A Lesson in Semantics
It had been a very long night for the staff of Wells Corp and when they finally deposited Helena at the Penthouse, Pete drove them back to their respective homes.
"I fear the worst is yet to come," Mrs. Frederic said to the group.
"Oh yeah, like why did she hijack Brooklyn's power grid? What was the contraption in her house? What exactly was she thinking? The Fire Department will want to meet with her, not to mention Homeland Security, oh and Police Commissioner Kelly has called twice," Artie huffed.
"Yes, they will have to be dealt with," Irene said even though it wasn't what she meant. "Damage control tomorrow, people," she said as she bade them goodnight.
Helena wanted to go back to the Townhouse, but as far as the New York officials were concerned, it was a crime scene under investigation, and she was not allowed in. She had asked Pete about the letter and he told her they had it sent to Myka. It was not exactly what Helena planned, but it would be proof to Myka that she was doing everything in her power to make amends. Helena would ask to see Myka first thing in the morning and she would explain all of this to her.
Except the part about time travel. She would wait to explain that.
As Helena arose a few hours later, she dressed in one of her favorite Diane von Furstenberg dresses with the leopard print and high collar. She donned her Urbanog black stilettos and pushed her hair in place. If only the world cooperated with her as nicely as her hair did. Helena moved with an air of confidence as she rode with Pete to the office.
"Mrs. Frederic says she told everyone that you were trying out a new machine to help in the aid of back problems and 'borrowed' the juice without realizing it was from the City's own grid. So far, they're buying it," Pete updated Helena.
"Excellent," Helena said.
She was about to ask Pete to call ahead and have Myka meet her in her office, but this was the new enlightened Helena. She was going to do things differently. She would wait until Myka arrived and then go to her office. She had finally figured it out and felt very much relieved.
Myka knew that Sam was in the City and she felt she owed it to him to at least call and give what little explanation she had. He had spent the night in the lonely suite at the Waldorf, trying to figure out what had gone wrong …..so quickly. The only reason for Myka's strange behavior had to be because of the pressure she was under at work. She was going to have to see it wasn't working out for her in New York, and there was nothing to be ashamed about. She could always come home.
That was exactly where Myka was headed.
She grabbed her phone and dialed him quickly and asked to meet him at the coffee shop on 35th and Second Avenue. "We need to talk," she said and Sam was happy to hear she was open to what he had to say. She shoved the phone back in her bag and took the taxi uptown. She had one large bag with everything she needed. She packed up everything else and would contact a moving service to handle the rest. It would seem to the careful observer that Myka hadn't really ever moved into her apartment – not for the long haul anyway.
As Helena made her way downtown to her office, Myka was sitting in a booth looking out onto Second Avenue with Sam.
"You're completely confused," he told her when she said she needed time and was going home.
"I actually feel pretty clear about this Sam," Myka said back over the black coffee that neither of them bothered to pour milk in.
"Myka, how could you make such a rash decision? I understand if you want to quit that hell job with that bitch," he said and Myka leaned across the table.
"Don't say that!" Myka said and wasn't quite sure where it came from.
"You see? You defend anyone, Myka. Come to Washington and set up practice there," Sam said thinking that would get through to her.
"Sam, it's not just the job. I have to think about everything, about us, about me, about why my father's sign says Bering & Sons, Sam, all of it," Myka said with feeling.
"Don't you think it would be better for you to do all that thinking with me there?" Sam said worried Myka wasn't seeing the bigger picture.
"No, I don't. I need to do this on my own, and for me, Sam," Myka said and started to get her bag.
"So what? You want me to wait? You want me to call you every night to remind you that this isn't a good idea?" Sam said starting to lose patience with what he thought was pure unadulterated nonsense.
"No Sam, I don't. I truly have no idea where this is going to take me. And it's not fair of me to ask you to wait," Myka said truthfully.
"Bunny, please," Sam said getting that this was Myka saying goodbye. "I love you!"
Myka smiled at the words and her heart ached to see him in pain now. She had been on the receiving end of terminations enough to know how badly they puncture.
"I love you, too, Sam. I can't explain yet why that's not enough. I wish it were, Sam, but the truth is – it isn't and I'm sorry," Myka said sincerely.
She got up and bent down and kissed him on the cheek and walked out of the diner ….and out of Sam's life.
Myka wasn't proud of it, but she threw up in the trash container on the side street where no one saw. She hailed a cab and told him to take her to JFK International Airport.
"Here on business?" the driver asked her.
"Yes," Myka said looking out the window at the Empire State Building as they turned away and headed to Queens through the Midtown Tunnel.
