She's Deranged

A story about love, loyalty and betrayal

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2. She's Deranged Chapter 1

Chapter 1

            My name is Jae. And this is about the story of my life…

 

            I am making my way to my work. It is half past seven now and I should hurry. I cannot be late today or I’ll be reprimanded.

            I was already late yesterday because of the heavy traffic. It is a good thing that my boss let me off with it.

            That is why, right now, I am doubling my steps. I need to make up for my tardiness yesterday and show my boss that it is going to happen only once.

            I walked faster and faster and faster. I am eager to arrive at least fifteen minutes before my scheduled time.

            Suddenly, I heard the sound of thunder. I am afraid of thunder so I involuntarily screamed and bended into a curl.

            It is only when people around me started to give me weird looks that I realized what I did. So, I tried to compose myself.

            I stood up again and gathered some fresh air. The smell of the air before it starts to rain is somehow intoxicating.

            I was hit by the reality that it is going to rain. I walked faster, I am half running already. It’ll be bad to be caught up in the rain.

            And within a few seconds, the rain started pouring. Oh darn! I told myself. I have to get an umbrella so I can proceed to work.

            I opened my bag to check if I brought the umbrella, but worse comes to worse and I don’t have an umbrella in my bag.

            I can’t afford to be late again. At that moment, I made a decision; it’s better to get wet a little because of the rain than be late at work.

            I convinced myself that it’s not going to be that bad to get wet a little. Besides, I used to soak in the rain when I was a little and I never got sick.

            I reach my hand out first to estimate how hard the rain is, and when I felt that it’s not that hard, I put my bag up my head and run as fast as I could.

            Good thing I am still wearing slippers instead of my stilettos. I told myself that I might have to run to get early this morning that is why I wore slippers. My shoes are on my bag.

            I continued running until I reached the building of my office. I am working as an ‘assistant’ at the Universal Records.

            It is a recording company but my work does not have anything to do with music. I am just a plane errand girl that they ask around.

            I am actually a graduate of MAEd in Music Education. I took up that course because I want to be a music teacher.

            But the bad reality is, I won’t be able to live if I become a teacher. A teacher’s salary is too low and that will be very difficult since I am only renting a house.

I tried to consider teaching in Music schools but I cannot pass the exam to be a teacher there. I am still not that good.

            My current job still pays way higher that the salary of a teacher, but the consequence for having a better salary is the fact that I am not doing what I want.

            Maybe if I could save money then I can just teach music someday. But right now, this job is what I need.

            I arrived at work at about seven thirty nine in the morning. I am still early for work but it’s fine, it’s better than being late.

            I went inside the building and show the guard my I.D. It’s a formality even though the guard already knows me.

            The guard even greeted me and so I greeted him too. I went to the receptionist right away to get logged as present at the time I arrived.

            And again, as a formality, I showed my I.D to Jane. Jane is the receptionist at the lobby and she’s a dear friend of mine.

            “Good Morning!” I said as I hand her over my I.D. She gave me a smile. “Wow, you are early today. Making up for yesterday?” she asked.

            I gave her a smile and a nod as a response and she gave me a smile too. “That is right, Jae. You have to be early for work so your boss won’t fire you,” she joked and gave me a wink.

I removed my slippers and wore my stilettos at the lobby and then I also wiped myself out. Good thing I am not dripping, just a bit drenched.

            Jane hand me my I.D back so I said, “see you later” to her. I started making my way to the elevator.

            I always ride the elevator whenever I am going to the office. I am working at the sixth floor of the building and it’ll be a hassle using the stairs.

            I glanced at the small monitor like screen showing the movement of the elevator and it’s still at the eighth floor. There’s an indicator that the elevator is going down.

            I checked my wristwatch again to know the time and it’s exactly seven forty five. It’s still quite early but I want to get to my work as early as possible.

            So, I took another glance at the elevator screen and it’s showing that it’s already on the sixth floor.

