In the end, I chose the job with Joshua. What other option was there, really?
“Great news!” Joshua’s face broke out into a wide grin when I informed him. “I was hoping you’d say yes. I really need a good assistant that I can rely on.”
The misgivings rumbling throughout my head evaporated hearing Joshua’s enthusiasm. If there was one thing I got out of my misgotten relationship with Theo was meeting Joshua. He was just a nice, good guy who genuinely cared about seeing others happy. I had a feeling that working with him would boost my career, even if it took awhile.
We discussed details on transition and caught up a bit on my MBA classes.
“So February 15th it is!” I said, fidgeting a little to kill time. That was the date of my official start, though I’d be training in the meantime. We chose that date because I was going to be out of the office for a week for Jessie’s wedding in Vegas. I was so excited to have some fun in the sun, see my parents, and see her get married I was almost beside myself in counting down the days.
“Can’t wait,” Joshua said, standing up and undocking his laptop. Getting the clue I headed for the door. Hesitating once more, I stopped by the door.
“Need something, Maddie?” Joshua gave me a quizzical look.
“No, I mean, I guess I was just wondering….” I trailed off. So much for being smooth and collected like most of the other executive assistants were.
A flash of understanding crossed his kind face. “Don’t worry. If you’re wondering about how much my family will know…well, obviously they’ll find out. But I’ll make sure to keep anything I say professional and minimal.”
Relief flooded through me. “Thank you. I really, really appreciate it.” Satisfied, I headed out the door.
“Just to warn you though…” Joshua said, making me stop in my tracks. “On occasion, there will be dinners or events that Bea and I attend that you would be invited to. But those would be optional, of course.”
I nodded, thinking I’d worry about those situations once I got to that point.
“Thank you, again.” I said gratefully as we walked down the hall together.
A few days later, Katy was literally clapping her hands in excitement over her plate of tapas. “This is SUCH a great opportunity for you!!!”
“You think?” I asked, stabbing at my pulpo. “I’m kind of nervous, actually.”
Katy raised her eyebrow at me. “Because of the work?” she asked knowingly.
“No,” I admitted. “I know I can handle it. Though I do wish it was more of a promotion.”
“Then?” Katy drew out the word for a good 5 seconds. I sighed.
“You really going to make me say it?” I demanded, a little irritated.
“Are you embarrassed? Or is it just insanely awkward? I really don’t know.”
I drew my fork around on my plate, making a nice little design with the sauce before I answered. “Both. Everything. Not to mention Nic isn’t happy.”
When I told Nic about my options, he shook his head at me. “I can’t believe it’s a contest for you!” he had exclaimed. Upon hearing my protests, he became more adamant. His words flashed through my memory. “Mallory’s a cool girl, and I’m sure she’d be a great mentor. Besides, how am I supposed to feel about you working for that Theo’s dad? A little cozy, don’t you think?”
I got pretty steamed at that statement, and he knew it. Taking me into his arms, he rested his chin on my head. “Sorry, babe, that came out wrong. You know I don’t worry. I just think the best career move would be for you to work for Mallory. You worry too much about her. Crazy girls.” He drew his head back and gave me a smile and a quick kiss on the forehead.
Sighing, I reiterated the conversation Katy, who sat there listening with a blank face. “Gah,” she said, shaking her head like she wanted to rid herself of something. “How does he not see Mallory for what she is? And shouldn’t he be taking his girlfriend’s side over hers?“
“Wait, what? Did I get promoted and nobody told me?” I said, joking to hide my real thoughts. “Nic isn’t my boyfriend.”
Katy arched an eyebrow. “He’s not?”
“YOU know that!” I said, defending myself. “We’re just dating and having some fun.” Truthfully, I wasn’t as secure as I was trying to make myself sound. Nic and I hadn’t had the boyfriend/girlfriend talk yet. The one time I hinted around to see how he felt, so I could know my place, he had given me a kiss and told me he loved how things were, and I hadn’t bothered to try again. That said, I talked to him all the time and saw him a lot, so I doubted he was with other girls, so I satisfied.
“Then it shouldn’t matter to him if you’re working with your ex’s dad,” she said with a little shrug. “If he was concerned, then he’d lock it down.”
“Easy for you to say,” I snorted. “You and Bao got serious like 2 seconds after you met.” As happy as I was for Katy and Bao, sometimes it was really, really hard to see couples slide so effortlessly into a relationship when it took the rest of us mere mortals years of heartbreak and bad dates to find someone decent.
