A year later
By Susannah Farrell
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“Yes, Lucy, please arrange a meeting with Mr. Sinclair as soon as possible… Oh, he has already told you what day?… yes… ok… sure. Tomorrow morning, 10 am. That would be great. Thanks Luce,” said Emily into the receiver. She hung up, then turned around to her desk and started to scribble. She was so focused on what she was doing that she jumped when the phone rang.
“Castor Advertising Agency, Emily Brown speaking. How may I help you?”
“Hey Em, want to have dinner with me later?”
Her face instantly lit up. “Joe! Yeah sure. Please tell me you remembered the dishes in the dishwasher.”
When he didn’t answer, Emily guessed that her boyfriend had forgotten. She repeated her question just to see if he would admit he was wrong.
“Oops,” he laughed.
Emily rolled her eyes playfully heavenward and said, “I love you, you forgetful idiot,” and smiled at the response she got.
“An idiot you say? Well, I shouldn’t have to remind you that this idiot was the one that got you this wonderful job that’s taking you away from me.”
“You are forever reminding me,” she said with laughter in her voice.
“I love you too Em, see you at home.” Joe simply loved to tease her. It bothered Emily at first, but she had come to love it.
Ever since the day she realized that she truly needed to move away from home, Emily had moved from city to city, trying to make a living for her and her mother even though she had what her grandmother left her. She’d rather save that money for when she really needed it. Just like she did at the beginning, when she had a hard time finding a job. She finally settled down in New York and started taking college courses at night. Her lucky break came by when a handsome, young and determined man asked her on a simple date.
This man discovered Emily’s talents when he casually mentioned something he was working on. He mentioned some difficulties that he was having coming up with a new advertising idea. Minutes later, Emily came up with so many great ideas that he set her up on an interview with his own employer.
A mere week later, she moved into her new office, and to her dismay, she found out that this handsome man’s boss was truly his father.
At first, Emily was angry, but after a couple of weeks, she learned that she really did have the talent for this job. It was evident that even her admirer was taken aback with the news that she had already been promoted to be the director of the advertising for a new line of products. She could still remember the quizzical look on his face when she told him and the sarcastic remark that came with it.
“Me? Surprised that you could get promoted so easily? Never! If I am, my name isn’t Joe Castor.”
So that’s how it all began. Emily’s life completely turned around, from a poor country girl, to a successful businesswoman.
She now looked at the clock on her mantel and her heart skipped a beat. Her mother would kill her! Emily quickly got to her phone and dialed her mother’s number.
“Hi, Mom. I’m coming over now, ok?”
“Hurry up, but be careful. I can’t wait to see you. I’ve missed you so much.”
“It’s only been a week,” Emily said with a chuckle. Every weekend and any time she had time, she went to Massachusetts to visit her mother. Usually, it took Emily around three hours to get to the house where she spent all of her childhood, but it just so happened that she caught the morning rush hour traffic. She sighed as she took another glance at her watch. Traffic always got her in a bad mood.
She then felt her car jerk forward and her whole body strain against the seatbelt. She guessed that some inept driver had bumped into her car. She turned around, and by the shock on the guy’s face, she figured she guessed right. Controlling her rising temper, she stepped out of the car, not worried about being hit, since the traffic was so heavy. They first thing she did was shoot dagger out of her eyes towards that idiot, and then she checked her bumper. Luckily, nothing had been damaged. He had a nice car too. It was a Porsche, and she believed it was the newest model. Expensive.
“I’m so sorry,” said the driver.
She finally looked at him thoroughly and was surprised at what she saw. Extremely good-looking and the best hair she’d even seen on a guy. It was brown and seemingly had the texture every woman would want to run it through with her fingers. He had the cutest worried face she’d ever seen too, but she didn’t let that fact get to her or alter her perception on what just happened. In contrast to the car he drove, the stranger seemed disheveled, in ratty jeans and a loose Tweety Bird T-shirt.
“You’re lucky it happened in traffic, at least there’s no damage.”
The guy got out of his car and checked for himself.
“Thank God, but still, I’m really sorry. Were you hurt? If you want to sue me, I won’t object. I’ll pay for any damages you want.” His voice was full of remorse, and Emily couldn’t help but feel something odd stir inside her. She immediately pushed the feelings away, confused. She had Joe. She loved him dearly. So why was she having these thoughts about a man she didn’t even know?
She forced herself to concentrate on the matter at hand and merely replied, “No, it’s fine. No harm done.” She turned and headed towards her car door.
“By the way, my name’s Matt. You’ll never know when we might meet each other again, so why don’t you just tell me your name now, so we don’t have to waste time later on?”
“Emily. Look! The traffic’s clearing up! I guess I’d better go.”
“Hope to see you again soon. I’m really sorry!”
“Yeah, no problem.”
The visit to her mother’s took longer than expected, and she only noticed how late it was when the clock struck ten. Trying not to panic, Emily hurriedly came up with an excuse so that her mother would let her leave without getting her suspicious. She had promised Joe that she’d be home by midnight. He was going to take a fit. God! What was she going to do? Her stomach began to tie up into knots, and she recognized this as the first sign of panic. She had to stay calm. Joe would understand. Still, Emily could remember the very first time it happened. Every time she thought of that day in November, it was always fresh in her mind, and it seemed like it had only occurred the day before.
Emily could still remember and always will remember coming to that fateful night, a little before down. Joe was still sleeping peacefully. It was hard to believe that he was the raving lunatic who raped her hours before.
It was the first time Joe had shown such cruelty towards her, and certainly not the last.