Feminism Forever- The Beginning (1st in trilogy)
Another year has passed by. The time disappeared. Yet again I have done nothing great with my life. Instead I still haven't been promoted in the job I sweated over, I haven't been able to maintain a relationship and I still haven't been able to gain my father's trust.
What would mother say? Since she died I have been trying to do everything she would approve of. But it is hard to remember what she was like. Awful as it sounds it is true. Although I try to keep a picture of her in my mind it fades. Maybe because it is false. Growing up I saw her as a strong and independent woman. But from what I now remember she allowed Dad to take charge of every situation even if she disagreed with his views.
So she was like every other woman. She just bowed down to men to prevent confrontation. Perhaps that means she'd be glad that I could break the trend. I don't know. Actually I don't care. It's my life and I'll live for myself. Despite the love I feel towards my Mum I can't summon respect. Just because she's like every other woman. Every other woman.
Here I am aged twenty with all these ideas but no plans. If only I would write them down so I could remember. But firstly I'll write new years resolutions to make this year better than the others:
The Resolutions by Scarlett Alexandra McQueen
1) Never let anybody change your views because these are part of you and if they don't accept them they don't accept you
2) Follow your instincts
3) Remain in control of the situation
4) Never let a man use you
5) Never let anybody make you feel bad about yourself
I like them. They show who I am and what I am about. I am a strong woman who believes in Feminism (which sadly is limited in our country). Also I think I am meant to make a difference in the world because I am one of the few women who managed ro get a job in business (getting jobs is hard in any profession).
So I'll pick myself up from my low points; when Josh dumped me I felt bad because I wondered if I shold have entered into an intimate relationship. But I'm glad I didn'y. Firstly because I believe that a relationship should be consummated in marriage. Also because I know his type; make a woman feel special so he can use her and then ditch her or act likle she's disappeared from the planet.
Also I'll not be bitter that I didn't get promoted because I know that I worked hard enough to deserve a promotion (so I can be smug about that) and the reason I didn't get it was because it is a mans country and other circumstances.
That doesn't mean I won't fight again for a promotion. I'll work harder that all of them put together to propose the best advertising campaigns so I'll have to be promoted even grudgingly.
But right now I have some days to myself. Free of work. Free of stress. Free of men.
Those days went by so so so quickly. Not without some use. In that time I realised that I want it all: a good fulfilling career, a husband, family and that missing difference. I wish I knew what that missing thing was but I'll figure it out. Hopefully.
Anyway today I go back to work. Oh, no. I've just remembered that Mr Patrick (my boss) will do a long rambling speech about work. But I'll have to stay awake through it. After all I've got to make a good impression even if it is for a man I despise. The impression being a hard working and loyal employee. My new beginning.
"Welcome back. I hope you all have good holidays. But the holidays are over and you have to settle down to work. This year is slightly different. We want to evoke a sense of change to the business. We want to become more accesible to the latest motions of the nation. We want to however remain as a familiar and dedicated company who want to provide good- no good isn't what we want, we want impressive- ideas and eventually impressive product ready for impressive marketing. To do this we have to change the genre of the business...," Mr Patrick starts in a monotone that normally wouldn't be of interest but because he said the word change we have become somewhat curious.
"To what?" Lenny asks (he is my partner for most of our campaigns as the other two in our "team" work together due to being friends, I prefer Lenny but don't really like any of them too much).
"To cosmetics for women," Mr Patrick reveals.
"What?" everyone in the room asks.
"In other countries the market for cosmetics is huge," Mr Patricks explains.
"But we're not those other countries," Lenny says.
"Not yet. But everyone knows that we are slowly changing the role of women in society. The campaign has to make women feel they are on top when they wear our cosmetics," Mr Patrick says.
"But how do we do that?" Lenny asks before we can ask questions ourselves.
"By change. This campaign will be a challenge because men have a higher frequency in this company. But we have overcome challenges in the past and we can do it again. So I think for this task Scarlett should be in charge, seperate from Lenny..." Mr Patrick starts.
"But what about me?" Paul asks.
"I know you have been the head of the advertising campaign but times are changing and I've changed my mind about who should be on top for this unit. I should have thought about it sooner and told you sooner but now it is obvious to me that this task needs a womans ideas. That doesn't mean your ideas won't be considered. It just means that Scarlett arranges the meetings where everyone volunteers their ideas and she volunteers her own and she assesses all of the ideas," Mr Patrick explains.
"But..." Paul starts, glaring at me like every other man in the room before he looks at Mr Patrick in a way that makes me think that they are communicating, but my heart is too busy racing to concentrate on what they are saying.
"Paul, the business has been struggling for some time and if making decisions that seem foolhardy may pay off I am ready to take that chance," Mr Patrick says seriously.
"Sir, can I ask a question?" I ask.
"Yes," he answers curtly.
"When does my role start?" I ask.
