1 Lost at Sea

SIMONNE AINSLEY

Today is my first day at work. No words can explain the nervousness and exuberance that I currently feel. Working for the CEO of a renowned company is a great privilege for me and my family. So despite the rumors circulating around the CEO, I took the risk and applied for a job at Hisashi Corporation as the CEO's secretary.

Most people whom I encountered that met the boss expressed one emotion, and that is fear. According to them, he is ruthless, ice-cold, and extremely stubborn. If he wants to clear his schedule, no matter how important his meetings are, he would force his secretary to do so.

But rumors are just rumors. I can't judge someone without meeting them beforehand so I'll keep my mind open and mouth shut until then. Nevertheless, my nervousness still wouldn't subside.

'Get a grip, Simonne! This is the final interview, 'kay? You'll get through this.'

With burning passion, I balled my hand into a fist, marched inside the company, and trudged towards the information desk. It's now or never.

I tapped on the mahogany desk, calling the lady's attention. "Excuse me. I am Simonne Ainsley and I have an interview scheduled for today," I said with the sweetest smile that I could muster.

The lady, who looks like she's in her mid-20s, tore her gaze away from the monitor. "For the secretary position, right?" She said in a soft, soothing voice. It somehow calmed my nerves down.

'What an angel,' I thought to myself.

"Yes, that's correct," I answered.

"Alright. I'll ring his office. Please wait for a moment."

His office? Maybe the CEO, Mr. Hisashi. I nodded and went to sit on a vacant chair in the lobby while waiting. For sure, she'll call me if the interviewer's ready. Waiting is nothing to worry about.

I was about to fish out my phone from my handbag to read some novels to pass time when the lady from the information desk called me. I rushed back to the desk, wasting no time.

"Mr. Hisashi will be handling your interview personally inside his office. He hates tardiness so you should probably hurry up now."

My eyes grew as big as saucers after hearing what she said. The CEO himself?! As in, Adiel Hisashi? I could feel my intestines doing a summersault inside me. If being agitated could kill someone in a split second, I could've dropped to the floor lifeless. I feel like I drank a whole gallon of coffee in one sitting.

Well, I don't have a choice, don't I? "Thank you," I somewhat whispered those words unknowingly. I doubt she even heard it.

Multiple curses filled my head as I rushed to the elevator, and pressed the button for the highest floor.

'I'm so screwed. I'm so screwed,' I whispered those words to myself like a mantra while biting my fingernails. It's a bad habit of mine whenever I feel agitated.

The interview isn't scary at all if I think about it, but the CEO himself is my interviewer. How unnerving is that? I mean, I think it's necessary since I'll be working for him but I didn't practice enough! I was so complacent with my own abilities and read novels instead of practicing what I need to say.

"Argh!" I slapped my cheeks but not too harsh to avoid leaving my handprint. I can't have the boss thinking that his new secretary is mentally ill.

"A-are you okay, ma'am?" A voice interrupted my thoughts. It was the elevator operator and looked like he is terrified by my actions.

I cleared my throat and mustered a small smile. "I'm fine, sir. I apologize for my unsightly behavior."

'Right, Simonne. Compose yourself. You can do this.'

"Oh, it's fine," he giggled. "You're on your floor ma'am."

"Thanks." I tapped his shoulder lightly and stepped out of the elevator.

It did kind of calmed my nerves down. I have to thank that boy later.

Now, where is his office?

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I stopped abruptly as soon as I remembered something crucial, something I should've remembered before I sprinted off to the elevator.

"I don't know where his office is!" Frustrated, I shouted to myself and scratched my neck aggressively. Everyone on the floor turned their gazes at me, piercing my soul with their glares. I quickly apologized and went back to the elevator.

Right, I can't give up just yet! The elevator operator must know where his office is located.

The elevator door opened as soon as I arrived. Only the boy and another employee, a man wearing a suit and carrying a suitcase, are inside. "Oh, you're back ma'am?" He asked, tilting his head.

"Where's Mr. Hisashi's office?" I asked, almost sounding desperate. Well, I am desperate.

"It's on the ground floor near the main entrance."

"You mean it's not on the last floor?"

He looked at me, confusion written all over his face. "Yes ma'am. The president hates heights."

What?! Isn't the CEO's boss usually on the top floor? And this guy just said it like it's the most natural thing and I'm a dumbass for not knowing it.

I let out an exasperated sigh as I stepped inside the elevator. "Ground floor please."

I don't even have the liberty to be frustrated anymore. Ten minutes had passed since the lady told me to go to his office. I'm already so late.

Honestly, if I don't get this job, I'll just look for other job openings in another company and work part-time in a convenience store while I search for a suitable job. That sounds like a plan. For sure, the CEO won't accept me anymore.

'I shouldn't get my hopes up,' I thought to myself as I sighed once again, looking up at the ceiling.

"Ground floor, ma'am."

I gave the boy a small smile as a sign of gratitude and walked out of the elevator. I don't care anymore. Rushing there will not make any difference. I'm already super late and the lady said he hates tardiness.

The elevator operator's words were true. A room with stained glass walls and a gray door with a nameplate that read 'Office of the CEO' is situated a few steps away from the main entrance. It is written in big, bold letters that it's so hard to miss. Yet, how come I didn't see this a while ago? I really need to wear glasses next time and be warier of my surroundings.

I scurried to the office, taking a deep breath as I reached for the doorknob but stopped abruptly.

'Knock you, idiot!' I mentally cursed myself. I shouldn't do anything more to piss him off or else getting hired by him will be out of the question. Whatever slim chance that I have, I need to use it to my advantage.

I knocked on the door three times before, and then a man's voice spoke from the inside. "Come in." The voice sounded monotonous, almost chilling and quite nerve-wracking. But I became accustomed to the nervousness that I felt that I didn't flinch and my knees didn't shake.

I muttered a short prayer before slowly turning the doorknob. This is it.

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