“I hope your relationship with Daniel won’t interrupt your work here,” Eddie said.
I stood in his office, with one of the (model) interns sitting on the corner of his desk, filing at her nails. I don’t even want to know how she got this job, but all I know is Eddie is still a sleaze. Hey, I’m not exactly Mother Theresa here, totally not opposed to having some fun, but seriously, Eddie? This guy is like a narcissistic (and he thinks, moral) centaur. He’s not on a high horse, he is the high horse!
I crossed my arms. “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” Eddie leaned onto his desk, “I hope nothing upsets my good friend, or his son,” he furrowed his brows in thought and then gave up, shaking his head, “whatever his name is.”
It’s like watching a black heart trying to be red and beating. “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
Eddie smiled. “It is when it relates to my personal life and ventures.”
I shrugged. “Okay, that’s your opinion.” I hated it when people said that to me, so I figured it would piss off an elite magnate. Sure enough, Eddie flared his nostrils and narrowed his eyes.
He pointed at the door. “Out.” His (model) intern smiled.
I kept my smile until I turned around and rolled my eyes. I hated the way Eddie treated me. It’s kind of like what everyone’s been talking about really, about how it’s very rare to find a manager (or in this case, boss) that’s a good one. That’s what I’ve been talking about this entire time. I’ve been so blessed to have Martin, now Randy, yet I think I’ve jinxed myself. I’m my own worst enemy. I thought it was too good to be true, that it couldn’t get any better. And guess what…it didn’t.
I slumped down at my desk and just felt like I deflated. No more energy. Eddie interrupted me in the middle of my work and eating my favourite combination snack: almonds, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Delicious and nutritious! Eating the almonds with the cranberries made the almonds taste sweet. Sweet nuts! I guess it could get better. I half-smiled and took three each of the snack foods into my mouth.
“Jesus,” Derek said as he came walking towards me, “that must have been thee depressing thing I have seen in a long time.”
I rolled my eyes at him and tried to brighten my mood and energy. I straightened my back and pulled my shirt down. “Shut up. I’m just stressed.”
“Mmhmmm,” Derek leaned on my desk, “want to talk about it?”
I shook my head. “No,” I pouted.
Derek laughed. “Boyfriend problems? I knew it.”
“No, boss problems.”
“Wait, you knew what exactly?”
Derek acted all nonchalant, shrugging and shaking his head. “Nothing.”
I smiled. “Oh come on. Tell.”
Derek sighed. “Okay, promise not to get mad.”
Note to men: disclaimers such as ‘don’t get mad’ don’t help the situation. It just lets us know that we’re about to unleash the beast within us, and to give you credit for half-warning us indirectly. And honey, I only give credit where it’s due!
“Just say it,” I pressed.
“I just thought that you two weren’t exactly the right fit together.”
I crossed my arms. Derek eyed that and I quickly uncrossed them, though he knew it already, I was already just a little annoyed. Hell it was my fault, I asked didn’t I? Doesn’t mean I can control my emotions for the time being.
“And why’s that?” I asked calmly. Probably a little too calm but Derek didn’t notice.
Derek shrugged. “It’s just the way he is with you. And his daddio. I mean, family issues, ex-girlfriend issues…”
“…so you two were listening intently, I see.”
“It was hard not to. Like trying to look away from a car accident; an emotional accident.”
Refrain from grimacing! Refrain from grimacing! “Okay,” I said slowly, the grimace translating into my tone.
“He just doesn’t seem that invested. I’m a guy, I can catch these things.”
“Well he is invested,” I said.
“Mhmm! In fact we’re serious, and he’s taking me on a trip.”
It’s like I was arguing with family about my first boyfriend or something. ‘We’re in love, and there’s nothing you can do about it’ cue the stomping of the feet.
“A trip to where?”
I shrugged. “I was thinking New York.”
“Romantic,” Derek said, though he seemed to not believe in it.
I nodded my head anyway. “It will be.”
Derek and I all of a sudden were locked in some sort of staring match. It was like he was telling me that I was fooled, and I was telling him that he was wrong. One thing made me curious though, why was I trying so hard to convince him that Daniel and I belonged together? Maybe it was because at this point, it felt like the whole world was against us. First Daniel’s father, then Eddie, now Derek. Could it be any more difficult? Then it occurred to me, does a relationship have to feel like work for it to be considered a relationship. Can’t we raise the sails and ride the wind smoothly, or do we have to be drowning, struggling, and fighting for breath, for the feelings to be legitimate? I guess in a legitimate relationship, you can’t have any lifesavers either. Forget the buoys, captain!
By the time night had come around I had to get ready for work at the club and I so needed the distraction. Everyone was starting to get on my nerves.
“Derek has it in for you,” Chloe said as she was strewn along my bed, watching me pick out clothes for my trip with Daniel. It’s best to prepare, even if it’s this early…with no actual date. Although we did agree on a weekend, it seemed like the only obvious option. It wasn’t like we were going to go during our school and work time.
I rolled my eyes. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
“Of course it does.”
“How?” I put up a dress against my half naked body.
“Anna, it’s freezing in New York. Seriously, do you think you’re going to be wearing a dress at any time of the day?”
“I’m sure people are wearing this over tights and whatnot.”
“Yeah, but those people are either fashion obsessed crazies or chilling it with Mr. Freeze.”
I laughed. “So you were saying.” I dived back into my clothes.
“Ah yes!” Chloe sat up and crossed her legs. “So you guys met and then he wanted to get you alone–”
“—to have sex,” I quickly clarified.
“Still, that shows some sort of interest. It may have been expressed in the wrong way but it was still interest.”
“God, Chloe that is so not right.”
“Okay,” she held up her hands for me to wait, “another one?”
“By all means,” I said, holding up another dress.
“Forget the dresses!” she said. I pouted. “He’s practically the only person who even talks to you at the agency.”
“Again,” I said, “not true. I have Nikki and…”
“Does Nikki even talk to you as much as Derek does?” Chloe asked, not even bothering waiting for me to continue. I was glad though, it was about to get very sad.
I shrugged. “We work in different departments.”
Chloe rolled her eyes. “Honey, wake up and smell the jealousy. He is so into you.”
“You’re wrong,” I said, holding up a coat.
Chloe smiled. “Perfect! One down…”
“…a weekend’s worth to go.”