"Straight away. Good luck." Mr Patrick says as he makes his way towards Paul.
From the looks I'm getting now I know I'll need it.
"Thank you, Mr Patrick. This means a lot to me and you won't regret it," I say trying to ignore the sniggers.
"Firstly, I think that while we're here we should go over some ideas," I suggest.
"Good idea. When you come up with something good I'll be in my office," Mr Patrick says and walks away. It hurts to know that he won't stick around to wait for my ideas like he would for Paul. Paul. Just because I'm a woman. But I'm gonna have some great ideas just to prove him wrong. This means the world to me so I have to prove people wrong. Especially Paul, who has always doubted me.
"What did you do to get this role?" Paul asks raising his eyebrows.
"What?" I ask.
"Well, before I was in charge and everyone was happy with that. Well, obviously you weren't if you were prepared to betray all of us and open your legs," Paul says crudely and it hurts to know that's what he thinks of me.
"I'll pretend I don't know what you're insinuating because otherwise I could complain (not that any good can come of that, they'd just undermine me, I think to myself). Actually, I only found out about this today along with you lot, Never did I do anything undignified and I never betrayed you," I retort.
"Yeah, right," Lenny says.
"Come on, Lenny, you know me," I plead.
"I thought I did," Lenny says.
"You do know me," I say.
"Do we? All we know is that you're a fake," Jack says.
"Enough. Paul I know you think I plotted this but I didn't and I'd never betray anyone and I am not a fake. Throughout my career I have remained honest, hard working and respectable and I'm disappointed that you could believe the worst in me, But I think that us four can present excellent ideas to Mr Patrick if we work together," I say passionately, looking at Paul in particular.
"Yes, but it will all be on your terms,"Paul argues.
"Listen, this role won't change me. I don't expect special treatment, all I want is for my ideas to be heard," I admit.
"Ok," Lenny says.
"Yes," Jack says.
"Fine," Paul says.
"We won't be able to work as a team of their is still tension. So before we start I want you to be honest," I say.
"Well, I think he's making a mistake," Paul admits.
"But that's because you've always gotten your own way," I argue before his words can hurt me like they usually do.
"What...?" Paul starts.
"I know your Dad blackmailed Mr Patrick," I say slyly, it may be ruthless to expose him like this but it's payback for all the pain he's caused me over the years.
"What?" Lenny asks.
"When Paul finished school everywhere he applied to he got pipped at the post. But when he heard of this place he was determined to not only get in but get the highest position in advertising. When he applied he didn't get the job because Jack beat him. Paul wouldn't give up and he got his Dad to offer a generous donation to the company in exchange for Paul getting the job but it was rejected. So instead Paul did a background search on Mr Patrick and found out about his affair and got his Dad to blackmail him. So Paul got the job and Jack was his assistant. All those years of friendshup beforehand weren't worthy of the truth of his betrayal," I say coldly.
"So I deserved the job instead of this idiot," the usually calm and quiet Jack says loudly and angrily.
"Yes," I say calmly.
"You hypocrite," Lenny says glaring at Paul.
"How did you find out?"Paul aks above the noise coming from Paul and Lenny.
"I used to do the accounts and I showed Mr Patrick the letter that came with your Dad's donation. I heard the meetings because my office was next door and had thin walls that Mr Patrick refused to replace when he was replacing the mens walls. When Mr Patrick learened I knew he gave me the position I'd always wanted in exchange for my word that I wouldn't go to the police or his wife," I explain.
"You..." Paul starts angrily.
"I wouldn't say anything if I were you," I say loving this power yet feeling bad for how I've messed things up for Paul.
""Why?" Paul asks.
"Because she can ruin your career," Lenny answers.
"Like you ruined mine," Jack adds and he punched Paul in the nose and a stream of blood trickles down his face.
In seconds a fight between all three men breaks out and I have to take a step back. Quickly it becomes brutal so I have to get help. Help from my boss.
"What were you playing at?" Mr Patrick roars.
"I was getting revenge," Jack says defensively.
"For what?" Mr Patrick asks, astonished.
"He got the job that shouldn't been mine," Jack explains.
"How do you know?" Mr Patrick asks looking at me and I feel shivers run down my spine, this is the end of my career, he knows I blabbed.
"I told him," Paul says and I gasp.
"Why?" Mr Patrick asks sceptically.
"Because I wanted him to know the truth before I resigned," Paul says.
"Mr Patrick, can I have a word with Paul please?" I ask. I need to find out why he protected me after years of causing me the pain that nobody else has caused me.
"Make it quick," Mr Patrick says impatiently, clearly annoyed at how unprofessional the boys have been and how he has been distracted from his work because of it.
Paul and I walk off to a corner.
"Why did you take the blame?" I ask.