            It looks like I have to wait another couple of minutes before I can get to the elevator. Suddenly, my phone rang.

            It’s inside my bag so I swiftly opened my bag to get my phone. When I looked at the screen, an unrecognized number is calling me.

            I tried to check if the number is familiar but I don’t think I know the number. It is a foreign number that is calling me.

            I am not expecting any call from anyone outside the country. In fact, I am not expecting a call from anyone since it’s obviously almost working hours.

            I hesitated to answer the call but then, would it hurt to answer it? It’s not as if I am going to be billed a million if I answered.

            So I decided to answer the phone. “Hello, Jae Lane here.” I quickly introduced myself thinking that the person who’s calling dialed a wrong number.

“Who’s this?” I asked. I can’t hear any response at all. So I checked if there’s anyone on the line. “Hello!”

Now I heard a sound as if someone is clearing his throat. “Sorry for that.  But hi Jae! How have you been?” the voice on the other line said.

Oh! So it was not a wrong dialed number. The call is really for me. But who might it be. I asked myself. There’s no other way knowing than asking the person on the other line.

“I’m good!” I checked the elevator screen and it’s on the third floor. I can still chat for a while. “But, who is this that I’m talking to?” I asked.

The person on the other line laughed. Now I am sure that I am talking to a guy. “It’s me, Jay,” he said.

I didn’t immediately get what he said. I thought he was saying ‘It’s me Jae’. “I’m sorry. Can you tell me your name, please?” I asked.

I heard a crooked laugh before the guy spoke again. “It’s me, Jay. Justin Jay Evans! Your high school best friend,” he said.

It was Jay! I was so surprised that I am actually speaking to my best friend. We haven’t been in touch for about eight years now.

“No way! Is it really you Jay? I can’t believe it, how did you get my number?” I continuously said without a pause.

“I’ve got connections so I can find you wherever you go,” he said. Suddenly, the elevator opened and it’s time for me to go.

“Oh, Jay, it was really nice talking to you now. But I’m at work. I’m thinking maybe I can send you a message at this number and you can call me later.” I said as I enter the elevator.

I pressed the open button inside the elevator so I can continue the conversation with Jay. Once the elevator closes, the signal will be gone so we won’t be able to talk.

“Oh. Sorry, I didn’t know you’re at work right now. But that’s great. I’ll be waiting for your message and I’ll call you no matter what,” he said.

I continued pressing the open button until I notice someone else entered the elevator. “I really have to go. I’ll catch up with you next time, bye.” I said. I heard him say goodbye too so I released my finger on the open button.

How nice it is to receive a call from someone you know before. He was my best friend since elementary to high school.

We actually got close when we were kids because our parents knew each other. Our moms are close so we got close as well.

When I was five, we moved to their neighborhood. Since both our fathers are working and our moms are housewives, they got a long pretty fine.

It was actually called fate by our parents. They believe that Jay and I are meant for each other and would someday marry each other.

Yeah, we we’re called soulmates because somehow, our names are the same. His name is Justin Jay Evans and my full name is Jae Justine Lane.

For us it was a coincidence but we don’t really give a damn about it. It’s just names for goodness sake.

So, our parents both decided to bring us to the same school. And since we were kids, we don’t know how to socialize that time so we stick together.

That’s until we grew up. We stayed close until junior high, but the problem is, his father got promoted at work and he was sent somewhere out of the country.

And that is the last time I saw him. It was eight years ago. I wonder how he looks like now. Oh, we both love music by the way.

When we were kids he is a petite guy. We have the same height and almost the same body shape. Yeah, almost the same because I was a “flatty” when I was a kid.

We we’re called ‘twins’ at school which is different from ‘soulmates’ that our parents named us. Our classmates are calling us twins since we stick to each other like glue.

We usually share the same thoughts. We would share our foods. We like the same things, and we acted like each other.

They would even say we look alike even though it’s not true. Even though Jay is a petite guy, he is a cute guy.

