Diane’s Heart – Installment 2

 

At our weekly Village meeting, we go through a list of the new application requesting services, each month we wish we could just approve all of them, but we can’t so we pick the ones that hit our heart the hardest. This month we were being joined by members of a new organization that just merged with Beautiful, who granted similar wishes just on a more local scale. As the CEO of both agencies walks in, my vision blurred and my heart stopped.  I immediately made a beeline for the door before Renee could call the meeting to order, yea my timing was off, but it was either leave or pass out.  

After about 5 minutes, someone from my staff came looking for me, saying Renee was waiting for me. Damn, I forgot that I’m no longer just a therapist but head of the department. So I splash some cold water on my face, straighten my back and told myself, my eye was just playing tricks on me, it wasn’t him. As I worked back in looking only at Renee, I gave my apology and set down. However, as I set down every hair on the back of my neck stood up.  So Renee then preceded with the introductions of our team, followed by going around the perimeter of the office introducing the members from Haven’s Creek. I look at every member until he introduced the head guy, Mr. Steele. So much for the lies, I told myself. The meeting went on and all I did was pray that he didn’t remember or recognize me. After the meeting, I usually stay around and chat, but today I made a beeline straight for my office as the meeting ended, citing to a couple of folks I had a major deadline to meet that was due in the morning.

Everything was quiet for about 2 hours then there was a knock at the door, and I was 20 years old again.  At the sound of the knock, with my head buried in the computer, Renee and Steele walked into my office. Diane, Renee said, I want to introduce you to Charles Steele, hope this a good time for you. He will be working with you on creating a profile reports for all the new applicants and the other things. In reading my expression, he picks up my confusion, and stated, that his background is in child psychology and would help relieve some of the pressure of having to do them all yourself. Now I am praying to keeps everything under wraps, but he has yet to show any recollection in regards to me.  I don’t know if I should be relieved or upset.

Renee continues to explain that after the office assignments have changed, you will be next to each other. Once again, my face became readable because he quickly stated that I will not be moving but George and White will be moving to the 2nd floor with their department and Steele and your assistant will be taking their place. An assistant, I say for my first verbal response. What part I’m I missing? Realizing my further confusion, Renee informs me that I need to come to his office later this afternoon to review all my new duties, after the Board of Director meeting last night, there have been some job description changes made increasing my responsibilities. I see, I say, and these new duties will be now shared with Steele? Renee said yes. I see. Still, Steele remains silent. Actually, Diane, come to my office in 40 minutes, the introductions should be completed and the 3 of us can sit down and hash out what essentially is two new positions together, that way we are all on the same page.

My only response was Clementine, the funders report I was working on and is due by 9 am’s meeting. Renee asked who was working on it with me?  I just looked at him, no one except us has ever worked on it, so it all in my lap since you been out of the office….Plus until I get some numbers from you, there a whole section that can’t be touched. After a deep breath, he said 40 minutes and bring it with you. I’ll clear my schedule for the rest of the day.  Charles, you mind as well join us, since you will be working with these funders as well.  No time like the present to get you knee deep and wet.  If only Renee knew what images he just conjured up in my mind. However, Steele response was so epic ‘complete submerging is the only way to ensure you know how to tread water and breathe properly.’  I’m not sure who benefits he said that for, but Renee just laughs and said I like your style. I just looked at him, but he never looked my way. Maybe he does recognize me.

After they left, Nicolette White pop in asking can I handle working with the man of Steele. My response was he’s just like every other man that put his legs in the pants, one leg at a time.  You must be blind or bi not to notice his looks, Nic said. I told her I am neither and put my head back into my work. I never really been a girl chatterbox. In all the time we worked in the same space, she barely said anything to me. Forming alliances for an inside scope to gossip isn’t coming from me.

What I really want to know have I changed that much or was I just that forgettable. After she left, I called my god-sister, who’s more like a sister. As soon as Liz answered, all I could say have my looks change that much in the last 8 years. Now her knowing me for all of my life, she knew something was amiss. Diane, who or what did your mom say now? Mom didn’t say anything, no one said anything that’s the problem.  Ok, I am now confused; Diane why are you asking about your looks? Because he’s been in the building all morning, and not once have he even acknowledges any recognition of me.  Not one look, barely one word towards me, to even let me know he knows who I am.  Diane, she screams who in the blazes you are talking about. Then I realize I never said his name and don’t think she even will remember anything about him. All frustrated, I said it’s nothing and got ready to hang up. Diane don’t pull that mess with me, who in the hell got you so round up? You haven’t been this out of sorts since… since that nut at camp. Bingo, he’s here and apparently my new partner in my new position. Who, where, what new position? Charles Steele will now be working with me at Beautiful. It was his company that just merge with us. Oh my god, Di tell me you are joking? Tell me that the man of steel from camp isn’t your new partner? I wish I could and if I don’t get off the phone, both him and Renee is going to think something wrong with me. Drinks, tonight I will call when I am released from this madness today, bye.  I hung up, closed my laptop, picked up my papers and ran out the office, I’m already 5 minutes late.

 

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