'Wow, you are really positive about this job aren't you?' Dara scooped up some ice with her spoon, and stuck it in her mouth before glancing at me wearily, listening to my rant about the office until she could take no more. She raised one eyebrow and waiting till she swallowed her ice cream before continuing. 'I mean, aren't you happy you got the job?'
Yes, I am happy. I got a job, as a secretary of the head of the PR department of America's number 1 television station. How I got the job however, was a whole other story.
2 days earlier.
My feet throbbed painfully and with every step I took I was even more tempted to take off my high heels and walk bare footed. But I was stubborn and walked on as if nothing was wrong, although the pain was showing on my face. All day I have been searching for a job, interviews here, applications there, and still I never got hired. True, I didn't come from a prestige college, but wasn't community college worth something? Heck, I studied too! I worked hard! Hard I tell you. I pouted as I finally reached the bus stop. I was 22, fresh out of college. Occupation: None. Marital status: Single. As I have been, for about whole my life. Yes, you can laugh, too bad I can't hear it.
I blew air into my cheeks, and then blew it out again. Do you know how much trouble it is to find a job lately? A decent one too. It's like fighting for your life. Company's nowadays search people that are perfect, and let's be honest here, no one is perfect. I glanced to the road, waiting and praying for the bus to arrive soon. I was on my way to my last solicitation of the day, at America's number 1 televisions station; CNN. I didn't know what to think of it, I was applying for a job behind a desk, that would be good enough. I wasn't picky anymore.
The bus arrived and I got in, taking my seat and placed my purse on my lap. My feet ached and I was glad I could sit down for a bit. I bit my lip, and sighed. I lived alone in a loft, but it was rather big. On the small upper story of my loft rested my double bed, and a white railing separated the upper story from the rest of the loft. It could get lonely at some times, and I would just watch drama's and bawl my eyes out over a bucket of ice cream.
We stopped at a bus stop and two teenagers and an old grandma stepped in, there were only two placed left, and those were next to me. The teens brushed by the grandma and took the seats, leaving the old woman standing. The bus started moving again and she didn't look stable on her feet. I stood up and faced the boys. 'Do you think that's normal? Do you think that's etiquette, to leave an old woman standing in the bus while you take the last places, huh? Didn't your mother teach you anything?' The teens looked at me shocked, and both stood up and walked further along the bus. I shook my head and took a step towards the grandma. 'Please, take a seat.' The grandmother smiled at me, thanked me and sat down. I sat down next to her and placed my purse on my lap again, looking at the time on my watch, I was a bit too early.
When we finally arrived at the bus stop I needed to be, I found out the grandma had to get out to. I helped her again, she thanked me, and I walked into the building looking into my purse for my appointment letter. I walked up to the main desk, and looked around the foyer, which was terribly big. I gave the secretary my letter, and she told me to go up to the 15th floor and wait with the rest.
The rest? I hate competition. Probably all those people were from good colleges, had degree's in everything that's difficult and owned sports cars their daddy bought for them. Sceptical? No way.
I made my way up to the 15th floor, by taking a fancy elevator with fancy music which annoyed the fancy crap out of me. When I stepped out of the elevator I saw about 8 women waiting, all neatly dressed in suits and neat skirts with matching shoes and purses. I on the other hand was wearing a loose white blouse tugged in a black fitted skirt that started under my chest. With black elegant pumps, not to high, not to low, I walked into the hall. The small hall had a secretary behind a desk, and behind her was a huge window looking out on all the buildings. I turned left into another wide but short hall, which lead to a square room with 3 offices, and in front of that offices were 3 desks for secretary's. The offices looked very modern, and the secretary's desks were white, the walls were brown and the wooden floors accentuated the warm feeling in the room. I took place on the last chair in the room, right as a woman came out and asked 3 women to proceed inside. I bend forward and glanced at the remaining women, all neat and sophisticated. I sat back on my chair again and began to play with my purse. I looked at the paintings in the room, found out the plants needed watering, and discovered a secret little hallway in the square room, next to the right office. Probably a little kitchen or something.
When I was finally called up, I didn't even expect anything anymore. Seeing all these women discouraged me. I walked into the office and took place on the right, with two women next to me on my left. I looked at the examiners. The first one was a balding man, but with a kind face. Next to him was a women who wore a secretary pass around her neck, so I figured she would be his secretary. Next to her was a, well, fairly good looking man, with blond hair that accentuated his blue eyes and neatly dressed in a black suit with a white blouse, but no tie. I figured that he must be around my age. Next to him was an old lady and..
It's the old lady from the bus! I looked surprised at her, pointing my finger but couldn't get a word out. The young man looked at me with a strange look, and I lowered my finger. The grandmother recognised me too, and she gave me a polite nod. The balding man started the interview, asking us all kinds of questions I could barely answer. I figured I had no chance of winning to these girls. One could speak French fluently, and the other had an typing record of 160 words per minute. My eyes went wide in amazement, as my only talent was balancing multiple plates in my hand. We said our goodbyes, and I said goodbye to my hope too. I entered the elevator, listening to the annoying music again. Two men stepped in. One was the blond man from my age, and the other one I haven't seen before. They stood in front of me, facing the elevator door, but they stared at each other. I raised an eye brow. The other man had light brown hair, slightly longer than the blond man had, and his style was less fancy. He wore neat jeans with a white shirt and a gray blazer. I think these two men were having a stare down, but I shrugged and looked the other way. We stepped out of the elevator and I made my way to the big doors, only to find out it was raining terribly. I pouted. Trough the glass doors I could see my bus arriving, and I didn't want to miss it. I placed my bag over my head, and made a run for it, only to slip and fall in the middle of the street. My bag landed a few feet away, and I grabbed my ankle in pain.
