Thursday, August 27th
It was now 5:26p.m. And for the seventh time today, I was crammed onto the crowded public bus. I was sandwiched between an elderly, woman who smelled of artificial roses and a horny, teenage boy whose pesky hand would not leave my knee. I had moved to Seattle three and half weeks ago, hoping to start life fresh. Far away from all the pain I left back in Michigan.
Hunting for an adequate job, that would financially support me, was proving to be harder than I thought. Then again, having a subpar business degree and five years as a Hooter’s waitress for experience, is not exactly much to work with. I was on my way to interview number seven, and I was losing hope. I needed a job. The money my Nana left me in her will was nearly gone, along with the little money I had to my name. I knew this interview was a long shot, but if they just gave me a chance, I know I can prove my value. The little I possessed.
Glancing down at my phone, to make sure I was getting off at the right stop, I smiled at the picture illuminating my face. Taking a much-needed deep breath, I reminded myself, why I needed to keep trying. With my destination in view, I pulled onto the string, more than ready to get out of this uncomfortable setting. Once, the bus came to a stop, myself and a few others got off going our separate ways. The busy Washington streets quickly filled with people, as I moved myself out of the way to stare into the glass storefront.
My makeup had held up nicely, while my messy wand curls were still semi intact. Smoothing down the silky, white blouse and form-fitting, black pencil skirt, I gave myself a light smile. Positive mind, positive outcome Katie. Adjusting, my worn Louis Vuitton Never-full, on my right shoulder, I joined the crowd of people down the busy street. Luckily, I was used to wearing heels, but the seven-inch heel and the mild platform, were starting to ache my poor feet.
Pushing forward, I could see my destination quickly approaching. After a hundred more steps and apologizing to the many shoulders I bumped into, I was finally here.
Forbes, highly acclaimed multi-billion dollar company that has been on everyone's radar for a toursit visit. The company has been a popular staple in Seattle for nearly three decades, but just last year they finally made it into the billion dollar revenue of sales. I knew the odds of me getting this job were slim to none, but I knew I had to at least try. Approaching the revolving door, I glanced in awe at the beautiful building. Though it was extremely busy and hectic, I could not help but stare. The gorgeous marbled floors, the eye-catching floor to ceiling windows and the many posh looking workers, made me feel out of place after being in here for only a few minutes.
I let my eyes linger for a moment longer, before I made my way to the front desk. An older woman, with perfectly curled black hair and red lipstick, was typing away at her large computer. A iMac. Wow.
“Um, excuse me.” Curse my stupid, soft voice. I stood there like an idiot, before the woman looked up at me and jumped. Clearly I had startled her. I offered an apologetic smile, which she sweetly returned, as her sultry green eyes, met my nervous gaze.
“Forgive me dear, I tend to get in the zone during office hours.” She chuckled lightly, tearing her attention away from the screen. “Now, what can I do for you?”
“I have an interview.” I attempted to make my voice sound more assertive. Epic. Fail. “I-I’m Katherine Prescott” I stuttered out, feeling nervous in the presence of all these people.
“Oh, honey no need to be nervous.” She gave me a sincere smile, that put me somewhat at ease.
“Sorry, it’s just so intimidating being here.” I whispered shyly, while my eyes lightly glanced around the busy lobby.
“You get used to it after thirty years” We both laughed, as she dug through a huge pile of paperwork on her cluttered desk.
“Here you are.” She pulled a sleek black folder, from the stack, handing it to me. It was quite heavy, and my eyes could not help scanning the reflective metallic lettering, that glimmered in the light. This folder alone could pay my rent. “I will walk you to Mr. Harrington’s office.” I nodded, as she made her way from her large desk, leading me towards the elevator. I trailed behind her, admiring her unintentional runway walk. It suited her perfectly. She pushed the shiny silver button, opening the spacious elevator, as we both stepped in. She pushed the ninth button, sending us to our destination, as soothing jazz music played lightly in the background.
“I’m Susanna by the way but everyone calls me Sue.” I smiled, shaking her perfectly, manicured hand. It was something about her presence, that made me feel so secured.
“Nice to meet you.” I said, timidly as the elevator doors opened again. Her expensive, red bottoms clicked against the floor, while we made our way down an extremely, long hallway. We stopped at the end of the hall, were a beautiful view accompanied the office.
“Gustav, your 5:45 is here.” Sue spoke, as she knocked a few times. After, a few moments that felt like an eternity, the door flew open. I stared at the older gentleman dressed in an expensive maroon suit, paired with a Rolex, and designer reading glasses. I never find older men attractive, but wow. He was attractive.
“Thank you, my dear sweet Sue.” His voice was deep and husky, yet calmingly, playful. Sue, playful rolled her eyes before turning to me.
“Good luck, honey.” She placed a loving rub, to my arm accompanied by a friendly wink. I smiled, as she disappeared back down the hallway.
“Come in my dear.” I nodded, walking into the beautiful office, while Mr. Harrington shut the door behind us. “I must say you are quite the gorgeous, little thing.” He nudged my shoulder, before taking a seat at his impressive desk. I couldn’t help but laugh. The way Mr. Harrington gave the complement, did not make me feel gross or sleazy. Unlike my first two interviews. I sat down in front of him, as he gave me a sweet smile. I sat my purse next to my feet, while holding the heavy folder in my lap. He had the most mesmerizing baby blue eyes. Though they looked quite tired, with a hit of sadness, they still glimmered with pure love. His gray hair was cropped on the sides to the perfect length, that framed his chiseld cheeks bones, and salt and pepper beard perfectly. God, I don’t even think I should be breathing his air.
