As Esther prepared for work on Thursday morning, the words of the C.E.O played over and over in her head: “I will give you all a chance to work here but on one condition: you, pointing at Esther, will work hand in hand with me as my PA”. Esther had been too stunned to utter a word.

She could remember exchanging a quick glance with her friends before hurriedly accepting the offer, giving her new boss no chance to change his mind. She wasn’t sure what tactic the C.E.O was trying to employ but she could bet her kidneys that he was up to something.

Clara and Evelyn had moved in with her the moment they got back from the firm to save cost. They were fast climbing up the friendship ladder. Anyone who saw them wouldn’t believe they had met just three days back.

The Firm seemed too quiet all of a sudden. “Is there something happening today or am I simply uneasy about the whole job stuff” Esther mumured as they made their way into the reception. Clara and Evelyn headed for their different offices while Esther went upstairs to meet the C.E.O.

Her suspicion was confirmed when she walked into her boss in a private meeting with another young man who could pass for either an important client or business partner. Meeting with her boss was awkward enough. Having to face him yet, maintain her composure in the presence of an obviously important personality was too much for her.

She made to leave but as expected, was immediately called back. “And where do you think you are going?” came the unmistakable voice of her boss.

“Sir, I… I didn’t want to interrupt your meeting so I decided to wait at the reception” her face was flushed.

“Isn’t this why you are here, to help me out with work, take part in all my meetings and make my work easier? By the way, why are you just coming?”

“Sir, I….I thought work ought to start by 8am” she was trying so hard to curtail the endless emotions welling up inside her. She had known it would be a tough job but she didn’t think he would go to the extent of humiliating her infront of a client.

man in black suit jacket holding silver macbook

She stood transfixed, ready to take anymore tantrum he throws at her. What more could he possibly do to her that he hadn’t done already? She was lost in her world that she didn’t hear the CEO call her name. He had called repeated for God knows how long and had started to scream.

“Did you hear a thing I just said?” was all Esther heard when she jerked back to the present.

“Yes sir. I mean, no sir”.

For the sake of this gentleman here, I’m going to repeat myself one last time. “Just Incase you had forgotten, the future of you and your friends in this firm depend solely on how well you dispend your duties. You are still under probation and you might want to step up on your games. If I find you wanting in any way, you will be out of here faster than you came.”

“Oh, one last thing: I should never get to this office before you” he commanded.

“Yes sir” was all Esther could say before taking a sit right beside him.

As Esther walked into her sitting room that evening, she felt like crying. Only two things kept her from quiting this job: her poor mother alone in Korea and her long nursed passion to work in David Scott’s publishing firm. She felt so dejected.

Clara and Evelyn seemed to have had a different experience all together. They were back early, had everything set for the dinner they had scheduled after they got their jobs the previous night and were waiting on her in the sitting room. It was meant to be the dinner where they celebrate the partial actualization of their dreams. The smile on their faces as they welcomed her was enough to confirm her suspicion.

Her boss was right after all: their future in the firm depended on her. It was at this moment that the meaning of that statement hit her: he was going to torment her, her and her alone. Push her to the breaking point to speed up their exit from the firm. She wasn’t so sure she was ready for this dinner anymore. She was tired and drained, having spent her entire day working from pillar to post.

Clara and Evelyn soon got the memo and decided to help their friend. They made sure the night ended with them going to bed happily. Esther was ready to face the CEO. She was Esther Robins after all and giving up wasn’t in her dictionary.