To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
Syafika was feeling guilty when she got back to work because she’d had such a long lunchbreak. She walked quickly and quietly to her desk without looking at anyone. When she was safely behind her computer Syafika had a look around. Celine was at her desk but Fanta had gone home and Nelson wasn’t as his desk, nor was Christine in her office. Bronwyn looked up and when she saw Syafika she came over.
“Are you ok?” asked Bronwyn. “You look like something has shaken you up”
Syafika liked Bronwyn but wasn’t sure how much she should tell her. “Yes, I guess I have been a bit shaken up. I think a friend of mine tells lies and now I’m confused about what is true and what is made up” said Syafika.
Bronwyn looked sympathetic but the phone on her desk started to ring so she had to go and answer it. Syafika looked at Celine and felt like crying. She hated to think that Anthony had been on dates with Celine. Syafika tried to stop tears from escaping by taking slow, deep breaths. Then, to take her mind off Anthony and Celine, Syafika checked her email.
When Bronwyn finished talking on the phone she came back over to Syafika’s desk and said “If you feel like going home, go. You do more than a satisfactory amount so you should be able to have a rest when you need one”
“Thanks” said Syafika. “I’m feeling better now but I might leave a bit early”.
Syafika was supposed to meet D’arby at 5pm but before that she wanted to try to talk to Nelson about Anthony.
“Do you know if Nelson will be back this afternoon?” Syafika asked Bronwyn.
“He just popped out for a coffee so he should be back soon” said Bronwyn.
Syafika wondered whether Nelson had gone to get a coffee from the Botanic Gardens cafe and began to suspect that Nelson may have been having an emergency meeting with Anthony so they could get their story straight. Syafika was pleased that Celine was at her desk because she didn’t want Anthony to have emergency meetings with her.
Syafika was busy replying to an email when she noticed Nelson walk in. She waited until he’d had a chance to settle down at his desk before she went over.
“Did you ever work with Anthony Long” Syafika asked Nelson.
“Yes, I did. I was his team leader when he started working here” said Nelson. “Why do you ask?”
Syafika felt embarrassed because she hadn’t thought beyond her first question.
“I used to work with him too but I never knew what to think of him. What do you think of him?” asked Syafika.
“Why are you even thinking about him?” asked Nelson. “He’s not still working here, is he?”
“No…” said Syafika and she tried hard to think of something better to say but her brain had switched off. She looked at Nelson briefly and tried to read his thoughts from his face. Nelson looked like he was using a lot of effort to try and keep his face blank and this confirmed to Syafika that Nelson had just met with Anthony. “I better get back to work” said Syafika and she went back to her desk.
After Syafika sent the email she’d been working on she spent some time watching Celine. It was past the time that Celine usually went home and Syafika wondered what she could be up to. Syafika was about to walk over to Celine’s desk and ask her what was keeping her back late when Celine’s mobile phone rang.
“Hello” whispered Celine and she bent over as if she was trying to hide behind her computer screen. Celine looked at her watch before saying “Ok”. Then Celine turned her computer off, picked up her bag and left the office, saying a quick ‘See you tomorrow’ as she walked out.
Syafika decided that she was going to follow Celine. If she headed to the bus stop it meant she was probably going home, but if she headed towards the Botanic Gardens it probably meant that Anthony had called and asked her to meet him.
As Syafika walked into the foyer she noticed the lift doors closing and guessed that Celine had just got in. Syafika went to the stairs and hurried down. When she got to the bottom she stopped and watched Celine walk out the front door of the building. Celine turned right, which was the way to the Botanic Gardens, and so Syafika followed her.