ERIN N. SIMON
Dying to peek at what happens in the series finale?
Interruption: Alter Ego
Shae stood in Henry’s office nervously. He provided everything she could want but she never had any money. Clothes were delivered on a rack and apparently had been handpicked by him including accessories. A chef came by to cook for her from a menu that, yes, Henry approved of. She couldn’t even buy a stick of gum with no cash. Of course, when he caught wind that she was job hunting, he became infuriated and summonsed her straight to his office.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Henry, I never have any cash or access to money. Everything I need is delivered or brought to me. I wouldn’t think of asking you for anything more than you are giving me so I decided to job hunt.”
Henry glared at her. She had no idea what she could have done wrong that he was so angry.
“You don’t need any damn cash. You want some gum have the grocery concierge bring you some.”
That made Shae think. She briefly mentioned this very comment to Harriet when she was complaining about being broke. Was she running back to Henry and reporting everything Shae told her? Shae sighed,
“Henry, this isn’t about wanting gum. It’s about the option of purchasing items should I want to. I don’t have the desire to go on a shopping spree and spend tens of thousands of dollars, but if I want to purchase a bag of potato chips it would be nice.”
“You think I’m paying a personal trainer $80,000 a year so you could eat crap?”
Shae was flabbergasted at the fact he was missing the point. She blinked and decided to drop the point.
“May I be dismissed?”
“No, the hell you may not. What you can do and better do is stand there and not move.” She obeyed. The last thing she wanted was for him to take it out on her during their arrangement. Henry continued to work angrily at his desk. Shae grit her teeth. She imagined picking his crystal paperweight up and bashing him in the head repeatedly. If only she had it in her to do such a thing.
He made her stand at his desk in her three inch stilettos for close to 45 minutes without a word. Her feet ached, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing it. She tried to go into different places in her mind to distract herself from the aches in her feet. He worked around her making phone calls, completing documents, and doing everything he had to do while she stood next to his desk motionless.
After an hour and 15 minutes, he dismissed her with his hand. Shae dashed out of the office as fast as she could so she could take her shoes off. She would walk to her driver without them and hope no one mentioned it to Henry. Before she made it out of the door Henry spat,
“You couldn’t stand there for an hour in heels. What makes you think you’re cut out for the working world?”
Shae didn’t respond. She knew this wasn’t about teaching her work ethic. It was about control. No money or access to cash made her completely dependent on him for everything. He didn’t want her to have financial freedom for fear she would save up her money and he would no longer have access to his broken china doll.
As Shae hurried out of the door she collided into a gentleman on his way into Henry’s office. Papers went flying everywhere including inside Henry’s office. God help me! She thought.
“I’m so sorry.” Shae apologized.
The gentleman smiled at Shae indicating no worries. They both bent down to pick the papers up. Shae could hear an angry Henry headed her way and knew she was in for the berating of her life. She couldn’t pick the papers up fast enough. They were all disarrayed and out of order in her hands.
Henry stood at his door and glared at Shae. Although she was still bent down she could feel his cold angry eyes.
“Maurice, I see you met the clumsiest woman in the world. No, let her get it. Come on in. Don’t worry, she will put every document in the order it’s supposed to be in. Trust me.”
Henry took the documents from Maurice and shoved them toward Shae. Then, he pointed inside his office indicating to Shae to find a workstation to get the documents in order. This meant Shae would be on her feet and they were aching to the point of numb. Defeated, Shae walked into the office and worked at a free workstation where Henry would hold his office meetings.
“Maurice, let me apologize for the clumsiness I have come to know as Shae.”
“Really, Henry, it’s no problem for me to…”
“No, she has it under control. So, tell me how is the organization going?”
“Well, right now, we are just looking for investors to donate so we can launch.”
Shae briefly read the documents and was quickly able to place them in the correct order despite not having numbers on every page. Swiftly sorting and organizing, she placed a binder clip on the documents and presented them to Henry.
“I apologize again, for bumping into you.” Shae said just above a whisper.
Henry snatched the document from Shae’s hand and turned to her.
“Well, Ms. Prodigy, what did you get from the document?”
Henry had no intention of reading the document. Maurice was soliciting funds for a charitable cause which meant Henry would do the least amount work possible.
Shae reviewed the entire document in the short amount of time she had to organize and sort.
“He has an impressive business model and will be self-sustaining once he is able to break ground and get everything in place.”
Henry flipped through the pages, but Shae knew he wasn’t reading anything. He was debating in his mind if he was going to donate or not.
“Impressive business model, huh?” Henry mumbled.
“Yes, his business model allows for revenue generating arms should he stick to it. His organization shouldn't need to be dependent on charitable donations once up and running.”
