Talia stood alone in the bathroom and she looked at herself in the mirror. One would think by now she would be a different person after stealing her freedom back, and she definitely was. She wasn’t the same girl she was when she was seventeen.
Being naïve was one thing she couldn’t afford. You always read horrendous things and you feel as if your world is far removed from that until it happens to you. Your way of thinking changes and so does your surroundings.
She was always going forward, growing each day. Yet after three years, one thing was still prominent and that was the rage that she still felt. Doctors hadn’t helped her much, talking wasn’t the answer.
One thing that was prominent with her that she was sure of was the anger and rage that she felt. One too many times she was told that forgiveness and confrontation was the key to her finally moving on.
She opened the sink and splashed some cold water on her face. She was getting worse and worse by the day. A knock sounded by the door, Talia knew it was her secretary Marian,
“What is it?”
“Are you ready?” Her secretary answered.
Talia took a towel from the hanger and wiped the water from her face. She made sure her hair was neat, and she looked representable.
She never had direct meetings, nor met anyone. She would send Marian to do all that for her, then Marian would bring the contract and she would review it, then sign if it was good enough. Talia never wanted to reveal herself to people at all. She never wanted to be found.
Many people only knew her name and some thought she was Marian. Which she was fine with it. There was no harm done.
If she wasn’t in her well-secured home, she was at work or at the mixed martial arts center. It often baffled Marian why she wanted to work out so hard and learn such a dangerous sport. Her answer to her was always the same, “It’s self-defense. You never know what might happen in life.”
She went back into the office and started to review the files that Marian had put on the table. She opened them one by one, most of them didn’t appeal to her.
“Marian.” She called out to her when she doesn’t respond after some time, she picks up the landline and dials her number. She doesn’t pick, which is odd because she always does that. Maybe she had gone out to get some iced coffee and donuts.
After twenty minutes, her door opens and Marian walks in and closes it quickly.
“Mam we are in a huge pickle.”
“What do you mean? What happened.”
“The gentleman outside requested to see you, they won’t leave.”
“Did you tell them that we will call security.”
“I did. They said they needed to see you because it is a huge deal worth billion.”
“I don’t care Marian. You know the drill, everyone talks to you, and I will proofread it and make a final decision.”
With that Marian leaves and she deals with the gentleman. Talia was no stranger to a man who often insisted on seeing the boss instead, but she would rather lose the deal than to show herself. She does the rest of her work and heads home.
The following week, everything is the same as before. Nothing is new nor different. The end of the day approaches and Marian walks in.
“Here are the files for the day.”
Before she leaves, “You know boss some people are so ludicrous.”
“Why do you say that?”
“The one gentleman from last week was so desperate to see you.”
“Yeah, I think you should review the billion-dollar deal file carefully, it’s the bottom one.” Said Marian,
“Okay, don’t worry I will. We have had such cases as before, they won’t be the first nor the last.”
“I know.” Marian chuckled. “Do you want to hear this one’s excuse for wanting to meet you in person, or maybe guess it?”
“I am guessing he said, he is one of the richest people in the world.”
“That would have been better.”
Talia took another guess, “He was the prime minister.”
“Not even close,” Marian answered.
It had always puzzled her, at what lengths and fabricated stories that people went to, to just see her face or in person. Some would camp outside her office, but she wore a mask and a hoodie when she went out.
If she saw that she was being followed home, she would easily create a diversion so that she could lose the person along the way.
Marian laughed more when she made more guesses and the ridiculous statements from over the years that they had heard.
“He said,” Marian said between breaths,
“He is your husband.”