Liza entered her apartment, taking in the pictures adorning the wall, the black rug that Carson had brought for her when he had gone to Russia, the warm beige couches, and instantly felt relaxed. She had moved out from Carson's and Melanie's apartment after a year of getting a job. They had never made her feel unwelcomed but she knew that like every other couple they needed their own privacy and their own space. So she had moved out and had bought this apartment. It seemed to be perfect for her. It was a cozy two-bedroom apartment. Liza had spent the last three years making the apartment. Her apartment was now a symbol that she was independent, that she didn't need to depend on anyone. She was proud of all of her achievements and making a home for herself in California was one of them.
She took in a deep breath and let her shoulders relax. Her mind unwinding from the events of the previous day. She had expected a chaotic wedding, it was Krista's wedding after all but she hadn't expected to meet Jonathan and neither had she expected to get drunk enough to pass out. She closed the door behind her and started removing her dress. After changing into a long T-Shirt probably belonging to Alex, she lied down on the bed her face hitting the pillow and her body sinking into the soft mattress.
She turned over so that she was on her back now and laid there staring at the stars that Carson and Alex had helped her to stick on the ceiling. The Glow in dark stars was childish and she knew that but she didn't mind the little bit of childishness in her life. She had spent too much time acting like a grown-up, being mature about things, keeping quiet when she should have thrown a tantrum or should have raised hell. The glow in dark stars reminded her that sometimes you have to demand things, you have to be stubborn and you have to keep your life simple and not overthink things just like a kid does.
Liza realized now that maybe somethings that had gone down between her and Jonathan had been her fault as well. Had she been more trusting towards him, more open about her past, they would have been in a different place. Maybe he would have come to her to discuss his problems, maybe he would have told her about the kiss with Stacy. Had she been more independent then she would not have depended on Jonathan like he was her lifeline. She would have found a way to survive.It was funny in a way, the love she had craved for all her life, had been given to her and then had been snatched away just as quickly. She had spent more than a year to make herself trust Jonathan, to remove the suspicion that was always there in the back of her mind and when she had finally gotten rid of it and was convinced that what she and Jonathan had would stay the same forever she had found out that nothing stays frozen in time, people change and their feelings change too.
Maybe Jonathan had loved her when he claimed to do so, four years back but she had realized that she could never look at him in the same way., that whenever he would go to some trip leaving her behind she would always worry if he was replacing her with someone else that night and she could not live with that agony for the rest of her life. So she left him. After four years she thought that she was finally over him but now after seeing him again even if it was only for a few minutes, all the feelings that had been buried had risen again.All the feelings of anger, stinging betrayal and her love that had kept her from leaving him for so long had made a reappearance and now her mind was in chaos. She wanted to treat the encounter with indifference, just like she wished to treat Jonathan, like a stranger but she couldn't do it. She remembered how her heartbeat had increased when she had seen him and how her skin had suddenly become hot when he had held her hand even if it was just for a second.
Her mind replayed every single moment of their encounter and she continued to think about what if's in her life that she would never find answers to. It had been hours and Liza was still in her bed, her eyes wide open as she picked apart every single moment, thinking what she could have done differently, how she could have reacted differently, more professionally, till she realized what she had been doing. She was freaking out over a chance meeting. She was freaking out, worrying over Jonathan, one thing she had promised never to do again. She wanted to stop it but she found herself to be unable to do so. So, she decided that she was allowed to freak out over her encounter for one day, just for today. Tomorrow she would go back to the calm and collected Liza that she pretended to be in front of everyone.
Jonathan grinned as he fixed his tie. He was finally signing the deal. Initially, he had planned on refusing Leslie's proposal but after seeing Liza he decided that it didn't matter if the deal was risky or could cost him millions if he got a chance to get Liza back. He looked in the mirror and was startled to see a little sparkle in his eyes. It had been four years since he had gotten excited over anything and it was startling to see that just seeing Liza again could bring such a change in him. He walked out of his condo and into the softly lit hallway. He saw Leslie's car parked outside as he walked to the front door of the building.
He dimmed his smile as he walked towards the car, making it barely noticeable and his eyes lost their warmth as he put on his mask. He had learned through his experience that it is best not to show emotions while conducting business. He had learned to keep his face in an expressionless like it was made of stone. It had been difficult at first but after Liza had left it became easier. It became natural to him and his face grew more and more expressionless, his heart grew colder little by little. He did not lose who he was but he simply learned to control himself and put on the façade of a ruthless businessman.
