The chess of my life

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Chapter 13 - Maddie

I loved working. I loved it, hell it was amazing. Yeah I did the odd coffee run, but listening them talk. Feeling like I was apart of a team. Working with math. I loved it. I was 4 weeks in and I wished it would last longer. Although they all knew Nathan was my family. They didn’t make me feel like I got special treatment or that I shouldn’t be there. I was an intern and I loved that. The other interns were nice enough. They didn’t know who I was and I liked that. I liked working for Dominic. Even if I didn’t see him. I was on one of those coffee runs when someone called my name. I stoped and looked around. Expecting someone from work. “Maddie.” James said grabbing hold of my arm. “James.” I said taken aback. “We need to talk.” He said pulling me away from the shop. “let go of me or I will scream.” I said. “bit dramatic for you baby.” he said. “I aint your baby.” I said. “James let me go your hurting me.” I said. “Well I need to talk to you.” James said. “then talk.” I said. “I love you.” He said. “well I don’t even like you.” I said. He twisted my arm and started pulling me towards some parked cars. “Help.” I yelled. Everyone turned to look at me. James dropped my arm. He was out of there quickly. “Are you okay?” a random guy asked I nodded. “yeah don’t worry.” I said. I went and got the coffees. When I went back to the office I jumped at every person who so much as looked at me. I was being to jumpy. I knew that when I went in the elevator and Dominic said. “Madeline how are you enjoying?” he stoped. He looked at me. “whats wrong.” He asked me. “Nothing.” I said. he looked at me. “Do you want to talk to me or Nathan about anything?” he asked me firmly. “I just saw my ex.” I said weakly. “you met up with him?” he demanded, he sounded like Nathan would. I shook my head. “he was outside the coffee shop we use.” I said. “He was just there?” he asked me. I nodded. “Did he try say anything to you?” he asked me. “he grabbed my arm and tried to pull me away to apparently talk.” I said. “Did he hurt you?” he demanded. I looked at my arm, there was bruse marks. “he just held to tight and twisted I feel brusied im more shook up.” I admitted. He looked at my arms. “Alright ring Nathan.” He said. he looked at me. “Its okay.” He said. I nodded. “ill jkust go give the guys there coffee.” I said. “your not on a coffee internship.” He said firmly. “no its fine, it was my day. I havent done a coffee run in 3 weeks.” I assured him. “it really was my turn.” I said with a weak smile. “alright drop the coffees off then come my office. He said. I nodded. I did just that.

When I got up to Dominics office I knocked. “come in.” he said. I went in. he indicated his chair opposite his. I sat. he was bent over paperwork. “Ring him.” he said. I nodded and dialled Nathan on my cell. Nathan normally answered. “Do you need me to pick up the kids?” he asked me. “no.” I said. I took a deep breath. “I saw James.” I said. “what you saw him Madeline I thought you knew better.” Nathan started. “I didn’t arrange to see him.” I said in my defence. “I saw him outside the coffee shop Ive been using.” I said. “Okay?” Nathan said. “he grabbed my arm and said he needed to talk to me, he tried to pull me away from the coffee shop and towards a car.” I admitted. What id left out when I told Dominic. “What!” Nathan yelled. “He kept pulling my arm and twisted. He only let go when I yelled for help and a few people stoped.” I admitted. “Madeline.” He started. “I don’t know what.” I started. “Madeline are you at work now?” Nathan said. I nodded, then realised he couldn’t see. “yeah im in Dominics office.” I said. “Good now are you okay?” he asked. I nodded and again realised he couldn’t see me. “yeah.” I said. “okay now don’t leave the office building understand?” Nathan said. “okay.” I said. “can you pass me to Dominic.” He said. I passed Dominic my cell. “Alright.” He said after a while. “I was in the elevator and she looked shook up told her to come my office. She didn’t tell me what had happened except she saw her ex.” Dominic said. “Alright ill get a cop here to come take a statement.” He said he gave me a look. “Yeah she seems fine Nathan.” Dominic said. “Alright I understand I will bring her home.” Dominic said. “I don’t need to go home.” I said. “Nathans going to get the kids from school today.” He told me. I nodded. He put my phone down. “Madeline.” He said. “When you call me Madeline I feel like im in trouble.” I mumbled. “Maddie.” He said less like I was in trouble. But I still felt like I was. “How many emails have you recived in the last 48 hours from your ex?” he asked me. “I don’t even look anymore. I rung Becca and Maria and told them I was changing emails. I changed it with here and the schools.” I admitted. “it sucks ive had the same email since I was 13.” I said. “Okay.” He said. he gave me a look. “im going to ring a cop Madeline.” He said. “it don’t really need a cop.” I started. “Its better to report it just in case. Nathans actually working on a restraining order?” It was a statement and a question. “yeah.” I said. “your not reading the emails.” He said looking at me. I shook my head. “okay, I just want you to hand over your email address and password to the cop.” He said. he rung the cops. It was 4 hours later when the cops finally turned up. I would normally be home. I told the cop what had happened. Apparently there was cttv where it happened. They would check that out. they took my email address and password and left. Then Dominic drove me home. “Do you really think it needed the cops?” I asked. “yes.” he said. He parked up and I went into the house. He came in with me. “Where are the kids?” I asked Nathan. “In there rooms.” Nathan said. “I didn’t contact him.” I started defencively. “I know your not in trouble.” He assured me. “Maddie no matter how small something seems I need you to tell me okay.” Nathan said. I nodded. “Okay.” He said. “Okay.” I said. “Good can you go give Tamsin a kiss she was a bit out of sorts for the change of plan.” Nathan said. I run upstairs leaving Nathan and Dominic to talk.

