The Mysterious Man
Author: Maybelle Casiple
I was dumbfounded after I heard the person on the phone. It was Rachel, and she was asking me to visit her. I know I will visit her today, but she wanted me to visit her now! I have known Rachel for years now, and I know when she is a bully and when she is serious.
Last night, she was a bully, that’s for sure, but today is different. She has this tone of urgency in her voice, and that is something I need to be serious of about. I decided that I’ll visit her after I finished what I needed to do in the office. I have some documents I need to sign before I go. Then my phone beeped. It was a message from Rachel.
“Andrea, if you come here, please bring with you, Pierce. Thanks.”
Bring with me Pierce? Why? What has she got to do with Pierce? Maybe she wants to apologize. Might as well bring Pierce with me. In case Daniel is there, I will have someone to back me up.
“Alex, can you come here for a while, please?” I called for Alex. I need to sort out the important ones before I review the other documents.
“Can you sort out the most important documents first, the most important once that have reviewed? I need to sign those first and others can wait until tomorrow, right? I need to visit Rachel. She just called me.” I told Alex.
I consider Alex and Tony as one of my friends, and they know about the things I have gone through. They know about Rachel and me, and my relationship with Daniel. They have always told me that my relationship with Daniel is unhealthy and he is not worthy to be someone that I spend my life with.
I didn’t listen to them I was blinded by my love for Daniel. And now, I have seen everything, and still, they are here to comfort me.
“Yes. Here, these are the documents that you need to sign today. These, I have reviewed them, and you can go through them tomorrow. These are documents about orders and reservations. These important ones are for payroll this Friday. We don’t want to miss them. I have reviewed them one by one.” Alex explained.
“Oh, yes, of course. I trust these are all okay. I will sign them and just leave them here. And please call if there are emergencies, okay?”
“Yes, I will. Yeah, I just remembered, Tony said that we'd be going at half past five later, so we can have a longer time in arranging the desserts area at the event venue. And also, we’ll bring along Marie, Dave, Chester, and Bryan. We need the men to lift the heavy boxes, and Marie will be the one on the counter to check if refills are needed. Bryan will be the one to drive the van and Tony will bring her car, and I’ll go with her. We will have a convoy. I will leave Adrienne in-charge until closing time.” Alex explained.
“Yes, that’s good. If I can make it tonight, I will go to the venue. But if not, I know you girls can manage it.” I told Alex.
“Yes, you trained us well. We can manage. We’ll give you updates when we get there.” Said Alex.
“Did you remember if we had the chance to talk to the owner?” I asked her.
“Ah, no. I don’t think so. I think it was his assistant who contacted us and the ones who met with you here were his assistant and their project manager. I heard that their president is a very reserved person and he seldom face people for a meeting. Except those who may be very important for business.” She explained.
“Yeah. Well, later we’ll find out who is their president. Surely he will be present at the event.” I told her. “By the way, here are the documents. I have signed them as we are chatting and process the salaries as early as Wednesday so that they will have it early Friday. We always need to be on time with payments.”
“Copy that, Andrea. Do you want coffee on the go?”
“Yes, please. A caramel macchiato will be good. I had coffee earlier, but I think I need another one before I go and visit Rachel.”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll tell Joshua to make you one now so you, can have it as you go out later.”
“Yeah, tell him I’ll be out after ten minutes,” I told Alex.
Alex is more than just an assistant. She works hard, and I am grateful that I can trust her to run the shop when I am not around. She has a lot of ideas in her mind, and most of them work. She once thought of a plan to keep customers coming, and she was the one who suggested that we should take orders and catering. It was a good thing I listened to her she does not just give 100% of her time and effort, but she goes beyond that. She is one of the many reasons why my business is still thriving.
I went to the kitchen again to have a quick talk with Tony.
“Hi, Tony. I guess you have finished all the baking?” I asked Tony.
She is quite busy frosting a three-layered cake. She was lucky that their design is so simple and that she only needs to air spray it to make it look more elegant. She is dusting the cake with edible gold glitters to make it fancier.
“Hi, Andrea. Yes, the last batch is being cooled down, and after this, I will frost them. Although they ordered a lot, they have very simple designs, so it does not take so much time just making the decorations and frostings.” Tony said.
“Okay. Alex explained to me what your set-up would be later at the event. And I will just follow you there I have to go to the hospital. Rachel called me. She wants to talk to me.” I told Tony.
I can see her eyes. She wants to ask something but hesitant to do so.
“Yeah. I know it sounds ridiculous, but somehow, I have to visit her and check what she’s up to. Don’t worry. I won’t have a catfight with her. She already has her karma, and I don’t want to add to the damage she has.” I told Tony.
The crease in her forehead disappeared as she smiled and laugh.
“You go, girl. It’s better that you confront her this way. It’s easier, and also, she has nothing to do with you. She’s stuck in the hospital bed for some time.” Tony said.
“Yeah, you are right. Anyway, I have to go now. You all take care later. And don’t hesitate to call me and give me updates. I will try my best to get to the event later. But I know you guys can handle this one.”
“Yeah. It’s okay Andrea. I don’t think they will go running when they see the cupcakes and cakes later. They are grown-ups you know.” Said Tony jokingly.
