Ivory Dreams

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Elowen has a new job and a fresh start. Well, she thinks she has a new job, but we'll see about that.

Submitted: October 12, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 12, 2017

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“Elowen Baker” The receptionist called. Elowen stood up and straightened her ivory skirt, walking elegantly into the office. She liked Ivory because she felt it matched well with her skin.

“Have a seat” The manager offered. She shyly pulled out the chair in front of his desk. Her palms began to sweat and her face became hot. ‘Boy am I ever nervous’ she thought.

This was her dream job. Well, working as an editor was her dream job. This was a position as an editorial assistant, but Elowen looked at it as an opportunity to gain work experience. As far as she was concerned this was her first step to getting a grip on her career as an editor.

What she was not looking forward to was working for the local newspaper. All she’d be editing about is how Mrs. Bundt’s cat got stuck in the tree… again.

“Why do you want to work here?” The manager asked. He had confident body posture, elbows side by side and his hands held together. His face was square and it appeared he spent a lot of time in the sun. Unlike Elowen whose skin was white as paper.

“Editing plays a key role in publishing the newspaper and keeping our community informed. As an editorial assistant, I’d like to be a part of that… you know… making sure things are easy to read.” Elowen laughed at herself. She knew job interviews weren’t her strong suit.

“Hmm.” He grunted. “You’re the only one who has applied for this position, and my assumption is you’re not very good at job interviews.”

He went silent, expression blank. Elowen’s chest was tightening.

“Well, I can see you’re eager. But are you ready? How would you rate your maturity? In other words how do you view yourself?” The manager queried.

“I would describe myself as an industrious individual. I have been described by others as ‘refined’ and ‘regal.’ You can check those in my references.” Elowen boasted.

The manager chuckled. “Well you seem very refined and ‘regal’, but those my dear are not indicators of your maturity. Do you show up on time? Do you meet deadlines?”

“Ah, I see” El thought aloud as she prepared a response. “In college I was very organized and always had my assignments in a day early. I’ve never missed a day of work and I’ve never missed a deadline.” She answered.

The manager circled in his chair as though he was thinking. He maintained strong eye contact with her and this made El feel uncomfortable. “Let’s give you a three day trial at the job. We’ll call it an experiment and if you do well you can keep the job.”

 

“You mean I have it?” Elowen was suddenly overwhelmed with joy. “Thank you so much Mr. …” She realised she still hadn’t received his name.

“Mr. Coxley”

“Thank you so much Mr. Coxley!” She grinned.

“You have it for three days!” He yelled as she ran out of his office.

“Okay!”

“Be here by 8 am sharp!” He called hoping she was still in ear shot.

She happily danced out of his office, giggling so loud it was almost piercing. El jumped in her 1985 corvette and raced home.

When Elowen arrived at home, she ran through the front door and let out a shrilling squeal of excitement. She embraced her family with hugs and fell into bed afterward tweeting about her new life development.

She received a text from her friend Devah,

Devah: That is so awesome! I’m very happy for you.

Elowen: Thank you! Want to celebrate?

Devah: Of course! I’ll invite some others. What do you want to do?

Elowen: Let’s have a bon fire and a few drinks.

Devah: K. See you at seven.

It was set; Elowen and her friends were going to have a good time in a responsible manner. Her plan was to be home by ten and be at work tomorrow morning by eight. That’s what she thought anyway.

***

The sparks of the fire disappeared into the stars. Elowen and her good friends sat on the tail gate, music blasting and fire blazing. Three, four, five… eight, nine, ten. Before she knew it, she was drunk as a sailor. Devah, and Elowen’s other friends had a little too much to drink as well.

Oh how your dreams can go down the drain just as easily as alcohol.

It was three A.M and Elowen realised she had to work in five hours. “Can… Can… I need… I need to go home.” She hiccupped, poking Devah.

“OK. Granny” Devah teased.

Devah fumbled the key into the ignition and tried to start her car. But her car wouldn’t start.

“What the…?” That was when she realised her battery had died.

“Crap.” Devah snapped as the sobering reality hit her. She didn’t need caffeine when she realized her best friend would miss her first day on the job and it was all her fault. Devah remembered her promise to Elowen that she’d be responsible, and not drink anything so she could drive them home.

Elowen though, was still drunk as a skunk.

“El, my battery died.” Devah told Elowen. But in the state Elowen was in, nothing seemed to faze her.

“That’s okay, I’m going to sleep here anyway.” El replied as she climbed onto the car roof.

