Until recently, everything was calm and wonderful, until our boss changed. For a long time there were rumors that I was his mistress and slept with him.
It was Thursday. I sat in my office and looked through the documents in which my desk was buried. It was urgent to deal with them, as the weekend was ahead. I devoted them entirely to my little son.
There was a knock on the door. A striking blonde entered - my boss's secretary. This girl, although she had some education, but good manners were completely absent, since I had never heard the word "Hello" from her.
- The chief calls, immediately.
As she spoke, she turned around and walked away. And for some time I sat and thought about why our leadership needed me. Different thoughts were spinning in my head.
I work for a large publishing house and head one of its departments. Until recently, everything was calm and wonderful, until our boss changed.
Pavel Nikolaevich, that is the name of my new boss, appeared at the publishing house three months ago. He turned the entire publishing house upside down, re-gutted all the departments and, to everyone's deep surprise, was unhappy. Then he immediately called a meeting and outlined new ways of working. Of course, these were not drastic changes, but the publishing house has since lost its peace and became like a hive of wild bees.
"Love at first sight" did not work out with him. Pavel Nikolaevich from the first days began to find fault and criticize the work of my department, and undeservedly. On this occasion, we often had disputes with him, which led to nothing but misunderstanding.
But our large female society just went crazy from the new boss. Somehow they saw him as "a charming, elegant and sexy man." Every now and then there were all sorts of conversations, rumors, and just gossip about him and his personal life around the publishing house. The main news among unmarried ladies was that he was an inveterate bachelor. And no doubt everyone hoped that it was she who would be the one who could "cure" her boss from this terrible disease.
Yes, they would have my problems …
Once again, I gathered my courage and left the office. In the corridor I met my friend Katya.
- Are you going to the boss? Calling again?
I nodded resignedly.
- Well, you are happy! That's lucky! You need to rejoice, but there is no face on you.
She put her arms around my shoulders.
- You know, all our ladies would like to be in your place, to go to his office like this every day and stay alone with him for a long time.
- Are you kidding?
- There are already all sorts of gossip about you, they talk like that …
I was surprised and embarrassed at the same time.
“If he ruined their nerves so badly every morning like me, they wouldn't think so.
We went to the chief's office.
- Sash, you take a closer look at him, maybe …
I understood perfectly what Katya was hinting at, so I didn't let her finish and quickly entered the office.
Pavel Nikolaevich was sitting at the table and leafing through some papers. In response to my greeting, he muttered something under his breath and, without raising his head, went on with his business. Three minutes passed before he deigned to turn his attention to me.
- Alexandra Vladimirovna have a seat. Sorry for making you wait.
I sat down immediately, because I knew from the experience I had accumulated in a short time that the conversation was going to be a long one.
- And so, Alexandra Vladimirovna, I called you to consult and hear your opinion on some issues of concern to me.
Has a miracle happened? I couldn't believe my ears. It was very difficult for me to restrain a smile.
- I'm listening to you.
… Leaving Pavel Nikolaevich's office, I ran through the publishing house all day, fulfilling a very urgent order. Toward the end of the working day, Katka came to see me.
“I've been looking for you all day. Where are you running?
- I placed the order. Pavel Nikolaevich asked to personally check.
She smiled slyly.
- Since when - Pavel Nikolaevich … personally …
I paid no attention to her ridicule.
“I myself can’t really understand what happened. Imagine, Katya, this morning he first asked for my opinion on the work of the publishing house. We worked very fruitfully with him on some issues.
I thought about it, but my girlfriend did not calm down.
- Finally, he saw in you both a professional and a woman, moreover, beautiful, kind, smart, lonely …
From that day on, work became one pleasure for me. With Pavel Nikolaevich we found a common language quite easily, or rather, it was he who ceased to find fault with my work for no reason. What happened, and why he so suddenly changed his attitude towards me, I did not understand. I'll make a reservation right away that we only had a purely business relationship with him, although rumors circulated around the publishing house for a long time that I was his mistress and was sleeping with him in order to get a promotion.
