After Emily’s world is destroyed by lying and cheating, she returns to her hometown seeking solace and clarity but encounters nothing of the sort, only to return to Los Angeles and find her troubles exactly where she left them. Embarking on a new internship she’s poised and ready to go, but haunted by love and loss. Should she consider forgiveness? Or is there something better for her waiting on the other side of her grief?
Shayla, Doug and Jessica joined us as we started the game. It went by quickly. I lost, of course, but I expected that. Quite a few of our group left and the remaining handful relocated to the darts room. We pushed a couple of tables together and pulled up chairs making a nice little conversation area. I excused myself for a moment.
“Jessica?” I tilted my head toward the restrooms. She followed…somewhat reluctantly. We stood over the wash basins lathering up our hands at the same time.
“So, Scott was the distraction you were talking about earlier?” She shrugged, and a mischievous smile cross her lips. “I would expect this from Shayla, but not you.” I couldn’t help myself. She looked wounded.
“What? You’re mad?”
“No, I think it’s sweet, actually. But I know you didn’t act alone, Oswald,” I said. She laughed and flicked water on me.
“We’re not expecting you two to fall in love or anything. We just want you to have some fun. I couldn’t stand the look on your face earlier. You’re having fun, right?” she asked. I smiled. I was. It didn’t surprise me that they wanted to set me up. What did surprise me was that they were able to find a suitable guy in less than eight hours.
“Come on.” I tossed my paper towel in the basket and opened the door, gesturing for Jessica to go ahead of me. I sat between Scott and Jessica and shot Shayla a look that didn’t faze her one bit. She was having too much fun with this little scenario of hers.
When Emily graduates from Cal West University she discovers a career with great opportunity and status, the promise of something special with not one but two men, and friends and family at every turn. For Emily, things seldom stay the same for long…what challenges and choices will her career and relationships bring? Who’s a friend, who’s a lover? And will the watchful eyes and opinions of everyone who means anything to her get in the way? Out of college and into the “real world” tests Emily’s biggest choices so far.
Trish was still sleeping when I left for work. Oh, how I wished it was me curled up in my bed, but to work I went.
I barely had enough time to turn on my computer and take a first sip of office coffee before Sharon approached my cubicle. She leaned over the partition, distracted and on her way somewhere.
“Emily, meet me in the conference room in five. New project.” She looked excited and tapped the edge of my cubicle wall before leaving.
In less than five minutes I pulled a notebook out of the top drawer of my file cabinet and headed in.
“Have a seat.” Sharon sat next to Paul, one of the principals of the firm. I rarely had an opportunity to work with him. Paul Cook was a tall, thin man in his late fifties with silver hair and impeccable style. He reminded me a little of a tall Ralph Lauren without the yacht and gobs of money. Sitting next to one another, he and Sharon could’ve passed for a couple if you didn’t know better. Sharon, with her smart eyewear and short, red hair was always dressed to the nines. It wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that she was our director of design.
Sharon beamed as Paul spoke. “Emily, now that you are an associate, we’d like you to take the lead on a new project.” He sounded steady and serious, almost as if his voice alone carried a watchful eye. “You’ll report directly to Sharon and we’re bringing in a former associate who now works for the builder.”
I mustered a ‘thank you’ and before I could feel any more excited and scared in front of him, Paul stood up and left.
Sharon must have noticed that during his delivery I didn’t move. I think I was frozen and stuck to my chair. Take the lead? That was awesome…and terrifying. “Emily, don’t worry. We have a great mentor for you on this. Actually, he should be here shortly to go over the plans and schedule.” She looked at her watch. “And you know I’ll be here to answer any questions you have.”
“I don’t know what to say, Sharon. I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity.”
Sharon nodded, then turned her attention to the door and her smile broadened.
“Colin. Come in.”
I whipped around so fast I thought I’d sprained my neck. You’ve got to be kidding me. I stared blankly. I think my mouth even hung open. Emily! Get a grip.
“Emily, hi.” Colin voice was smooth, low, and professional as he moved around the table and sat across from me. Sharon rolled out the plans and even though I refused to make eye contact with her, I could tell she was looking from Colin to me and back again.
Then what’s Next?
Emily’s Calling comes to a close and leaves you wondering, what’s the whole story? (At least it did for me.) Meet Emily is the story of Emily before she leaves for California West University. It completes the circle and unveils the mystery behind Emily’s decisions.
When Emily Parker returns to her hometown after several years, she’s reminded of the rolling hills and captivating quiet, the fond memories of growing up and one lost love. Years of relationships falling short behind her, she’s finally happy on her own. So why when she makes the turn into her hometown does she think of that one boy, that one relationship that only lasted the span of a summer but stayed on her mind over the years? Why have all other relationships paled in comparison?
I was impressed, but he brushed it off as if it was no great feat. We laughed and talked about so many things, yet really nothing at all. We stood by the water and skipped rocks, counting how many skips the rocks made.
“So these are two separate rivers?” he asked.
“Yeah. See over there?” I pointed. “See where they come together?”
He leaned in closer to me and looked down my arm. “Oh, Yeah I see it,” he replied stepping back just a half step. “But then …”
I looked over my shoulder at him knowing what he was seeing. “Then they separate. I know.”
“So they don’t meet up again?” he asked.
“No, they only come together here.” I dusted my hands off against my legs and moved away from the water’s edge. I sat back against a tree and crossed my legs. He moved in beside me.
Not Just Friends
“So I assume Christian’s coming tonight?” she asked. I nodded and she went on pausing in front of the classroom. ”So what’s going on with you two?” It was obvious when talking about my love-life she was making the time. I tilted my head in the direction of the podium just inside the door. She was waiting for me to answer and although I wasn’t planning to hold anything back we still needed to get the podium and get back. Jessica propped open the door with her foot tilting the podium towards her while I picked up the opposite end. We only went about four paces before she gave me the look to continue.
“Oh, I don’t know Jess. He’s not going to be here for very long.” We continued to carry the podium, me walking backwards while Jessica held the other end directing me. “I thought we would just be friends, but last night we watched a movie together and now I don’t know,” I shrugged my shoulders still holding the podium. It wasn’t really very heavy.
Jessica paused her steps causing me to accidentally tug the podium almost out of her hands as I kept going. She set down her end and gave me a “what the?” look.
“What?” I asked perplexed as to why we stopped. “We have to get this thing out to the stage. What are you doing?”
“He invited you over to watch a movie and you think he just wants to be friends?” Jessica asked.
“Well, I thought so but now I’m feeling stupid. He hasn’t said anything to make me think any different. There just seemed to be something about the way he put his hand on my knee when we said good night.”
Her eyes bugged out. “He put his hand on your knee?!” she asked, obviously irritated by the fact that I had not mentioned this earlier.
“Boys don’t say anything Emily, they just make their move,” she said. “And I can’t believe you didn’t realize that when he invited you over to watch a movie with him.” Jessica began to laugh, clearly at my expense, and picked up the podium again. I felt silly but somehow the idea that there might be more between us than just friendship outweighed my embarrassment.