“You’re sleeping on the roof?” Devah asked.

“Yup” El smiled.

“What about your job?”

“Is that tomorrow? I’ll call in sick.” Said El as she slowly fell asleep on the roof of Devah’s car.

***

It was noon and Elowen had a splitting headache. Trying to stretch, she rolled off the roof. KA-THUMP.

“Ow!” Elowen howled.

The sun blinded her. Elowen was very confused; she stood up to knock on Devah’s window. But the nausea hit her first and she curled over, puking everywhere. El then realised it was supposed to be her first day as an editorial assistant. Panicking, she looked for her phone. Once found, it would’nt turn on because it had died.

She opened the car door and started shaking Devah. “Devah! My job! What am I going to do? Why didn’t you bring me home?”

“What happened?”

“MY JOB? At the newspaper? We’re stuck twenty miles out of town and my PHONE is DEAD!” She yelled.  

“Say you were sick or something.” Devah rolled to her side, attempting to sleep again.

“My mother will KILL me! My dad will be so disappointed.” Elowen began to sob.

“Oh for crying out loud! Go ask Ryan or someone to borrow their damn phone!” Devah snapped.

Elowen collected herself and made her way to the old Chevy. While she trotted over to the truck, thoughts of anger and frustration swelled in her mind. Why did Devah let her party so late? Why did Devah drink herself? Why didn’t she remind her of her responsibilities? Clearly this was all her fault!  

Once arriving, she rapidly tapped on the window. El called out, “Ryan… Ryan are you in there?”

Soon life emerged and the window rolled down.

“Can I borrow your phone?”

“Why?” Ryan inquired.

“Because… I blew my first editing job and…” El began to sniffle. “And I have to call someone because Devah’s battery is dead or something. Her damn car won’t start!”

“Yeah. My battery died too. But my dad moved back into town and he’s handier then my step dad.” He began to elaborate before Elowen could get a word in. “My dad and mother are divorced. He moved back because he wanted to be closer to his ‘family’.”

“Oh yeah.” Said Elowen, who was not at this point interested in hearing Ryan’s sob story. Couldn’t he see her distress?

“He just got a job at the newspaper too. You might have met him. His name is Robert Coxley.”

“What? Oh no!” Elowen screamed.

“What El?”

“It’s just, he’s my boss and he’s going to know I was at the same party as you! That I drank all night, and how irresponsible I was being.” She slid her hand through her greasy blonde hair.

“Ah. Don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to him. He’ll keep you. And I bet you when he comes up in the few hours or so, he’ll even fix Devah’s car.”

Elowen relaxed a bit, knowing she might have a second chance.

Mr. Coxley arrived at about five pm. He saw his son Ryan talking to Elowen. He began to fume.

“You didn’t come into work today because you partied here? This was supposed to be your first day!” He exclaimed.

“I’m so sorry Mr. Coxley. We came out here to celebrate my new job” She laughed nervously.

“You didn’t even have the job” Mr. Coxley reminded her. “Now you sure as hell don’t have any job.”

Ryan stepped in, “But Dad, she was so happy! And her friends wanted to celebrate with her!”

Mr. Coxley glared at Ryan. “And getting drunk out of your wits is what you call ‘celebrating’? That’s what I call irresponsible!”

Elowen could feel the tension rising. “Mr. Coxley. I really must apologize for my behaviour. I rarely go out and party. I understand if my trial is over. I will search for work elsewhere and once again, I am so sorry to have wasted your time.”

Ryan glanced longingly at her. Mr Coxley observed. “Would you like one more chance?” He asked.

“Me?” Elowen spoke out of surprise.

“Well Ryan isn’t an editor!” Mr. Coxley snapped. It was obvious he was still quite furious.

“Oh… Thank you so much!” She grinned.

“Be at the office at 8 am sharp this friday! It’ll give you time to recover from your beloved hangover.” He smirked sarcastically. “Now let’s give these cars a jump start!” Elowen could begin to see that Mr. Coxley had a kind heart underneath his tough façade.

Elowen infact was very impressed with Mr. Coxley and Ryan’s kindness. She began to wonder if Ryan could be an eligible bachelor. So, she sent him a sweet and simple text,

Elowen: Hey Ryan, are you busy tonight? J

Ryan: No.

Elowen: Do you want to meet at Ms. Bundt’s café?

Ryan: Are you asking me out on a date?

Elowen: No, I’m simply asking to get to know you better.

Ryan: Ah, I see, on a more personal level.

Elowen: Yes.

