Chioma decided to stop by Ruth’s office before heading to hers. After getting out of taxi, she stood on the sidewalk for a moment, looking up at the building. Then, she walked through the revolving doors and went up to the reception desk. The man glanced up at her. “May I help you?”
“Yes, I’d like to see Mrs. Ruth Warren.”
“Is she expecting you?”
“No, she isn’t but could you call and let her know that Chioma Krasnova is here to see her, please?”
“All right.” He picked up the phone and dialed a number. “Mrs. Warren? It’s Ralph down in Reception. There’s a Chioma Krasnova here to see you.” He listened for a moment. “All right, Mrs. Warren. I will send her up. Thank you.” He hung up. “You may go right up. Just take the lift up to the 17th floor. Mrs. Warren said to wait in the reception area.”
“Thank you.” Chioma walked over to the bank of elevators and pressed the button. One promptly arrived and she stepped inside. She punched the button for the 17th floor and leaned against the panel as the lift ascended. The doors opened and she stepped out into a white reception table with a young woman sitting behind computer in a modern corporate waiting area. It was easiest the largest office space she had ever since. It was flooded with lots of natural light and the roof to ceiling windows faced other buildings. Personally, she preferred where she worked. It was much smaller but it felt warm and welcoming and even had a Welcome sign over the reception desk. This place felt clinical.
She walked over to the reception desk. The girl glanced up from her computer screen. “May I help you?” There was no smile only an inquiring look.
“I’m here to see Mrs. Warren.”
“Is she expecting you?”
“I’ll let her know that you’re here.” She picked up the receiver and called Ruth. “Ruth? There’s a Mrs. Krasnova here to see you.” She hung up a few minutes later. “I’ll take you to her.” She rose and walked around the desk. She was tall and slim. The mustard colored skirt suit she was wearing looked expensive. Her hair was swept back in a French knot. She looked more like a fashion model than a receptionist.
She preceded Chioma down a hall, past several offices until they came to corner one on the right. She knocked and a voice called, “Come in.” She pushed open the door and went inside. “Mrs. Krasnova,” she announced.
Chioma moved so that she could see the woman sitting behind the desk. “Thanks, Ella,” she said to the receptionist who promptly left the office, closing the door behind her. Ruth’s gaze shifted to her visitor. “Please have a seat.”
“No, thank you. I won’t take up much of your time, Mrs. Warren.”
“Why are you here?”
“I came to tell you that I want you to stay away from my husband.”
“You mean Dushan?”
“Yes. He mentioned that you showed up at our building last week Saturday.”
“I wanted to see him.”
“I needed to see him, to talk to him. There’s no law against that, is there?”
“What you’re doing to Dushan borders on harassment, Mrs. Warren.”
Ruth’s eyebrows rose. “Harassment?” She laughed caustically. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’m not harassing him.”
“He warned you not to stop by his office or come to our home. You ignored his warnings. If you attempt to see him again, he will file a complaint against you for stalking and harassment which are offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.”
“You’re out of your mind. I’m not stalking or harassing Dushan.”
“What would you call unwanted phone calls and visits?”
“I haven’t called him in a long time and I’ve visited him once at the office and once at his building.”
“Mrs. Warren, I want you to stay away from my husband.”
“Does he know that you’re here?”
“I told him that if you dared to show your face again, I would take care of you.”
“And that’s why you’re here now–to take care of me? I’m not afraid of you, Ms. Laval.”
“I’m Mrs. Krasnova.”
Ruth’s eyes flashed at her. “I refuse to call you that.”
“Refusing to call me by my married name isn’t going to change the fact that I’m his wife. And as his wife, I’m telling you that I want you to stay away from him.”
“Or else what?”
“He and I will take you to court and get a restraining order. And just so you know, it’s a criminal offence to breach a restraining order. You can face 6 months’ imprisonment or up to 5 years. If I were you, I would think long and hard about what you could stand to lose if you don’t end this obsession you have with Dushan.”
Ruth’s face flushed. “I’m not obsessed with Dushan,” she snapped. “I love him.”
“But he doesn’t love you, Mrs. Warren. He never did. Why can’t you accept that and move on? Where’s your pride, your self-respect?”
Ruth stood up. “I think you’ve taken up enough of my time.”
“All right, I’ll go now. Think about what I’ve said. If you don’t want your family to be dragged into this, leave my husband alone.” Chioma turned and walked to the door. She opened it and went out.
As soon as the door was closed, Ruth began to pace about the room, her hands clenched and her face suffused with color. How dare that woman show up at her office like that? What on earth did Dushan see in her? She wasn’t even attractive. At least, his first wife, Evelyn was. How could he dump me for that creature?
She had the gall to threaten to take her to court and get a restraining order. She was sure that the whole thing was her idea, not Dushan’s. He wouldn’t resort to such measures–not with the history they had–could still have if it weren’t for that creature. Well, I’m going to do something about her. She’s going to regret the day she came between Dushan and me.