effort to it, I would one day be successful in supporting my mother.
I started dating a couple of guys during my high school years but none of those relationships ever lasted long and the same thing happened in university. I had to work many parttime jobs to make ends meet and didn’t have the time to spend with my boyfriend.
In the end most of them just broke up with me or cheated on me with another girl that had more time for them. At one point, I started believing that there must be something wrong with me. I can’t seem to keep a guy and I guess my family situation didn’t really help on that front.
By the time I was in my final year of university, I had been dating and sleeping around with so many guys without any success in a real relationship that I finally gave up on the idea of finding the right guy for me entirely. Perhaps, it was because I never had the effort or the intention to focus my utmost attention on those relationships that led to its failure. However, I couldn’t help it. I needed to put my studies and my family’s financial stability first, so until I landed a fulltime job, my love life just had to take a back seat.
I didn’t realize it when I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep. When I opened my eyes again, it was already morning. Looking towards my mother’s bed, I found it empty which meant that my mother had already left for work. I stretched and yawn before slapping my cheeks with the palms of my hand.
Focus, Rina! Today’s the day that I go out to scourge the secondhand stores for the perfect suit, skirt and blouse for my job interview. Although, the invitation letter was for an interview, the first screening of the process was a written examination. I must pass it no matter what!
Regardless, proper business clothing was required because the interview was right after the written examination. I quickly showered, got dressed and headed for the nearby shopping district. It was the weekend, so the shopping streets were busy and filled with people. I quickly headed towards the secondhand clothing store that I had in mind. I knew the owner and have bought clothes from this shop before so hopefully she could help me find what I needed and give me a little discount.
“Hey, Rina! How are things? Looking for anything specific today?” the auntie who ran the store asked me in a cheerful voice. It was amazing how she could be so full of energy at her age.
“Yes, actually. I have an interview coming up so it’d be great if I could get a suit and a skirt…a white shirt…” I replied with a smile.
--To be continued…
“Wow! Congratulations! You’re all grown up now…” the auntie replied as she patted me on the back.“You should save the congratulations for when I get the job,” I said as I began looking around the store.After trying on a couple of options that the shop owner recommended, I decided on a matching set of black suit and skirt and a simple white shirt. I quickly paid and thanked the auntie before heading straight for home. The written exam was in two days so between now and then, I must study for it as much as possible....The night before the test and interview, my mother and I kneeled in front of my father’s photograph as we prayed for luck and success. My father died from illness when I was very young. To be honest, I didn’t remember him very well. Any memories that I had of him were blurry at best, but I could sense that he must have been a good and kind man.I got to know my father based on my mother’s words. She always had so many wonderful things to say about him like how he was a
“Attention please everyone. We are extremely sorry to inform you that the afternoon interview sessions have been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience and confusion that this may cause but we have decided to postpone the interview to tomorrow afternoon instead. Please check the board or your email for the time and room for your interview tomorrow. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience caused,” a formal woman voice announced through the speakers.Oh…so there won’t be interviews today. I have to come back here again tomorrow in the afternoon for my interview which meant that I am now free for the day. I sighed as I took out my phone and began checking my email based on the announcement just now.Here it is. Tomorrow 3PM Room 309. The new time, date and location for my interview.Suddenly, I had the whole afternoon free and didn’t know what to do. Just like the other candidates, I left the building for the day. I had plenty of time left before my train ride late in the a
“Oh…it’s nothing,” the man said as he flashed me a super stunning smile. I wonder if he’s ever been told that he looks like a superstar actor or something along those lines…“…I see…” I said.I didn’t mind chatting to a stranger and he didn’t seem to be a dangerous man or anything but I couldn’t help wondering if there was something he wanted from me. I felt quite uncomfortable around him and wanted to excuse myself. Maybe I should just head home or walk around the train station instead while I wait for my train ride.Before I could get up from the bench, the handsome man spoke up once again.“Do you honestly think that you can get a job in one of the top companies dressed like that?” the man asked as he eyed me from head to toe and then up again.“…what?” I asked, frankly shocked at what I just heard.“I said, do you honestly think you can get a job at Jessen & Hills dressed in a cheap looking and outdated suit and a worn-out pair of shoes that seems too small for you? Ever heard of