The chauffeur opened the gate and revealed a grinning Leslie. Jonathan could tell that her smile wasn't real. "It's a pleasure to see you, Mr. West," she said her smile dripping with insincerity. "Same here Ms. Santiago" Jonathan replied giving her a saccharine smile of his own. Both of them knew that neither of them would hesitate to cut down another if it came to their own survival and this was what made any deal between them work. The car stopped outside a beautiful restaurant. "Let's seal our deal while having a wonderful dinner shall we," Leslie said. "Of course Ms. Santiago". Soon they were seated at their table and the first course of their dinner had been served. "I am curious Mr. West, Why did you put the condition that Ms. Nestor will have to assist you in heading this branch and why to choose this branch?." Leslie asked. "Not that any it's any of your business Ms. Santiago but I will still answer your question. I believe that Ms. Nestor is extremely good at what she does and since this is my first venture in the field of publishing." Jonathan answered tersely.
He did not want anyone to especially Leslie to know about the history he shared with Liza and so he decided to be as terse about it as possible. "Of course it is my business, Mr. West. Liza is my best employee." Leslie said and Jonathan realized that however shrewd businesswoman Leslie seemed to be, she definitely cared for Liza. "Don't worry Ms. Santiago Ms. Nestor would be working under a good boss? Surely, you don't doubt my skills, do you?" he replied flashing her a charming smile. "I don't doubt your skill Mr. west, in fact, I am very much confident about your skills and this is what worries me the most" Leslie muttered.
Liza woke up around seven in the evening. The sky outside was a mix of orange and blue giving it a unique glow. She had slept through the whole day and now her whole body was aching from stiffness. Liza cracked her neck as she made her way out of the room and into the kitchen. She poured a glass of ice-cold water for herself and started deciding upon what she would make for dinner. Her stomach was growling with hunger, so she decided to skip the tedious process of making a proper dinner and simply ordered a Pizza. As she put down the phone after ordering Pizza, she realized that tomorrow she would have to go office.
Usually, she loved going to the office, even if it was hectic and sometimes Leslie could be a pain but still she loved her job and enjoyed doing it but today she just wished that she had one more day to relax, to not deal with the drama of daily life. she never realized that when she was groaning at the thought of the office, on the other end of the city there was Jonathan who had finally signed the deal and was softly smiling to himself, half-listening to Leslie talk about all the great things their company would do together while thinking about the seeing the woman he loved again.
Liza walked into the beige and gray-colored high-end office expecting it to be calm and silent as usual. She loved to come early to the office, not only because it gave her a head start but also because she enjoyed the calmness that the silence brought her. It allowed her to think and to enjoy being by herself. It was a sign of her independence and she loved it. It was not just a job for her but it was something that had enabled her to stand up for herself without depending on anybody and that's why it was so special to her. Her cabin was her sanctuary where she could immerse herself in doing the work she loved. When she stepped into the usually silent office she was surprised to find it teeming with people. Everybody was rushing here and there.Some were cleaning the desks, some were arranging the files, she was about to ask what was happening when Nick, one of the helpers, came up to her and said –"Miss Nestor. I have fixed the broken coffee machine and I have also cleaned t
Why now? Was the only question running through Liza's mind. She had successfully avoided Jonathan throughout the day but just when the day was about to end and she was finally going to be out of reach, she ended being trapped in an elevator with Jonathan. How cliche, Liza thought to herself, the ex-wife being trapped in an elevator with the man who broke her heart and is also her boss now. It was a scene that she had read in countless manuscripts and an event she wanted to avoid at all costs. She wasn't running away from him, she just didn't have the energy to deal with him right now. The elevator ride that only took few minutes seemed to be taking hours. None of them broke the silence. "Liza..." Jonathan started but Liza stopped him before he could continue. "Don't talk to me unless it is related to office, don't even look at me unless you need me to do something related to work" she said in a calm and cool voice. Jonathan couldn't help but flinch back as the coldness of Liza's voi
There were hustle and bustle around the office. The normally sluggish morning hours were teeming with life again. There was a lot of excitement in the people to see their new boss. Yesterday they had merely gotten a glimpse of Mr. West but from today he was to start working officially. Every person had their files completed, checked, and arranged, ready to be presented at any moment they were required to. The women in the office had seen Jonathan West on magazine covers, he was one of the most successful businessmen in America, and they gushed on about how handsome and brilliant he was and how great it would be to work with him.Liza smoothed down her black pencil skirt and rubbed her temples, wishing that all of them would stop talking for at least a moment. She had barely gotten sleep the previous night and all the caffeine she had taken hadn't kicked in her system yet. She sighed as she took in her reflection in the little ornate mirror that she had kept in one of the draw
