3 Steps

I follow him into the room, turning around and watching him close the door. He moves over to the blinds, peeking through them before closing them and turning his attention back to me. He opens his mouth, as if about to say something before changing it into a cough, straightening an already perfect frame on the wall, then sitting at his desk. He opens a drawer to take out his hole punch and then proceeds to organise the sheets on his desk.

I watch all this from behind my jet black fringe. He may think he knows me, but I've changed. Hell, I had to change. Using his silence as thinking time, I navigate the walls of the room, letting a finger drag behind me to catch all the dust on the dado rail. My flats are silent against his thick carpet; an earthy green colour. I stop at the corner and turn to face him, sliding down the wall until I'm sitting on the floor, my dress just on the safe side of the modesty borderline. My eyes on him, I stretch my fingers out to flick off the switch connected to the phone. Step one complete with no troubles.

I stand up slowly, careful not to let all my hard work go to waste. Once up, I let all my breath go in a whoosh. He looks up, sighs and puts his sheets down, before walking over to me. I look over my shoulder, careful to not see him coming. I look up again when I can fell his breath against my cheek and my hands in his. I look into his eyes, melting slightly. Shrugging free, I push past him, desperate not to lose my head. After coming so far, I mustn't fail now. Sweeping past his desk I pick up one of his fixed bundles and flick through it, eager to get his attention focused away from the switch. It works. He swoops over and tugs my hands off the sheets, hiding them under a pile of finance magazines. Turning back to me, he turns my chin in his hands to face him. I keep my mind clear as I let him fondle my cheek.

As his lips close the gap between us I duck under his arm and escape. His eyes follow me looking, well, almost forlorn. I attempt to ignore him as I centre on my next objective: getting the key for his cabinet. My diversion needs to be set first. Edging carefully around the desk to keep enough space separating us, I work my way towards the mug of coffee balanced precariously on his pile of magazines. Just past it, I look up at him. The passion between us is still visible, however deeply I tried to bottle it. I gently close my eyes, breathing deeply and noticeably. It works, as he leans across the desk to reach me. I let out a little gasp of false surprise and spring away from him as the cup falls to the ground with a dulled thud. Perfect.

He jumps and immediately runs to the phone to call the cleaners. I hide a smug smile as he looks back at me in disbelief that the phone's not working. While he frantically looks around for something to clean up the mess, I saunter over to his chair, lean my elbows on my thighs and place my head in my palms, before looking up at him, acting impatient to continue what we almost started. He takes one last look at me, then dashes out of the room and down the corridor.

Knowing I don't have much time until he returns, I find his jacket without much trouble, as it is just hanging off the back of the chair. I search the pockets methodically looking for the keys. My fingers reach something thin and cool to touch. I pull out his battered leather wallet, tracing the outline of it with my fingers. The first present I ever gave him. I open it with slightly shaky hands, seeing the photo of our first date still sitting behind the see-through photo pocket. He kept it. After all this time, he's still got it. In the photograph I see my red lips parted in a laugh, happy to be near him. I notice a blur at the side of the photograph which I realise as his finger. My hair is shoulder-length and layered, in a lovely honey-toned blonde. I almost laugh in disbelief at how different I now am. Bang. Oh, hell, he's on his way back. I stuff the wallet hastily back into his pocket, finally reaching the key and stuffing it in his top drawer just in time for the door to open and the cleaners to come in. I peer behind them, but he's not there. I fake a smile at the cleaners as they mop up the coffee, before thinking about step three; the final and most important step: getting the file.

I look for his filing cabinet around the room, puzzled when I can't find it. The cleaners leave the room just as I spot a lock on one of the drawers on his desk. Bingo. Fishing the key back out of its hiding place, I test it in the lock. It fits. I pull the drawer open and leaf through the pieces of paper for the one I'm looking for. I pause, picturing it - a starched white paper with the MasterCard logo at the top of it. Opening my eyes again I continue to leaf through the files. I see a flash of what looks like a small box stuffed at the bottom of the drawer. I go back and lift it out. It looks exactly like the box he had when … no … it can't be. I open it and gasp. Inside is a stunning ring in white gold, with three gemstones - diamond, amethyst and ruby. Bang. Was that my heart or someone outside the room? Bang. I close the lid and slide it back amongst the papers. Bang. I close the drawer and lock it again. Bang. Pulling the key out of the lock, I return it to the pocket. Bang. Getting up from the seat, I make my way over steadily to the door. BANG.

The door bursts open and he stands on the other side, holding the biggest bunch of roses I've ever seen in my life. He walks slowly over to me and I meet him halfway, taking the roses and putting them down on the desk. I tie my arms around his neck and breathe him in, my senses all screaming his name. My ear feels tickly as I feel him nibbling it, kissing down my cheek, licking my lips, pulling me closer and closer with both his arms and his love. All the torment from the past six months is forgotten. I push the memories of my new boss giving me the instructions out of my head as I am pushed up against the table. His hands feel cool down my back. I try to feel anything against him for daring to venture under my dress but fail. I collapse into him, watching him move a pot of pens out of the way. He lays me down on the desk, flattening himself on top of me, all the time murmuring how much he's missed me into my ear. I smile bitterly, knowing my boss is probably not going to let me live to see another day, but somehow my smile turns to joy when I realise I don't really care. I feel his weight on my body. It was only three steps, three simple steps. But I failed. Mission unsuccessful. Bliss.