Shae noticed Maurice looked curiously at her and Henry. He remained silent. Still flipping through the document Henry asked Shae,
“How much is he asking for?”
Henry raised an eyebrow but still continued leafing through the document. Maurice seemed as though he was going to say something when Shae winked at him. If Henry wasn’t going to allow her to work for her own money or give her financial freedom; she would at least see to it that others would have the opportunity to get their lives on track.
“What you’re asking for is a bit steep, isn’t it, Maurice?”
Shae scoffed. Henry turned to her.
“Something funny, Shae?”
“What’s $150,000 to you?” Shae said rolling her eyes.
“Coming from a woman who doesn’t have two damn nickels to rub together…”
“He’s not asking me to donate. He’s asking you. You would have spent that on a watch you may only wear one time.”
Henry considered what she was saying. He mumbled, “If at all…”
“Right. Plus, it’s a tax write off.”
Now, it was Henry’s turn to scoff. “Again, coming from a woman unable to take care of herself.”
Shae’s feet hurt like hell and she was unable to keep her anger in check. “I am very capable of taking care of myself.”
Henry scoffed again, “By what means are you able to care for yourself?”
Maurice remained silent watching the exchange between the two.
“I’m very intelligent.”
“Yes, ever the prodigy.” Henry said mockingly as he walked to his desk and began writing the check for Maurice. He ripped it off, handing it to him when he said,
“Your intelligence, Shae, is like a 2 million dollar car with all the bells and whistles which you have absolutely no idea how to operate or drive. So, you know what that makes you? As stupid as the attractive bimbo who is an idiot and lacks the intelligence you have.”
Maurice’s eyes grew wide. Shae narrowed her eyes in anger and had nothing to say to Henry who dared her to say something back. He put his hand to his ear and asked,
“I’m sorry, nothing to say? Not even smart enough for a defense or witty comeback, are we? Point proven.” Shae pursed her lips and turned to Maurice,
“Have a nice day, Maurice.” Humiliated in front of a stranger, she walked out of the door and to the elevator. As soon as she hit the button, tears danced over the lids of her eyes. She stepped out of her shoes and held them when she heard a voice.
It was Maurice, holding his document in his hand. Shae nodded her head. She didn’t notice before how attractive he was. He was tall like Ramon. He had beautiful light brown eyes with long lashes framing his eyes. His lips were defined and emphasized by his clean shaven face and a mustache. Shae shook the idea of him being attractive out of her mind. She nodded.
“Why do you let him talk to you like that?” Maurice asked.
“Because, I’m not smart enough to figure out a way to not allow him to speak to me like that. Weren’t you listening?” Shae asked annoyed. She quickly recanted. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to snap at you. I don’t know how to… I don’t know. It’s just how he is.”
The elevator came and they both stepped on.
“Shae, thank you so much for getting that money for my organization. I wasn’t going to ask for so much.”
Shae smiled, “I know you only requested $25, 000, but screw him. Let him do something for someone other than himself for once.”
“Did you really read the entire document in that short amount of time?” Maurice asked as they walked into the lobby of the Financial Building. Shae stopped and sat rubbing her pedicured feet. She nodded.
“Everything I told Henry was the truth. It is an impressive business model especially considering the fact that it’s a charitable organization. He was just mad that I was able to make my assessment in minutes when it would have taken him an hour or so just to read the document. He felt threatened so he lashed out at me.”
Maurice laughed and Shae herself had to smile.
“I really didn’t get to introduce myself. My name is Maurice Gordon. Everyone calls me by my nickname, Rico.”
“Nice to meet you, Rico. Sorry that you had to witness that.” Rico nodded and said,
“No man should speak to a woman like that.”
Shae raised her eyebrow to indicate there is nothing she can really do about it. Just then, Shae’s driver approached her ready to take her back to the Emilio building. He took her purse and shoes from her.
“It was nice meeting you, Rico. Good luck with your organization.” As she began to walk away, Rico handed her his card.
“I know that the model you saw was predominately for young men, but we help women too, should you need help.” He pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket and wrote his cell phone number on the back. Shae apprehensively took his card. There was something in his eyes that caught her attention. She couldn’t quite explain what it was, but she knew he was genuine in his offer to help her.
“Thank you. She whispered.”
“We’re having the ground breaking ceremony sometime next month. Is there a way I can contact you so that I can invite you? Because of you, I received five times the amount of what I asked for.” Shae scribbled her email address on his hand. She looked into his eyes again and couldn’t deny there was something about him that was so attractive to her. Something, unfortunately, she wouldn’t have the opportunity to explore.