Woman's Resolve to stay Single

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Chapter 25 | Good Cake

We all know that a scandal about me has spiked the web recently. To my beloved fans: Please do not believe everything that is said online and stay away from people who twist the words and actions of others without knowing reality. Miss Elizabeth Lane is a dear friend of mine and that lunch was just a simple get-together between two friends. We never thought of each other to be suitable in that type of relationship. As a good friend of hers, I wish you would believe this statement and avoid bothering Miss Lane from now on. I would want her to continue living normally and peacefully. I hope you all would understand my thoughts. Thank you.

-Mark Hale

I never knew this situation would come to this. I am sorry for the trouble my presence has caused, and I am thankful for the words Mr. Hale had said. It is the truth. We are purely friends and always be. Thank you.

-Elizabeth Lane

These two posts would be the number one topic of discussion the next day. Mark and Elizabeth worked on the two statements together in the car and planned to post the two together the next morning.

It worked out pretty well because it somehow the whole scandal was dying down and multiple good feedback was commented on each of the posts, mostly on Mark’s.

Instead, a new topic came up, hailing Mark as ‘Soccer’s gentleman’ for continuing to meet-up with friends even after fame and also caring for them pretty well. Now everybody wanted to be ‘Mark’s Friend’.

Amidst all these, Elizabeth wondered how big of an influence Mark had to turn the tide around in one post, just like he suggested, and even make a new title for him out of it. It was amazing.

She headed to work that Monday in a bit of a nervous state. She knew that her co-workers would know about everything, so she was reluctant to head inside. With her usual bag and files in hand, she entered the office door, and it was just what she had expected. Multiple stares went through her when they saw her view at the entrance. She walked in, trying not to mind it all, but it was all so piercing.

As soon as she placed her bag on her chair, her desk mate turned towards her.

“El, you know Mark Hale! Can you introduce me?”

And it seemed like that was enough for the whole rampage to come in. If one starts, others follow. And that was just what had happened to her. Multiple female and even male colleagues started coming up towards her and asking questions about Mark. Questions like: Are you dating? Are you really friends? Is he that hot in person? And the likes.

The noise was getting so loud that it went through the office of the section head. Miss Tanya Lee exited her office and yelled in the loudest voice she could muster,

“Everyone continue working!”

Just like tiny ants being crushed in a group, they scurried one by one back to their desks and the sounds of keyboards again resurfaced.

“Elizabeth, come to my office. Right now.” With a click of her heel, she entered herself.

Elizabeth looked around the room and internally cussed herself before heading towards her boss’ office.

“Sit.” She was told as soon as she entered.

She did, sitting almost at the very edge of the seat, anxious about what was to come.

Tanya let out a sigh as she leaned towards her desk. “You already know what this is about, do you?”

She didn’t reply.

“The news that surfaced yesterday affected the magazine. The media know where you work you day-to-day job and are basically threatening to stop subscriptions if your articles are trash.” She rubbed the sweat off her forehead.

Elizabeth sat quietly, thinking about how to go about it and figure out a way to not lose this job.

“There’s good news though.”

“What is it?” She asked in a soft voice.

“We’ll be losing readers if you don’t do well, but so far, all your articles are pretty good. The last one you passed to me last week came out of the editor’s desk with okays and no corrections.”

Elizabeth let out a breath that she unconsciously held in. “But!” Tanya said again,

Somewhat shocked, she instinctively followed, “What?”

“I will give you another job to prove yourself. Remain professional in this one. If this isn’t as good as the last one, I’ll be asking for that letter. Understood?”

Elizabeth nodded. Tanya handed over another file for her to work on and they sent her out of the office. She was relieved to have been given this last chance, but internally, she was scared and yet eager for this new project.

That day, she sat in her seat, not minding the continuing murmurs behind her all over the office. She was the discussion of today; she knew that, but she tried not to care. Instead, she focused on studying her next project.

It seemed like she was to cover an upcoming practice match for Mark’s team. She recalled how she was asked to stay professional and realized that it meant to try to not feed the media during this one.