I looked at Nathan when I came back down, he was sat looking worried with paperwork in front of him. “everything okay?” I asked worried. “Yeah its fine kiddo.” He assured me. “Just checking this contract before I sign.” He assured me. I weakly smiled. “not to late alright. The kids are all in bed.” I said. “Okay sweetheart.” He said. “Night Nathan.” I said. “Maddie don’t go yet I need to talk to you.” He said. I sat on the chair opposite him and waited for him nervous. When he finished he signed his name. Then he put it down. “Alright Madeline.” He started. “when you call me Madeline I know im in trouble.” I said weakly. “Maddie.” He sighed. “even now.” I said. “Sweetheart.” He said, I bit my tounge that still sounded worrying. “I didn’t contact him Nathan, ive changed my email address now.” I assured him. “Maddie your not in trouble.” Nathan assured me. “I know you havent and I know you’ve been ignoring him. you told me at Christmas what was happening.” He said calmly. “I just.” He started. “I just didn’t expect it to get so worrying.” He said. “he just tried to talk to me.” I said. “Maybe.” Nathan said worried. “but if he ever does approach you again, I want you to make sure you get attention from someone quickly. never go anywhere alone with him.” Nathan said. “Okay.” I said. “Thankyou Maddie.” He said. “He wouldn’t hurt me.” I said. “No Maddie he wouldn’t of hurt you, but you don’t know who he is anymore Maddie.” Nathan said. “It may be a coincidence he was there at the coffee shop near your work, but you visit garentted once a day even if you don’t do a coffee run.” Nathan said. “I have a slight Caffine addiction, I don’t get much sleep.” I pointed out. “im not blaming you, hell I need 3 cups before I function in the morning.” Nathan said. “Two cups.” I said. “no I have a 3rd as soon as I get to the office.” He said. I fake tutted. “Don’t judge.” He said pulling me into his arms I went laughing. When I was trying to catch my breath he said so seriously. “your to tell me if anything strange or odd happens. If you see him, even if your not sure its him.” Nathan said. “im not going to become paranoid Nathan.” I said rolling my eyes. “Its that or until he looses interest I take you work myself.” He said. “alright I will tell I promise.” I assured him. “I don’t know weather to feel insulted and still take you work.” Nathan said. “Don’t tease.” I said. “Im 24 I can take myself to work.” I pointed out. “God when did you get so old?” he asked me. “Do you want to go there old man?” I teased. “is that grey hairs.” I teased. “Madeline Elizabeth don’t you sas me.” he laughed. “would I do that?” I asked sweetly. “to get of this serious conversation, yes kiddo you would.” He said. “I want you to ring me everyday when you get to the office.” He started. “Nathan that’s ott.” I started. “Please Maddie humour me.” he said. “Don’t be seen to be seeing someone because if he is watching you, you don’t want.” He started. “he aint stawking me Nathan.” I said rolling my eyes. “you don’t think he is, but still I want to hear from you okay?” he said. I nodded. “You were under age and he was 11 years older than you Madeline.” Nathan said frimly. “It was 7 years ago now Nathan I was 17 its no big.” I said rolling my eyes. He gave me a worried look but he also looked like he didn’t want this conversation. “if Avery said what you just said to me.” he started. “I would hang the guy up in the basement by his balls.” I said. Nathan blinked, he looked kind of shocked by what I said. “Presisly.” He said. “you weren’t legal and he was a 28 year old man.” Nathan said. “Maddie he was almost as old as me.” Nathan said looking grossed out. the thing was I never had even a slight crush on Nathan to me he was family. I loved him but in a family way and that would never change. “When you put it like that its gross.” I said. “prescily.” Nathan said. “Maddie just don’t do anything rash in case hes watching you.” He said. “so I have to put everything on hold, in case my ex boyfriends watching me. im not stopping my life because of him Nathan. I already did that once.” I said. “I know.” He said worried. “But I never regretted not going Yale or Harvard or.” I started. “you don’t?” Nathan asked me. “I had my master by the time I was 20. I got to spend the last year of my sisters life with her and making up for being a horrible teenager.” I said. “You weren’t horrible you just had difficult moments.” Nathan said. “watching that dvd I was a horrible teenager.” I said. “no you just was in moarning a lot, Maddie you’ve lost more than most. You and Addie.” He said. “She and you were more than sisters, you were bestfriends, you were inseperable, you.” He started. “were pains in the asses.” I said weakly. “well your still that.” He said. “But you weren’t over her death.” Nathan said. “then when you lost.” He started. “mom.” I said weakly. “Yeah it was a difficult age for you, you were applying colleges, you were to young for so much that was put on you. Taking her to chemo.” He started. “Then rather than things getting easyer at home.” Nathan said worried. “Dad got diagnoised with altizimers.” I said. “Yeah.” He said, “you had your dad loosing himself more and more each day. The man you knew and loved slowly.” Nathan started but he couldn’t go on, he was choked up. “you went through a lot Maddie and he got in when you were at your lowest and most fragile, you just saw someone who needed you and he spoilt you.” He said. I agree he did not with money or gifts but he always had time for me. when that’s what was lacking in my life. Someone who was there. “So what your saying is im now older and mature enough to not make my mistakes again. Marias right adultings hard.” I said. “Adultings very hard.” Nathan assured me. “Giant.” I said weakly. “yeah kiddo?” he asked. “do you ever think I will be able to get over James enough to meet the right guy?” I asked worried. “you loved him as weird as that is to me.” Nathan started. “he hurt you.” He said. “but Maddie I belive one day sweetheart youll find the right guy, because sweetheart your amazing.” He said. “Nathan.” I asked weakly. I was tired and how we were was soothing. I felt like a little kid again scared of the thing that went bump and wanting comforting. I was drifting of to sleep. “yeah kiddo.” Nathan said I think he knew how tired I was. “Nathan im scared.” I admitted. “im scared to kiddo.” He said. “but its okay.” He said. “because we got this?” I asked. “because we got this.” He assured me. some how I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up on the coach to the noise of the kids getting ready for school. I groined turned and put my hand on my face to rub my eyes, but it got creamed. I looked at my hand, it was cream thankfully not shaving foam. “Who ever did its grounded.” I yelled. I heard giggling. I groined sitting up. Nathan could of woke me rather than let me sleep on the couch. I went upstairs. “auntie Maddie can we actually make it school on time today?” Ethan asked. “I don’t know ask your dad hes taking you.” I said weakly, I remembered that much of the conversation yesterday as I was drifting off, it wasn’t a work day or a pre-k day so Tamsin and I could stay in bed. “Auntie Maddie.” Tamsin said so excited. “Can we.” She started. “Why don’t we have cuddles and you play on the tablet watching people open kindereggs whilst I go back to sleep?” I asked. “yay.” She said. “yay.” I repeated, hey that won. A lazy duvet day it was. I had nowhere to go until I picked the kids up after school. “Alright night.” Ethan said and walked to annyoy his dad instead. I took Tamsin to my bed handed her the tablet and went back to sleep.

