After traveling for an hour on the subway train, thank goodness for my iPod the hour ride went by fast. Still, with the aching feeling in my heart, I walked towards my office which was twenty minutes away from the subway.
Even though the weather today was quite pleasant. I felt irritably stuffy and hot or was it just my foul mood I wondered.
As I approached the main door of the office I stopped in my track taking off my sunglasses and looked up at the signboard, that read Dickens and Moretti law firm written in bold black on a white background sign board plastered on the right side of the wall near the door. Seeing this always lifted my spirit making me feel very grateful. There was nothing like watching your dreams unfolding before your eyes.
Despite my sour mood I still managed to smile looking at it, heartache or not I still have a career, a job, I love so much.
As I went into the office I was greeted by our assistant as well as receptionist Alex Maxwell, Jemi and I have the same assistant. That is the only luxury we could indulge ourselves for now. Maybe when things start to grow we can each have our own assistants and a separate receptionist as well, but no worries we are managing quite well as of now I should say, it has just been a year since we opened our private practice. When we first started we didn’t even have an assistant we had to manage everything by ourselves.
“Good morning Alex. Is Jemi already in?” I asked glancing towards her office.
“Yes about an hour or so.”
“Gosh! how late am I,” I checked the time on my wrist watch and it was 10:30 Am, yes I was definitely late but I did come to the office early this morning I was in by 8 O’clock. If it weren’t for the chaos this morning I would have finished studying the pending case.
As I walked towards my office I called out to Alex telling him to get me a cup of cappuccino, to which Jemi calling out to Alex to get one for her too as she came out from her office.
Our office was not big we had a medium size common room which had a wooden long bench for clients to sit and wait for their turn, a small reception desk and a chair for Alex to sit and two small office rooms one for me and one for Jemi. It was a modest one, but yes do not let the environment fool you, we do take our work seriously and get things done.
I walked towards my office room with Jemi following behind me, of all the days I wish she would just ignore me and get back to her work. I was in no mood to talk about the earlier incident but knowing Jemi she won’t rest till she finds out where I went earlier and why my eyes looked all swollen and red.
Thank goodness for the non-interfering attitude of Alex, he minds his own business not snoopy at all he talks only about work, very professional. I knew Jemi would come following me to my room because the moment she came out of her office room and saw me she gave me a raised eyebrow with the look clearly saying “what the hell, happened to you.”
I sat in my chair behind the table, not bothering to acknowledge her presence. She closed the door behind her and took a seat opposite me and looked at me intensely and as I continued to be stubbornly quiet, she finally spoke up.
“Are we going to enjoy the silence the whole day or you are going to tell me why your face looks like you have been crying the whole morning. You left early for work and when I came in you weren’t there, I assumed you went out for a work-related purpose, but now I’m sure it is not the case,” she was still eyeing me intensely.
Kneading my brows together in irritation,” It is nothing Jemi, I don’t want to talk about it, besides don’t you have work to do? How is the Morrison case going on so far, are you close to closing it?” I purposely changed the topic to distract her from my situation by asking her about the status update on Morrison, the client she was defending.
Ignoring my question she asked again but this time in a very concerned tone,” Ell please you know I’m just worried and it would bother me the whole day thinking what happened to you. Please?” She pleaded.
Seeing how worried she was. I heaved a huge sigh and decided to tell her,“Jemi, Richard broke off the engagement he is marrying someone else,” I almost choked on the words, my heart going numb with so much pain.
Clearly, by the look, she gave me she was as shocked as I was by the news when I first heard it and still is.
“But how? I don’t understand, I mean was he the one pushing you for years to marry? what changed,” She raced through her words as she leaned closer resting her hands on the table.
I told her the whole story starting from the beginning with Richard’s mother’s visit and the episode with him in his office, and by the time I finished telling everything I was sobbing uncontrollably.