Sometimes Tony has great humor. Sometimes it’s just off. But it did make me laugh as I imagine grown up men and women in their nightgowns running for a cupcake. Somehow it took the stress I feel, and I bid them goodbye.
“Okay, guys. You take care later, and I’ll see you around.” I told everyone.
Everyone was busy. Some packing the cupcakes on boxes, others preparing the cupcake stands. Everyone is just so working, and I don’t want to bother them anymore. I went back to my office and took my bag. As I was going out of the office, I noticed the framed picture of Daniel and me. I went back inside, and I took the frame.
“Alex, please dispose of this. I don’t want to see his face in my office. Thanks.” I handed Alex the picture, and she can throw it in the garbage if she wants to. Or burn it. I don’t care how she will dispose of it.
“I’m going now. Just give me updates later. Bye.” I told her.
I went to the bar and asked Adrienne for my coffee. She’s one of the baristas, and she makes delicious coffee. As well as those frothy designs on top. Sometimes she helps with decorating cakes as she is a talented girl who can make small sculptures made of fondant or gives suggestions for designs.
“Hi, Adrienne. How are you? I can see that we have lots of customers for today.” I told her.
“Yes, we have a reservation for four people. I think they’ll have a meeting over coffee and they just called this morning and reserved a table for them.” She reported.
“Oh? That’s great.” I appreciate their little effort of making this business success.
“Yeah. And there are girls as well who wants to order cupcakes. I think those are teenagers. They haven’t talked to Alex yet. They said they’ll just call. They just want to know if we can cater to their needs.”
“That’s great news! If they called again and decided to order from us, just forward them to Alex, okay?” I told her. It’s okay if she takes a call that inquires for orders. But usually, I let Alex negotiate. But as she said, they are not yet decided, just an inquiry.
“Thanks for the coffee, Adrienne. It’s one of the best coffee. Keep up the good work. I’ll see you around.” And went out of the counter and straight to the door.
There’s no stopping now. I will go to the hospital and check on Rachel. But I have to get Pierce first. I am not sure what he’s doing now, but I hope he got showered and dressed in the clothes I bought him yesterday. He said he wants to be naked all the time since he is used to be naked as a dog. I am not sure if I will be surprised if I see him naked or not. It’s not that I get used to seeing him naked, but it still surprises me.
I’m just a few minutes away from home. That’s why my business location is very convenient for me as I can go to and fro anytime I want. I hope Pierce is waiting for me. That he is excited for me to come home. And I hope he won’t go around taking other people’s clothes.
As I was turning on the curb towards my house, I saw a black car stopped in front of my lawn. I was wondering who it might be. Or maybe it just happened that it stopped there. Then I saw a man stepping out of my yard. I wondered who he is. Perhaps someone was looking for me.
I didn’t get to see the man’s face as he immediately entered the back seat and the car is already on its way out of the village through the opposite direction. Maybe it just asked for something and found out that no one is home. I don’t think Pierce will answer the door if anyone knocks.
I stopped on the driveway and knocked on the door, calling for Pierce. I have my key with me, but I was expecting that he will open the door for me because he was waiting for me and that he missed me so much. Well, I think it’s all in my head. I bet Pierce the dog will that, and I doubt Pierce the human.
I unlocked the door and went inside. But there are things I noticed before I came looking for Pierce. The curtains were changed, from beige to powder blue. The kitchen was squeaky clean. The table and chairs were cleaned. The fruits are all fresh. I looked inside the fridge. There are new stocks of food. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. More eggs, chicken fillets, pork cutlets and some beef steak and t-bones.
I was planning to go grocery shopping to refill my fridge. But I think I don’t have to. Again, where did he get the money to buy all of this? And he went shopping without me? This is insane. I came looking for Pierce again. He was not in the kitchen when I checked, not outside too. I went to the bedroom, and there he is. But not as I expected.
He was curled up on the bed, sleeping. But he is in a different form now.
“Pierce?” I was surprised than ever, and he was not. “You’re a dog again?”
Pierce is a dog again. I don’t know how it happened or maybe every afternoon he turns back to a dog and every evening he becomes human again. But he never mentioned it, so I think he doesn’t know about it as well.
Or maybe that mysterious guy was his fairy godfather? A modern version? It’s making my headache, but I don’t want to be stressed about it. I still have to visit Rachel at the hospital. With or without Pierce.
“Pierce. I love you. I have to go and see Rachel at the hospital, she called me earlier, and she wanted me to tag you along. I am not sure what she intends to do, but I will have to face her alone this time. I’ll just make alibi for why you are not with me. Take care, my love. I will be back later, and I hope you are already human. Goodbye for now.”
I talked to him like he is a human being. We might not know, maybe he will turn to human later and that he understands what I talk about even if he is a dog.
I went out and entered my car. I don’t know whether to start or not the car. I am depressed that Pierce is a dog again, but what makes me depressed more is the thought that he might not be back to being human again. I think that the mysterious guy is behind all this. I do not believe in fairy tales, but we don’t know, maybe there is still a fairy tale existing in the modern world.
I started my car and drove out of the driveway. I gathered all of my strength and composure to face Rachel. It’s the moment that I’m waiting for. The moment that we can talk one on one and know why and what happened.
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