She would do it in public and people might know that. This could light the fires of the rumor once again, so she tried to think of ways to prevent in doing so, even if she needed to go for personal interviews.

It was a practice match between the national team and another team that made it into the quarter-finals. They weren’t all that known, but they were said to be like a dark horse in the competition.

Work finished with time passing by slowly. She spent the entire day thinking about ways to complete this job perfectly and peacefully. In reality, she couldn’t think that well, and the rumors still swirled around her head. So she gave herself a delightful break.

She punched out from the office and wore a pair of the huge sun glasses she brought in her bag. She bought it just this morning and fortunately didn’t have to wear it because she blended in nicely with the rush hour.

She placed the file in her bag and headed to Brick and eat her beloved cake and drink her soothing coffee. She thought of hiding there for the rest of the day before it turned dark and it seemed like a great idea.

She arrived at Brick peacefully. She was super thankful for the glasses because they covered her entire face to where all she saw was tinted darkness. Elizabeth entered Brick with the same familiarity she always felt. The chime rang per usual, and she approached the counter with longing. The thought of calming herself here with the slice of cake and a great cup of coffee sounded heavenly.

She never took off her glasses as she ordered. She looked down as she did so she didn’t notice Hayden trying to keep in the laughter as she did.

“That will be all? - pff.” He said, trying to mask out his own voice in a different tone.

It was funny. Elizabeth didn’t notice a thing and simply answered, ” Yep.” to the seemingly normal question.

“Do you want a side of Wright with that? ”

” A side of... What? ”

” Wright, our best seller.” Out of confusion, Elizabeth looked up to the mysterious cashier at the same time Hayden added,” Hayden Wright. ” with a full-on smirk and hands on his waist.

Elizabeth looked at him in contempt, and sudden anger boiled from her insides.

Hayden laughed at her as he said, “You should have seen your face when you realiz- ow... ow El!”

Instinctively, she hit him across the counter. When she was satisfied, she fixed herself up and paid the bill without a word, turned on her heel and headed straight for one of the empty tables in her sight. She directly sat down and crossed her legs while waiting.

Soon later, Hayden came up to her table. Serving the order himself while saying,

“That disguise isn’t working, you know.” Elizabeth looked at him as he said this and continued, “I could spot you from a mile away. Though it does not look like you, you look like a creep who’s wearing sunglasses indoors.”

“Shut up.” She said as she took a bite of her cake, “it’s good.”

“My pleasure.” Hayden replied as he sat down on the seat across from her.

“How are you holding up?” He seriously asked.

“It died down a little cause’ of our posts this morning, but I had gotten into some trouble at work.”

Elizabeth raised her glasses from her eyes and relaxed as she made sure Hayden’s figure would cover her view. It was alright now; she knew.

“What kind of trouble?”

“I’m going to’ get fired if I don’t do this next job right.” Her palm met her face as she tried to hide the stress.

Hayden grabbed her palms and held it in his, staring into her eyes, “You can do it, El. You write really well, I’m positive you will get through this.”

“I don’t know. It’s putting a lot of pressure on me.”

” I’m sure you can do it. No, you will do it, I believe in you.”

“Will you stop with this cheesy shit, I’ll still try my best you know?” Elizabeth said as she let go of his hands and rubbed the slow tears coming out of her eyes.

“You’re crying.”

“No, I’m not. Dust got in my eye.” She sniffed as she tried to stop it from flowing. Hayden gave her a piece of tissue from the box at the table and she accepted it.

“You look ugly when you cry.” Hayden remarked as he chuckled.

“I do not. And I’m not crying.”

“You do.”

“I do not.”

“You do.”

Elizabeth’s tears followed her will and stopped as she continued to argue with Hayden for a couple more moments.

“I do not.” She took another bite of the cake. ” This is damn good though.”

Hayden laughed at her random remark and confidently replied, “of course. After all, I made it.”

She laughed with him, just flowing from her feelings at the moment.

“You’re finally smiling.” Hayden said to her.

In return, she smiled at him and said,

“Thank you.”

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