“Auntie Maddie.” Tamsin said poking me awake. “yeah sweetheart?” I asked. “I know im not meant to.” Tamsin said worried. That made me sit up. “what happened baby?” Rosie should be here. No fire alarm was going off. The kids science stuff was all out of reach because they weren’t allowed it without adult supervision. “I answered your phone.” She said. “is it Maria?” I asked with a smile. “no its some guy, he said its really important he talks to you and to wake you up.” Tamsin said. “Okay.” I said. “is he still on the phone?” I asked. “Yeah, he said he liked to hear you sleeping.” Tamsin said. “I said I liked it too and I was being good and watching tv so you could sleep.” Tamsin said. I answered it, not sure who would be ringing me. the only guys I knew at work wouldn’t ring me my day off. Nathan Tamsin would say daddy. Dominic she knew enough to say Dom on phone like she did the other day when she answered Nathans. I took it out her chubby hand. “hello?” I said. “Maddie.” James voice said, I almost dropped the phone. “Don’t hang up.” he said. I went to. I needed to. I didn’t want to hear him out. but I did the more sensible thing. I pressed record call. “Maddie.” James sighed my name. “I love you.” He said. “James please don’t try contact me.” I said. “But Maddie I need to explain.” He said. “how did you get my number?” I asked. “I found it.” He said. “you just happened to find my number?” I said. “Yeah baby I love you id go to the ends of the earth for you.” He said. “well do that bye.” I said and I hung up. I wasn’t going to listen to anymore of his shit. how the hell did he just happen to find my number? I got a text through a second later.

