On an unusual day, Romeo found himself running late for the office. As he entered through the main gate, an unsettling feeling washed over him, causing the ground beneath his feet to seem unsteady. He glanced at his reflection in the grand lobby mirror, which had become a daily ritual. His appearance betrayed the tension and confusion he felt. He lingered before the mirror for a moment longer but hurried away upon hearing voices approaching down the hallway. Thoughts raced through his mind about what Fafa might be thinking, how she would react, and how she would receive his news.

Upon entering the office, it felt as though all eyes were on him. Even Auntie Esi, someone who typically minding her own business, stared in his direction. Nervously, he made his way through the office, darting glances left and right, before finally reaching his desk with a sigh of relief. “Whew,” he muttered, “that felt like the longest walk of my life.” His coworker across from him whispered, asking why he was so late, given that Romeo had never been tardy before. Just as he was about to respond, Fafa entered the office, her eyes swollen and red, as though she had been crying all night.

Romeo was perplexed by her emotional state, unsure if their recent discomfort was enough to warrant such intense tears. Fafa brushed past him, ignoring his presence, and focused on her desk as if immersed in work. Romeo hesitated for a moment, then mustered the courage to approach her desk. However, Fafa’s glare sent him scurrying back to his own workspace, realizing that he had lost her, and there was little he could do to change that. This was a side of Fafa he had never seen before.

During lunchtime, the entire office gathered in the cafeteria, nearly filling it to capacity. Romeo was already seated with his male colleagues, engaging in lively conversation. Suddenly, Fafa entered, swiftly grabbed her meal, and surveyed the room for a place to sit. There were only two available spots, one beside Romeo at the table with the guys and the other at a table occupied by female coworkers who harbored envy and resentment toward her. She reluctantly chose the former, pretending Romeo didn’t exist, and quietly dug into her food.

After an uncomfortable silence, Romeo quietly disclosed, “I ended things with Lola last night.” With those words, he finished his meal, stood up, and left.

Fafa went on and finished her food, rushed to his desk, embracing him tightly, conveying more with that hug than words ever could. It felt like he had regained the woman of his dreams. She pulled away from the hug, wiped her tears hastily, and hurried back to her desk, hoping to get there before her colleagues returned from lunch.

The rest of the day took an unexpectedly positive turn. Romeo had a new-found spring in his step, and Fafa exuded a sense of newfound confidence. She approached Romeo’s desk with a notepad and pen, seeking his assistance with a challenging task. In a matter of minutes, Romeo cracked the code and solved her problem. They shared laughter and light conversation, unaware that their brief fairy tale was on the verge of shattering.

Suddenly, a security officer entered the office and signaled for Romeo. “Sir, someone is looking for you at the gate,” he said. Romeo requested that the person wait in the lobby, and he asked Fafa to accompany him. Initially hesitant, she eventually relented, and they made their way to the lobby, laughter still echoing. However, their joy was short-lived.

A familiar voice interrupted their moment. “Hello, babe. After all the work you did last night, I figured you’d be exhausted. So, I prepared something to restore your vitality,” Lola exclaimed, holding a large basket of food, completely ignoring Fafa’s presence. Tears welled up in Fafa’s eyes as she turned to Romeo, whispered, “I thought you guys… you know what? Never mind. Do what makes you happy,” and swiftly left the lobby. In a broken voice, she muttered to herself, “I’m so stupid,” breaking into a jog, consumed by heartbreak.

Romeo’s heart sank as he watched Fafa’s retreating figure, her footsteps echoing down the hallway like a sad refrain. He was frozen, torn between the woman he had just ended things with and the one who had been his confidante and support. Lola’s presence had blindsided him, and he couldn’t find the words to explain the situation. He knew he had to go after Fafa, but the guilt and confusion held him in place.

Lola, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to the tension in the air. She approached Romeo with a warm smile, still holding the basket of food. “I hope you like it,” she purred, leaning in for a kiss. But Romeo recoiled, avoiding her lips.

“Lola, what are you doing here?” he asked, frustration and anger creeping into his voice. “I told you last night that we’re over.”

Lola’s expression shifted from confidence to surprise. “Over? Romeo, you can’t be serious, that was yesterday. We both slept it off and should be ok by now. We’ve been through this before. You know you can’t resist me.” She attempted to embrace him, but he stepped back, his frustration boiling over.

“I am serious, Lola,” he snapped. “I’ve made up my mind. It’s over between us. I can’t do this anymore.”

Lola’s face contorted with anger, and she slammed the basket of food onto a nearby table. “You’re making a big mistake, Romeo,” she hissed. “You’ll regret this.”

Romeo turned and walked away, ignoring Lola’s threats. His thoughts were consumed by Fafa, and he needed to find her and explain what had just happened. He rushed down the hallway, desperately searching for any sign of her.

Meanwhile, Fafa had retreated to a quiet corner of the office, hidden away from prying eyes. Tears streamed down her face as she replayed the scene in the lobby over and over in her mind. She felt foolish for allowing herself to believe that there was something special between her and Romeo. Her heart ached with betrayal, and she couldn’t bear to see him with Lola any longer.

As Romeo rounded a corner, he finally spotted Fafa sitting alone, her shoulders shaking with sobs. He approached her cautiously, his heart heavy with guilt and regret. “Fafa,” he said softly, “please, let me explain.”

Fafa looked up at him, her eyes filled with pain and hurt. “Explain? What’s there to explain, Romeo? You chose her over me. It’s clear where your priorities lie.”

Romeo knelt beside her, his voice trembling. “Fafa, I didn’t choose her over you. I ended things with her last night. What you saw in the lobby was unexpected, and I didn’t invite her here. I promise you, I want to be with you.” And he wanted to hold her tightly and whisper sweet nothing. he also desperately wanted to kiss her…

Fafa looked into his eyes, searching for sincerity. She wanted to believe him, but the wounds were still fresh. “Romeo, this is too much for me to handle right now. I need some time alone.”

Romeo nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation. “I respect your decision, Fafa. Take all the time you need. But please know that I’m here for you, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make things right.”

With those words, Fafa rose from her seat and walked away, leaving Romeo alone in the hallway, grappling with the consequences of his actions and desperately hoping for a chance to rebuild the trust he had shattered.