"Because I'm an idiot. Since I started working at this company I changed. I've been rude, angry and selfish. Why should I let a job that shouldn't have been mine change me?" Paul says, I feel he's being honest but also that he's holding something back. His presence is slightly overwhelming for me so I need to be quick.
"But you love this job," I say.
"No, I love being in charge. You were right when you said I always get my way. You know that you didn't get that promotion because of me. I heard you were more likely to get it so I blackmailed him again," Paul admits.
"Then why am I...?" I start surprised.
"Because Mr Patrick told his wife the truth," Paul says.
"What happened?" I ask.
"Well, Mr Patrick said he and his wife argued about it but they realised it was a long ago mistake and they can get past it," Paul explains.
"All of this doesn't mean you have to leave. I got my job because I knew something I shouldn't," I say.
"Yes, but you can handle power and I can't. This business is sly, underhanded and brutal and it made me this way (not that I was perfect before) and I've got to leave to escape it. Remain who are," Paul says.
"I will, I promise, " I say and I feel that strange indescribable feeling more than ever.
"I'm sorry that we lost Paul but he has resigned with immediate effect. But you should all be able to manage without him. But I hope you manage without violence," Mr Patrick says looking at Lenny and Jack.
"Sorry," Lenny and Jack say looking at Mr Patrick with an apologetic look but when they look away I see them snigger, they're glad they drove Paul away and this makes me angry but I hide it.
"Now we really have to start work," Mr Patrick says and leaves the room.
"So what do we do now?" Jack asks.
"We just say the ideas that come into our heads," I say.
"That's I'll draw a picture of the cosmetics I know of and hold it up and we will all write down what we think of when we see it. We'll do a lot of these so we'll share our thoughts afterwards. Once we've done that we can go home and think of slogans and campaign boards," I explain.
"Ok," Lenny and Jack say reluctantly, I know they secretly think the idea infantile but don't say anything as otherwise they wouldn't know where to start because they don't know anything about cosmetics. I don't know much either.
Long day. I'm hurting all over. My hands are hurting from drawing and writing so much and my mouth is hurting from not only explaining my ideas but what I thought of their (poor) ideas and explaining what the products were and their uses. I've got a headache from all of that thinking today and I'm still shocked about Paul. But I have to stop myself thinking about him because I have to think about work stuff (cosmetics is probably the hardest project we have had yet, things go in and out of fashion so regularly that their is no stability) and that missing thing I need to find. A long day ahead of me.
As I sit and wait for ideas to come to me I stare at my house. It is a very good house, medium sized but of high quality. Quality that I worked hard for. I spent four years scrimping and saving in cheap flats and lots of willpower- not to take any money from my short tempered business man of a father (which is why he doesn't trust me, he doesn't understand why I wouldn't take his charity)- to finally buy this place.
My wages are phenominally high for a womans but compared to Jack and Lenny's.... well put it this way I don't get the same even though I put in the same hours at the same job. How is that fair?
That's my missing link. Fair to all. Equality. But I don't know how I'd achieve that. That's a big thing. Huge.
Anyway back to the task at hand. Suddenly lots of ideas are coming to me. I'm becoming more prepared for tomorrow but with lots of tweaking left to do.
Brring. Brring. Brring. That dreaded alarm. It needs repairing; I just haven't got round to it yet. I've been busy. Today I'm going to be even busier. So I've got to hurry up and get dressed after my shower and grab a coffe from the coffee ship before heading off to work.
The way I'm moing arounf so quickly you'd think I had all the energy in the world yet I feel so tired it is unbelievable. It's probably due to my many thoughts and worries about my promotion and how we will get any good ideas, about Paul and about how I can make a difference to women.
Anyway I have managed to have a shower and get dressed in a mere ten minutes; that's got to be a record. So now I'm able to slow down on my way to the coffee shop and I'll be able to sit down and drink it slowly.
If I'd known how refreshing it would be to stroll around town I would have done it more often; but in my head I've got my own clock that's an hour faster. Well, I like to be punctual. Is that a crime?
Yes, I'm here. Miraculously there's no queue. My lucky day.
"Yes, please," the bored waitress asks.
"A standard coffee, please," I say brightly feeling (pathetically) relieved about there not being a queue.
"Takeaway or not?" the bored waitress asks.
"Not," I reply.
"Really?" she asks (she always serves me and I always order takeaway).
"Yes. I want to sit down and relax," I say.
"Oh. Coming right up," she says.
I turn around to look for an empty table and get distracted by someone waving at me. Paul. He's not waving hello, he's waving for me to come over. So I slowly walk up to him (he's on his own) and wait for that feeling to sink in and predictably it does.
"Sit down," he says.
"Why?" I ask frowning.
"Look I know I've treated you badly in the past but this is different. I want to talk to you," Paul says.
"Fine," I say.
Once I have sit down I look at that perfectly carved face, his brilliantly bright green eyes that remind me of the sacred meadows I used to visitt and I look at his beautific dirty blond hair
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