Fiction, Short Stories

Playing For Keeps – Episode 1

“David, please love me back.” Victoria implored sadly as she furiously scribbled in her diary fighting back tears of an unrequited love.

Victoria never quite imagined that her love life would be in such a dire state. She was madly and deeply in love with a man, who seemed unaware of her very existence! She had run out of ideas of how to make David notice her. From dropping off unnecessary files to his desk, to passing by and casually mumbling hellos to him, his replies never consisted of eye contact as his eyes were glued to his computer, phone, newspaper or whatever he may be looking at. So rude.

Just the other day, while David was away from his desk, Victoria stuck a note onto his computer asking him if he fancied a couple of drinks after work. Victoria’s heart hurt as he crumbled the note and threw it into a basket without so much as a glance. A few weeks ago, David complimented Anne from accounts on her perfume. Victoria contemplated asking Anne about her perfume and where she bought it but decided against it.

She blamed her stupid heart for wanting something so unattainable. David was so out of her league. The COO of their regional branch, a company that recycles plastics. David has prestigious education background. His wardrobe consists of nothing short of brand names. His skin the color of honey, broad shoulders like he could carry the world’s weight if he wanted to. He isn’t even THAT good looking but the kind whose looks just creep up on you… 3 weeks of staring at him, realization slaps you hard in the face screaming, damn. Man’s Hot. He rarely smiles, but when he does, the smile starts from the eyes, like he’s just been told the world’s most amusing secret. The lines at the corners of his eyes crease into a crow’s feet. And his lips. His full lips curve into a heart shape until they reveal perfect white teeth on dark gums. Victoria has fantasised about David’s smile so much that if it were possible to get pregnant from just that, she would have so many of David’s children.

The year was closing in, finding love before the year ended was still top priority. Otherwise, she wouldn’t hear the last of it from her mother during the Christmas break. Victoria was very sure that her beloved mother’s last mission in this lifetime was to find her a husband before she turned 30. At this point, it didn’t matter to Victoria’s mother what kind of man married her daughter.

“Time is of essence dear, you’re no spring chicken anymore. We can’t afford to be picky now, can we?”

One would think the sun would stand still in the sky if Victoria turned thirty, unmarried. But Victoria didn’t want to sit around and wait to find out.

To be fair, Victoria knew she had found her love. How can I make him fall for me? She wondered.

Her phone pinged, relieved to be brought back from her reverie, she swiped her phone screen open to reveal the notification on her Samsung S8.

It was an email from Cleopatra, the office administrator announcing that there won’t be a Christmas bonus this year. “Oh great. I had already accounted for that money!” She mumbled.
Instead, Secret Santa will be held, colleagues will draw names to give that person a holiday gift. “Just great. Like I don’t have enough frustrations in my life!” Please pass by my desk to pick a name from the shuffled tin, the email continued. She sighed as she rolled back her chair to get up and go draw a name.

The earlier I get started with this Secret Santa thing, the better. She thought. She clicked her heels as absent-mindedly passed by David’s desk who was curiously watching her.

She got to Cleopatra’s desk to find her glaring at the transparent tin filled with strips of paper like it had murdered someone.
“Who did you pick?” Victoria asked Cleopatra.
“I don’t even want to talk about it!” Cleopatra breathed.
“That bad?” Victoria said amused.
Cleopatra rolled her eyes heavenwards in reply.
“Who else has drawn?” Victoria asked.
“Just me and David.”
“Oh. David?! Who did he pick?” Victoria stuttered.
Cleopatra sighed and replied, “Victoria, it’s called Secret Santa for a reason.”

Victoria closed her eyes as if to make a wish and dipped her slim hand into the tin to pick a strip of paper.
Cleopatra watched her, “Well?”
“Sshhh. Secret Santa.” Victoria smiled sweetly at her.

As she walked back to her desk, she noticed that David was looking at her. Her heart drumming against her chest, she looked behind her to see if he was looking at someone else. Seeing no one behind, β€œNope, he was definitely looking at me,” as she jubilated on the inside.

Victoria looked back at David who was now staring at something on his computer. She nervously passed by and dropped into her seat. She pulled up her chair to her desk and rolled the piece of paper open. David.

She looked up from the piece of paper and her eyes locked with David’s, who was wearing a small smile. He had turned his chair around to directly look at her.

Victoria refrained her mind from planning a wedding and picking out their children’s names that very instant and forced it to think. A gift. What gift should I get David that will set our relationship sailing?

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I am just a simple girl with just the right dose of princess syndrome, a mad passion for the outdoors, travel, reading, writing and vintage BMW.


  1. Reminds of of many years ago, when I also worked in an office. I had a crush on this girl. She seemed to like me too because she always looked at me the way girls in movies look at guys they want to seduce, but I was too much of a coward to do anything. Well, I told myself that I was playing it the right way, romancing her. I overhead that her birthday was coming, and so I thought I would wow her with a surprise. She would wake up on the morning of her birthday, and there on her door she would find the gift. Then she would know how much I….. Okay, that was the plan.

    A week before her birthday, she comes to office and she throws up on her desk. It’s a mess, a lot of papers get destroyed. She thinks she is sick. She returns home to rest, and is fine. Next morning, she again throws up, and this time its in the kitchen while we are on the morning break.

    Now, one woman who knew these things, and had a very big mouth, said, “She’s pregnant.” Just like that. My world crashed, as if they had thrown a bomb inside my skull.

    Then I find out who is responsible. Guess who? A fellow workmate. He already had two wives. And he said it just happened, that one day they were working late and he asked her for ‘relief’ and she gave him.

    You know how much I slapped my face? I could have just asked instead of trying to play it the way I see it in the movies. Stupid me.

    1. hahahahaha Oh my God, Dilman! You have seen days! WOW WOW

      It must have stung a lot for you to remember it so vividly. But that relief though. SMH.
      Thank you so much for the laugh.

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