And when he sees me staring at him, I almost collapse on the table next to me. I am certain that this is my worst day ever. No make-up, no nothing, I just sit here and stare at my boss’s boss. And that is the moment I knew. My shirt has a stain of coffee and I blush with all my face. Not just my cheeks, but I can also feel my eyes red. His predator body comes to my side and all I can do is close my eyes, and hope for the best! And just how my imagination works, I was certain that he will acknowledge me, but instead, he walked pass me, to the women on my right. One gorgeous redhead whose smile is like something an angel sends to earth. Ashamed of my thoughts, I grab my purse and head back to the office and boom, my head hurts and my purse is all over the floor. All the attention of my colleagues are on me, and I quickly try to grab my things from the floor while watching for collateral damage. And the collateral damage is gorgeous! Same gold eyes but blonde hair, on his knees, helping me grab my stuff. For the moment, I can`t breathe and I can`t speak, until I realize that I am trapped into the Crawford genes, he is the brother.
I worked for 2 years in a multinational company. I started from the stretch but I found my way to the top. All until another woman, with less references than me, was promoted into my spot. I can`t imagine the disappointment I felt and how I wished to take that spot. Luckily for me, one of my resources from that company was to keep hold of our customers, and I grew fond with one of them, with whom I could speak freely. Don`t get me wrong, I never saw him, we communicated only through phone and emails and sometimes, he listened to me, and I listened to his problems. He was older, his wife passed away and he has 2 boys, one of them has a very free spirit, while the other is very keen on learning. Everything sounds as cliché as it can be from here, but when the promotion happened, I snapped. I got out of the meeting and crashed the doors and threw all the papers on the clean floor. All of the employees looked at me with pity in their eyes. And I tried my best to not let myself cry, since that is the ultimate sign of weakness. I was not weak, just emotional but it was hard as hell. Serendipity or not, in the next 30 minutes I’ve got a call, from my unseen friend, his name is Clark, the widows client I communicate with. All my anger is still inside me, so when he called he knew something was wrong. He gave me a solution but little did I know what that this solution will change my life completely. And after that here I am. Waiting for my interview.
The room is white and black. The walls are white, the grand reception desk is black. The minimalist design is predominant in this building. As far as I know, I am waiting for a interview as lead designer for the corporation called Crawford. The building is impressive at his best. It`s one of the greatest sky scrapers in L.A. And I must say, I am intimidated by a building so it`s safe to assume that my emotions will control all that will happen during the interview. The secretary from the reception area just calls my name and I know I am next for my interview.
“Hello, Ms. Condie?” She says to me while I approach the reception desk. She is one tall woman with blue eyes and blond hair. Her outfit is impeccable and her hills are something to die for!
“Yes, I am…” I respond with nothing but fear in my eyes. I have learned something, I am usually impressed by power, by when another human looks and talks like they have power, I instantly look at my shoes, and that is what I am doing right now. I don`t know why I accepted this interview, but as long as I am not intimidated, I can pass it. But look at me, just at the reception desk and I look at my shoes… Not heels of course, but snickers and all my outfit is out fitting the area! While I approach the gorgeous lady at the reception, she gives me a cold stare and just says:
“21st floor, second door on the left. Tell the secretary you arrived for the interview and she will guide you from there.”
And that was all. I could mumble a “Thank you” but I don`t know how that came out. My hand start shaking as I approach the elevator and press the last button… The last fucking button. I guess it`s too late to state my fear of heights and run back home… The elevator starts moving, we pass several floors and several groups of people. All dressed either in suites or pencil skirts but not at least, all of them are presentable. Not much I can say for myself, because I wear my favorite T-shirt, simple jeans and a pair of snickers, all accessorized with a handbag. I usually don`t give much on how I look, I don`t care. But seeing these people I fell inferior, and my ego is stumbling and my heart are shaking with emotions. All those words in my head and “DING” the elevator lady says “You just reached the 21st floor, state your name for security reasons, first name and last name please” And I just stood there perplexed. The lady elevator, since I decided to call her like this, and I know she is a programed voice, repeats the same sentence, finally I am out of my thoughts and start stating my name, with a trembling voice.
“Uhm… I- Condie Liusaidh (pronnunced Liusi, with an accent – my self conscious says) “ And I just stare at the door, helpless. Finally the elevator lady responds:
“Access granted, second door on the left, Mr. Crawford secretary will be announced of your arrival”
And just like that, the door opens to a generous hallway. Still white with neon lights, black doors on either side, everything is as clean as it can be. But the smell? My favorite, it smells like lavender and vanilla and my mind is in heaven at this scent. I quickly remind myself that I have to reach the second door on the left. I arrive and read on the small metallic plate near the black door: “Ms. Aliana Sontiago – Secretary” and the bigger metallic plate states: “Mr. Ralph Crawford – CEO”. And my nerves reached the summit and my heart is beating faster than the speed of light, I just hope that my interview will not be taken by the CEO. And that is when I remember the truth that was in plain sight. What stupid I can be and how much I can talk to myself. It just hits me that my client from the other company is named Crawford, and on this door is also Crawford…. Maybe he has his own company so that is why he wants to see me. As I relax a little bit, the door starts to open revealing a brunette, young and very beautiful woman. With black costume and black heels. She exhales power and I am just sitting at the door staring… Until she said:
“Ms. Condie? For the interview? I thought you got lost somewhere… you have not arrived in the expected time.”
I just stare at her and start mumbling some words… excuses maybe… “uhm, y-yes, I am Condie Liusaidh, excuse me, I just wanted to make sure that I have reached the destined door and reading and I … excuse me” And she just let me in, she gestured for me to come inside and also she stated “There is no problem, I always thought that reading the plates on the door will take less time, but who am I to judge…”
I HAVEN`T EXPECTED THAT RESPONSE! HOW COULD SHE! … I am officially lost of words but of course, she manages to find hers…. “Ms. Condie, you are expected in Mr. Crawford office right now, if you will please follow me.” Dumb folded I follow her, we pass a great hall with windows on both sides. I walk carefully because I am scared to look down and I need to look at my shoes that is my self-defense! But I am scared of heights and the windows on either side are reaching the floor. As I try to keep my step rhythm with hers, we reached shortly a large wood door, with engravings and also a metallic plate stating again that this is the CEO office. She knocks, 3 times, on the door and slowly open it. She gesture for me to get inside.
“Mr. Crawford will be here shortly, please take a seat on the couch.” And with that, she lives the room.