Jemi was already by my side hugging me and rubbing my back trying to soothe me, but she didn’t speak, she just let me cry. I needed that comfort so badly. I was still hiccupping as she released me and handed me the tissue.
“That bastard and the evil witch, wait till I meet them I will surely rip off his face that spineless dick. I always disliked him now that you are no longer associated with him I can finally break his balls, he messed with the wrong bitch,” Jemi spatted out those words venomously.
It was true Jemi never liked Richard nor did she trusted him but just for my sake, she had been civil with him. If only I wasn’t so blind in love and so trusting, I would have been spared this heartache I sighed bitterly throwing the tear-stained tissue in the dustbin.
As if she knew what I was thinking she retorted angrily,“Ell I know what you are thinking, stop being so hard on yourself, that ass does not deserve your tears nor your love that..”
We were interrupted by a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Called out Jemi.
It was Alex,“Here are your cappuccinos ladies and anything else?” He asked putting down our hot beverages on the table.
“That will be all and Alex, please cancel all our appointments for today. We are going home.” Jemi instructed.
I let Jemi do all the talking as I sat before them blankly staring the table. I was very relieved when she mentioned we were leaving because truthfully speaking I wanted to just go home and lie on my bed.
I turn my eyes away from the table when Alex addressed me,” Take care of yourself okay Ell and don’t worry I’ll handle the fort for today,” He gave a warm smile but there was concern masked over his face for me, clearly because of my messed up appearance.
I couldn’t return the smile my lips won’t pucker up for it. I just nodded and muttered a soft thank you. Giving a last concerned look at me he took his leave.
“Come on let’s get the hell out of here and drown ourselves in ice cream and curse and bitch about that spineless dick out of your system.” She said grabbing our cappuccinos.
“Okay,” I whispered slinging my bag over my shoulder.
Getting two tubs of my favorite mint and chocolate ice cream from the store near our office we hailed a cap and headed towards our apartment.
Reaching the apartment I cried some more while taking shower. Finally done with the shower and the crying I changed into an XL T-shirt with the logo,” Good Girl Gone Bad,” it’s length stopping just above my knee. It was a gift from Jemi. I took out my contact lenses from my buffy bloodshot eyes result of crying for hours. I wore my owl shape spectacle and went to the living area and settled on the sofa.
Jemi was already there standing behind the counter of the kitchen scooping large quantity of ice cream in each bowl.
She handed me a bowl of the ice cream as she settled beside me with hers facing me seating crossed leg.
I took a big scoop of the ice cream, closing my eyes as it dissolved in my mouth.
“Nice huh!” Chuckled Jemi.
“Yeah.” I gave a small smile opening my eyes.
Smiling back at me she gave a gentle squeeze on my hand and released it,“Ell I know you are hurting now. But I want you to focus your whole energy on just moving on from him okay and don’t you dare think less of yourself because of him. He does not deserve you. Like I always say and will always do, you deserve so much better. You deserve to be happy.”
Jemi knows me too well and knows just the right words to tell me to make me feel better. Right now my self-esteem had been badly punctured and hearing words of encouragement from a genuine person such as your best friend are all you need to feel better.
Nodding my head I heaved a deep sigh,“Although I feel so humiliated and hurt right now I won’t think less of myself Jemi. It will take time but I’ll be fine. I have to be.” I whispered those last words more to me than her.
“I’m glad you think that way Ell just remember every time you feel hurt or feel like crying, just tell yourself this, here you are hurting and crying and that asshole is moving on with his life, building his life with that other woman, one minute of wasting your time being sad is like you are making him win especially his witch mother.” She stated with conviction. And I couldn’t disagree with her, she was absolutely right.
“Thanks, Jemi. I’ll remind myself that always.” I assured her and assured myself too. If he is ready to throw me out of his life as if I didn’t mean anything to him then I have to do right by me by not letting him destroy me. Right now I feel like my whole world has been crushed down and burned to ashes and only pain enveloping me. But I know there is a healer for all kinds of pain since time immemorial and that is Time and as the saying goes, Time heals everything, well I know I will be healed and liberated from this pain he managed to drown me in.