"Get in enough sights?" he asked.
"Yes, I've seen enough," Myka said as the car darkened when they entered the passageway and sped along to the airport.
Wells Corp was brimming with renewed hope that morning.
Eileen felt confident that today would mark the day she brought her boss a cup of tea, perfectly prepared. Artie bit down on his donut, confident that Vanessa would forgive him when the bouquet of roses arrived at her door for not stopping his boss from signing herself out of the hospital last night. Claudia was overjoyed with the fact that she had figured out the plausible schematics that would convince Homeland Security that Helena thought she was upgrading her electricity when she 'accidentally' found an opening in Con Ed's firewall. Mrs. Frederic was certain she had found the perfect housekeeper for Helena even though she protested furiously that she did not want anyone in her house. The young woman, by the name of Leena possessed all the necessary skills to run a house, but what put her over the top were the psychology courses she had taken in college. Irene thought those would come in handy. Pete arrived at work confident - because that is always how Pete arrived.
None however, could match the buoyancy of Helena's gait. Certain she had the right approach to take with Myka now; she entered the building with the friendliest demeanor any of her staff had ever seen.
"Good morning, Eileen," Helena greeted the young assistant who did a double take to see who had entered her boss' office. Eileen scampered to pour the tea that had been steeping just the way her Aunt had showed her. She put in on the tray and brought the three items that she found on her desk when she arrived.
"Good morning, Ms. Wells," Eileen greeted her boss and put the tray down. She gingerly took the cup of Earl Grey tea and placed it in front of Helena. This was usually the time Helena ignored the gesture completely or looked down at the liquid and back at Eileen, her signal to take it away. Instead, today Helena took the cup in hand and sipped on it.
"This is very good, Eileen. Thank you," Helena said to a stunned, but smiling executive assistant.
"I'm glad you like it," Eileen beamed.
"Are those for me?" Helena smiled looking at the papers on the tray out of reach.
"What? Oh yes, I'm sorry," Eileen refocused and handed the three items to Helena. "They're from Ms. Bering,"
"Thank you," Helena said and Eileen started to leave. Helena took another sip of her tea; perfectly brewed and at the perfect temperature.
"This is really very good," she complimented her employee again.
Eileen went directly to her desk where she called her Aunt to share the good news.
Helena opened the first envelope that contained the contract for the new television show. Everything that Helena had stimulated was in there and at twice the payment. That couldn't have been easy to negotiate in such a short period of time, Helena thought. Then she opened the other larger envelope and found the signed papers from Walter Sykes accepting the terms of his severance package and resignation. A pang of guilt rose in Helena's chest as she remembered again how foolish she was to treat Myka like that. She was a perfectly qualified lawyer, and Helena's actions jeopardized all of that. Thankfully, she thought, she had seen the error of her ways and was turning things around.
Then she opened the third item, the letter from Myka.
Dear Ms. Wells,
It is with regret that I find it necessary to tender my resignation from Wells Corp, effective immediately. In the short time I have been here, I have had a wonderful experience with the work and the staff. However, I find that Wells Corp environment does not suit my needs at this time.
I have completed and enclosed the paperwork for the issues assigned to me. I trust you will find them satisfactory since they are both to your specifications. If there is any issue with either, please have my replacement contact me and I will give them whatever information I have. I have also amended my employment contract releasing Wells Corp of any further salary commitments.
I wish you and the entire staff of Wells Corp the very best in all of your future endeavors.
I want to thank Wells Corp for hiring me and trusting that I could do the job. I only wish you could have done the same, Ms. Wells.
Myka O. Bering
The only sound in Helena's office was the sound of the cup rattling as she placed it back in the saucer from her hand shaking. She read the letter again – and turned it over – as if the explanation would be on the back. She called Eileen – not over the phone, but right through the door and the young woman shot up like a bullet and went to her boss.
"Eileen – where –how did you- this letter," Helena stammered. Eileen had never seen her boss unclear before.
"They were on my desk with a note from Ms. Bering asking me to give them to you when you came in," Eileen explained.
"Is she here?" Helena asked still a little taken aback.
"I'll find out," Eileen said and ran to her desk. The woman who sat outside Myka's desk told Eileen that when she arrived this morning, there was a thank you note on her desk from her former boss, thanking her for all that she had done.
"I think she quit," the woman said to Eileen who decided she did not want to be the messenger on that update. There wasn't enough tea in the world to recover from that, so she called in her reinforcement.
Helena swung open the door, impatient to find out. "Is she there?" she asked and Eileen lost what little color she had in her face.
