Everybody Hurts Sometimes
Helena came out of her library convincing Pete that she was okay, just tired from her cross country trek. She said goodnight to him and her new staff member. Leena may have been new on the job, but she wasn't new to understanding what someone's aura told her about them.
"She's planning on leaving," Leena said to Pete when they were in the kitchen.
"Leaving? She just got back. No, she'll throw herself back into work and heads will roll. Just like the good old days," Pete said chewing on freshly baked cookies. Helena might need a bodyguard 24/7, he thought.
"No Pete, I think she's trying to leave for an extended period of time," Leena said without be able to explain why.
"OK, so you got a vibe thing, too?" Pete said.
"Something like that," Leena answered.
"OK, so I'll keep an eye on things down here tonight and you keep an ear out upstairs," Pete said shoving another cookie in his mouth. "Deez are good."
Helena listened to the rain beat against the windows. Fitting weather, she thought -dark and gloomy. She was leaving – not because she didn't want to fight for Myka. Helena never backed down from a fight. Myka didn't want her – and that was all there was to it.
And she gave Myka her word she would leave her alone.
Helena worked at her computer compiling notes for the Board Members and Directors on how to proceed in her absence. She felt confident that some of the right people were in place to keep things running, and promoted others she knew the company needed in order to survive. She didn't care if the business was there - if and when returned, but worried about the people whose livelihood was Wells Corp. Of course, the irony that she was in need of a lawyer to witness her signature was not lost on Helena.
"Just when I need a bloody Chief Counsel, I can't find one," Helena said… and then cried.
There was only one lawyer she needed - and wanted. Years of building walls and feeling safe only behind them came crashing down on Helena. Not since Christina's death, did emotions find their way so quickly to Helena's heart. She had sealed it off in order to go on. When she was bronzed or rather, asked to be bronzed - by the agency that she had worked for, it seemed only fitting punishment - not only for her mistakes there, but for all of them. When she was released in order to help them, she thought they would put her back.
Instead, they sent her out into the world; a world she knew nothing about, a world she knew no one in. They gave her an alias and a car and sent her on her way.
Helena sat in a diner one day, drawing and making notes. She was going to New York to start her own company. She had already hired a core group of people who would help her get it started and they were waiting for her in New York. Helena needed to soak up some of the changes she missed before she went there, and so she traveled by car from South Dakota to her final destination. A misguided left hand turn instead of a right brought her south instead of east and she wound up in a little town in Colorado Springs.
"I don't think they're doing that well, Sam, but they won't let me do anything," the woman in the booth behind her was saying to her boyfriend. "I can't even get them to agree to change the windows – look at them," Myka said and Helena sneaked a glance at the bookstore across the street. It seemed stuck in time to the Time Traveler.
"Bunny, just tell them they have to move on and get with it, you know, come into the digital age. Books are out," the man said as he ate his food.
Helena shuddered at how crass he sounded and bit her lip not to turn around and correct him - physically.
"Sam! We will always want books. They're so romantic," the curly haired woman said back and Helena thought she was too bright for the buffoon who sat across from her.
"Listen, you gave up full scholarships to law school so you could stay here and help them out. It's time for you to do something for yourself. You need to stop spending every vacation with them and come back to Washington with me now," Sam said.
Helena thought it odd that this man sounded like he was stuck in a different time period too.
"Oh Sam, I'll be back. I just need to help them come up with something first," Myka said.
Helena smiled at how pleasant this woman's voice was. What was she doing with this man who was obviously less intelligent and not as well-bred as she?
"Come on, I have to go back to DC tonight and I have to buy a shirt. Come with me," Sam said and Myka agreed.
Helena turned to watch as the couple walked hand in hand down the street and into his car.
"Can I get you anything else?' the waitress asked.
"Yes, can you tell me who that woman was that just left?" Helena asked.
"You mean Myka Bering? She's the daughter of the people who own the bookstore over there. Big shot lawyer now, but works for nonprofits for no money," the woman answered.
Helena thanked her and asked her if she would do her a favor. Helena produced a business card and asked the woman to instruct Myka to send her resume to the name on the card. The woman said she would. Then she went to her car, took out a box of books, and walked to the bookstore.
"They seem very rare," Warren said to the woman who didn't remove her sunglasses.
"Indeed," Helena said.
"Where did you get them?" Jeanne asked.
"They were in storage," Helena answered truthfully.
"Where are you from? I'm usually pretty good at placing people," Jeannie said.
"South Dakota," Helena said in her faux American accent.
"I knew it!" the store owner said.
"My daughter, Myka, will go through the roof with excitement when she sees this The War of the Worlds signed by HG Wells," Warren said.
"Will she?" Helena asked.
"Oh, yes, I used to read it to her when she was younger. Other girls like princess stories, but not Myka. She had so many questions that I used to wish good old HG was here to answer them for me," Warren laughed.
"Perhaps one day," Helena said to the buyer.
"That's funny. Well, here's the whole amount we agreed on, Miss Lake," Warren said.
Helena took the money and thanked them and said goodbye. Perhaps one day HG Wells would have the pleasure of making their daughter's acquaintance, but for now she was on her way to New York.
Helena arrived in New York a week later and started building her business empire. She never mentioned the name to her new HR Director who had seen to hiring all the staff she needed – including lawyers. Helena would leave some things to chance.
"What woman?" Myka asked the waitress.
"The woman behind you when you were in here before, in the dark glasses. American accent like from up North or something," she said giving the card to Myka.
"The one wearing the expensive perfume?" Myka asked.
"Yeah her," the waitress said leaving Myka standing there to look at the card. She packed it with her when she returned to Washington.
Two years later, Myka decided to send her resume into Irene Frederic at Wells Corp.
