“Wow! I can’t believe Kylisha actually finished that whole route for Arnaz,” Rosemary Langley said from her position at Mitch’s office window. The payroll clerk/bookkeeper’s chocolate eyes were full of awe as she observed the garbage trucks that were reporting back in today. Each driver had just finished a six to ten hour workday in the community. All were undoubtedly tired from their routes.
“I knew there was something special about that girl when I hired her,” Mitch Rozier replied in an excited tone. He rose from his desk chair and went towards the window. Like Rosemary, he wanted to watch Kylisha park that big rig.
Though Mitch was highly skeptical of Kylisha’s driving ability at first, after taking a thirty minute ride with her through one of their shorter routes, he quickly discovered that she was more than able to handle the large side-loader. Affectionately called ‘the one-arm bandit’, this truck was often used as a one-man curbside operation. Today its personnel-saving feature definitely came in handy.
“She’s backing that baby up like a pro,” Mitch said, watching Kylisha ease with precision into an empty spot of the fenced-in company lot. “Ooo…wee! That girl’s got skills. She didn’t even hesitate to whip that thing into place,” he added, slapping the knee of his blue and brown uniform in excitement.
Fully rested now, Gene Waldenhall – junior partner/sales manager in the company, rose from one of the brown visitor’s chairs and walked towards the window, too. Though silent, he was amazed by Kylisha’s driving skills just like the other two people in the room.
Who would have thought that the plain-faced, slender woman who sat at the front desk could handle such a large vehicle? Yes, Kylisha was competent and had streamlined the office operations so that the company ran smoother than it ever had before. But that now seemed like a small thing compared to driving a mammoth size garbage truck.
Rosemary, Mitch, and Gene all applauded when Kylisha finally parked the truck and turned the engine off. Instead of returning to their seats, they all went out to wait for her in the reception area.
A few minutes later, Kylisha came bounding through the front door of the office in that same energetic manner that she performed everything she put her hands to. Mitch was the first to speak up.
“Well, little lady, it looks like you survived the day. And the way you just parked that truck was genius,” Mitch said in his usual jolly voice. He had fatherly pride for Kylisha in his eyes.
Not having any biological children of his own, Mitch’s secretary was just another young person that he felt led to take under his wing. In fact, one could say that God had given Mitch a chance to be a father after all through the young people that he adopted by association and through the five children he welcomed into his life by marriage. Gene was one of those adopted-by-marriage children on account of the fact that Mitch married his mother.
Kylisha’s bronze cheeks blushed a deep crimson at Mitch’s compliment. The twenty-three-year-old woman self-consciously adjusted the wide-brimmed glasses upon her small nose. “Thanks, Mr. Rozier. It was my pleasure to do that for you.” As she spoke, Kylisha unzipped her long black coat and hung it up on the wooden coat rack by the door.
With her coat gone, Gene’s eyes swept over Kylisha’s slim figure. What figure? he asked himself. Whatever curves she had looked almost nonexistent in the long black skirt-set she wore.
Come to think of it, Kylisha never wore formfitting clothes. Nor did she do anything fancy with her long hair. Day in and day out she wore a boring ponytail upon her head even though the color of the bows changed with her outfits. Yet if Gene had known that Kylisha was reared by her grandparents in a strict, religious household, he would completely understand why she dressed so conservatively and behaved so chaste.
One thing Gene did know was that he liked that blush on Kylisha’s cheeks. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen a woman blush so unpretentiously. If he’d learned nothing else about their secretary in the five months she’d been here, it was the fact that Kylisha was exactly who she appeared to be.
Kylisha dressed modestly. She was modest, only showing aggression when it came to her work. Kylisha looked like an intelligent woman with those smart glasses upon her heart-shaped face. She was an intelligent woman, able to bring order to chaos in a short period of time. In fact, she’d performed a miracle in their office already during her short employment.
Ever since Kylisha came to work for the Rozier Sanitation Company, the office environment had been much more pleasant and orderly. That was a lot different from the way the other secretary had run it. First of all, Miriam Torpor had been lazy to the tenth power. She tended to think that a sanitation company didn’t need to stay tidy since the people there were used to dealing with debris anyway.
Everyone had been glad to see Miriam leave, especially the collectors. Kylisha kept their routes and schedules straight. Plus she always made sure that any repairs they needed for the trucks stayed top priority. It was no wonder she became a quick favorite among the collectors.
