What a Fool
When Walter came out of Helena's office being comforted by Myka and then Myka walked back in, Pete lost all hope of winning. Myka reappeared a moment later – and when it was all said and done, Myka Bering walked out of Helena's office on the 29 minute mark, of her own accord.
In the short time it took her to walk Walter out, she had figured out how she had been made into a pasty – and took the device back to its owner. She knew in her heart Claudia had been a pawn. She patted her hand as she past her. "It's okay, sweetie. You were just doing your job," Myka said sympathetically.
Pete won the bet – he was one of the few who put his money on Myka and for that duration, but like Artie, there seemed to be no joy in having won. "Give it all to the St. Francis fund," he told Eileen.
Poor Eileen - it had been an emotional day for the personal assistant. The pressure of being inside Helena's office and delivering Myka's message was the closest thing to a death wish the young woman had ever experienced. And then the responsibility of updating the entire firm of the comings and goings while they waited to see who won the bet was nerve wracking.
When the crowd dispersed, Eileen realized she would be the only one there to face Helena as she emerged from her office. Eileen knew what to do. She figured it was a matter of time before Helena appeared in the doorway – and heads would roll. So she called for reinforcement.
Eileen may have been the nervous type – but she wasn't stupid.
Inside, Helena looked down at the silver object that had been taken apart – the device she invented - exposed and laid out. She looked around the room as if Myka should be standing there and when she wasn't, Helena stepped over the mounds of paper strewn on the floor, marched to the office door, and pulled it open.
"Where the hell is she?" Helena barked and stared directly at Eileen.
"Where the bloody hell did Ms. Bering go?" Helena repeated.
"Where do you think she went?" Mrs. Frederic answered from the couch where she was seated.
"I want her back here in my office now," Helena yelled and Eileen put her head down – rather than pass out. This left only the HR Director in Helena's sites.
"And how do you propose I get her? Drag her back?" Mrs. Frederic inquired as she got up.
"If necessary!" Helena answered.
The older woman nodded her head towards the inner office and Helena grunted. Irene waited for her boss to walk in and closed the door. Eileen looked at her watch. Would this day ever end?
"What did I tell you Helena?" Irene said taking note of the papers all over the floor.
"Fire at will?" Helena mocked, but Irene raised her eyebrow waiting for the answer.
"If you can't play nice, Helena, fight fair," Helena said in a mocking tone. God, she hated it when Irene was right.
"Did you?" Irene asked picking up papers from the floor.
"Yes," Helena said and began the motion of the steel balls banging on her desk. Irene immediately put her hand on the damn thing.
"You're incapable of playing nice, so I take it you mean you fought fair. Then why is Ms. Donovan in the bathroom crying? And why is Ms. Bering in her office with the door closed? And why did Mr. Sykes look confused and dazed?" Irene asked, sitting in the chair.
Helena stared at her HR Director. None of this was getting Helena what she wanted, but she knew the woman would not give up until she answered her.
"Ms. Donovan is naive, Ms. Bering is a sore loser, and Mr. Sykes is heartbroken," Helena answered.
"Ms. Donovan is overwhelmed with guilt. Guilt you imposed on her. Ms. Bering is feeling used and rightly so because you used her, and Mr. Sykes is forlorn because you forgot to mention from the start this was just physical for you," Irene corrected her.
Irene was not only delaying Helena now, she was just down right frustrating her.
"I should fire you," Helena said seriously.
"Again?" Irene laughed. "You've already done that twice this month."
"But you never go!" the Brit pointed out.
"So what will you do now, Helena?" Irene asked as she got up from her chair.
"Well, if you would get Ms. Bering for me I would …..," and the frustration was written on her face.
"No, you tried that and I don't think it worked very well for you. Hmmm," Irene said picking up the pieces of the pen. "Looks like Ms. Bering returned your …..gift."
"Aargh!" Helena said turning around and putting her back to Irene.
"Don't be insolent, Helena. It's unbecoming in a woman of your stature," Irene scolded her.
"Well, what do you propose I do - oh wise one?" Helena ridiculed, but really wanted to know.
"You know where her office is," Irene said as she closed the door – but not all the way.
THIS was the sage advice? Go to her? After beating her at her own game, go to her? After the woman had the nerve …no the audacity ….to tell her no twice? In- the-same-day? Helena should have been able to complete this internal rant with 'when hell freezes over, I will,' – but that pain was in her chest again. She knew what she had to do – even if swallowing her pride was not on her diet.
She ran her hand down her dress to smooth out the material – perhaps an unconscious move on her part to signal what she hoped to do with Myka. She walked out with every intention of going to Myka's office, but realized she didn't know where it was. Eileen told her she was on the floor beneath her.
"Don't I wish," Helena muttered to herself as she decided to be mature about the whole thing.
Myka felt everyone's eyes on her when she walked out of Helena's office, and although they stared mostly out of admiration, Myka felt crushed inside. This is exactly how she felt when she returned to school the day after the dance. Eyes everywhere watched her – and she knew they were waiting to see if she would fall to pieces. Everyone knew her date had left her at the dance – and worse – that her father picked her up. If someone had peeled away Myka's skin that day, it would have been less painful than standing at the locker while people watched and whispered. She had been naive to think the blind date would work in her favor and she vowed she would never been taken advantage of again.
That vow wouldn't be kept of course, because Myka was a nice person – and waited for the world to respond in kind.
Myka forced herself to smile at Claudia and comfort her because she didn't want the kid to think she was angry at her. She forced herself to smile at Pete and the rest of the people who were there. She thought she'd never make it to her office, but she finally did. The first thing she noticed was the whiff of perfume that filled the room from the floral arrangements that lined her credenza. At first, she thought they were from Sam. 'He is such a nice…,' Myka thought until she read the card. 'We wish you luck in your future endeavors' from The Staff of Wells Corp.