“You know what Jemi. I wish I could just go somewhere beautiful, like on a break, refresh myself and come back.” I said thoughtfully and raced through my brain on the possible places I could go with the right budget.
No sooner those words left my mouth, Jemi jumped up from the couch making me to nearly drop my bowl. She rushed towards her room and came back with the same speed and blob down on the sofa and handed me a flyer.
I gave her a puzzled look and started reading the contents of the flyer, something about anniversary discount was written. But before I could even fully learn what it was she broke the suspense by telling me the contents of the flyer.
“Mr Poogat gave me that earlier this morning while leaving for work, it seems his travel agent shop will be completing ten years next month since it opened, so to mark that they are giving away 50% discount on the lodging bill, all meals paid except for Lunch for five days at the mentioned hotel. We have three choices of place Verona Italy, Paris and Santorini Greece.” She finished.
The mention of the last place got my full attention,” Santorini?” my voice rose an octave high with excitement.
Jemi grinned seeing my excitement,“I knew that place would peek your interest.”
“But Jemi what about work and the flight fare will be expensive.” I frowned my excitement bubble bursting.
“Nonsense Ell I want you to go, work can wait,” She brushed off my apprehension casually.
“What do you mean by I can go? if at all I go, it will be us together.” I admonished.
Shrugging her shoulders casually,” I am still far from closing the Morrison case, I don’t know how long it will take. You need this more than I do and don’t give me any excuse about work, you and I both know you recently closed a case and your plate is free and before you go into the-the flight fare is expensive,” she air quoted the last words, mimicking my voice and we both burst out laughing.
As we stopped laughing she continued,“your birthday is next month and I have been itching my brain as to what to give you,so I am paying one of the flight fares. I want to pay for both the to and fro but as you can see your friend is not so heavy on the cash department, so one it is,” I was so touched by her gesture but as tempting as it sounds I won’t let her take that much burden.
“Jemi thank you so much but I won’t let you take that much burden.”
“Oh come on Ell I knew you were going to say that, look if you really want to thank me and make my burden light go to the Island let yourself lose, have fun for once. Let your guard done, get laid with a handsome Greek man, you have been with that spineless ass for six years you need a man a real man and from my experience Greek men are good in the sack.” She winked at me.
I looked at her rather scandalously throwing a small cushion at her. Jemi was very free spirited I was the uptight one. We were same in many ways but also different in many ways, I love her so much she was the sister I never had.
She looked at me rolling her eyes,” listen Ell I will not take no for an answer you will hurt my feelings if you reject my birthday gift.” She gave me an innocent fake sad expression.
I laughed at her expression I know I lost this match with her, I sighed raising my hands in surrender,“okay okay I will go to Santorini and have a good time. But I would obviously not take up on your suggestion of getting laid.” I deadpan.
“Can I ask that as my advance birthday gift. You going on a date with a complete stranger and just forgetting that you are an uptight granny and getting laid?” Jemi requested with a straight face.
“Jemi you are impossible. I might go on a mindless date but I am certainly not going to spread my legs for a stranger,” Shaking my head. Only Jemi would make an issue out of such trivial things.
“Fine be an uptight granny then.” She pouted.
Jemi joined me as I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard, my stomach cramped making me nearly forget that I went through a hurtful episode just some hours back.
Once we did all the bookings and necessary formalities, we had our dinner and bid goodnight to each other and retired to bed.
As my head hit the pillow my mind drifted off to Richard, pain starting to creep into my heart. Before it drowned me I forced myself to focus on Jemi’s advice. And chanting these words over and over again,” He is not worth it.”
Calming my racing heart I diverted my thoughts towards my trip to the Beautiful Santorini Island. I always wanted to visit the place it was one of the many places I wanted to visit before I die. I’ll be leaving on Monday and the prospect of finally going there made me smile.