He changed the angle of our kiss so that he could thrust his tongue deeper inside of my mouth. I couldn’t stop myself from moaning at the intensity of his kiss. His hands held my head in place as he continued to seduce my lips. My body felt hot and there was an undeniable ache in my lower abdomen that longed to be fulfilled.“I’ll take this kiss in exchange so feel free to take the money,” he said after ending our hot kiss.“But…my kiss is not for sale!” I protested loudly.“I enjoyed the kiss, so you’ve earned the money. Good work!” He said while smiling seductively at me.“Wait!” I called after him.“I’m not taking my money back, if you don’t need it, you can burn it…” the man replied without looking back at me.The man never slowed down as his long strides took him further and further away from me. I was wrong, I realized that he was much taller than I initially gave him credit for…and a lot more good looking up close. My body could still feel his body heat where his arms hugged me
Is he…my interviewer?I blinked rapidly as I tried to clear away my shock. There, sitting in the middle in between the other two interviewer, was the stranger that I had met yesterday at the park. If he’s here, then he must be one of my interviewers. What a funny coincidence…This is great, I can return the money to him. It might not be the full amount, but I must return the bulk of it that I had not spent for sure and then for the rest, I’ll pay him back as soon as possible. When I met him, he was wearing casual clothes; however, now he was wearing a formal business suit and his hair was styled differently. Although he looked different, I recognized him almost immediately. I thought he looked very handsome in his casual clothes, but he looks just as stunning or even more so in his pristine and expensive-looking grey suit.“Have a seat,” he said as he motioned for me to sit down.His formal tone somehow disappointed me. Did he not recognize me? Was it because I was dressed in my new s
Then, I felt it. A single drop of water on my forehead. I silently wished that this is all just my own imagination playing tricks on me. However, the next wave was an all-out rain pour that left everyone, including myself, scrambling for cover.This is just great. I’ve just been told that I’ve lost my scholarship for school next year and on top of that it is now pouring like the sky is falling. I hate the rain. The feel of it on my skin, the smell of it in the air, and the sound of it. Everything about it just makes me feel sick.Just like the people around me, I found cover at the nearest subway station. It really looks like it’s going to be a long while before the rain would stop. Nothing I can do but to wait it out. As I stood there and wrestled with my own worries and negative thoughts, I felt a warm wetness on my cheek. When I reached up my hand to wipe it away, I realized that I had started crying.Shit. This is the worst. While other people proceeded deeper into the station to
It was when I had left the room that I realized that I was boiling with anger. My fists were clenched to my sides, and I was biting my lower lip to control my own rage. How dare he say those rude things?! I mean, I fully respect if someone has a different opinion but that man hasn’t even seen that commercial before. The commercial was quite old from when I was still a teenager, so it was probably six to seven years old now. I doubt anyone still remembers it…I was so wrapped up in my thoughts that my feet automatically took me to the building’s exit. When I got there, I realized that I had completely forgotten to return the man’s money. I didn’t have any cash on me but if I could just find him then I could transfer the money back to him.Then it hit me. I can’t believe that I didn’t notice this before. I still didn’t know his name. I still didn’t know anything about him at all. His name, his age, his position in the company…I didn’t know anything! I was too shocked to find him in that
“No matter how much I really want to kiss you right now, I’ll still suggest that you keep the money,” he said before his hand released my chin as he stood up straight.I was stunned into silence. Was he seriously going to kiss me again? I placed my fingertips to my still-trembling lips. Was I…waiting for him to kiss me?“Why…?” I began asking but a woman’s voice rang out disturbing out conversation.“Excuse me!”An attractive blonde woman with a sparkly wide smile called out to him. Her deep red knee-length dress hugged the beautiful curves of her body as she walked. Her red lipstick matched the color of her dress perfectly. However, she stopped in her tracks when he turned around to face her. I thought that she was about to say something, but she closed her mouth immediately when the man placed his index finger up to his lips. Clearly the message got across because the woman nodded slightly before turning around and leaving the way that she came without saying another word.“See you