She had hoped she at least kept pace with Helena in that confrontation upstairs, but as it turned out, Helena was always two steps ahead. She had seen to it that Myka get the message regardless of how it turned out, that she was leaving.
Leaving was not an easy thing for Myka. When people leave you all the time – it makes you have abandonment issues. Something Myka swore she had under control – given that she made this move to the Big Apple all on her own. Finally, Myka had left everyone else.
Yet standing there in the middle of her office, Myka felt abandoned. What the hell was it about her boss that reached deep into her psyche and managed to bring up every horrible memory she had?
Myka got her coat and bag and went to the elevator. "Please have someone bring the flowers to the local hospital," Myka asked her assistant because they were beautiful and someone should enjoy them. Myka was going home to pour herself a drink and decide what her next move was going to be.
As Myka got on the elevator and the door closed, the other door opened and Helena stepped out of it. She stared at the surroundings as if this was an unfamiliar setting. It really was – it was the first time she was on that floor. Myka's assistant shot up in her seat, never having seen the CEO there.
"Ms. Wells!" she said, overstating the obvious as far as Helena was concerned.
"Yes," Helena said look around, hoping she would find Myka on her own.
"Ms. Bering?" Helena asked.
"You just missed her. Shall I call her on her cell?" the woman asked.
Just then Helena saw the mail room manager wheel out a large cart from an office with six vases of flowers on it. "Going to Mercy Hospital right?" he asked not taking note of whom he was interrupting.
"Yes," the woman answered.
Helena looked as the flowers bounced as he wheeled them away. Orchids, roses, daisies – all arranged beautifully, but carrying a terrible message. Helena had instructed Eileen to have them sent - to wish Myka a bon voyage.
"Did Ms. Bering see these?" Helena asked the stunned woman.
"Yes, Ms. Wells, she did," she answered.
Helena shook her head at the realization of just how far she had pushed things this time.
"I'm a bloody ass, did you know that?" Helena asked, looking directly at the secretary.
"Yes, Ms. Wells," she automatically answered and then gasped when she heard her own words.
"No, you're right," Helena said – taking the elevator back up to her office.
Myka held it together as long as she could and that turned out to be until she was in the back of the cab she hailed to take her home. She pushed dark sunglasses up on her face, but as she cleared her throat to give him the address downtown, her voice cracked.
"Bitch of a day?" the cabbie asked sympathetically.
"Yeah," Myka said smiling back. The smile was forced, but the tears would have their due. Those she couldn't hold back.
Myka paid the man and tipped him generously because she decided kindness was a rare commodity in this concrete jungle. She pushed the key in the door and closed it behind her, finally safe in her own home.
Her phone rang – and when she looked down it was a familiar number. She hesitated because she was still feeling the sting of what had happened, but she didn't want to be alone either.
"Hi Sam," she said swallowing hard to sound all right.
"Bunny? Are you okay?" he asked because he heard the cracking in her voice.
Myka was trying to decide how much to tell him. The last thing she needed to hear was 'I told you so' from him. "Just a bad day at work? " she finally said.
"Your boss?" he asked.
"Yes," was all Myka could say.
"Oh really? But I thought I made such a good impression on her last night," he said because that's how Sam's mind worked.
Myka toyed with telling Sam that the news flash was this had nothing to do with him, it had to do with her and that news flash – he had no influence over her boss because no one cared about Sam in New York and news flash ….
"I'm on my way, Bunny," was what he said that interrupted Myka's stream of consciousness.
In spite of the raging confusion going on in Myka's head and the voice that was shouting 'you need time alone Myka,' - she heard her voice say 'OK'.
"I can be there by 7:30 and we'll go to dinner and talk it all over," Sam said.
"OK," Myka said again because it was the easiest answer.
"You go lay down and I'll text you when I land," Sam said.
Myka hung up and took off her dress and lied down – out of sheer exhaustion. She dissolved into the tears that the lessons of the day brought. Maybe she was too naïve for this business. Maybe she should teach literature like Sam said. She loved literature. Myka grabbed the pillow and prayed for sleep to just give her an hour's rest from the confusion.
Helena returned to her office and gathered her things. She asked Eileen in the most pleasant tone she had ever heard, to ask Pete to get her car ready. And for the first time in ages, Eileen heard Helena said 'goodnight' when she walked back to the elevator.
Pete smiled nervously when he saw his boss. He had a sixth sense about people and could tell when something wasn't right. Every fiber in his being told him something was not okay with Helena. He drove her to the Townhouse and opened the door for her.
"See you at eight?" he asked her. She looked at him quizzically. "You have that charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria at eight tonight?" Pete reminded her.
Damn charity functions, she thought. "Cancel it for me," Helena said quietly.
"Can't do, boss. The Mayor's at this one," Pete said.
"Fine, pick me up at eight," Helena relented. She was always fashionable late.
Helena went into her house and closed the door. There on the banister was the robe Myka had on this morning. She had absent mindedly brought it down with her when she was leaving. Helena picked it up and brought it to her chest – the place in her body where the pain was the worst. God, how she missed that woman.
Sam was close to the DC airport and in no time, had a flight. Then he called ahead to New York and booked a table for two at a really nice restaurant. A buddy of his ran security there and owed him a favor. He decided to book a hotel room there as well. He would let Myka cry over dinner and wine and get it out of her system. Then he would take her upstairs to their suite and they could finally have the romantic evening they had missed the night before.
Nothing would get in his way tonight, he thought.
"Hello, is this the Waldorf Astoria reservation desk? I'd like to book a hotel room for tonight for Mr. and Mrs. Sam Martino."
Sam whistled as he packed a bag for his rendezvous with Myka, unaware that something was definitely going to get in his way.