The rain poured and had no mercy, as I felt my clothes being soaked and watched the bus drive away. Suddenly I didn't feel the raindrops on my head anymore, and looked up into the blue eyes of the blond man, who held an umbrella above my head. 'Are you alright?' He asked. I nodded, and he helped me get up. He handed me the umbrella as he went to grab my bag from the ground and handed it to me. 'I fear that it's a little bit wet.'
'That's alright, I have to admit I have tons more.' I smiled sheepishly at the kind man, and then flinched in pain when I put weight on my ankle. 'Oh, be careful. Are you sure you're alright? Your bus just left, didn't it? Should I call for a cab?'
I made a troubled face as I looked up at the kind man. 'I eh, don't have money for a cab..' I told him, looking down at my soaked skirt. The man made an 'o' with his mouth, and then placed his hand on my back, guiding me along. 'Please, let me bring you home.'
I was in no position to say no, besides my ankle really hurt and it was raining like mad. Once we reached his car, he helped me get in, and stepped in on the other side. He started the car, and drove off. I felt guilty for soaking his chair, and looked at my folded hands on my lap. 'It's Cadence right? Cadence Park.' The man suddenly said, and I looked up to him. 'Yes,' he remembered my name from the interview, and I was quite happy 'and your name is..?' I asked, looking at the man's face.
'Keith, Keith Reynolds. Nice to meet you.' He smiled at me for a second before focusing on the road again. I told him where I live, and he parked right in front of the building. 'Should I help you get to your home?' He asked politely.
'No, that won't be necessary. But thank you so much for helping me, I really appreciate it!' I told him before getting out. We bid our goodbyes and I walked into the building with my shoes in my hand, taking the elevator up. I opened my apartment door and walked in, putting my keys on a side table next to the door after I locked it, and dropped my bag and shoes next to it. I didn't even turn on the lights as I struggled up the winding stairs to my bed, and simply let myself fall on it, and fell asleep.
In the morning it wasn't the bright sunlight shining into my loft that woke me up, but the constant ringing off my phone. I groaned, turned in my bed and picked up the phone on my night stand. 'Yes?' I answered still half asleep.
'This is Keith Reynolds' secretary from CNN, am I speaking with Cadence Park?'
I jumped up from my bed immediately, almost dropped the phone in process. 'Y-yes? This is she speaking.' Was I still dreaming?
'We would like to invite you for another interview, are you free today at 11am?' The polite female voice asked trough the phone. 'Uh, yeah. I mean, yes, I am totally free!' I felt awkward for my clumsiness, and told her I'd be there at 11.
I hung up the phone, and stared at it for a while. 'I got trough..?' I asked myself out loud, I couldn't believe they would want to see me again, me, out of all those talented beautiful women. Also, what did Keith have to do with it? I placed the phone back on the nightstand and stretched, looking at the clock. It was 10 am.
It was, 10 AM.
'HOLY~' I rushed down the winding stairs as fast as I could, happy my ankle wasn't bothering my that terribly. Jumped into the shower, showered, did my hair and make-up so fast I should be in the Guinness word record book. I chose the same skirt I wore yesterday, but this time in gray, with a white tank top and an elegant black cardigan. I chose to wear flats today for my ankle, and rushed out the door to my bus.
When the bus stopped at the big building, I rushed out looking at my watch, it was 10:57, wow I'm punctual. I went to the 15th floor again, walked past the secretary in the first hall who greeted me, and walked to the square room. I stopped halfway when I saw Keith standing there, talking to, what I believe is his secretary. When he looked up and saw me, he smiled. 'Ah, miss Park. I see you're wearing flats today, wise decision.'
He asked about my ankle, and I told him it was fine. He invited me into his office. It was nicely decorated in white and black, and a big window brought in sunlight. In the room, on a black leather couch, seated the balding man and the old lady from the bus. I greeted them kindly, and they told me to sit down on the opposite couch.
'Has there been some kind of mistake? Surely I couldn't have been your pick..' I started, but the balding man shushed me.
'Well, I'm surprised we picked you too. But Mrs. Cooper here seems to like you very much, and Keith is quite fond of you too.' I looked at the old woman, and then at Keith, still not understanding.
'See,' the balding man continued 'Keith here is my son, and I also have another son called Nathan. Nathan is a bit.. slacking from his work. He's a womanizer, arrogant, and doesn't do his job.' I pouted my lips a bit, not seeing where this is leading. 'Now what I've hear from Mrs. Cooper is that you have not fallen on your mouth, and you are not afraid to speak your mind.' I remembered the incident on the bus. 'She liked that about you, and we would like to offer you a job as Nathan's secretary. More like a, personal assistant. Mrs. Cooper here has faith that you can.. change his ways.'
I tried not to look at the balding man I know know as Mr.Reynolds senior as if he was going insane. Are they really offering me a job? Like, a real, good paying job? 'Oh.. really.' I managed to get out.
Keith smiled. 'Miss Park, would you take the job?' He asked, already having a form to fill in ready.
'Oh, yes, but of course!'
I didn't know, what I was getting myself into.