Chapter Two

She rolled her eyes as some men in a car that was passing by rolled down their window and whistled at her.  To most girls, that was a confidence-booster and made them even more self-righteous.  But not Lucy.  When men did that kind of thing to her, she was disgusted and felt terrible.  That’s another reason why she didn’t date; because she didn’t want to end up falling in love with just another pig that only liked her for her looks.  She hated men like that and had almost determined that they were all of that nature.

She shook her head with a grimace on her face as they rolled away.  She swore she could still hear them laughing and carrying on, but ignored it and pressed on toward her destination.  The headquarters for her publication was just a block away and she was ready to take those heels off and have the office all to herself.  She had to write an article about Abraham Lincoln for that month’s issue and wanted to get a head start.  She didn’t want any of her self-righteous inferiors to be able to say “but Boss isn’t doing any work!”  She actually did more work that anyone at the office, sorting through articles sent to her by her writers on the computer, searching them for any false information, grammar problems or misspellings and editing them and returning them.  That kept her busy for the most part.  She wrote a lot of the articles herself.   When she wasn’t doing either of those two, she was sifting through emails and hastily replying to them, barely able to even think about anything but work.

Lucy was a self-diagnosed workaholic.  Since she didn’t have a social life and did nothing at home but write and read, she went in to work as often as possible.  She was the first one to get there and the last one to leave.  Some might have called it diligence, but really she simply didn’t feel fulfilled if she didn’t work.  She liked her job, and it involved her passion, but she wasn’t passionate about it.  She truly wanted to be a full-time author.  She wanted to write all kinds of books… fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and realistic fiction.  She just wanted to write.  It was what she loved to do.  She never let anyone read any of her work, except for what she had to write for the magazine, and that was it.  She, obviously being insecure, was scared to ever send any of her work off to a publisher or even to let a friend read it.  She may have been reclusive, but she did have one close friend who she hung out with occasionally.  They went shopping and sometimes went out to eat.  Her name was Diedre, and Lucy believed she could truly trust her, although she still didn’t let her read any of her stories or poems often.  Although Lucy had to write about the nonfiction at her workplace, her true knack was for the world of fiction.  She could dream up any kind of setting and cast of characters you could imagine, and develop them as if they were all products being put together piece-by-piece on the assembly line in her imaginary factory.  She felt connections to each place she wrote about, each person, and each creature.

They were closer to her than anyone, even Diedre.  It was hard, loving things and being so closely attached to things that weren’t really tangible outside of the fictional world, but they were the very ones that helped her survive when she was plunged so suddenly into the real world.  She always had them to come home to after a long day at the office, which was appreciated.  She didn’t know what she’d do without her beloved old typewriter.

She went inside the office building, which looked quite rustic from the outside but was very modern on the inside.  There was an insurance agency and a small fashion design company that shared the building with her magazine and they were both in session today.  She bypassed their doors and took the stairs instead of the elevator, despite the fact that her quarters were on the top floor.  She cherished this small time she got for exercising, because she didn’t have time for it otherwise.  She stayed in shape from her lack of using the elevator and that was it.  She had a sweet tooth, too…

She was breathing heavily by the time she reached the top but she did make it. Finally arriving at work, even though she knew she’d be the one to unlock it, she rattled the doorknob in case one of her assistant editors had possibly gone in before her.  ‘No such luck,’ she thought as she pulled the key out of her purse pocket.  She jammed it in the sleek keyhole and wiggled it around until she heard that same familiar click that she had heard so many times before.    The door slowly glided open and the glorious view of small white cubicles came into view.  Three offices surrounded them with names embossed on the clouded glass doors.  The biggest one, hers, said “Lucy Ambrose Kipling, Editor in Chief”.  She looked at that and was proud of herself.  She was the editor, the big, bad boss-woman of a noted history magazine.  No, it wasn’t exactly her dream job, but she got paid for it.

The second one, being the same size as the third, said “Diedre Selena Alvarez, Assistant Editor”.  Diedre was a good assistant.  She checked over everything Lucy did and made sure she was on schedule.  She did Lucy’s job whenever time she was away, which wasn’t often.  She did the small jobs that Lucy didn’t have time to do.  She appreciated Diedre’s assistance and advice and was her best friend, along with her employee.

The third and final big office was emblazoned with “Carter Jamal Brooks, Financial Manager”.  He wasn’t her favorite person, nor was he anyone else's for that matter.  He set himself on a pedestal simply because he handled the finances of History Alive! Magazine.  She had to admit, they all did, that he did his job well and did not steal from the profits of the publication.  He was honest… quite brutally sometimes, and as you can probably imagine very obnoxious.  She had to admit, Carter was quite the good-looking man, despite his cocky mannerisms.  He was very cut and built.  You could tell he exercised and took care of himself well.  If you looked long enough, which Lucy did do sometimes, you could see those big muscles rippling under his dark brown, almost chocolate-colored skin.  His eyes were a shade darker than his skin, so rich a brown that it caused a loss for words in Lucy.  He was tall, dark, and handsome.  Every girl’s dream, but she did not have those kinds of feelings for him, or for anyone, and never would as far as she was concerned.  Especially not with a coworker.  Of course, as you can imagine, Carter was a flirt and made the young girls of the office swoon but not her.  Even Diedre was affected by his charm.  She often asked Lucy why she wasn’t interested in Carter and even told her that she was the most likely to land a date with him.  But she just laughed and explained that Carter’s pig-like nature just wasn’t what she was interested in.  She didn’t want that for herself and wasn’t going to give him the privilege of preying on a decent girl like her.  She mentioned that she wasn’t interested in love at all and didn’t plan on dating anyone.  Deep down inside, she did feel that flame, that tiny simmering cinder of loneliness, although she would never admit it to anyone, even herself.

Forgetting things of that nature, she flipped a few light switches to “on” and blinked as the light flooded into her sleepy eyes.  She headed straight back to her big office, where she knew a hot pot of coffee would be awaiting her.  One of the perks of being the boss was having a coffeemaker in her office that was scheduled to have a hot cup of Joe ready for her at the same time every morning.  She delicately opened her door and turned her main light on.  The coffee’s aroma had already begun to fill the room and she decided to leave the door open today- not a normal occurrence.  She laid her belongings down on top of her desk and sat down in the rolling chair. She opened her suitcase and pulled out a rough draft of her Lincoln article that she had written on the typewriter.  Now she had to fire up the electronic brain that she dreaded so much.

She tossed her oversized purse onto the floor beside her and kicked her heels off under her desk as the computer whirred, buzzed and hummed with its start-up checks.  Her thin mouth, glazed with pink lip-gloss, blew cool air over the surface of the scalding coffee and took a long, pleasurable sip.  She was comfortable now.  She had her coffee, her shoes off, and she was ready to have her article finished and ready for printing by the time she left for lunch.  A sudden feeling of happiness swept over her.  She felt like today was going to be a good day, one where she accomplished something and enjoyed herself in some way, shape, or form.  It was a solid feeling of goodness.  She was ready for anything this day could throw at her.

The End

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