At first I was very worried about this and was often upset. But Katya convinced me not to pay attention to all this nonsense and not to waste my nerves. She just couldn't understand why nothing really happened between Pavel Nikolaevich and me so far. At such moments, I was ready to just kill her.
Pavel Nikolaevich after some time in the publishing house became his own man. His straightforwardness, tact and excellent sense of humor won the respect of all subordinates. I think that the friction that arose at the beginning between him and all of us is nothing more than acclimatization in a new team. After all, he could not find a common language and understanding not only with me. It's good that everything returned to normal and the work "boiled".
At Katya's insistence, I tried to look at my boss as a man, that is, "with different eyes." But either my upbringing, or the working environment created by him, did not allow me to do this. And besides, I have heard more than once about the grave consequences of office romances: they never led to anything good.
One summer, during my vacation, I was returning from my parents to my home. On the way, I went to a supermarket, as there was nothing in the refrigerator except for bananas and sausages for a long time. I took the basket and began to slowly wander between the shelves of groceries.
After filling the basket with everything I needed, I went to the checkout, and suddenly one man caught my attention. He stood in the vegetable section and looked for something thoughtfully. When he turned to face me, the basket almost fell out of my hands, so I was stunned. Well, I never expected to meet Pavel Nikolaevich in the store! And it was he - so indecisive and so charming.
I wanted to remain unnoticed, but my boss's eyes managed to cast their own glance at me and in an instant they nailed me in place. He looked inquiringly, and I had no choice but to approach him.
- Hello, Alexandra Vladimirovna. It's good that I met you here. Can you help me?
He was in a great mood, a charming smile shone on his face. It was unusual and so real I saw him for the first time.
- Good evening. How can I help?
He showed his empty basket.
- Yes, I decided to cook cabbage soup, but I don’t know what is needed for this.
I was surprised.
- Pavel Nikolaevich, do you cook for yourself?
It was evident that he was embarrassed.
- A little, if scrambled eggs and sausage can be called a dish.
We smiled at each other.
- And I thought that your …
I stopped short, because I didn't know if he had a woman and what to call her. But he understood my train of thought.
- I cook for myself, because I live alone.
And not wanting to talk more on this topic, he asked.
- Alexandra Vladimirovna, what is needed to cook cabbage soup? Well, of course, apart from the cabbage, I know that.
I helped him choose food. When we left the store, Pavel Nikolaevich began to ask me how the soup was prepared. It turned out that he knew nothing about this either. It was very funny for me: I stood in the middle of the street and explained to my boss how to cook cabbage soup. I'll tell Katka - he won't believe it!
- So, first we throw potatoes and tomatoes …
- No. First comes the potatoes, then the cabbage, and the tomatoes at the very end.
My patience was running out. I've been explaining to him for twenty minutes, but it's all to no avail: he either mixes up the ingredients, or forgets something else. Then a thought struck me.
- Pavel Nikolaevich, let me write everything down for you on paper? It will be simpler and clearer.
He thought for a while, and then with such a face as if a brilliant thought had dawned on him, he said that he had no paper with him. To be honest, I was beginning to dislike the whole situation.
- Then I don't know what to do … Maybe some other time …
To this, Pavel Nikolaevich quickly found something to say.
- Alexandra Vladimirovna, and let's go to visit me, will you teach me how to cook soup?
I didn't know whether to be happy about it or upset. And what was happening, I did not understand at all. The clock showed nine in the evening.
- Isn't it too late, Pavel Nikolaevich?
He thought for a while.
- Maybe someone is waiting for you, and I'm just a fool to delay? Sorry…
Oh, only this was not enough for me! Well, it turned out to be an evening! I went to the store.
- Okay, let's go. I hope you are a diligent student?
Pavel Nikolaevich only smiled at me mysteriously.
His apartment amazed me. Not only was it huge and tastefully furnished, but also very neat. I walked around the rooms and, like a little girl, was amazed at everything. I would not say that a bachelor lives here: the master's hand and care were felt in everything. I was surprised and even very surprised.
