Chapter 2. Get the Hell Out
My eyes widened in horror and the room suddenly got quiet. “I’m sorry. Did you say you were allergic to nuts?”
“Yes, I am. Why would you get me this?” Aaron narrowed his eyes and I felt heat coursing through my veins.
“Because Ashley told me to,” I admitted.
“I did not. I said get him a croissant and make sure it is not almond,” Ashley interjected.
My attention shifted to her and I was desperate to give her a piece of my mind, but held my tongue for fear of being fired.
“Okay. Meeting is over. Everyone, grab your coffee and morning tea. We’ll reconvene the meeting in the afternoon. Keep your diaries free.”
I turned to walk away, but Mr. Cross had other ideas. “Ciara. You can stay behind,” he demanded.
Everyone walked out of the room leaving me with the editor in chief. “Take a seat,” Aaron ordered as he pointed to the empty chair opposite his.
“Yes, sir.” My heart was thumping against my chest and the blood rushed to my ears.
“So, your morning hasn’t been very good, has it?”
I shook my head. “No, sir. It definitely has not.”
“We have the highest qualified people working here. I would like to see more from you, Ciara. You will be on probation for three months. If you haven’t improved by then, I will be firing you. Do I make myself clear?”
I nodded and gulped hard. “Yes, sir. I’m really sorry for this morning.”
“I’m letting it slide because I know what it’s like on the first day on a job. That is all. You can go now. And take that damn croissant with you.”
I grabbed the pastry and placed it in the brown paper bag before I stood up from my chair.
“Thank you for giving me another chance.”
He nodded and pointed towards the door. I pressed my lips tight and smiled, before I turned away and walked out of the boardroom with only one thing on my mind. Ashley.
A deep sigh escaped my mouth, and I knew my clumsy self, needed to step up my game to stay here. With my new found courage, I stormed up to Ashley, who yet again, was speaking into her ear piece on another personal call.
“So what? He didn’t want to sleep with me so I had to find it elsewhere.”
Geez, this girl has no shame.
I leaned over her desk and pressed the end call button on her phone. Ashley’s eyes widened as she looked up at me. She removed her earpiece and threw it on the desk, causing a loud clunk.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“I know exactly what you said. Almond croissant. You risked the life of your own boss for some vendetta against me. You hardly know me. What the hell was that about?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s not my fault that you don’t listen to orders.”
“I listened alright. I listened loud and clear. I want this job. I don’t get paid for it, but I’ll be working my ass off to make sure I keep it.”
“Yeah, good luck with that. The way your day has been, it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t last a week.”
I stood up with confidence exhuming from my body. My hands were shaking and my heart was still beating fast from my conversation with Mr. Cross. “I’m not one to give up on my dream.”
She rolled her eyes and placed the ear piece back in her ear. “You need to find Amelia. She’ll organize your security pass and tell you what you need to do.” She waved her hand away. “Now go do something away from here.”
I snatched the key from around her neck, made my way to unlock the door, and turned around before I threw the pass on the floor next to her desk. “Thanks,” I grinned slyly.
Turning into the main office area, I stopped and scanned the room for a friendly face. I locked eyes with a young girl who smiled and waved at me.
“Hey, I’m Amelia!”
“Hey. I’m Ciara.”
“So, I’ll need to show you around everything and get you sorted. Your desk is the empty spot beside mine. We need to go to security and get your own pass.”
“Thank you. God, you’re so much nicer than-.” I stopped before I made a fool of myself talking to a girl about her colleague. They could have been friends.
She covered her mouth and chuckled. “Don’t worry. Everyone hates her. She’s just salty because she thinks she runs the place.”
“Definitely the vibe I got from her. Does she happen to be a compulsive liar too?”
Amelia nodded. “Don’t trust anything she says.” She pushed her chair back and stood up. “Come on. We’ll get your pass and I’ll show you around.”
Amelia escorted me to the security team and they organized a pass. Afterwards, she showed me around the office and told me some of the tasks they’d make me do.
“Oh, you know. The usual stuff a gofer does. Copying, getting coffees and snacks. Lunch orders. They like to build trust for the interns before they give them anything important to do.”
