"Thank you so much for coming in today, it was so nice to meet you. Do you have any questions for us?" Ms. Kaylan asked, shuffling the papers on her desk.
"When will I hear back from you about the job?"
"You will receive a phone call letting you know if you will go onto the next round of interviews. They will be held by Mr Anderson, Mr Knight's current PA. Is that all?"
"Yes, thank you."
"No. Thank you," she replied.
Getting up, I made my way to the door and closed it softly behind me. I went down the elevator before making my way to the car. The minute I got in, I locked the doors of my SUV and rested my head against the wheel before letting out a big breath. That was scary. I pulled out my phone.
Ava: And done.
Ellie: How did it go?
Ava: I think i did okay, I'm going to go in some time next week to do another interview with the current PA, if i get shortlisted.
Ellie: I'm sure u did great.
Ellie: fingers crossed then
Ava: Have you had lunch yet?
Ava: Wanna get brunch together?
Ellie: Did you have breakfast...
Ellie: We've talked about this before
Ava: Stop being a worry wart, I ate sth
Ellie: okay then...
Ava: K. leaving now I'll be there in 10
* * *
I pulled up in front of the Daily Mail and proceeded to wait until Ellie came out. I took out my phone, debating as to whether I should send a message to my parents. However, being the kind daughter I was, I decided that I would let them sleep. I made a mental note to send them a text to let them know that I had done the interview and ask them how the filming was going. I could have joined them but due to:
a) my fear of spiders
b) my need to get away from being suffocated by my father...we had an interesting relationship after I entered the stages of going from a child to an adult
c) wanting to settle down
d) not wanting to abandon Ellie. Poppy was already exploring the world; why have another bestie abandon her?
So, it was a no for me.
I had a dream once. I had a dream to own a chain of cafes, like Starbucks or Costa, and work there. Hence why I did a degree in business. Unfortunately, the process of starting a business is much harder than you would expect and I decided to file the dream away. Now I was trying to find a job to fill in the gap between university and my 'proper' job. I had been thinking of becoming a teacher at a secondary school and teaching business to Year 12s and 13s, even Year 10s and 11s if business studies was an option for GCSE. And that's when my mum, for some reason, sent me forms to fill in for being a PA to a CEO who apparently needed one even though he had a secretary. Talk about logic. At first, I didn't want to apply. I could start doing either a PGCE or a QTS. However, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to be a teacher and finding a job is a very tricky business, what with the growing demand and not enough supply. Therefore, I applied and there I was. The pay wasn't that bad either. It wasn't the highest salary in the world but definitely better than what I originally expected. The Knights Enterprises weren't those 'big' companies so the fact they were paying £38,000 made it quite a surprise.
I could support myself without needing to rely on my parents too much. I'd most likely work here for a bit then maybe try and find a job which I would enjoy; maybe become a teacher. And if that didn't work? Well, I could always become a social media manager for actors and actresses, following my father's dream of me working in the acting industry.
A loud knock brought me out from my reminiscing. A security guard motioned me to lower my window.
"Madam, please may you move your car somewhere else? You are blocking the road and it is illegal to park on a double yellow line."
I bit my lip, "I'm sorry. I'll move my c-"
Ellie ran up to my car, panting, "Oh. Hello Mr Jameson."
"Do you know her?" He asked, jerking his head towards me.
"Please get in and leave. The car is blocking the road and is parked on a double yellow line."
Rude. I opened my mouth to give him a piece of my mind when Ellie's eyes widened and frantically shook her head at me. Fine. I closed my mouth.
Ellie hopped into the car and I drove off breathing heavily.
"Calm down. He's like this because it's exactly been two years since his wife died."
Um what? "How do you know?"
I blinked. Okay then. I braked at the traffic light and turned to her, "You fine with H's House?"
I turned on my indicator to show that I was going to turn left before asking Ellie,
"So, how was your first morning there?"
"It was good. Katie, my boss, is nice and so are some of the colleagues. The tasks I have to do aren't too exerting but they are...interesting."
"Some of the colleagues?"
"You have the typical people who think they are better than everyone else."
I wrinkled my nose in distaste, I hated annoying walking cliches. Why did Queen Bees and minions exist? Okay, not all of them are bad but like no need to be so mean!?! I shuddered. Ellie squeezed my knee.
"Calm it girl."
I smiled tightly at her.
"It's in the past Ava, let it go," she said softly.
I pursed my lips before taking a deep breath,
She smiled at me gratefully,
"She doesn't even deserve to have your thoughts directed at her."