Our upperclassmen, ‘mostly girls’ like him a lot. Sometimes I feel weird when they would walk with us. They adore him a lot.

Well, as for me. I am so normal. The only thing that is cute on me is the dimples on both sides of my cheeks.

I bet he looks better now. I am so curious and I want to see him. I didn’t realize it was him who’s calling earlier because his voice changed. It’s a bit manly now, unlike before, he sounds like a timid girl.

But anyway, I have reached the sixth floor of the building so I walked out the elevator and entered our office.

Some people are already starting to work at that early hour so I needed to start working too. I walked towards the table that they assigned for me and sat for a while.

            I took the keys of the lockers from my bag and opened them. And there, I put my bag inside the drawer and stood up.

            I look at the busy people who are doing paper works and stuffs. The people I am working with are all nice.

            There was Mr. Dunn, an old man who’s at his late thirties; he always plants a smile on his face.

            There’s Ms. Rodriguez who’s always problematic. But she never blamed anyone for her problems; she tried her best to manage it herself.

            There’s Mr. Cunningham who’s always sharing his food or whatever he has. I think he’s the most selfless person.

            There are other people who have nice personalities too. I’m really glad to be working at this kind of atmosphere.

            The only problem is Mr. Andrews, he’s our supervisor. Sometimes he doesn’t really talk, sometimes he seems angry.

            I am not sure if Mr. Andrews is the same to the others, or if he’s just like that to me. I remember what happened yesterday.

            I woke up early but there was a heavy traffic. After a long period of waiting, I decided to leave the cab and just walk towards the office.

            I arrived exactly eight am but I got logged at eight o’ one. It took me another five minutes to get into the office so I was already late.

            The first thing I saw when I entered the office is Mr. Andrew’s furrowed eyebrow. He’s even looking at me like I am a cockroach.

            “What time are you supposed to be here Ms. Lane?” he asked. I cannot take the look on his face so I put my head down.

            “I’m sorry, I got stuck on a…” I was not able to finish what I was about to say since he already interrupted me.

            “I am not asking for any reason. What I am asking is, what time are you supposed to be here?” he said in as-a-matter-of-factly tone.

            I got scared with him. No, I am scared with him even from the beginning. “Eight am.” I answered in a very low tone.

            “I can’t hear you! Speak on a way that I can hear you.” he screamed. His voice made me take one step back. He’s so terrorizing.

            “Eight am!” I said with a higher tone of voice this time. But I can’t hide the fact that I’m scared since my voice is trembling.

            I saw him point his finger on me. “The next time you get late, you’re fired!” he screamed as he turned his back on me.

            My eyes are now wet, I’m about to cry but I have to stop it. It might lead to a worse case if I cried. Suddenly my boss went back to me.

            “And next time, you look at me when I’m speaking. Understand?” he said. It is more of a command.

            I nodded and after that, he went away. I was trembling and I am unable to walk. It’s a good thing Ms. Rodriguez rushed to me and calmed me down.

            Oh! Good thing I remember. I should prepare the coffee before he arrives. That’s the only way to change his impression of me.

            I went away from my table and went to the people working. “I’ll making a coffee for Mr. Andrews. Anyone else wants coffee?” I asked.

            They all looked at me. From their busy look, they all became somehow relaxed. “I want one, if you don’t mind, my dear.” I heard Mr. Dunn say.

            “I want one too. Coffee with cream and sugar.” Ms. Rodriguez said. I gave her a nod. The other people asked me to bring them coffee too.

            So, I went to the cafeteria to get some coffee and after I made sure I had enough, I went back to the office.

            When I get back, I noticed that they are on their business faces again. I guess it’s really like this when there’s a lot of work.

            I gave them their coffee and their mood lightened after that. It’s great that a cup of coffee can change the atmosphere.

            I look at them and they all have a smile registered on their faces now. When it’s like this, I really want to work harder.

            I went inside Mr. Andrews’ office and put the cup of coffee there. But when I turned around to get back, he’s already at the door.