Kylisha was now in danger of becoming a favorite with Gene, too. Especially after punching a small hole in his theory concerning her. While Kylisha was what she appeared to be on most levels, she was surprisingly capable of doing much more than Gene expected or ever imagined her to do. She was obviously able to handle any sticky situation that arose no matter how suddenly it occurred. Gene was intrigued by that. Very intrigued…and grateful.
“I think Miss Greene deserves some kind of raise for her actions today,” Gene volunteered, wanting to reward their faithful employee for her efforts. Kylisha had handled the job of two men today and for that she needed to be compensated.
With wide green eyes, Kylisha immediately began to shake her head. “No…I…”
“I insist,” Gene interrupted, exercising his position in the company now. The young man not only owned a third of the business, but as sales manager, Gene also made sure it stayed afloat by drumming up as many clients as he could in the large metropolitan community they resided in.
Looking intently into Kylisha’s eyes as he spoke, Gene noticed for the first time that they were light green with flecks of brown in them. For a brief moment he found it hard to breathe as he felt those gorgeous pools of hers pulling him further into their gaze. It felt as if Kylisha was searching his soul. Inwardly, Gene wondered what she would found there because sometimes he didn’t even know himself.
In order to remove the awkwardness that had suddenly descended upon the room, Mitch moved from his place beside Gene and patted Kylisha on the back. “Yes, my son is right, Kylisha. You should get a raise for going above and beyond the call of duty today. Therefore, you will see a ten percent increase reflected on your next paycheck.” Mitch then turned to Rosemary and added, “Have the forms ready for me to sign by Monday morning, okay?”
“Right, boss,” Rosemary replied in full agreement with this action. Kylisha had become a favorite of hers, too, over the last few months.
“Well, I guess I should say thank you again. Thank you to both bosses this time,” Kylisha said with a genuine smile, finally removing her gaze from the man who had suggested the raise in the first place.
Though she was no longer looking at Gene, Kylisha couldn’t help but hold on to the gorgeous image of him in that navy blue suit he had on today. The gold crested buttons on the tailored blazer and the brown turtleneck underneath went well with Gene’s deep chestnut eyes and skin. The close haircut he usually wore made him look even more debonair today.
He certainly looks good. Too bad he’s no good, Kylisha mused, fighting to hold her smile in place as she thought of her junior boss’ infamous womanizing ways.
Gene cleared his throat, which had suddenly become dry under Kylisha’s intense gaze, and prepared to excuse himself. “Well, with that taken care of, I think it’s time for me to clock out for the day. I have somewhere I need to be,” he said, thinking of his hot date tonight. The same hot date that he would see after he visited his grandmother.
Gene often went by to see his grandmother Janelle during the week. And he always spent time with her on Sundays. That was their own special grandmother/grandson tradition and it helped to keep them close.
I hope to be pretty close with glamorous Gloreatha tonight, too, Gene mused, fast forwarding past his visit with his grandmother. Yet even as he thought about tonight’s hot date, his mind strayed back to images of Kylisha’s keen, discerning eyes. He couldn’t shake the feeling of having been surveyed by those eyes and found wanting. He didn’t know how to feel about that.
“I’ll see you on Sunday, son,” Mitch said, reminding Gene of their customary big Sunday family dinner.
“Oh, I wouldn’t miss that for the world,” Gene replied with a smile. He wouldn’t dare pass up another chance to eat his mother’s lip-smacking, finger-licking, good cooking.
As Gene walked towards his office to collect his things, he didn’t dare look Kylisha’s way again. Another soul searching stare like the last one and he was liable to need CPR.
Gene never had a woman to take his breath away before. If he had to pick one, he would have chosen a much more attractive female to have that kind of effect on him. Kylisha was too dowdy in her boring, shapeless clothes; too plain with her makeup-less face and simple hairdo; too everything Gene wasn’t looking for in a woman.
In Gene’s opinion, Kylisha’s only physically redeeming qualities were those gorgeous green eyes of hers and that smooth bronze skin that reminded him of rich butter. The fact that even though she’d been out in a garbage truck all day and still smelled great like a soothing botanical garden was also a plus.
Gene had gotten a whiff of Kylisha as he hastily passed by her just then. Her fragrance had unexpectedly moved something within him. It also had him wondering if the frigid temperatures outside had somehow preserved her natural scent.
Either way, she’s still the best smelling garbage collector I’ve ever encountered, Gene mused, trying to use humor to curtail the unexpected desire in his body.
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