Missed Part VI? Read it here.
After the two-week training, we started work at Quick Media Ltd. Most of my workmates spent the day playing lapdog to Terrance, the Gulu Branch Manager, in the hope that he would consider them for the vacant positions of Editor and Deputy Branch Manager.
The competition got stiffer when Terrence said the bosses in Kampala promised to give us priority for those positions as long as we proved our worth. For the moment, we were all news reporters. Terrence enjoyed the attention from the team until he realised stories were hardly being filed - except by me.
Terrence noticed my commitment and he was impressed. We became close. The fence that separates boss and subordinate started falling. I was in love. He noticed it and seemed to enjoy it, privately. Terrence would go for lunch at a distant restaurant and text me to follow him for lunch. I enjoyed his lunches, but also wondered why he wasn’t being open about the situation. When I asked him why he was secretive, he kept quiet, but I noticed he was nervous.
Two days later, when we had gone for our lunch and secured a table in the most hidden corner of the restaurant, Terrence said he was afraid of my colleagues at work. “They will make our lives a living hell out of envy,” he said. He emphasised that we should continue secretly. We did.
Within a month, jealousy had taken the better part of me. I couldn’t stand seeing Terrence talk to any workmate. I practically followed him like a dog and my performance was beginning to deteriorate. I didn’t care. All I cared for was Terrence. It never mattered to me that he was not emotionally expressive towards the “relationship” or even me.
It became apparent to my workmates that I was in love with Terrence. Every time he was with a female workmate, whether on a business matter or otherwise, I showed up to spy or eavesdrop. Terrence became increasingly irritated, but said nothing. I cared less about his irritation. I made sure I did everything to mark my territory whenever Terrence was with any lady. He left his belongings anywhere within the office except his mobile phone. I would pick them up for him – his jacket, tea cup and more, thinking he would notice my care and appreciate. He didn’t.
On this particular day, Rita showed up in office for her monthly working visits. Sylvia, my workmate, was suddenly all over Terrence and I became uncomfortable. No lady had dared challenge my position. When it was time for a meeting, Sylvia secured a seat for Terrence next to hers. I was going crazy. I decided to go pick Terrence from his office but he was in a meeting with Rita. I got angry seeing them together. I couldn’t trust Rita with my Terrence.
I stood in the hall and waited in vain. Their meeting was taking forever. I walked back into our meeting room and ordered Sylvia out of the seat she occupied. She confidently questioned my order.
“I’m the one supposed to sit near Terrance, not you,” I barked.
The room exploded with laughter and Sylvia laughed loudest. I didn’t care. All I needed was to sit next to Terrence. When Terrence and Rita finally walked in, I ran and hugged him, taking his bag and ignoring the puzzled look on the faces of everyone in the room. Terrence was nervous and visibly angry. Never mind that since we started lunching, he had made no mention of love or sex.
When he sat, I again ordered Sylvia to leave her seat for me. At that point, she pushed me and a fight almost erupted. Rita demanded an explanation and the whole team rose up against me. Each of them was more than willing to explain the story to Rita.
Rita charged at me like an angry dog, turned to Terrence - who was sweating and on his knees – demanding an apology and explanation at the same time.
“I’m paying for your masters, got you a job, a free house and you still can’t resist this useless girl?” Rita charged.
I wondered whether Terrence was Rita’s young brother or relative. I didn’t want to imagine they were anything more than that. Rita stormed out of the meeting and Terrence ran frantically after her.
I soon learned that though much younger, Terrence was Rita’s fiancé and Sylvia had set me up to expose me. The well-hatched plan worked.