            “Good Morning!” I said and bowed my head. Seeing him there really surprised me, he could’ve arrived after I went out.

            He walked towards me. “And what are you doing here Ms. Lane?” he asked in a very sarcastic way.

            “Oh! I made a cup of coffee for you and I left it here because I know you are about to arrive.” I said with my head still bowed down.

            “What did I tell you last time?” he asked. I tried to dig my memories.  What did he say last time?

.           “Uhm…The next time I get late, I’m fired?” I said not sure if it’s what he meant. My head is still bowed down.

            He already went to his seat and removed his coat. I saw it in the corner of my eyes. I turn to look at him since he’s now behind me then i bowed down again.

.           I heard him chuckle. “You are one funny woman, you know, Ms. Lane,” he said. I am quite confused with what he said.

            I don’t know what to say so I remained standing in there, right in front of him, with my head all bowed down.

            “Last time, I said that you should look at me when you talk to me,” he said in between his laughs.

            I immediately stood straight.  Oh darn! Why didn’t I remember that he told me that? I said to myself.

            I tried to look at him. “I’m sorry for being rude Mr. Andrews.” I said even though I don’t really think it was rude.

            I saw him put his fingers in his cheek and look at me as if analyzing me. “Nah! It’s fine. I’ve been rude to you yesterday so excuse me for that,” he said.

            Mr. Andrews reached for the cup of coffee and sipped it. I can’t believe that this handsome and polite man in front of me, is actually the frightening monster that screamed at me yesterday.

            Mr. Andrews is actually just a temporary supervisor of our department. His father is our real boss but he’s sick.

            Mr. Andrews is covering for him right now and this is just his third day. His first day, well, it was more of introductions and such.

            And then yesterday, the first time I got late, is his second day. He doesn’t really know me yet so I can’t blame him if he’s thinking that I am a slacker.

            And today, he seems pretty nice so I have to make the most out of it and show off the best of me.

            “No. You have every right to get angry at me because I should’ve been here before eight. That is truly understandable,” I said.

            He smiled at me and I saw his straight white teeth. He also has a dimple on the left side of his cheek.

            I gave him a smile as well. I don’t think he’s what I first thought he is. I think I could get along with him.

            “You know. I think we started on the wrong foot yesterday,” he said as he sipped his coffee. “And I think we are just in the same age so you can call me Rayleigh.

            That was a bit surprising. Yesterday he looks at me like a cockroach, now it’s like he’s befriending me.

            I nodded. “Sure Mr. An… I mean, Rayleigh. And you can call me Jae. J – A – E.” I spelled it out before he even comment that it’s a guy’s name.

            I usually get that question, or comment, or whatever whenever I introduce myself so I had to spell it.

            Mr. Andrews… Rayleigh stood up with the cup of coffee still on his hand. His hair is brushed up and he looks so formal.

            “Do you like the coffee?” I asked him. He leaned on the table and sat on it. He looked at the coffee then.

            “It’s fine, It’s great. It’s perfect.” He said and sipped the coffee again. “This is better than those I get from the coffee shops,” he said.

            I feel a bit comfortable with him now. “I’ll take that as a compliment.” I said. Suddenly, I heard someone called me.

            “Jae. Can you lend me a hand for a minute?” that voice came from Mr. Cunningham. I turned to look at him.

            Mr. Cunningham is holding the telephone on the right hand and waving some papers on his left.

            “I’ll be there right away!” I shouted so he could hear me. And then, I faced Rayleigh so I can excuse myself.

            “I need to be going now, they need my help. If you need anything just call me out.” I said as I walk backwards.

            I saw him give me nod and a smile. So, I hurried to Mr. Cunningham and helped him with his works.

            I had a great time at work today. I didn’t even notice that it’s already time to go home, time flew so fast.

            Like what I always did, I waited for everyone to go ahead before I go. The last one that went out is Mrs. Lewis who finished some paper works.

