Monday, July 28, 2008

THIRTY

I woke up the next morning in an unfamiliar bedroom and panicked slightly before the vague details of last night returned to me. Sylvie had taken my keys (I hadn't argued. I knew I was completely incapable of driving after the ten plus drinks I had indulged in), so chances were I was in Sylvie's spare bedroom.

I made the bed, slipped on my shoes, found my keys on the table near the door, and hurried home. My cell phone battery had died at some point last night, and I needed to plug it into the charger so I could check my messages. If I had any, that is. Sidney hadn't showed up at all last night. Even more strange, though, was that no one besides myself asked where he was. They all know, I realized. I rolled my eyes. The men on the team were worse than girls—they gossiped endlessly about each other. News of my promotion and the inevitable fight that it had caused between Sid and me had probably spread through the team like wildfire.

I ran up the stairs and clumsily connected my cell phone to its charger. I hesitated for a moment before pressing the red power button and held my breath as the phone started up. My background glared back at me mockingly—it was a picture of Sid and me at my grandparents' house on Christmas day. I waited for my phone to beep, signaling a new voicemail, but after two minutes of silence I flipped it shut and gave up.

I flopped down on my couch and pressed the heels of my hands into my eyes. My head was pounding and I felt slightly nauseated—I had a hangover, and I was blaming it on Colby. I had enough to blame myself for without chastising myself for drinking too much.

I took a long, hot shower and contemplated how to spend my day. I had gotten so used to working from nine to five every weekday I didn't know what to do with my free time. I could shop, but the Christmas season had once again succeeded in exhausting my desire to buy things.

I made a pot of very strong coffee and began to clean my apartment, just for something to do. My heart stopped as I was organizing my desk and came across that damned manila folder. I tossed it out of the way, and then tentatively picked it up. I hadn't actually looked through the contents—I had been avoiding it since the day Christopher gave it to me.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and carefully picked through the contents. There was my plane ticket, with its February 14th departure date somehow darker than the rest of the print. The first page was an official looking letter printed on PPG stationary.

"'Dear Ms. Lemieux:" it read, "'We are very pleased to welcome you to our PPG Europe family! Enclosed in this file you will find all the information you need regarding your new job, living arrangements, and various other essential pieces of information. We here in Paris are very excited to meet you in February. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call. Regards, √Čtienne LePetit.'"

I flipped the note over and found a company credit card. "Nice," I mumbled. I found a short job description next. I scowled when I saw I would be more involved with public relations than finance. Below the brief description, I saw six figures staring up at me. I caught my breath when I realized the large number was my salary. I stared at the number for a while, unable to comprehend that I would be earning twice as much in Paris as I was here. I reluctantly turned to the next page, where I found the address for my apartment and contact information for the International Affairs office and for my superiors in Paris.

I sighed and tucked the folder back into my desk drawer. I hadn't seen a mention of how long I would be expected to stay in Paris anywhere in the folder, which confirmed my worst fear—this was a permanent position.

I fell onto my bed and stared at the ceiling, my mind reeling. As much as I hated to admit it, the job was an amazing opportunity. After only working at PPG for three months, they had thought I was fit for an excellent promotion. I would have more responsibilities, a hefty pay raise, and live in Paris essentially for free. Any other person would be ecstatic for such a chance.

But any other person wasn't dating Sidney Crosby. Or, had been, until recently. He had really succeeded in rearranging my priorities in the short time I had known him. Pre-Sidney, I was strictly career motivated. As a new entrant in the cutthroat business world, I was prepared to do anything to get to the top. But somewhere along the line, he had made me realize that maybe some things were more important than a career.

I once again retrieved the folder from my desk and took it into the kitchen, reviewing its contents for a second time. A company credit card, an apartment paid for by PPG, a six figure salary…these were things offered to a senior member of a firm, not a fresh rookie like myself.

My eyes flickered to my cell phone, patiently charging on the counter. I inhaled deeply and scrolled to Sidney's number. My thumb hovered above the green 'send' button hesitantly.

I exhaled and pressed the phone against my ear, hearing it ring but knowing better than to expect Sid to answer. I was grasping at straws by calling him. Setting myself up for disappointment.

"Karine." My heart jumped to my throat when I heard his one-word, expressionless greeting.

"Sidney," I breathed.

12 comments:

giveupon-me said...

so glad you updated before i leave for a couple days.
i lovelovelove this story!
can't wait to read when i get back on wednesday!
-ashley

KylieD32 said...

Are you seriously going to leave us hanging like that?! Ahhhhh!! Can't wait for the next update!

Summer said...

Haha don't worry, I'll update again when I get back from work later tonight.

Lauren said...

AHHHH don't leave us hanging! Can't wait to see what happens!

Aeryn said...

AAAAAHHHHH!!!! Mean. I CAN'T wait to see what happens. I don't know how you update so often, but i love it. :D

Summer said...

Aeryn, I have 39 parts written and ready to post. I only post one, maybe two, a day though because I like to have something to fall back on incase I get writer's block. I try to write a little everyday, and I usually write a lot at work because I work at a library and it's pretty boring haha.

I just want to tell everyone thanks for your awesome feedback. I really appreciate it. Thanks for reading =)

anika875 said...

ahh!! i got goosebumps! can't wait for the next part!!

Kaity said...

wow ! this is really good (:
i love it keep it up

miss.crosby said...

I love reading your story, can't wait for the update!!!

miss.crosby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madi! said...

redwings1I love this story. It is so good. Hope you will update soon!

Manda said...

dsjfshdf. your story is amazing. by far my favorite.