“Come to my office, NOW!“, her boss’s voice appeared in the hallway the moment she entered the workspace. “Am I too late? What is going on? What did I do wrong?“, Anika tried desperately to figure what her boss could be mad about. “Was it the unsatisfied customer from last Friday? Had he really called her boss because of that? She had promised to update the drafts first thing in the morning!” A mixture of panic and worries entered her thoughts. “Would this already be it? Her dream job bursting into flames?” She reached his office in a hurry. “Anika, please, have a seat, we have to talk!“, his voice felt even more angrily now that she could see the expression on his face. “I know! I am sorry!“, she was about to keep on going, when she discovered a little hint in his angry face. “I am listening!“, her boss continued, but he wouldn’t be able to keep up the charade for long. “Oh my God, you really got me!“, she joined in the laugh of her boss. “I am sorry, but I couldn’t resist!“
“Is he trying to flirt with me? Is this all a part of a game? His game? Or our game?“, Anika liked the idea about him flirting with her. “But putting all jokes aside, we really have to talk, Anika!“, he added quickly. “We have a new project! And God does it fit perfect to you!” “Another project?“, Anika’s mind went nuts. “Who the hell does he think that he is? How are we supposed to do all of the projects?” “Before you say anything! Shara will take over all of your current projects. I need you to focus on this, 24/7!“
A new project. She din’t even know what to think about that. She liked her current projects. They were fantastic! “What could be so important that Shara would take over all of her projects?” Eagerly she went back to her computer. “God damn it, why does it take so long to start?” ,Anika stared at the computer screen as if that would make it any faster. “Why couldn’t he just show me the project in his office?“, Anika tapped her fingers nervously onto the wooden desk. “Have I missed something?“, one of her colleagues commented from the back. “Anika got a new project!“, another one answered. “Can you all just shut up!?“, Anika replied with a laugh, not daring to look away from the screen.
“Finally!“, Anika’s heart beat started racing. “Why does this make me so nervous?“, she asked herself in bewilderment, thinking back at the time at university when they were all eagerly waiting for the results to show up online. He had send her an e-mail with the information. Somewhere in the chaos of her inbox it must be. A woman called Susan Lay. “Where are you, Susan? Where are you!“, she was scrolling up and down the inbox, flying over one subject line after the other. “Ah, there you are!” A double click would finally relieve her from the pain. As the message got opened in a new window, Anika slit to the front of her desk chair and began to read.
“It’s here in town!“, she had discovered the address happily. She never enjoyed having projects which were located far away. It wasn’t the traveling that struck her, but the exhausting Autobahn drives. She continued reading. The customer asked for an entire redecoration. “Finally!“, Anika started to understand why her boss wanted her for the job. “The price doesn’t seem to matter!“, she continued to scroll through the document. “Is this a joke?“, for the first time Anika dared to put her eyes off the screen, waiting for anyone to jump out from their hiding places and laugh about her thinking this was a real project, but nothing happened. Anika continued to focus on the document. “Even the floor plan is attached. Wow! This sounds too good to be true!“, Anika couldn’t believe it. As the apartment extended itself on the floor plan on her screen, her feelings suddenly changed. An elevator entrance, two floors, a wide open living room. This place looked familiar. After she had seen the pictures underneath, it was clear. It was Eduards place! “Eduard!“, her inner voice said softly.
They texted a lot after what had happened last Christmas and even talked on the phone quite regular. But somehow they must have lost themselves in their meaningless conversations. As Eduard started to fly regularly into a different time zone the conversations suddenly stopped. And the texting, well, their interest dried out slowly but steadily. She didn’t want to loose him, but had other issues to focus on. For example Michael and he wasn’t ok with her texting with him after all. “What has happened to Eduard?“, Anika woke up from her day dream. “What was going on? Had he sold the penthouse suite? Was his company bankrupt?” In panic she googled the companies name, looking for any clues that could confirm her theory. “Nothing!” She opened the companies website. “Again, nothing! But who would write such sensitive information on his website? Nobody, of course!“, she just hoped that Eduard was fine. Then, another thought entered her mind. “Was this Eduard after all? Had he figured out where she was working and now made this fake offer under a wrong name to win her over? Was this all apart of his plan to reach out to her again?“, Anika couldn’t prevent a smile from occurring on her face. “Is this Eduard’s way of being romantic?“, Anika fought back and forth about which story she should believe in. “But why would he use a fake name. No! This couldn’t be Eduard! He wouldn’t do something like that! Besides … “, a cold shiver went down her spine. “Besides this woman was Eduard’s new girlfriend!” It made click. “This would be it! A Christmas surprise! Had he not only lay down to her feet, but also promised to change the whole apartment for her.” God, Anika wished she would be her, this Susan Lay. “How she might look like?“, she asked herself, imagining a blonde Victoria Secret angel. She must be pretty, smart and successful! Everything Anika wasn’t. She was just an average girl! A girl from the country side.
Anika continued reading. “Mandatory changes.” A roof top pool, a sauna, and a large wardrobe appeared in her imagination. “All the gadgets a 21st century instagram model would need.“, she told herself and read through the list. “A stair lift, a ramp for the steps in the living room and wider doors?“, Anika wasn’t expecting that. The theory of the blonde angel bursted in her head. “Who was Eduard going to live with? His grandmother?“. Anika couldn’t prevent to start laughing again. “Who are you?“, Anika wondered eagerly, opening the browser and typing in the name. “Susan Lay. 1.540.000 hits in 1,24 seconds. A well deserved retirement, an exclusive interview with the former head of Lay & Partner.” Susan Lay was indeed a blonde successful woman. But at least forty years too old for Eduard. Anika’s mind went crazy again. So he had sold the apartment? Was she right? The company shut down, the Porsche’s gone? As she was driving home late that night with only one thing in mind, Eduard.
THE END OF PART III
See you next time!