Her plans were set. They would meet at Ms. Bundt’s Café at seven pm. This time, she was only going to be out for maybe an hour. Afterwards, she’d go home and obtain a good night’s rest by self-discipline. 

El arrived at six fifty, because a lady is never late. She wore a blue collard dress to match her eyes. El appreciated the retro style for its overall modesty. While she sat and waited for Ryan, she was observing Mrs. Bundt and her cat Fluffy. Elowen wasn’t exactly sure about the current health regulations, but she was positive that making food and coffee with a fluffy orange cat on your shoulder wasn’t up to code.

Seven O five, seven O six…. Seven twelve, seven twenty. He was twenty minutes late! Twenty! Ryan finally arrived in blue jeans and an old t-shirt. Despite his charming ‘Good evening’, Elowen was quite fed up with is lack of punctuality.

“Late? Are we?” Elowen asked. It was more of a rhetorical question.

“I apologize, I had to help...” His words ran out when he could see the rage on El’s face.

“I don’t want to hear it! Thank you very much for coming with an apology, but I cannot waste any more time!” With that, she stormed off, huffing.

Ryan sat down for a moment, astounded. After all, he was only late because he and his father wanted to set her desk up extra special.

***

The next morning at eight am sharp, she was introduced to Mrs. Smith the senior editor. After completing her four hours of orientation, she began to work on her first article. It wasn’t long before she was summoned to Mr. Coxley’s office.

“You needed me sir?” She asked.

“How do you like your first day?”

“It’s wonderful.” Replied Elowen nervously.

“Good. Now, on to the next topic, it is my understanding you ditched my son on a date last night.” His voice became tense.  

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it ditching. He was twenty minutes late sir.”

“That’s not the problem dear.” Their eyes met.

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“He said you wouldn’t let him explain what happened, as to why he was late. Is that correct?”

“Yes. But I was outraged and hurt. I assumed I was put on the back burner and I did not feel like hearing a petty excuse.” Frustration was building inside her.

“I’ll have you know his ‘petty excuse’ would have been him explaining that he and I spent two hours preparing your desk so it was perfect. He was really keen on impressing you. I wanted to help him.”

“Oh… I—“

“I don’t want to hear it! Do you realize my son has liked you since high school? He was always impressed by how refined and regal you appeared. Now we both realize it’s just an appearance! My son was very excited that you finally showed a little interest.

I let you keep this job… for Ryan though, not your own sake. I’ve only been working here for about three weeks and the senior managers thought I was crazy keeping an irresponsible employee like you! You took advantage of myself and my son. You took advantage of our kindness! You only think about you and your comfort! You are very inconsiderate and not even fit for this job! We even gave you the benefit of the doubt when you missed your first day of training for some, I could call ‘petty’ party but we kept you!”

He went deathly silent.

“Next time you have a date and certainly not with my son, I’d suggest being patient and kind. That is, if you’re even capable of those qualities!”

“I’m so sorry sir—“

“I don’t care how sorry you are! Get out!”

“What?”

“You’re fired! Get out! You see how rejection over silly matters feels!”

At that, Elowen left. She felt rejected and embarrassed. Overall though, she felt disappointed because now where would she find a job as an editor?

She drove her beige 1985 corvette downtown. It was the end of September and the autumn air felt crisp. She walked into Mrs. Bundt’s Café. El made her way up to the counter to order a chai tea latte. Seeing Fluffy brought her some cheer.

What she saw next though destroyed her. There was Devah and Ryan trotting into the place like they owned it. They were giggling and flirting. A bitter seed of jelousy began to sprout in Elowen.

“Hey guys!” She said cheerily.

“Hey… El!” Hesitated Devah.

“What you guys up to?” El asked.

“Ryan and I are catching up.” Replied Devah.

“Nice. I’ll leave you guys to it.” At that El left without even saying goodbye.

As El drove home thoughts ran through her mind. This is all Ryan’s fault! If only he hadn’t been twenty minutes late! And Devah! If she hadn’t been irresponsible and drink when she was supposed to take me home! If they would have said no to the party! Ugh! She screeched in her car.

She sobbed as she pulled up into her driveway. After 10 minutes though, her tears began to run dry. Elowen stared at herself in rear view mirror. She saw a girl with hopes and dreams now crushed. Then again, she needed to gain composure because a lady never cries. She opened the door of her corvette, stood erect, straightening her pastel pink skirt, walking ever so elegantly into the house. 


© Copyright 2018 dahlia moose. All rights reserved.

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