I have been working at Industrial Properties United for five years. I have quickly worked my way up the corporate ladder in hopes of someday becoming a partner. Now I stare up at the large glass covered building and no longer look at it in awe as I once did. As I walk into the building I get greeted by the day guards at the front desk. “Good morning Mrs. Harris. How are you today,” asks Jeb the kindly old man who is the head of the security department. “Just an other wonderful morning.” I answer, then I walk into the elevator, its crowded as usual but it has a tense anxious aura. I hear the door go ding and we arrive at the 15th floor. I walk out and head directly to my office. I am immediately surrounded by assistants and secretaries informing me of my daily meetings, vip guests, and so on. I walk into my office and siting my chair is Max Cain, I begin to understand the tense atmosphere.
Max and I have a long history. We went to school together from kindergarden all the way to graduation. We had hated each other since the day we met. Max was a rich snob who thought he could have anything he wanted, whereas I was a poor little country girl who had to work for what I wanted. The two of us had not talked or seen each other since graduation, which is why you can imagine why I was so shocked to find Max in my chair, staring at me with his arrogant eyes.
“Max,” I stare at him trying to keep my temper, “what can I do for you Mr. Cane?” “Please,” he says in a suave voice, “call me Max.” “Ok Max, what do you need and why the heck are you in my chair?” I could feel the fire bubble under my skin. “I have a business proposal for you.” He looks me up and down, “IPU wants to gain the marketing contract with a new French line that is coming to the US by next year, it's going to be very popular once it hits. All the chairmen agree that you are by far the best for this job. If you land this you might as well consider yourself on the way to becoming a partner, the council told me so.” I stood in my doorway shocked and then I regain my thought process and ask some of the questions racing through my mind. “What does this job entail? Do I have to travel? What’s this new company?” I ask. “ Slow down princess,” he grins the same stupid arrogant smile that I hate, “all will be revealed in time. First I want to know how have you been.”
How have I been? What kind of question is that? I stare at Max wondering how he can even be in a position to offer me a proposal. His eyes meet mine for a brief moment and then I quickly stared out the window. “I’m doing fine,” I answer harshly, “have the proposal information on my desk by 9 am tomorrow morning and get the heck out of my office.” Max looked shocked for a second and just as soon recovers, “Always the feisty one, I guess people never change,” he had a smug look on his face. “So, how is your dear little Jack, are you two still playing tonsil hockey behind the bleachers?” I stair at this ignorant man as I try to hold it together. Quietly I whisper the words that hurt me the most “He’s dead.” I turn and leave the room.
I walk into my office at 10:30 the next morning and on my desk is the proposal. I read through every word soaking up any information that is crucial for me to do my job right. I get to the last page, the page reads: For this job you must travel to Paris. All of your expenses are paid and your stay will be 30 days long. You will be meeting with various representatives for the new company, you must also get several customer surveys from the French population. I stop reading because the page has disappeared and I’ve become lost in my thoughts. I could get away from everything, I could go on vacation and really throw myself into my work. Then all the sudden an other voice popped into my head, what was I thinking I have a five year old who needs me, responsibilities I must fulfill, I couldn’t leave the country for a month.
Later that night I called my mother, we talked for hours about my options. I cried, I vented, I laughed, I was a wreck. After we were finished talking there was a plan in place. My mother was coming to stay at my house and take care of Bella, I was going to France to work on the new proposal. I was excited and frightened at the same time. I have not left Isabella for more than a few hours since the day she was born and now I will be leaving her for a whole month, how am I going to get through this?
I walk into Bella’s room. She is already asleep in her princess bed. I look around her room, everything a little girl could ever want was in here. She had her barbies, an amazing doll house, a little makeup dressing table, cloths upon cloths, a toy chest full of toys, but something was missing. I couldn’t describe this void that I felt. What could the girl who had everything, possibly be missing? I sat in the rocking chair that Jack had bought for me when we found out that we were having a little girl. He had bought a kit that walked you through building one, and he put it together and surprised me with it one night. I now rocked in this forgotten chair, I hadn’t used it since Bella was about two. Now it was the only piece I had left from my old life. While I was contemplating on how to tell my daughter that I would be leaving the country, I was startled when I heard a little voice, “Mama, what are you doing in the chair?” I saw that Bella had rolled over, now wide eyed and staring strait at me. “Just sitting here watching you sleep darling.” I answered, hoping that my voice wouldn’t betray me. Bella got up and walked over to me and sat in my lap. “Mama, will you rock me to sleep like you used to?” Bella asked. “Yes, hunny, I’d love to. But first, can I ask you something?” she nodded. “Today at work, mommy’s boss asked her if she could go on a trip, but this trip is a really long time, and you would have to stay with grandma for a while. Would you be ok if I did that?” Bella was quite for a moment and then she spoke very much like an adult, “Momma you have been working at that place for a long time, if this is a fun trip, then I think you should go. I love spending time with grandma.” I kissed her head. We rocked for hours, just the two of us.