I will not be fooled. I will not be fooled.
I write this over and over again in my diary. I hop down the stairs and tie my hair in a bun. I take a taxi down to my place of work. I greet the gate man with a smile as I enter and he tells me the company is having a very important visitor. I look at him and shake my head, so he thinks he can lie and play a little trick on me, he thinks he can deceitful tense me up. I sigh. No, I will not be fooled.
I come very close and greet the secretary at the table. She quickly glances at me and responds to my greetings. She is busy screening a document, her pen tracing what she's reading and she tells me she's forgotten her glasses at home. I do not believe her (of course, it's believable that anyone can forget their glasses) but only because it's April Fool's Day. I turn to find an old woman sitting down, probably waiting for the person who she has booked appointment with to call for her. I hear the clinking of something and looks down. The secretary whispers my name and asks if I could get her pen that's fallen. I stare at her and wonder how it fell, if there's any surprises she has kept for me, if she plans to do anything once I get down, why she can't get it herself even though we're both so close to it. I decide she's probably fooling me and that she has not forgotten her glasses at home and that she might tell me to pick the pen and play some crazy trick and I shake my head and tell her no. I will not be fooled today. She looks at me with a shocked expression and I see a little flash of anger in her eyes, before she struggles to find the pen with squinted eyes and pick it up. I wonder if maybe she has really forgotten her glasses and if I should have helped her but it's already too late.
I settle down in my office and bow my head. I realize I must expect crazier pranks from my colleagues and make up my mind not to fall for them. I see Joe pass by and he waves at me. I smile too wide for my face and wave back too eagerly, like a child. When he's gone, I scold myself and sigh. I have liked Joe for as long as I can remember and wonder if he has not noticed. My thoughts get distracted when my best friend walks into my office with a one-sided smile on her face.
"You won't believe it," she says.
She did a little dance and laughed. "Joe told me he likes you this morning."
Another prank to pull my leg. "Yeah right."
"Babe, I'm serious."
"Y'all think you can play a stupid joke on me and I'll fall for it. No darling, I won't be fooled."
'I don't know what the hell you're talking about. I just told you Joe likes you. You're supposed to be dancing right now. You told me you were crazy about him," she muttered.
I laugh. I will not be fooled. "Good morning, by the way."
"Good morning," she whispers and looks at me with a strange expression. Then she shakes her head and turns away.
Later on, I go to use the toilet and get back to office. Before I go far, Mrs. Flavor stops me.
"Oh dear, arrange that skirt of yours."
She holds her hands to her head. "Just look at it."
She puts on such a dramatic effect that I am sure that she wants to prank me.
"Come, come, let me fix it for you," she says.
I shake my head and giggle. She wants to find an opportunity to play a little crazy trick on me. "No, thank you."
"Oh my, it really doesn't look good. Let me help you fix it," she says more calmly and I refuse.
"Oh well, if you want to go on looking like that, you're free to do so. I just wanted to help honey."
"I am grateful for your offer," I smile.
I think about what my best friend said earlier. I don't want to believe yet a little part of my wishes it's true. I decide to see Joe for a while before I go back to my office. I take my steps delicately and smile (not as wide as the last one, mind you) at him. He smiles and we start talking. When I move to get a glass of water in his office, he gasps. I look back at him and in horror, I remember what Mrs. Flavor had said earlier. I wonder if there's really anything wrong with my skirt and I wish I had let her fix it for me.
"What's wrong?" I whisper anxiously.
He frowns a little and says in a gentle voice, "Your skirt is -"
I do not wait for him to finish. I know it will be something bad. I run back to the toilet, past Mrs. Flavor who only shakes her head. I gasp when I turn around and look at my back in the mirror. My skirt was tucked in my knickers. I stare at it for what seems like forever and them I pull it down and begin to cry. My best friend walks into the toilet to see me in tears and asks what's wrong. I tell her everything and she hugs me. I feel better in her arms.
"You know, when I told you earlier that Joe liked you, I wasn't lying. But I didn't know why you weren't believing me."
I look at her with a blank expression on my face and wonder what's wrong, where I made a mistake.
"What day is it?" I ask.
"April 2nd," she says.
I look like someone who's been brought out of a horror movie. My face goes white and I close my eyes for a while. The gateman wasn't lying when he told me the company was having unexpected visitors (we were supposed to have important visitors on April 2nd but I had confused the date). The secretary wasn't lying when she told me she had forgotten her glasses at home. My best friend hadn't lied when she told me Joe liked me. Mrs. Flavor wasn't wrong about my skirt not looking good. I sigh and put my head in my hands and ask myself what I've done. I had played the fool on a day not certainly April fool.