Anna stared at herself in the mirror. She was dressed in a black pencil skirt and a silky green blouse. Today was the day she would find out if she was being promoted to partner at the Calligan Group, a very prestigious architecture firm she had worked at for the last two years. They deal mostly with nonprofit organizations but her passion was the new construction and restoration of historical buildings.
This promotion also came with a relocation to Virginia which she would gladly accept especially since her best friend, Val had just gotten accepted into a Masters program at Hollins University in Roanoke.
They became best friends 6 years ago when they met as freshmen in college and had been inseparable ever since. They both had baggage and troubled pasts but it only brought them closer as friends. With a mostly don't ask don't tell attitude they both agreed to leave the past in the past. However, Anna always knew there was something unique about Val but she never could quite figure it out. But again she never questioned her.
Once she was satisfied with her outfit, she grabbed her briefcase, purse and keys and walked out the door. Val had left earlier that morning but she couldn't wait until she got home later that evening to celebrate her success and their future move. Once she was in the car, she made the 20 minute drive to her office and parked. She sat there for a while trying to calm her nerves before she went inside. She took a breathe and got out the car and walked to the front entrance.
Stella, the receptionist greeted her with a huge smile and a cup of coffee. "Good morning Ms. Steine. You are looking exceptionally professional today! Good luck!" She grabbed my things and walked with me to the conference room where the partners and the other employees were already seated.
"Thank you, Stella." I smiled as she walked out.
My stomach suddenly knotted as I watched everyone staring at each other nervously while Mr. Preston stood up to speak. "Good morning ladies and gentleman. As you are aware, my colleagues and I have made our decision for the new partner at our Virginia firm. Each of you have shown exceptional growth since you started with this company so this decision did not come lightly. I know you are all eager to know which one of you will be promoted so I will not waste any more of your time. On behalf of my partners and I, please help us congratulate Ms. Steine as the newest partner of the Calligan Group in Virginia."
He clapped loudly as did everyone else around the table. I was so stunned I couldn't move or speak. Finally I managed to realize this wasn't a dream and practically leaped up out of my chair grabbing Mr. Preston into a hug. He chuckled and returned the endearing gesture.
"Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity, Mr. Preston. I will not let you down." I said.
He pulled me away and said "I know you won't, Anna. And I have no doubt Virginia will be very good to you. Go ahead and take the rest of the day off. You deserve it." He winked and walked over to the other employees making small talk. Just then, Val and Stella came through the door with a huge cake for me. I grabbed them both in a hug and squeezed them tight.
"Way to go girl. I knew you would get it." Said Val confidently. "Now let's go to lunch. My treat." She threw her arm around my shoulder and we walked out into the cool Colorado air. I was going to miss this place but I was beyond ready for the next chapter in my life.
After all the celebrating was over with I finally had a chance to soak it all in. Val and I would be citizens of Virginia. Luckily I had already started searching for places to live and would be flying to Virginia this week to meet with the realtor about the numerous listings we had decided on. My company was putting me up temporarily in an apartment until I found a place but I was hoping it would be sooner rather than later. I wanted a place to call home, after all these years. HOME.
Val had long ago fell asleep but my mind kept me awake longer than it should have. Flashbacks of the past, nightmares that haunted me for years and emotional scars that would never go away. Eventually I fell asleep only to be awoken by loud knocking on my door.
"Rise and shine, sleepy head! Time to get your butt in gear if you want to make our flight." Val says as she burst through the door and pulls the covers off me. I tried to grab them back but she had already thrown them in the hall knowing I would have to get up to get them. Instead I grabbed my clothes and headed for the shower. It was 10pm and our flight was for 1am but we wanted to get their early to avoid the crowded security lines. I took a quick shower, taking care not to get my hair wet and quickly dressed in some yoga pants and a t-shirt.
Val was waiting at the door with our boarding passes and our bags. "Our Uber will be here in 10 minutes. Should we say goodbye to the old place in style?" She said as she grabbed a little bottle of tequila and two shot glasses out of her purse.
I laughed and grabbed a glass. "You know it."
She poured us each a shot and said "To the old us, we thank you and to the new us, we welcome you!" We lifted our glasses and clinked them. Let the adventures begin!