It was noon and Jodie was done for the day. She spent the first half of her Saturday terminating two staff members and breaking sweat at the clubhouse gym. After lunch, she was ready to head home to catch up on some reading. As she made her way through the lobby, she found Zach standing by the entrance.
“Hey! Whom you waiting for?” Jodie asked.
“Oh, hey. I’m waiting for Richard. He said he would be back.”
“I’m doing the interviews with him.”
Jodie did not hold back her look of surprise and Zach caught it immediately. Responding, Zach sighed and shook his head. “I believe I made a mistake.”
“Yea, you might have. Or maybe Richard might just show up, who knows?” Jodie said with a chuckle.
Zach gave a half-hearted laugh.
“All hope is not lost. I’ll help you if Richard doesn’t show up. How about that?” Jodie offered.
Reading Zach’s reaction, Jodie knew he was hesitant. She could not help but wonder if she crossed the line. Zach was not a child, and even though she wanted to help him out of good faith, he probably did not like being spoon-fed. Hoping to save the situation from getting awkward, Jodie quickly said, “You know, it’s not that hard. You can actually do it without me or Richard.”
“I’m just a little worried, that’s all. The performance of the person I hire might reflect on me. Why else would they give us such a task?”
“I don’t know. If that is the case, there should only be blue files and not red. I think they’re just throwing challenges at us for fun. Since it’s just a game, according to Matthias.”
Zach shrugged before saying, “Maybe. Matthias theorises a lot.”
“Oh yea, how’s it like working for him?” Jodie asked. She was definitely curious as to the kind of boss Matthias was.
“He’s alright. I run errands for him whenever he calls. He lets me use his car too, surprisingly.”
Jodie nodded. A few interactions with Matthias were enough to tell her he wasn’t a bad person. Smart and cunning perhaps, but not someone who schemed evil plans.
“He offered to cover for my meals too. Which I declined of course,” Zach added.
“Well, he seems like a good boss. Maybe I was wrong when I said you shouldn’t work for him,” Jodie admitted.
“Still too early to tell,” Zach replied as he turned away from the entrance.
“It’s always too early. Some people just love the eleventh hour.”
Jodie nodded in the direction of the entrance, just as Richard dashed up the flight of stairs.
“They’re not here yet, right?” Richard asked Zach.
“Er, no, you made it,” Zach simply said.
Jodie took a quick glance at her watch before giving Richard a disappointed look.
“Hey, I’m on time,” Richard said. He looked as though he wanted to add to his defense, but then decided to bite his tongue. When Jodie waited, Richard averted his eyes and awkwardly walked past her.
“Let’s go, we have to set up,” Richard said to Zach without stopping in his tracks.
Turning to Jodie, Zach gave her a thin smile and said, “I’ll get going. See you around?”
“Yea, see ya,” Jodie replied.
She watched as the two of them disappeared into the nearby lift, before continuing her journey to the car park.
When Jodie finally crashed onto her favourite armchair in her penthouse, she was ready to escape into the world of Detective Frigate and his theory on who murdered Lady Gloria. But just as she entered the detective’s office, she found her phone pulling her back to reality.
First her phone beeped. It was a message from Matthias.
“How did he get my number?” Jodie thought out loud.
His message read, ‘Hey Jodie, want to have dinner tomorrow?’
It caught her off guard, so she hesitated for a while before responding with a, ‘Are you asking me out on a date?’
‘No. Just dinner. Thought of getting to know you better, since I know the rest pretty decently,’ his reply read.
“Matthias knows Guinevere pretty decently?” Jodie asked herself. She often vocalised her monologues when no one was around.
‘Let me think about it,’ Jodie sent back, feeling suspicious at his sudden approach. He seemed to be up to something.
‘Don’t keep me waiting for too long ;)’
“A wink. Really? Is he flirting now?”
Jodie shook her head before setting her phone down. She decided to make up her mind after Detective Frigate’s theory proved true, but then she found herself interrupted again. This time, by the ringing of her phone.
“Hello?” Jodie answered.
“Hey, it’s me. I thought of having a little dinner party tomorrow night. You free?” Wayne asked.
“Why so sudden?”
“Guinevere wanted to have a get together before the wedding. Like a pre-wedding party.”
“Ha, I don’t think she would want me there. And aren’t bachelorette parties only for bridesmaids, not the fiancée and his friends?”
“It’s just a random dinner party. She said I could invite you, and you know I want you there.”
“Let me think about it. I might have plans,” Jodie found herself saying.
“Might? Just say yes or no,” Wayne replied.
Jodie knew Wayne would want her at the dinner party, even though she would not enjoy it all too much. But if she really wanted to decline without lying, she could just agree to have dinner with Matthias instead. It was a rather simple decision but Jodie still had to choose.