Liza paced back and forth in her office. She could see Jonathan working on some files and was sure that if she left now, she won't have to face Jonathan. Initially, her office had been at the opposite end, however, on the insistence of Leslie she had to shift her office in the room next to Jonathan. Their office was now divided only by a glass wall and some flimsy blinds.Liza had tried to avoid Jonathan every day but somehow she always ended up talking to him at least once, whether it was due to some client or due to some other editorial work. She was getting tired of this game of cat and mouse. She had been worrying over Jonathan ever since he came to the office and had barely spent any time with Carson and Melissa. Hell, she had even forgotten that Alex would be returning tomorrow from Paris.She cursed herself silently as she saw Jonathan catching her in the act of watching him. Her cheeks blushed red as he smiled at her and got back to his work. Her body had
Liza woke up feeling fresh for the first time in the last few days. Maybe it was her resolve not to avoid Jonathan anymore or it was meeting her family after a long time, but whatever it was, it had relaxed her enough to allow her to get some sleep. She stretched lazily and got up from the bed. After brewing some coffee, she started getting ready for the office. She was actually looking forward to going to the office and was surprised as she found herself humming a tune. She picked out a dark blue blouse with a grey pencil skirt and blazer and went to shower. After showering, she put on her clothes and was ready to head to the office.She was the first one to come to the office, as usual, so she walked into the empty office and unlocked her cabin. Sitting down, she sorted out her work for the day and took a sip of the coffee that she had carried from her house in a tumbler. She loved the taste of dark roasted coffee. She began reading the most recent manuscript while drinking
Jonathan was trying to read through the report but was failing miserably. He read through the words but his mind failed to register them, all he could think of was about Liza and the guy she went out with. It was frustrating and disappointing at the same time. It had already been a month and he had failed to hold a civilized conversation with Liza, how was he supposed to make her fall in love with him if he couldn't even get her to talk to him. He peered into the adjacent empty office. Liza had forgotten to close the blinds in her hurry, so instead of the usual pale pink and beige blinds, the glass wall was transparent providing Jonathan with a view of her office. Liza's laptop was closed, some manuscripts that Liza had read were scattered around it, Liza's coat hung on the back of the chair and a coffee cup from valentine's sat on the table. Jonathan felt like a creep for spying into Liza's office but he couldn't help himself it was the only way he could get some clue about Liza. H
Jonathan stood in front of Liza's office. He was tapping his foot nervously against the hardwood floor. The other employees looked curiously at him as they passed by him. It was unusual for them to see Jonathan out of his office. In the past few days Liza and Jonathan had shared more than a smile, they had made small talks, shared some laughs and he had even made her blush once or twice though he was pretty sure it was out of embarrassment rather than shyness. Their relationship was going steady and dare he say that they were almost friends. So here he was standing in front of her office, trying to gather the courage to ask her to go to the celebratory ball with him.He knocked on her door once. "Come in," she said distractedly. Jonathan stepped into her office. Her eyebrows were furrowed in concentration as she read through the script in her hands. She irritably pushed a strand of hair behind her ear as it fell in front of her eyes. "Um Liza, do you have a minute," he said.
Liza stood in front of the mirror, her hair was piled up on her head, leaving a few curls to frame her face, her midnight blue chiffon dress hugged her curves perfectly and her feet were encased in silver stilettos. She felt beautiful. There was an impatient knock on the door, quickly giving her reflection a once over she rushed to open the door. There in front of her stood a handsome Alex dressed in a gray tux, his hair slicked back. "You ready?" Alex asked taking Liza in and releasing a slow whistle. A warm blush crept into her cheeks and Alex chuckled. "Yeah sure, just let me get my wrap and clutch," Liza said as she quickly grabbed her clutch and silver silk wrap. "Come on let's go," she said. "You are looking really beautiful Liz" Alex complimented her. "Thanks, Alex, You are looking dashing too" she replied as they made their way out of the building.After a few moments of silence had passed Alex cleared his throat. "How are you holding up Liz?" he asked, his eyes full