True. A smile flickered on my face. Ellie was truly a good human being. Forgiving her was no big feat and the fact she managed to push it away from her was amazing. I locked the car doors and we pushed our way through the crowds to get to the entrance. Ellie left to find a table while I went up to order. I drummed my fingertips against the marble surface, waiting for our food to be ready to be collected. I looked around to see if there were any new additions to the cafe since we had visited. My eyes zoomed into the comfy looking armchair that was currently occupied by a college student. That was me once...
An ambulance siren blared before quickly fading in the distance. I turned my head to catch a glimpse of the van and from the corner of my eye, I saw two men approaching the double doors. They weren't regulars here. I turned around to get a better look. Who knows, they could be my soulmate?
My heart started beating quicker and my face paled. One of the two men that had entered the diner was the jerk I had bumped into this morning. Ugh. This world is too small. I spun around.
"Do you have a scarf?"
Ellie looked at me as though I was mad.
"It's spring, bordering on summer and it's 22 degrees outside with the sun smiling down at us . Who would have a scarf this time of the year?"
I sighed. There was no way I was going to let that person notice me. I tend to avoid people I've done something embarrassing to or in front of them if I can for a few days. I'm sure you would do the same. Apart from Ellie of course. It would be hard to avoid your best friend.
Spotting a menu on the table in front of us, I asked Ellie if she could pass it over. She gave me a weird look before handing it to me. Angling my body slightly to the window, I started to study the menu as though my life depended on it. Ellie muttered something under her breath before starting on her avocado toast.
After an eternity, in reality, it most likely was five minutes but to me it was ages, the men walked to the other side of the cafe and seated themselves. Sighing with relief, I put the menu away and put my back to them.
Once we were out of earshot, Ellie asked me, "Are you okay? I mean you are weird at times, correction, most of the time, but this beats them all."
I rolled my eyes.
"I collided with one of the men earlier and was embarrassed then and now. Sue me."
Sighing, Ellie said, "I will, don't worry. Anyway, you do know you could have gone on your phone or to the ladies'. Right? Plus, how long are you going to avoid him? If he works where you might, that may be a little tricky."
"There's tons of departments and floors in that building. The chances will be minimal."
She sighed again. "True, but what if you're in the same department?"
"I did not commit any crime for you to have the power to interrogate me."
"I'm preparing you for the future," she shot back.
"I'm going to be the PA of a CEO. Highly unlikely."
"Hmm, I guess. Oh."
I turned around to see one of the men walking up to our direction.
"Yeah, bye." I slid out of the chair while Ellie stifled a snort before continuing to eat her cinnamon roll. I speedwalked to the ladies' before hearing footsteps follow me. Seriously!?! I ducked into the toilet and stayed there for ten seconds before rushing back out again. Sliding back into my seat, I rested my head against the rest behind me.
"My luck is rubbish."
"All he did was go to the toilet," she said, smiling at me.
"Are you girls done?" the waiter asked,as he came up to our table. Ellie handed him her plate as I grabbed the leftover cinnamon rolls and placed them onto a napkin. I handed my plate over.
"Would you like to go before he comes back?"
I nodded my head. Grabbing my half-finished orange juice and the napkin, I handed Ellie the money for my food and rushed to the car. I watched her walk up to the counter as I munched on my cinnamon rolls. Seconds later, the Edward Cullen personality-alike walked across the room. I ducked under the dashboard and rested my head against the driver's seat. A knock on the window sounded a few minutes later. I turned my head to the side to see an exasperated best friend. I smiled sheepishly and slid up from the seat. She walked round as I unlocked the door.
"I don't even want to know. Here's your change," she said, tossing it at me.
I pocketed it and turned on the ignition. After dropping Ellie off, I headed to the flower shop before going back to our apartment.
* * *
Taking a sip of the hot chocolate, I stared at the window. Tears clouded my eyes and dripped onto the last few pages of The Book Thief. I blindly fumbled for a tissue before giving up and used my hoodie to wipe the tears away. A click sounded at the door and Ellie walked in,
"Why the hell are you still here? Your shift starts in," she glanced at her watch, "twenty minutes."
I spluttered in disbelief and turned around to look at the clock on the wall. Oh shit. But...I glanced at the book longingly. Only one more chapter...I could squeeze it in.
"No. Don't even think about it." I looked up to see Ellie glaring at me. "Bedroom. Now."
I pursed my lips but one look at Ellie told me I should disappear and fast. I sighed and placed my mug and book on the coffee table before getting ready for my shift.