Maddie I wouldn’t do that, you know what we had together was special. You need me as much as I need you baby.

Don’t respond. Ring Nathan.

Please come talk to me, im just outside your house.

WHAT! That was it I rung Nathan. He didn’t answer. Fuck Nathan. I was scared. “Tamsin come with me baby.” I said. I picked her up. I knew better than to leave her. I went downstairs and made sure the frontdoor was locked, it wasn’t. I quickly locked it. I then tried to set the code, but it told me the backdoor was open! Not even unlocked open! “Rosie?” I called out worried. No response. “Rosie?” I called out again scared. Should I ring 911? Was that to paranoid. But then how many horrors movies told me not to go into my kitchen. I went into the kitchen grabbing a lightsabre from the hallway because for some reason none of the kids could do baseball so I didn’t have a bat! “Rosie.” I said scared. She didn’t respond. I went in, there was flowers in the kitchen sink. The door was open and there was shopping bags on the floor by the door. I saw Roise unloading her little car and was slightly relived. She came in with the last bags. When she was in I locked the back door. “whats wrong sweetie you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” Rosie said worried. “Just had a creepy call.” I said weakly. “Ahh well the flowers might cheer you up. a lovely guy was outside he wanted to come deliver them, said he had to personally deliver them to you.” Rosie said. “But I said that only staff were allowed in the gates and I wasn’t sure if you were in but I would more than happily take them.” She said. she indicated the huge bunch of red roses. I looked at them. “Did he say who he was?” I asked Rosie. “no he just said it was important you got the flowers.” She said. I looked at them. My phone beeped. I pulled it out.

Did you get the roses, your familys maid said she would make sure you got them. Do you like them?

I looked at the flowers not sure what to do. My phone started ringing I jumped a million miles. “Maddie is something wrong?” Nathan asked me worried. “James just sent me flowers.” I said still in shook and scared. “Okay Maddie sweetheart.” Nathan said I could hear the worry. “im in a meeting sweetheart for another few hours. But I will be home soon. I will pick the kids up. just stay home today okay.” He said. “yeah no props my cars still at work.” I said weakly. “Alright you have work tomorrow right?” he asked me. “yeah.” I said. “I will drop you off alright.” Nathan said. “okay.” I said. “Stay at home and keep the alarm on today okay.” He said. “Okay.” I said. I left Rosie in the kitchen with Tamsin and went and set the alarm. Rosie did put the flowers in a vase for me, even though I told her to chuck them. To her resiving flowers from a stranger was romantic to me, it was creepy.

When the kids were in bed I gave Nathan my phone and all the texts and my recorded call. “you shouldn’t of engaged.” Nathan said. “I know.” I said. “I will send all this straight to the lawyer, hes writing up a restraining order. I think its also best we inform the cops.” He said. I nodded and let Nathan.

The next day Nathan did indeed drop me off at work after droping the kids off. He even walked me in. I just needed a lunch box and it would be like kindergarten again. “what are you thinking?” Nathan asked me, when we got in the elevator. “that its just like kindergarten I just need a lunch box.” I said. Nathan chuckled. “I did offer to walk you into your first day of highschool and work both times you said no.” Nathan teased me. “I wonder why.” I said. another of the interns came running in, she was running late because hell I was. I held the door open for her. “you okay?” I asked her as she looked a bit put out today. “some jerk just cut me up, my roommate spent all night fucking her boyfriend in the bed next to me. right next to me. I couldn’t leave because I didn’t want them to know I was awake. Then by the time I realised they weren’t going to stop.” She started. “you were afraid if you left then it would be creepy. Like youd been awake the whole time and just found then to much?” I asked. “presisly.” She moaned. Nathan I give him his credit tried not to laugh. The intern bless her was a year older than me, she was half chinnese and she was working on her masters currently. She didn’t know Nathan was her boss. Nathan gave me a look as we approached the floor I would get out on. “Madeline you ring me when your leaving the office and when you get to the school. Then ring me again the moment you get home.” He said firmly. “alright dad.” I said rolling my eyes. The intern looked embaressed but she didn’t know who Nathan was. I grabbed her and took her with me. “Your dads so hot?” she said. “Yeah but hes anyoying and tells to many rubbish dad jokes.” I assured her, not correcting. Because there was no point.