After the soup was prepared, we sat in the kitchen and drank coffee.
- Alexandra Vladimirovna, maybe let's switch to "you"? We're not at work.
- I agree, Pavel Nikol …
I didn’t finish, didn’t know what to call him.
- Let's just Pavel, or even better - Pasha.
Either a lot of coffee was drunk, or it was so pleasant for us in each other's company, but we chatted until late at night.
- And yet, Alexandra, is there a person who is waiting for you, who is not indifferent to you?
The moment of truth had arrived, but I had nothing to hide.
- There is. This is my son Nikita.
Pavel perked up.
- So are you married?
I chuckled bitterly, remembering my ex and everything connected with him.
- No. Divorced for three years. He turned out to be a bastard: he dumped me when I was eight months pregnant. Nikita never saw him. Maybe it's for the better.
It was very unpleasant for me to talk about it, and the time was late. I asked Pavel to take me home, to which he agreed only on the condition that we meet again the other day.
This is how a crazy romance began between us in a simple and ordinary way. We liked each other, albeit not at first sight, deliberately and with full responsibility we fell in love with each other. Everything happened somehow by itself, we were overwhelmed by a stormy river, along which we swam without resisting its flow.
Katya was speechless when I told her about Pavel Nikolaevich and me. She, of course, was happy for me, but still she did not expect that I would deign to someday pay attention to this man.
- How does he feel about Nikita? You told him all about it?
- Katya, of course, about everything, only they haven't seen each other yet. Nikita is watched by his parents, he is constantly with them, but this has nothing to do with Pavel. You know, I work from morning to evening, and there is no one to leave him at home with.
I thought about it. I haven't felt so good for a long time.
- Pavel would be the perfect father for Nikita.
- Right. And for some little chubby girl who looks a lot like you.
We looked at each other and burst out laughing.
What I was afraid did not happen: our romance did not prevent us from working together. I, as it should be, remained his subordinate, and he was my boss. We loved our work very much and treated each other with respect, so there could be no frivolity between us in the workplace.
Pasha waited for me every day after work, took me home or to my parents, and we spent the weekend together. We walked around the city, went to the cinema and kissed in the last row, and in the park, like little children, rode all the rides.
One of these days he asked why I didn’t take Nikita with us. And I was just waiting for this, since I did not want to impose someone else's child on him.
- Let's do this: on Sunday you take Nikita, and we meet in the park. Let's take a walk and eat ice cream together. Good?
As a sign of agreement, I simply kissed him.
The upcoming meeting was a little exciting for me: the two men I love will see each other for the first time. But a lot depends on the first impression. And even though Nikita is still very small and understands almost nothing, I would not want to somehow hurt his tiny heart.
Sunday was hot. Nikita and I walked in the park and waited for Pavel, who was soon to join us. The kid has been driving for about ten minutes in a children's car and all the time called me to see how he skillfully manages it. Soon the ride time ended, and we went to the tent to buy some drink.
I bought two small packs of juice and stepped aside.
- Nikita take your juice.
There was no answer, and nobody took the juice. I looked around me - the child was not there. I was seized by panic, I was suddenly out of breath. Feverishly, I began to inspect the park and people, but there were so many of them that my eyes began to ripple.
Suddenly, behind me, a familiar male voice demanded.
- Mom, is this your child?
I turned around and saw a smiling Pasha, next to whom, holding his hand, was my son. My heart relieved.
- Lord, how worried I was! Nikita, you can't leave your mother a single step!
But he did not listen to me, took my hand and led me back to the children's car. We put him on the ride and stepped aside.
- Hi dear. Like you?
Pavel put his arms around my shoulders and kissed my temple.
- I was scared. Where did you find him? And how did you guess that this was my child?
- It's simple: I watched you when you were buying juice, Nikita, feeling freedom, ran to the attraction, and then I intercepted him.
I took a deep breath.
- You were there in time. What would I do without you?
He took my hand and pulled me to him.
- Sash, now I will always be there.
In his gray-blue eyes, I saw my reflection.