Authors: Leslie North
By Leslie North
Table of Contents
Sara arrived for her interview at the Botros
Oil Company a few minutes early. When she applied for the job, she never thought she'd get it. She was fresh out of university with not much work experience and the Botros Oil Company was one of the best in the Middle East. Sara played with her fingers as she waited for her interview. She felt so nervous. This job was a big deal for a twenty-three-year-old fresh out of engineering school. She pulled out her phone and quickly went online to read about Sheik Amir one more time. She had to know about the man she was going to work for. At twenty-eight, he was the youngest VP at the family-run business and one of the country’s most eligible bachelors.
“Miss Matthews,” the receptionist called out and smiled. “Sheik Amir will see you now,” she added and held the door open for Sara.
Sara stood up, straightened her skirt and walked into the office. Amir was sitting at his desk. Sara immediately stretched out her hand for him to shake as she approached the table. Amir reached out and shook her hand.
“Sara Matthews,” Sara introduced herself with a smile.
“Amir Botros. Please have a seat, Miss Matthews,” he said. His voice was calm and soft. Sara sat down across from him.
The office was cool from the air conditioner. It was very tidy and furnished with sophisticated furniture. No doubt, it was expensive. It made Sara question their interest in her even more. Surely, a company of such high status would hire an older woman for the position of personal assistant, with maybe two degrees and tons of experience. What was she thinking moving so far from home? Up until a couple weeks ago, she’d never left the United Kingdom.
“Great that you could join us today,” Amir said.
“Thanks for the invitation,” Sara replied. She was sitting upright, even though it was not comfortable. She was too used to leaning back in the chair with her legs apart. Her mother always made a point to remind her of how unladylike it was.
“What do you think of the country so far?”
Sara was surprised by such a casual question. She thought about her words before she replied. She always had tendency to ramble.
“It's very hot, but beautiful.” She was not sure if she was meant to say more. She decided that it was safer to keep it to a short and simple answer.
“Being from London, I am sure that you are not used to the heat out here, but I must comment, your accent is not entirely a British one.”
Now Sara was officially confused. They were discussing her accent? What kind of an interview was this?
“Yes, I have a South African background,” Sara replied.
“That, I am aware off.” Amir took a sip from a glass of water. “I like the mix, it's rather exotic,” he added.
“Thank you.” This is officially awkward, Sara thought to herself.
“Okay, I can see that I am making you feel uncomfortable.” Before Sara could respond, Amir put his hand up to stop her and smiled. “I liked you on paper. A background check on you was already completed. So I would like to hire you for a month to see if you can impress me in real life as well.”
Liked me? Background checks? Sara was wondering if this was a trick. She stared at him blankly and did not respond.
“I am too impulsive, according to my brother,” he smirked a little.
“But I have no experience...yet,” Sara ventured.
“That is the beauty of it. I can mould you into what I need exactly. You have the academic credentials. The rest will come.”
Sara narrowed her eyes.
“So, I'm hired?” Sara asked.
“Precisely,” Amir said and rose from his desk. “I have other matters to attend to, so please show yourself out. You start Monday morning at 8 AM sharp,” he said as he buttoned his suit jacket. Sara almost died when he said 8 AM. It was too early. She couldn't function before 10. Amir handed her two thick files. “Some light reading for the week,” he said, and then walked out.
“Thank you,” she called out after him. She looked down at the thick files. Light reading? Must be his way of being funny. The receptionist reappeared at the door. She had a neat bob. She was tall and dressed smartly.
“Excuse me,” Sara said to her.
“You are confused about the files?” The woman asked. From Sara's face, she could tell that she was very confused. Sara nodded. “Sheik Amir wants you to read about the company and familiarise yourself with past cases.”
“Okay, but how did he hire me so easily?”
“He already knows everything he needs to know about you.”
“That's creepy,” Sara mumbled.
“Pardon?” The woman smiled and leaned closer to Sara.
“The background checks?”
“Yes,” she nodded.
“Thank you. Is there anything about the job I need to be aware of?”
“Skirts should be about knee length. Always be on time. Do not wear tops with shoulder pads.” Sara frowned. “The Sheik thinks shoulder pads look awful. Make sure you read those files cover to cover. He will probably ask you about something from there.”
Sara thanked her before she left. She had never been to an interview at such a large company before but she was sure things did not go down like that. Either way, she was grateful for the job. It paid really well. She needed money to live, as well as pay off her substantial school loans.
