The Only One(2)

By: Melissa Ellen

In the end, she stopped pushing, and we made up. I knew she still kept in touch with him, though. He was living in New York, now. He had recently taken over his father’s business after his father announced his retirement. It was all over the news, tabloids and business journals. I couldn’t avoid hearing about it even from across the country. He had also been named New York’s most eligible bachelor, shortly after he took over Blackwood Industries. I am sure the women were throwing themselves at him more than they already did.

Lizzie wasn’t the only one. I knew he was keeping in touch with my family, too. He had been to see my Mom and Nana a few times, and I knew that he often spoke to Jackson from the times my sister would let it slip in conversation.

At first, it infuriated me that everyone didn’t turn their backs on him, shutting him out. I slowly realized that wasn’t fair to ask of them. We both had become fond of each other’s families. After all, I was doing the same thing keeping in touch with his sister, Valerie. She was in town this weekend, looking at the USC campus. We had plans to meet for lunch today.

“Hey! Did I catch you at a bad time?” Lizzie’s voice came through the car speakers.

“No, I’m just sitting in traffic on my way to work. What’s going on?”

“Well, I was hoping I could invite myself out to California. I have some free time coming up in a couple weeks. Are you willing to put me up for a weekend?”

“Put you up or put up with you?” I teased her.

“Both,” she laughed.

“Of course! I can’t wait. Will Mike be coming with you?”

“No. He’ll be stuck here, taking care of business. You get me all to yourself, you lucky bitch.”

“Perfect,” I laughed. “We can have a girl’s weekend.”

“I’ll send you my flight details as soon as I have it booked. I have to run. I’ll call you later?”

“Sounds good. Miss you and tell Mike hi for me.”

“Will do and miss you, too,” she said before hanging up the call.

I walked into Willis & Associates, the small firm I had been working at for the last few years. I started working here as an intern while finishing my studies in graduate school. Tom, my boss, had offered me a full time position as soon as I graduated. I didn’t know if he offered me the job because he truly thought I had talent or if it was because he needed the “Associates” for his firm name. But either way, I happily accepted.

At the time I started, he was a one man operation. He hired Jocelyn and me a few months apart after landing a couple larger residential projects that he wouldn’t be able to do on his own. We both worked as interns, becoming fast friends, so when he offered her a full time job at the same time, I was relieved she took it.

I loved my job, and our little firm seemed to be growing quickly which was exciting to be a part of. There was now four of us working in our tiny quaint office. Tom recently added a new intern to our little group – Drew – to help us with drafting. For the most part, we all had the same job. The only difference between Joce and me versus Drew was that we would run point with clients.

“Morning!” I beamed as I passed Drew on my way to my desk.

“Morning, Ava,” Drew greeted me, standing near the door. “I was just about to make a Starbucks run. Do you want anything?”

Drew was your average good-hearted guy. He had boyish good looks, but not someone I would say was overly attractive. He was cute in his own way with his curly brownish blond hair and cheeks that seemed to always be flushed. He had an average build and wore thick rimmed glasses that fit his quirky personality and sense of humor that only he seemed to get. He was often laughing at his own jokes which somehow had a way of making us laugh with him.

“No, thanks. Brought some from home, today,” I lifted my travel cup into his view.

“Alright, be back in a few,” he said, leaving out the front door of the office.

Our office wasn’t the most impressive as far as size or layout, but I loved it none the less. It had a long, narrow, open floor plan with only three rooms towards the back of the space that housed Tom’s office, a restroom and a small room that acted as both a break room and make shift meeting area.