At the end of the day, I went down to my car. I was nervous and kept my phone in my hands. When I got to my car I had to remind myself to breath. My whole windsheld was covered in white roses. I looked at them unsure what to do. I looked around, no one was there. I had rung Nathan to say I was leaving. If I rung him this soon he would panic. Hell I didn’t know what to do. Should I put the roses in my car so as not to insult him incase he was watching? I took a picture and sent it to Nathan. He rung straight away. “you get straight in your car, you lock the door and you wait right there.” he said firmly. I listened. I climbed in my car and waited. “Im going to hang up for a few seconds but I will ring you straight back.” Nathan said. he hung up. I sat there reminding myself to breath. When a tapping went on my window I screamed. I looked out, it was Dominic not James. Thank god. Dominic and a security guard that the only thing I had ever seen him do was check id as we went in. Nathan rung back. “Dominic will be right down.” he said. “hes down.” I said. “oh okay.” Nathan said. I unlocked the door. “Are you okay?” Dominic asked me. I nodded. The security guard was looking at my windshield. “it wasn’t like this two hours ago when I did my last sweep.” He said. Dominic nodded. “What do I do?” I asked. “You stay in that car, I will ring the cops.” The security guard said to me. “How does he know my car?” I asked Dominic. “I don’t know Madeline.” He said. I was scared. I handed Dominic Nathan because I didn’t want to talk. Hed almost come to the home, now work? An hour later a cop turned up. he took my statement, he then told me not to chuck the flowers because it might inrange the man, but don’t act happy to have them. I nodded. I put them all in the trunk of my car, Nathan went and got the kids. I agreed to go down to the station with Nathans lawyer to have a restraining order put on my ex boyfriend.

It was midnight when Nathans lawyer drove me home. Nathan wanted to come, but the kids needed him at home. It was done though. James would be served tomorrow with the restraining order.

It was a month later I hadn’t heard anything since he was served and I was starting to relax again. I didn’t jump everytime my phone rung. It was most often Maria or the twins. But I was okay. I would be okay, id unfortuntly finished my first term though. My seond was at Nathans so today was my last day here, well for a few months then I would be back in a different department. I wasn’t looking forward to that one as much but I still was. I was just putting the last of the bits I brought with me here into the box when Dominic appeared. “it looks like you’ve been fired.” He said shaking his head. “I collected way to much stuff on my desk.” I admitted. He chuckled. He came over and picked out one of the items it was the kids Nathan and me at Disneyland with Goofy and mickey. I knew for a fact Nathan had the same picture on his desk now. “I think the teams going to miss you.” He said. “its been amazing working with them.” I admitted with a smile. “I am looking forward to working with Alexis team next, then Aarons.” I told him with a smile. “Well when you’ve finished with your internship prehabs you will know which department you want to work in.” he said with a smile. “deffently.” I said with a smile. “Well it was a plessure having you here Madeline and I hope the rest of your internship goes great.” He said. he was looking at my mouth? What was going through his head. “Thankyou.” I said with a smile at him. I took my box to my car. I put it in. i then went and got Tamsin and Oliva from school. The older two were making there own way home today. I had Tamsin swinging from my arm when we got to the car. I froze. No, no not again! My windshield was full of red roses. No. “Wow Auntie Maddie got flowers.” Oliva said excited. I shook my head, not able to breath. “Girls get in the car quickly.” I said. They listened thankfully. I kept looking over my sholder as I strapped Tamsin in but all the other parents around gave me slight relief. It might not be him. who was I kidding it was him. When the girls were in the car, I took a picture of the Roses on my windshield. I saw the note, I took the roses and climbed in the car. When in I locked the door. I read the note.

I am so sorry baby that some asshole fired you. He doesn’t know how special you are. I love you please forgive me.

I swallowed why the hell was he breaking his restraining order. “who are the flowers from auntie Maddie?” Oliva asked. “Its nothing sweetheart, just a present for my last day of work.” I lied to her. I drove to get Derek and Greg. There teacher let them go when I was in the front of the que. They run over and climbed in. Neither noticed the roses on the front seat. When we got home I took the roses in scared he was still watching. I texted Nathan the picture after setting the alarm. Paranoid I know. There was no point in ringing I knew he was in a busy meeting today.

When Nathan got home he told me he had already contacted his lawyer and I didn’t need to worry. He assured me, but I think we both knew that James had lost it to go against his restraining order espically as he was still on liecence. If he went back I would feel safer, which was stupid James wouldn’t ever hurt me. would he?

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