            After she left, I went out of the office so I can go home. I was surprised that Mr. Diaz, an employee from another department, held my arm.

            “Hi, you seem to be going home,” he said. I felt chills down my spine and I am not comfortable with him.

            I nodded. “Yeah.” I held my bag in case that he does something inappropriate. I won’t hesitate on hitting him.

            “If you want, I can bring you home. Or if you want we can go somewhere else,” he proposed.

            I feel really disgusted with the touch of this man’s hand on my arm. I quickly pulled away from him.

            “No, thank you. I can go by myself.” I said. “Please, don’t bother yourself,” I said. This is one reason I don’t like to have anymore relationship with men other than pure and platonic friendship.

            He was about to grab my arm again when Rayleigh went out of the office. I didn’t notice he’s still inside.

            “Do you need anything from my subordinate Mr. Diaz?” he asked with him with a voice full of authority.

            The old geezer shook his head. “Good evening Mr. Andrews. I am just offering Ms. Lane a ride home,” he excuses.

            Darn this old man, he’s making a fool out of us. Does he really think that stunt will work? Really, I’d rather be a man hater than be with that kind of man.

            “Good evening too, Mr. Diaz. But I believe that Ms. Lane refuses to join you. It is rude to persuade a woman on doing things she does not like,” Rayleigh said.

            Oh, okay. Watta leap! He started from being a scary monster, to a nice supervisor, and now he’s a knight in shining armor.

            The old geezer got embarrassed and so he apologized. “I am sorry if I acted persuasive on your subordinate Mr. Andrews. I just want to secure her safety by bringing her home since I have nothing to do,” Mr. Diaz said.

            Jeez, he’s such a liar. He even wants to bring me somewhere else earlier. If he’s a writer, he’d win an award for the best story ever told.

            Rayleigh came closer to me. “Thank you for thinking about my subordinate’s safety, and as her supervisor, I’ll make sure she gets home safely. You don’t have to worry anymore.” Rayleigh said.

            The two of them talked and I ended up walking towards the elevator with Rayleigh. His business face turned into a poker face.

            “Perverted old dimwit,” he whispered that made me look at him. We reached the elevator which is opened and entered it.

            “That twerp thinks I’ll believe his story? What does he think of me? Someone like him?” he said and laughed.

            I also laughed with that idea. Rayleigh looked at me and gave me a smile. Now, I feel a bit uncomfortable.

            I looked away because I am feeling a bit awkward. Well, I am just really not used to being close to a man after Jay left.

            We were quiet at the elevator and no one spoke until we got out. After we got out, I went to the reception to get logged out.

            I didn’t expect Rayleigh to be waiting for me outside. I was stopped when I saw him standing there looking at me.

            So, I approached him. “What is it? Aren’t you going home yet?” I asked him and he shook his head in response.

            “I’ll bring you home,” he said. I was stunned when I heard him said that he’s going to bring me home.

            I have never let anyone bring me home, specially a boy. “No, that is too much Rayleigh. I won’t let you bring me home.” I said.

            I think he understood since he nodded. “Okay, I understand. It’s just that I want to make up for being rude to you yesterday,” he said.

            I shook my head and waved my hands. “No, no. It’s fine. It was my fault so it is really nothing.” I said.

            “Maybe I’ll just treat you somewhere next time, what d’ya think?” he asked and it made me smile.

            Rayleigh seems like a sincere guy. And he looks nice and attractive. If I am just a normal girl, I bet I would be falling for him.

            He is handsome, he looks respectable and he looks like a man with class. That thing they called swag is nothing.

            But anyway, it would be nice to have a friend like him. And I want to maintain a good relationship in the workplace so this should all be clean.

            He didn’t insist on bringing me home so I went home ahead. It’s good that he did not insist because I would really feel awkward to let him take me home.

            So, anyway I am on my way home now. It’s almost six in the afternoon and the cloud seems heavy. I got to hurry before I get caught up in the rain.

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