Helena sat there smiling at how life had played out that hand. The woman who caught her attention all those months before had finally applied to Wells Corp and had been hired. One would expect that Helena would have welcomed her with open arms and yet, that was not what happened.
When Helena finally got a good look at Myka, she could not explain her reaction. It startled the Brit that someone could have that effect on her. And when something startled Helena, she pounced on it. She approached Myka the way she did most deals she went after – she started to dismantle her. She was going to test Myka's mettle and she what she was made of. If Myka couldn't take it, she would not be worth the effort Helena thought. Myka not only pushed back, she changed the rules on Helena, and that was perhaps the biggest surprise to her.
Relationships that you care about cannot be handled like business deals Helena learned…..too late.
And when it was too late, Helena wondered how was it that this woman from a little town in Colorado Springs who grew up reading Helena's words and fantasizing about meeting the author, felt like the missing piece to her heart? Helena reflected back to how utterly foolish she had been at her one chance for happiness. The literary genius who couldn't handle the best thing that life had offered her in a long time.
She deserved to be back in the bronzer.
Helena collected the papers, wrote the last notes, and got up to pack a bag. She only needed enough things to keep her going for the two day trip to South Dakota. Thunder roared outside as Helena packed her bag and took in slowly downstairs.
She looked around at the townhouse that reminded her of home. She was sorry not to be able to say goodbye to Pete. He was by far, one of the nicest men she had ever known. Tears started to well up in her eyes, and she quietly chastised herself for being so emotional.
Helena made her way to the entry way in her house. She went to grab for the keys to car on the table when her hand felt something in the way.
There on the hallway table was a copy of The War of the Worlds – first edition –autographed.
"You forgot your book," Myka said and Helena swung around to see the drenched soaked woman standing only a foot away from her.
"How did you?" Helena asked dropping the soft leather suitcase.
"You didn't lock your front door," Myka smiled apologetically. "I was going to wait until morning."
"No, I'm glad …you're here. I am really glad to see you, Myka," Helena said still taken aback.
Myka moved in a little closer. "I thought I knew what I wanted when I came to New York, Helena. I was building my own life here and feeling like I finally knew who I was. Then I met you, and you made me doubt everything I thought I knew – who I was, what I wanted. It took being away from you before I finally figured out that I really do know who I am …and what I want…. and it's to be with you," Myka said.
Helena stood stunned, her lips apart out of surprise. For Myka, it was the perfect invitation to sink into the person she feared she would never see again. She moved in slowly and gently put her lips on Helena's. Helena sighed into Myka's mouth as she devoured her lips with hers. Myka was amazed that she felt so familiar with a mouth that she had only kissed for a handful of seconds, and yet her tongue seemed to know exactly where to find the soft spots that made Helena whimper.
The smell of Chanel intoxicated Myka and she pushed her hands through that raven hair around Helena's head to pull her in. Helena was galvanized by Myka's touch and she reached up and pulled on Myka's coat lapels to make sure she didn't move. She placed soft bites on Myka's lower lip, igniting what Myka felt that morning she was a guest in this house.
Helena's thoughts came to a crawl as Myka deftly ran her hands up and down her arms and landing at her hands, intertwining her fingers with hers and held them tightly. Emotions swept the couple and they embraced, soothing the pain that neither thought would ever ease.
"Oh God, Helena," Myka said through choked back tears, "I thought I would never see you again. I was so foolish, I'm sorry ….," but Helena placed a finger on Myka's lip to stop her from beating herself up.
Helena pulled back her emotions long enough to say, "Myka, I will do whatever you need. Anything, but allow you to go, please."
Myka kissed her again, and Helena felt the cool sensation of Myka's tears touching her cheek. When their lips parted as gently as they had joined, Myka smiled and pushed the silky hair away from Helena's face as Helena reached up and wiped the tear away. Myka took off her coat and hung it in the hallway.
"We have to talk," Myka said and then looked down at the bag Helena had dropped. "Where were you going?" she asked, taking Helena by the hand and walking into the living room where they sat on the couch.
"Nowhere special," Helena said grateful for Myka's timing.
"How did you get here?" Helena asked.
"I was on my way to …leave… when I got a call from a very wise person who made me realize that I was running away from my chance for true happiness and that I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn't go after it," Myka said holding Helena's hand in hers.
Those words sounded vaguely familiar to Helena.
"I may have also heard that lecture and I would have heeded those words, Myka if not for the promise I made you to give you time and space," Helena said, damning that promise.
"Helena, the only space I want…. is my office if you'll have me back," Myka said.
"And time?" Helena asked looking into Myka's green eyes that reflected what little light there was in the room.
"Helena, it took me until now to realize what you mean to me. I want us to start over, Helena. I want us to be friends and to take the time to get to know each other better. I want to be with you, if you'll have me back," Myka said.
"I would like that very much," Helena said gently caressing Myka's face.
"You know, in spite of the fact that we met only a short time ago, a part of me feels like I have known you all my life, Helena. How can that be, do you think?" Myka asked as she pressed her cheek into Helena's hand.
"Because I have been waiting for you all my life, Myka," Helena said and pulled Myka in to hold her.
There on the couch in a living room on Central Park West with the large bay window allowing the moonlight from the clearing skies to shine through…. began the friendship that legends are made of.
"Oh my God, this is beautiful", Pete said from across the street watching the scene unfold alongside his new partner in crime, Eileen. She handed him another tissue from the little pack she always carried in her purse.
"How did you get Ms. Bering here again?" Pete asked impressed that the ingénue had succeeded where all of them had failed.
"I told her a story about a guy named Tommy Boy Lopez," Eileen said smiling at the soft image across the street of two friends talking for the first time.