Chapter Eleven - My Boss
I wanted a clean slate.
And no surprises.
I just wanted one firm to give me a chance. Based on my grades and experience, nothing else. I remember that first day like it was yesterday, sitting at a large oak desk dressed in a dark blue dress and a black wrap sweater. His questions were direct and his expressions were hard to read. I didn't know if I nailed the meeting until a few days later when he called to congratulate me.
At first he was nothing but a good boss, one of three, including Andrew Nomello and Simon Gillette, the men who the law firm was named after. Grant was just a minority partner then and still pretty much is after 10 years of being there.
Then after a few months of being there the flirting started. I knew he was married and had children but that didn't stop him. At first I did my best to ignore him and not engage in the flirting. I wanted this job and didn't want to ruin anything.
It grew harder and harder.
Simple flattery on how I was dressed came first, then coming up behind me and lightly touching my shoulder or arm came next. It was uncomfortable and knew this wasn't the first time he had done it. Sandra, the secretary to Simon, explained he had done the same thing to her. That was until she confided in her boss who gave Grant a stern talking to and ended up squashing it.
It was so easy in my case.
Grant is my boss.
I never liked being point on the spot like that. I worked damn hard my entire college years to end up being seen like this. I fought so hard to not be objectified and even if he was I wouldn't fall for his advances and charm.
I tried to be strong.
And I kept it up.
Surprisingly it did end up stopping, only because we got a new young blonde receptionist named Tonya that he quickly took a liking to and quickly left me alone. It was a breath of fresh air to be seen as more than an object to him. I went back to being a coworker and an equal.
I continue with entering the files into the computer until I got completely done. I put the papers back in the file, turned off my computer and walk back towards Grant's office. He is on the phone as I lighlty rap on the door. He holds up his finger.
"Come on Simon, cut me some fucking slack. I'm the only one who is even in the office," his upset voice fills the room.
"You know what - I'm not staying! Lucy is done and we both deserve to go home, it's a fucking Saturday for Christ's sake!"
I almost feel bad for him.
He is still the low man on the totem pole. He is at his wit's end and I can tell he can't take much more. He does get treated like shit and could do so much more than stay here. I purse my lips and stay on the other side of dark oak door.
Grant angerily slams down the phone and let's out a deep breath before calling me into his office. I hand him the thick file and he takes it and sets it on his desk. He runs his fingers through his hair and looks like he is on the verge of losing it.
"Are you okay," I ask concerned.
"Not really. Fucking Simon on my ass again. He expects me to be at his beckoned call all the time," he responds obviously stressed.
"I've been here too long to be treated this way. If I were Luce I'd fucking run as far and fast away from these pricks. You and I deserve way better than these asshats."
I nod, smiling nervously.
He looks up at me with his saddened eyes. I can see by looking into them that he isn't going to be here much longer. You can only take so much before finally giving up and moving on. I've had the same thought many times but four years in, I've haven't amassed enough time to just pick up and walk away from it.
I am not ready yet.
I can see Grant's quandry.
Sometimes it can be just be too much. I know that as well as him, especially with big wigs bullying their way and keeping you just below them. Looks like we both need a much needed change.
"I'm sorry Luce, I didn't mean to unload on you like that."
I smile brightly.
"It's okay," I assured him.
"You can be done for the day. I know you'd like to enjoy your day and the rest of your weekend. I got a couple more things that I have to finish up," he continues.
"Yeah, get out of here."
I thank him and grab my belongings and head back down the hallway and head to the elevator. I press the lobby button and wait for it to open. I turn back towards Grant and I see his head in his hands. They are going to lose a good guy. I feel sorry for him.
I truly do.
The elevator door opens and I step inside. I press the bottom button and watch him until the large metal door close. I let out a deep sigh and pull my phone out.
I type Walker a quick message:
"I'm heading back from work. See you in about an hour?"
I put my phone back into purse and smile.
I can't wait to him. It's okay 5:30 but it seems like such a long time since I've seen him. God, I'm being clingy already. Keep it together Lucy, don't be that bitch already. I chuckle to myself and wait for the elevator to come to a stop.
Keep it chill Lucy.
Keep it chill.
The door opens and I step out and head to the front door of the building. As I open it I see the streets out front are busy and bustling. I hope I can grab a taxi quick. I step out and wave for a yellow car about to pull up. One stops and rolls down the window.
"Where to Miss?"
"Beecher Hill District. 621 Stonecliff Avenue."
The taxi driver has a thick accent. I'm not sure what is it but it is thick and distinct. His cab smells like Ocean Breeze from the air freshener that's attached to his middle console in the vent.
It is definitely masking something.
Could be his feet.
Could be a dead body.
It's the city.
Nothing would surprise me anymore.
He slides my card and starts the timer. He pulls back out into traffic and heads to my apartment building. The downtown traffic at it's normal bustling self and I'm not surprised at all. After you live in the for the first 6 months, you get acclimated pretty fast.
It is crazy like that. As much as I am feeling badly for Grant, I am glad to be out there and ready to spend the weekend relaxing and hopefully getting some much needed attention from Walker.
A smile washes over my face.
Suddenly, I am jerked back into reality as the taxi pulls up to my building. The dash reads $13.22, the normal inflated price. I thank the driver and grab my purse and close the car door behind me.
I turn around and spot Rebecca Norris standing on the stoop of the building smoking a cigarette. I usually try to avoid her after our last interaction but I knew I couldn't. I take a deep breath and walk towards her and the double doors of our building.
"Hey stranger," Rebecca says with her raspy and low voice.
"Hey Rebecca, how you been?"
"Pretty good. Laying low," she adds, with a look that makes me uncomfortable. She knew something and was just biding her time.
"Word on the street is you got a new toy," she continues.
"What are you talking about," I innocently reply, trying my best to play dumb even though I already knew better than to do that with her, especially since our last exchange.
"Stop it, you got it and it didn't take you long to make your move," she continued as she took a long drag for her cigarette.
"Seriously, it just had to be Walker?"
"How did you kn-," I went to say before Rebecca interrupted me, her deep green eyes judging me with a stare that should be reserved for your biggest enemies, not a fellow tenant in a complex.
"Word travels fast dear."