Katy allowed herself one quick smile before she answered. “Well, I won’t get into it. I’m just happy for you and I think you’ll find you made the right decision, both for career and men.”
What was that supposed to mean? I was asking myself before she abruptly changed the subject. “Now let’s talk about the wedding!”
I sat up straighter, this time excited for real. “We have 3 weeks to go. And we still need to plan one hell of a bachelorette party!”
“Strippers. Buffets. Clubbing. Gambling. I got it allllll planned out, right here.” Katy tapped her head. I stifled a laugh.
“Right. Like the guys are going to be ok with all that,” I laughed, imagining Bao and Tyler waving us off as the we left for a male strip club.
Katy waved her hand, making a little pfsh sound. “We’ll be cool. How many girls will be there for the party?”
The wedding was going to be on Saturday brunch, followed by a super fun day involving a rollercoster, gondola, and limo ride. We planned the bachelorette party for Thursday, starting right after lunch so we could maximize our time, and so that Jessie could have a day of rest before the big day
“You, me, Deanna, my mom…” I started counting on my fingers and came up with a total of 7 girls who would want to come out. “Not a bad number considering the crowd. Oh, and did I tell you? My aunt Charlotte, you know, Jessie’s mom? She said she’ll pick up the majority of the tab since Jessie is having such a small wedding. She wants us all to have a good time.”
Katy was already on her phone, making notes, and her head jerked up. “Are you serious?” she gasped. I nodded.
“Yeah, I mean, we can’t expect a high limit table or anything, but she’ll want us to have fun.”
“Eeeek! Remind me to thank her in advance!!” She looked down at her phone. “What do you think of helicopter rides?”
“What?” I screeched, grabbing the phone from her. “I thought we’d be doing some kind of spa day or something!”
Katy had opened up some link to bachelorette party ideas, which ranged from wine tastings to strippers to pole dancing lessons to, yep, helicopter rides. Scrolling through, I started to laugh.
“We can’t do all these! Jessie would be divorced before she got married if we did!” Snorting, I handed the phone back. “Plus, my mom and Jessie’s mom will be there. And the last thing I need to see is my mom on a stripper pole.” I shuddered at the very thought. I loved my mom, and was excited to hang out with her, but nobody needs to see their mother do that.
Taking out our phones, we started to look up ideas. “Massages, fancy dinner, a little gambling, clubbing, and just for the cheese factor, tickets to the Chippendales show. This night is going to be epic.” Katy clicked off her phone with a flourish. “So. Who you staying with in Vegas?”
I grimaced. “Question that bad, huh?” Katy laughed.
Shrugging, I gave a little smile. “Jessie will be with Tyler, of course, and you’ll be with Bao. That leaves my parents or Nic. Nic wants me to stay with him, but…” I shrugged, my hands up in the air.
Katy nodded knowingly. “Not sure what that impression will give the ‘rents?” she asked, referring to Nic and Tyler’s parents. I nodded in agreement.
“Yep,” was all I said. It wasn’t that I was embarrassed or anything – I mean, I was an adult, but I was afraid that I’d give Nic’s family the wrong impression if they saw their beloved Jessie’s cousin shaking up with their son. Like maybe we were more than we were? And how would Nic feel about that assumption? Would he be ok with it? Back off and ruin our chances? My head hurt just thinking of the implications.
“And don’t forget that Bao will tell Theo all about it…” Katy sang to me, ignoring my death glare.
“That’s over and done, Katy.” I reminded her. And really. It was NONE of Theo’s business. Still though. The last thing I needed was for Bao to tell Theo who might tell my new boss…. Too much for comfort.
I signaled for the bill, ignoring Katy muttering of “too bad” under her breath. Girl was dreaming.
“Time to head to class,” I announced, standing up. “Got to get some good grades so I can be admitted into the program for real this summer.”
As I dug my keys out of my bag and wove my way through the tables, my phone went off.
Heard about the new job with Joshua. Congrats!!!! Why don’t you say we go celebrate tomorrow after work? I’ll make the table reservations! Invite Nic!
Thanks for bearing with me as I get used to the blog again! I know my writing was a bit rough, but (fingers crossed) I have things planned out going forward and the writing and storyline will get better and better. I’m keeping the comments disabled for now due to the bad apples, but come visit me on my Facebook page or Twitter, where you can comment on the post!