Lucas – Chapter 3

The meeting lasted over two hours, which was time for Lucia to think through a thousand possible consequences of her actions. The effects on him, because how she was going to react and how she was going to explain it she still had no idea. Which stressed her out enough that she decided not to think and just wait. Somehow she’d wriggle out of it today and figure something out by tomorrow. Until the conference room door finally opened. Everyone involved was having a quiet, calm conversation on the way down the hall. Shaking hands at the elevators, the clients stepped into the elevator and Lucas and Peter stood silently for a moment.

„Yes!!!“ roared Peter triumphantly, leaping into the air.
„We got it! Lucas, you’re great, you’re perfect, you’re God!“
Her boss remainded silent and made his way to the office.
„How did you come up with that! Never in my life would I have thought to do it like that! You got them, you got it!“
Lucas walked through the door and passed Lucy’s desk, glancing behind her. She didn’t turn around on purpose and he walked smoothly over. As Peter walked past her, he stopped:
„You know your boss is a genius? I wish you could have seen him. You should have seen their faces! That was familiar!“
She smiled forcefully.
„Lucy, make us some coffee,“ he finished and moved on. She was already standing when he shouted:
„Actually, no! Open the champagne for us. This needs to be celebrated. This is the business of the year!“

She waited for a moment to see if it was initiating a cancellation request from his boss, but he remained silent. So she walked over to the kitchenette, setting two glasses and a bottle on the tray. When she walked in to them, she couldn’t avoid looking at him – he was silent, staring directly into her eyes, obviously waiting for her to lower her gaze. There was absolutely nothing on his face – no joy, no anger, no curiosity, no question, just nothing. She began to busy herself with opening the bottle instead. Peter was constantly talking out loud – glorifying and colorfully describing the situation. She poured, set the bottle down, and waited for them both to take a glass.
„Um, will you need me again today?“ She asked cautiously. „It´s advanced time, I’d better be getting home.“
Peter answered:
„Lucy, where would you go! Come with us, bring a glass!“
She smiled at him and shook her head:
„Thank you.“
She returned Lucas’s gaze.
„Lucia, I’d love it if you’d join us for a toast. It was a real success,“ he urged her in a clear, superior voice devoid of any emotional coloring.
„Really no, thank you. I can’t.“
When he raised an eyebrow in displeasure, she added:
„I’m by a car.“
„Good. I still want to talk to you, just wait a minute.“
He took a sip. Lucia sighed.
„I need to be somewhere in an hour…“
„I’ll see you in a minute.“ He insisted.

She came back to herself and folded herself into a chair. Her pulse racing, she tried to calm her heart with a deep breath. She thought about a cigarette, but she heard the two men next to her agreeing on an evening drink, and the next moment Peter walked past her:
„You’re supposed to go over there,“ he announced with a smile and left. She closed her eyes for a second and then stood up.
„I’m listening to you,“ she started to say before she walked in to him.
„Have a seat,“ he gestured to the chair across from his desk, still casually turned on its side after Peter. She obeyed.

„Do you have any explanation ready for what happened today?“ He asked, folding his arms hostilely across his chest. Her forcibly calm facial expression immediately vanished. She blinked and averted her gaze:
„Not really,“ she whispered.
„Are you attending any courses?“
He shook his head.
„So let’s recap. You’ve been with me for over a year now. Last time last week I wanted a fairly simple chart from you with three variables. You handed me a creation that left me not understanding how you can operate a coffee machine. And today, in seventeen minutes, you not only understand the assignment for a complex analysis, but you can also think it through, complete it, suggest solutions, and even find errors in the assignment that no one before you noticed! You created complex tables and graphs, correct erroneous inputs and hand in a completed paper worthy of a manager who has been doing nothing but designing and managing solar power plants for ten years. And you have no explanation for this?!“

She had heard him shout out before, but never at herself. She was probably expecting a calmer response. She didn’t know what to say, so she remained silent. She bit her lip and stared at the ground. He snorted in disbelief and anger. He was silent for a moment, trying to calm himself, and then he spoke in a steady voice:
„I want an explanation, Lucia. And a very good one at that. And I’m going to get it.“
He smiled menacingly as she gave him a startled look.
„It’s going to go with you for better or for worse. And believe me,“ he leaned forward and rested his forearms on the table, „you don’t want to see me bad.“

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