As Sara reached her new apartment, she had a bounce in her step, despite the heavy files she carried. The idea of living in a new country was exciting to her. She fumbled in her handbag for the key, the only handbag she had. Sara really disliked handbags. She preferred backpacks but she figured it was not suitable to attend an interview with a backpack. She opened the door and frowned at her still unpacked luggage. Packing and unpacking was always so awful for her. At this moment, it was either unpack or read those ridiculously thick files. She sat on the bed and chose to do neither. She flipped open her laptop and decided to check out her new boss instead. It seemed that his family was more powerful than she had imagined. Sheik Amir's grandfather was a cousin to the royal family. This made her more curious as to why he hired her. As powerful as he was, he could have had anyone as his new assistant and he chose her.
* * * *
Monday morning came sooner than Sara had hoped. She dragged herself out of bed and headed for the shower. Choosing clothes was not easy for her. She had
limited experience with office attire and wanted to pick the right outfit to make a good impression. She decided on a blue shirt, a black high-waist skirt and black high heels.
Sara looked in the mirror and faced the bush of hair on her head. She had long curly hair. Whilst others said it was nice, she found it hard to maintain. “Men have it easy,” she mumbled to herself. She managed to brush it up and tie it in a high bun. She grabbed her backpack and dashed out of the door. She was going to take her handbag but she simply couldn’t commit to using it every day.
“You may go straight through,” Adiva, the receptionist, said to Sara when she arrived. Sara smiled and headed towards Amir's office. She stopped halfway and walked back to Adiva.
“Where can I put my bag?” she asked.
“I can put it in the staff locker room for you.” Adiva took the bag from Sara. Turning, she grimaced. In her opinion, backpacks were not fashionable or appealing.
Sara walked into the office and greeted her new boss. He greeted her back and asked her to sit down. Immediately, he questioned her about the 'light reading'. Luckily, she had read the files cover to cover as Adiva had advised. Otherwise, this situation would have been incredibly embarrassing for her.
Whilst Amir was telling Sara what he expected of her, she couldn’t help but think about the articles she read about him. They described him as a ladies man. It did not surprise her. He was young, rich and handsome. Of course, he would be a ladies man and that characterization came with arrogance and a huge ego.
few weeks flew by. Amir mainly had her doing simple things, he said it was so that she could learn how to do things the way he liked them done. She learned that he was a very particular man. He wanted things executed exactly as he commanded, anything less and she’d have to do it again. He was nice to her though, she had really hoped for that. The last thing she wanted was to work for a tyrant. The only negative was how many times she had done something embarrassing in front him. Even though she was twenty-three, it seemed like she had not learned how to walk properly. Once, he had to grab her arm to stop her from falling over. She died inside of embarrassment and thanked him as if nothing had happened.
She arrived at the office bright and early as always. Adiva was cleaning up, even though the place was spotless. Sara watched Adiva walking up and down double-checking everything. “Adiva, what's going on?” Sara asked.
“Sheik Tariq is returning today,” Adiva replied frantically. Sara was standing there confused. Who was Sheik Tariq and why was she panicking like that? Adiva realised that Sara was still standing there, not moving or reacting. She stopped walking and looked back at Sara. “Sheik Tariq is the chairman and Sheik Amir's older brother,” Adiva answered Sara's question before she had the opportunity to ask.
“Okay. Thank you, Adiva, but why does his presence make you nervous? I understand he is the chairman but,” before Sara finished the sentence, Adiva cut her off.
“You do not know him. Everything has to be perfect. Trust me, you do not want to be on the wrong side of him,” Adiva said and returned to organising the reception area. Sara had a bad feeling about meeting this man. She could already see herself getting on his bad side. She shrugged her shoulders and headed for her new office. Amir had told her that once she started her official duties as his personal assistant, she would get her own office.
Sara was excited to have her own office. She looked around as she wondered what to put in it to liven things up a bit. It was partially empty, cold but clean. The office had a desk, three chairs, computer, small sofa and a credenza. She opened the doors to the credenza and to her surprise, the shelves were full.
“You'll need them for future projects,” a voice sounded from behind her. She turned around to see Amir leaning on the doorframe. Sara gave him half a smile.
“Will your brother be here soon?” Sara asked. She wasn't that familiar with him to talk to him that casually, but the words left her mouth faster than she could stop them. She was curious to know what this Tariq was like.
“Adiva gave that away,” Amir said as he chuckled.
“She's frantically cleaning the place.”
“My brother is a difficult man to please. You'll do well to stay on his good side.”
Sara frowned. This was the second time she was being warned to stay on his good side. What kind of a monster was he? She was now less than eager to meet him. Amir laughed at Sara's facial expression.
“Just stay out of his way is all the advice I can give you,” Amir said to her and walked out.
“Sheik Amir!” Sara called out and ran after him. He stopped and looked at her. “Can I slightly, just a bit, decorate the office?” She felt awkward asking him. She was starting to regret even asking. It probably was not a professional move.