I nodded. “So, Mr. Cross seems interesting...”
She raised her eyebrows. “Interesting, huh?”
I could feel the blood rushing to my cheeks. It didn’t go unnoticed how incredibly attractive Aaron Cross was. The youngest Editor in Chief in New York. His rise to fame was guided by his father, who happened to own the business.
“Yeah...so, what’s up with him?”
“Well, he likes to keep to himself. He doesn’t like lazy people, so if you do your job and do it well, he won’t give you crap. He is firm, and sometimes rude. Especially if he doesn’t know you.” Amelia continued. “I have been here for a while. He’s okay with me. He knows I work my ass off so I’ve never had an issue.”
I thought about everything that had happened on my first day, and I took a deep sigh. “It hasn’t been going well for me. I mean, he’s already had a chat about making sure I up my game.”
“Yeah, listen to him. He knows what he’s talking about. He may be an ass sometimes, but he’s smart and articulate. And he knows good business and books.”
I nodded and smiled. “Thanks for the tip.”
I spent the rest of the day doing basic office admin. It went pleasantly well considering the issues I had in the morning. At five pm, I was ready and desperate to go home.
“Thanks for everything today, Amelia.”
“You’re welcome,” she smiled. Amelia was stunning. Gorgeous sandy blonde hair which fell neatly against her shoulders. She had beautiful blue eyes that would sparkle whenever she spoke to you.
“So, what time does everyone start here in the mornings?
“Seven,” she replied.
“Wow. That’s early,” I gasped.
“Mmhm. You get used to it after a while.”
We both stood up from our chairs, packed our things and made our way to the lift lobby, before we headed to the ground level.
As soon as we stepped outside, I turned to Amelia. “Thanks again for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive for me.”
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’ll see you in the morning, bright and early,” she smiled, before she kicked her heels and walked away. I took a deep breath and strolled towards the subway before I made my way home.
“In the kitchen, sweetheart.”
I heard my mom yell and I made my way to see her. She was standing in front of the fridge scanning each item meticulously.
She turned her attention to me and smiled. “Hey, darling.” I walked over to her and planted a kiss on her cheek. “How was your first day at work?”
I took a deep breath. “Could’ve been better. There are definitely a few people I need to watch out for.”
She raised her eyebrows. “Really? That bad?”
She shook her head and turned to pick up the knife that was laid flat on the chopping board.
“Mom, you forgot to close the fridge.”
She leaned back and reached out her arm, shutting the stainless-steel door. “Sorry, sweetheart.”
“That’s okay.” There had been a few things I had noticed with my mom. Little forgetful things, and I wondered if her memory was failing. I placed my hand on the kitchen bench and propped myself on the marble island. “What are you making?”
Leaning over, I took a look at the crisp vegetables that sat inside the clear glass bowl.
I smiled, and snatched a large carrot that had called out to me.
My mom chuckled and shook her head. “Leave some for the dish,” she grinned.
“Thanks, I will.”
“Your father should be home soon. Why don’t you have a shower so we can eat when he gets here?”
“Sounds good.” I took a bite out of my carrot before I jumped off the counter. “See you soon.”
The next morning, I got up extra early to get ready for work. I fumbled with the last button on my navy-blue blouse before I straightened my black pencil skirt. Grabbing my purse from my bed, I made my way to the kitchen, where my dad was already sipping a hot coffee mug.
He looked up from the newspaper in his grasp and smiled at me. “Morning, sweetheart. You’re up early.”
“I know. This new job is kicking my ass and it’s only the second day.”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
“Thanks, dad. I have to go.”
“When you come home, I think we need to have a chat.” My father placed the newspaper down and removed his glasses. I noticed how tired his eyes were.
I knew exactly what he wanted to discuss, and it was a long time coming.
After getting off the subway, I looked down at my phone and noticed it was still early. Feeling guilty from yesterday’s debacle, I decided to make my way to the Patisserie to apologize for...well everything. When I arrived at the shop, I noticed the open sign against the glass. I pushed my way in and heard the bell ring above.
The guy looked up at me, eyes widened. He shook his head and pointed to the door. “Get the hell out!”