I stepped out of the Elias Clark building, my Christian Louboutins clicking as I made my way to the car. Roy waited patiently for me and opened the door, before I got in I saw her across the street- We exchanged looks and I gave no indication of a greeting. The younger woman smiled and began to walk over to me. “Miranda!” Her voice rang out.
I ignored the attempt and got inside the car. Roy shut the door behind me, taking his own position in the driver’s seat.
I looked outside the opposite window to see if she was still there just as I had done that I heard a knocking on the window nearest to me. There she was, leaning down to be face to face with the window, her mouth curved in a smile, showing off her perfect teeth. Reluctantly, I rolled the window down. "Andreá," I say her name with feigned disinterest
"Miranda," My name rolled off her tongue so easily... Beautifully even. “I was hoping to catch you before you left. I’ve been walking by here-” She cut herself off, realizing what she had just revealed to me. I cock my brow. ‘Oh, so she’s been by the building a few times, huh?’
“I-I want to apologize, Miranda, I should’ve never left like I did.” I stared at the young woman before me, not quite believing what was happening. “I was wrong.” The words make the corner of my mouth twitch up a bit. Andrea noticed this and I saw her eyes lit up as she continued. “I wanted to thank you for that fax you sent over to paper, you landed me the job and for that, I will be forever grateful. Although, I’m sorry I was a disappointment.”
I finally speak up at this, “You were hardly a disappointment.”
“But-But you said in the fa-”
“I know what I sent over,” I took a deep breath choosing my words carefully. “You were a more than adequate assistant, Andrea, you met my every need and oftentimes before I even asked.” Her eyes glazed over and I could see she was about to cry. I sighed.
“That is the nicest thing you have ever said to me.” The tears flowed from her big doe eyes freely now.
“I must be goi-”
She cuts me off then, something she would’ve never dared to do before “I miss you, Miranda, I know it sounds silly; You were just a huge part of my life and I- Oh, never mind. I’m sorry for wasting your time.”
“Do you still have my cell?” I ask. The question falls out of my mouth without even contemplating and I mentally curse myself.
Andrea wipes at her now wide eyes, “I do.” She answers unsurely.
“Text me and perhaps we could go for lunch sometime.” Again, I speak without thinking and before she can reply, I roll my window up. “Go,” I say sternly to Roy, and we drive away from what I can tell a very confused Andrea. I find a smile forming on my face.
“No, Angela, the lemon yellow does not go with the royal blue,” I rolled my eyes. “Have you fallen and bumped your head?” I throw the sample pictures across the room. “Fix this… Now.” I walked out of the designing department. “Emily!” The redhead was right beside me in an instant.
“Yes Miranda,” She had her pen and notepad ready.
“I need my schedule cleared apparently everyone has become incompetent, I have a lot of fixing to do.” She nodded and scurried away. I finished my walk to my office and sat down at my desk. I looked at my cell for the umpteenth time today and was oddly disappointed when I had no notification. It has been four days and she still hasn’t texted me. Why did I care anyway? She was just some young, silly, naive … My thoughts trailed off. Beautiful…
Woah, where in the world did that come from? I brushed away the intrusive thoughts and sat my phone down to begin fixing the monstrosity of a layout that was in front of me.
I lied in bed wide awake at midnight yet again, this has become my new ‘norm’ for the past few weeks ever since the girls went to visit their father. I grabbed a fresh red pen from my bedside table and put a red ‘X’ through an atrocious remake of a bohemian-themed outfit.
*ding* I heard my phone and found the device amidst my thick duvet. Picking it up, I didn’t recognize the number. I continued and read the message.
12:02 a.m - Hi Miranda, It’s Andy- I’m sorry I’m just now getting to text you and so late for that matter. Work has been crazy, to say the least... How are you?
I reread the text several times, contemplating not replying at all. That will show her not to make me wait. I sighed at my inner monologue. Come on, you know you want to text her.. Don’t be cruel...everyss her.
My fingers hesitated over the keys pondering on what to say for a few minutes.
12:05 a.m Hello Andrea, It’s alright. I seem to have a bout of insomnia myself. I understand being busy quite well as of late.
I keep a hold of my phone finding myself… excited? For her response.
My cell dinged again and I found my heart skipped a beat. I've never been one for small talk, so I was surprised by this.
12:07 a.m- Can I call you?
My eyes widened at the request, it wasn’t expected and I could feel my stomach begin to churn. Was I seriously nervous? What was this juvenile feeling? She’s twenty-five years my junior for chrissake. I shook my head in disbelief; Against my better judgment, I typed back ‘yes’ and hit send.
*Ring, Ring* I hit accept, “Andrea,” I found myself smiling, waiting for her reply.
“Miranda,” She sighed, with what seemed like a relief. “I honestly hate texting so thank you for taking my call so late.” The younger woman paused. “Besides... I-Well...I like to hear your voice.”
I laughed, genuinely making the other woman on the line silent; I assumed she thought she had pressed a boundary. I assured her, “I don’t get that often. Someone wanting to hear my voice. I don’t care much for instant messaging, either.”
This seemed to make whatever tension that was between us disappear and we bantered back and forth for what seemed like only minutes, but when I finally checked the clock across my bedroom I was astonished at the time.
“Oh, Andrea, it’s 3:15.”
I heard her trying to hold back a yawn. “I’m sorry, I hadn’t been keeping track of the time. I have enjoyed getting to talk to you.”
‘I haven’t laughed and smiled this much in ages, other than with my girls of course’ I thought. “Likewise.” I chose to say.
I could practically see her beaming. “Well,” I could tell she was choosing her words carefully as she spoke. “I was wondering if you’d like to possibly go have lunch sometime? I understand if y-”
I quickly cut off her rambling that I felt coming on, “Yes, we could arrange that.”
Andrea’s voice became bubblier than normal. “Okay, great!” The line went quiet for only a moment. “Thank you, again... For everything.”
“Goodnight, sweet dreams.” And with that, I heard a click from the other end.
I lied there awake for a moment, ruminating on the phone call, and all the laughs the young writer and I shared. I can’t remember a time I had stayed on the phone that long and genuinely enjoyed the conversation. I fell asleep that morning with, surprisingly a smile on my face I couldn’t get rid of even if I tried.