"No," she squeaked.
"Where the bloody hell could she be?" Helena truly wondered. "Call her apartment. Ask Pete to drive there if necessary," Helena instructed calmly and returned to her office.
This was not what Helena had planned for. She was going to make her apologies – AGAIN – in person. Myka would see how sincere she was and forgive her. Then they would start anew, Helena aware that Myka would need time to take in the personal side of their relationship. In Helena's mind, she was doing everything right this time and could not fathom that Myka would not be willing to give her that chance.
Eileen tried to get Pete on the cell, but his voicemail kept picking up. That's because he was on the phone with Myka. She had finally looked at the missed phone calls and messages that she assumed were from Sam. She was on the plane when her phone fell out of her bag and she had picked it up.
"Pete? It's Myka. My phone was off. I just saw your messages to call. Is Helena okay?" Myka asked wondering if she would be able to push the oncoming passengers out of her way if she needed to go back up the aisle and exit the plane.
"HI Myka! Yeah sorry for all those messages and stuff. She's fine now. She was doing some kind of experiment at her house last night in some freaky machine and it knocked her unconscious, and they rushed her to the ER, but she's good. She's upstairs now. Are you at your apartment?" Pete asked in his chipper voice.
"Pete, no I'm not. I'm ….," Myka said and felt her throat start to constrict. People were pushing to get to their seats because it was time for takeoff. "Thanks for everything, Pete," Myka said and closed her phone.
A mother with a screaming toddler was making her way down the aisle and stood in front of Myka waiting for her to get up. This was going to be the longest plane ride of her life.
"Myka? Ms. Bering?" Pete shouted into the phone thinking they were cut off. "Holy crap, holy crap," he said walking in circles because he knew Myka was saying goodbye to him. He ran outside and right into Mrs. Frederic.
"Ms. Bering is …," he said to the HR Director.
"I know, I'm on my way up there now," Irene said entering the elevator.
"What do we do?" Pete asked frantically.
"Brace for impact, Mr. Lattimer, brace for impact," the Sage said as the door closed.
When Irene walked off the elevator on the 17th floor, Eileen was waiting for her. "She's looking for Ms. Bering and I don't think she's here. The doorman said she left this morning and said she would have movers come for her things and I can't tell her that," Eileen whispered and wiggled back and forth, keeping one eye on the door. Irene was certain that if Helena appeared, the young girl would faint.
"I'll see what I can do," Mrs. Frederic said walking Eileen back to her desk.
Irene knocked and entered Helena's office. Her boss seemed incredibly calm.
"Helena?" Irene asked to make sure she was okay. Maybe that trip on her version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride left some residual effects.
"I don't understand," Helena said to her aide-de-camp.
"What don't you understand?" Irene asked sitting in the chair in front of Helena's desk. She noticed the opened letter on the desk. "May I?" she asked and Helena pushed it to her.
"She resigned!" Helena said truly confused by the gesture.
"Yes, indeed she did," the HR Director said, closing the letter and putting it back.
"She can't do that," Helena finally said. "She can't quit! Quitting is ….beneath her. I was going to make amends with her," Helena said.
"Actually, she can quit Helena," Irene said gently.
"Where is she? She has to hear what I have to say," Helena said rising from her chair.
Irene looked down at her phone. Claudia was tracing the call that came into Pete and was going to text her the location. Irene read the text from the Senior Techie.
"She's on a flight out of JFK to Colorado Springs," Irene said and Helena fell back in her chair.
"She left?" Helena said more distraught now. "What the bloody hell would make that woman quit and fly to bloody Colorado? Helena asked Irene.
"Helena," her confidant started slowly. "You have a certain way of dealing with people, Helena. I believe much of what you do is out of habit," the Sage analyzed.
None of this made sense to Helena, but she was feeling desperate.
"What do I do?" Helena asked, truly out of ideas.
"Well, if you can't tell Ms. Bering what you are thinking because she is not here, I think you might want to go…..," Irene paused.
"To her!" Helena completed. "Yes, make arrangements for me to go to Colorado Springs. I will meet with her and explain everything," Helena said.
Irene nodded and got up to leave.
"Could I offer you some advice for your next meeting, Helena?" Irene asked, but Helena knew she was going to tell her not matter what she said.
"Much of your behavior I have noticed can best be described as a 'knee-jerk' reaction to things," Irene said trying to get her boss to understand her imprudent manner.
"And?" Helena asked.
"Might I suggest when you see Ms. Bering, there be… more knee, Helena….and less jerk," Mrs. Frederic said closing the door on a very perplexed Helena.