“Shall we begin Ms. Prescott.” I nodded, as he pulled a similar black folder in front of him, running his index finger over the metallic letters. He glanced up to me, queuing me to speak with a a soft smile.
“Oh, um, I’m Katherine Prescott, age twenty-four applying for the assistant position.” I am a mess.
“Breathe my dear, I don’t bite, I’ve already had my lunch” I chuckled, relaxing my very tense shoulders.
“No, need to apologize Hun, I’m not as intimidating as people make me out to be.” He was right. From what I have read, he was supposed to be an absolute shark. “Now, I’m going to be frank with you Ms. Prescott, your lack of experience puts you at the bottom of the thirty applicants I’ve interviewed.” Here it comes, a first class ticket to rejection express.
“Sir, I know my experience is not up to your standards, but I give you my word, I will work day in and day out to give you nothing but a stellar performance.” I really needed this job. Watching as Mr. Harrington propped himself on his desk, he sat in front of me, his arms firmly across his chest, as he looked me in the eyes. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, he had one hell of a poker face. After moments of silence and very intense eye contact, he finally spoke.
“Out of all the candidates, you’re the only one Sue seems to like.” He gave me his warming smile, before reaching for the folder in my hands. “Sue has been here since the beginning of my company, her opinion means more to me than some flashy credentials.” Wait. Is he saying, what I think he’s saying?
“I-I don’t follow sir.” I was not going to get my hopes up yet.
“You have the job my dear.”
“Welcome to the team Ms. Prescott.” I don’t know what came over me, but I lunged towards him, wrapping my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly, as tears threatened to fall. Mr. Harrington only laughed, accepting my unexpected embrace, patting my lower back with his right hand.
“Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!” I pulled away quickly fixing his crinkleld suit jacket, he is so going to fire me. “I got too excited, please don’t fire me.”
“Hahaha, no worries my dear.” I smiled, as we both returned to our seats, sharing a few chuckles until we got comfortable. “Now I have to warn you, my son is not as accommodating as I am.”
“Yes, I am stepping down as CEO, and my eldest son Liam will be taking my place.” I was rendered speechless. I knew nothing of Mr. Harrington’s son. But how bad could he be, his father is such a charming and kind man.
“Of course, Mr. Harrington, I won’t let you down.”
“I know you won’t my dear” He rose from his chair, buttoning the front of his suit. “Now that, that’s settled can you start Monday?”
“Yes, of course, sir.”
“Splendid! If you don’t mind staying, Sue will help you run through your duties to get you familiar with Liam’s work environment.” I nodded, feeling a little nervous now. What was Liam like? He made his way to stand in front of me, his tall frame towered over me, as he held his hand out for a firm handshake.
“I can’t thank you, enough sir.”
“Don’t let me down Ms. Prescott.” Though he spoke with a smile, I knew the severity of his words. I’m sure all the other candidates had Ivy League educations, and tons of experience in the corporate world. He was taking a chance with me, a risky one. I was not going to let him down. We exited the office, making our way down the long hallway, back to the elevators. I couldn’t help the smile that was now plastered on my face. After weeks of rejection, life was finally starting to look up. As we walked back into the lobby, workers bowed their head in respect as they passed Mr. Harrington. I could not blame them, this man was officially my heaven sent angel. Walking back to Sue’s desk, her eyes lit up as soon as she saw me.
“Brief our new employee on her duties please.”
“Of course.” Sue, said with a smile.
“I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning, Ms. Prescott.”
“Yes, sir.” He gave my shoulder a loving squeeze, before returning to his office.
“Come, come dear!” I joined Sue, behind her desk as she pulled up a rolling chair.
“Sue,” I took a deep breath, trying to stop myself from crying. “Thank you, really I owe so much.” She smiled at me.
“You owe me nothing dear, I knew the moment you walked in that you were perfect for the job, experience or not.” I was beginning to think that moving here was a mistake, but this good news outweighed all the bad luck I have been having.
For the next hour, Sue helped me prepare for Monday the best she could. It was a lot of work and pre-planning, but I was determined to finish with an excellent performance for my new boss.
“We will meet again next week to see how you’re doing dear.” I nodded my head, stuffing the armful of paperwork into my bag. I grabbed my phone that was resting in the inside stretched pocket, to check the time. 7:12. Maria is so going to kill me. Sue walked me to the door, as I prepared to say goodbye.
“Oh, wait before you leave.” She shuffled back behind her desk, returning with a large black bag, with Harrington Enterprises written on it with the same reflective, black lettering. “This is for you.” She handed me the heavy bag, watching as I looked inside. My eyes widened, as the contents of the bag stared at me in all their expensive glory. The newest Macbook and iPhone stared back at me.
“I’ve programed everything you need, feel free to email or call me if you need anything dear.”
“Thank you, Sue.”
“See you Monday, Ms. Prescott.”
“Oh, um, Katie.” I smiled. “You can call me Katie if you’d like.”
“Goodnight Katie.” Maybe I did make the right decision moving here.