"They seem to be on vacation more than not," I returned with my own venom. Jeremaine had fooled my father into tying up his assets until I was older. She, of course, became executor and, in turn, my jailer. I suspected she was a slut in bed. I could think of no other reason my father would screw me like he had. I loved him more than anyone, but he was a man and I knew he wrote that will with his dick. "Business trips are not vacations," she defended Stella and Katie. I was sure they got little done in Malta with my money. "I only wish you had their work ethic," she continued as if I didn't know the truth. I ignored her continued rants and pulled out the bucket and mop. My bucket and my mop. I was required to stay with The Impact Marketing, Inc until I came into my inheritance. He just failed to say in what capacity. Jeremaine thought it best I was the janitor. Nine more years and I can fire her. I began to fill the bucket with warm water. At least she would go home soon. My home. "The floors were done poorly last night," she continued while pointing out some corners that held dust. There was a rider in the will that stated if I failed to stay with the firm, I would lose it to the next in line. Jeremaine was next in line. My only saving grace was that she had to answer to a board and the court. My life was miserable, but I still had hope.
I added a potent lemon-scented cleaning fluid to the bucket. At least it overwhelmed the perfume that she liked to swim in. I ignored her other admonishments, knowing they were designed to get me to lose it and quit. That wasn't going to happen. I just had to stay out of trouble and in nine years, I get to fire the bitch. I turned with my prepared bucket and smiled at Jeremaine. It was my you'll-get-yours smile. She never understood that smile. I think she thought I had a few screws loose. It always made her back away and lose her train of thought. The only attack I was allowed. I certainly couldn't yell at the “CEO”. That might be grounds for termination. It was a war and I had to let her win all the early battles. "Good evening Mrs. Okoye, Ella," Arun said, his olive-skinned smile leading the way out of the elevator. I smiled back, which irritated Jeremaine more. She had hired Arun as the night tech thinking I wouldn't be comfortable with an immigrant from India. The opposite occurred. He had become a dear friend and I adopted myself into his family. His wife Anita and their daughter Arya were such a lovely family. "Mr. Chanda, do think it is wise spending your time with pleasantries when there is work to be done?" Jermaine asked. Arun lost his smile. His passport held him to his job as surely as the will held me.
"No, Mrs. Okoye," Arun answered and moved quickly to the control room. I wanted so much to shove the end of my mop into Jeremaine's mouth to shut her up. I closed my eyes and let the image float away. Nine more years. Arun could stay. Jeremaine was out. Jeremaine followed Arun into the control room. I was sure it was to give him an impossible list of tasks and remind him not to fraternize with the janitorial staff. The hallway seemed to brighten when she left. A devious thought entered my mind and I laughed to myself. The first sign of insanity, but it felt good. I began mopping. Mopping exactly where Jeremaine would have to walk in order to leave. Images of her falling on her ass were pleasant. I started humming Uptown Funk and used the mop as my partner. My thoughts were very pleasant. Jeremaine didn't fall. I apologized for not thinking and starting at that end of the hall. It was humorous watching her walk in her high heels while holding herself along the wall. It was hard to hold my smile in, but I had a lot of practice at it. The corners of my mouth stayed low while my inner goddess jumped with glee and mischief. "Good night, Jeremaine," I called as she pushed the elevator button. She hated when I called her by her first name at work. I saw the anger in her eyes when she turned. I knew she wasn't going to walk back across the newly mopped floor again. Chalk up another one for Ella. Jeremaine just grimaced and stepped into the elevator. My body relaxed when the doors closed. The bitch was gone. I pushed the bucket and mop into the corner. It was usually the last thing I did. I had a system. A series of steps that optimized the time it would take to clean the offices. Mopping first would just slow me up. Optimized work time allowed for optimized free time. I grabbed the large wheeled garbage can, vacuum cleaner and dust rag. Office to office, I quickly dusted, emptied trash, and vacuumed then closed the door.