Diane’s Heart — Installment 4

Good morning, I think. What happened to you? When did you start hanging out on weeknights? Nothing happened, and I was home Renee. Just had a long night, I’ll be in my office. The meeting in an hour, want some coffee? No, I’ll go get a chocolate milkshake before the meeting. Milkshake this early, are you alright? No Steele, I have to go sit and listen to Thorn speak. I’ll need all the fortification I can get to stay awake. Damn, damn, damn why couldn’t I get into my office before he arrived. Why in the hell does he have to look that good this early? Last night every time I closed my eyes I kept seeing him, I kept feeling him, I kept my smelling him. It only took one day for him to destroy my life.

Three weeks later after our weekly meeting, I made a beeline to my office grab my bag and was out to meet Liz before anyone else got back to the department. Girl, you look like you been hit with a two by four, what the hell happened? Steele that what happened. I have to get a grip and fast. As we made plans for Renee’s 60th birthday party, we divided up the chores to pull it off. Then I head back to the office. The afternoon was filled with combing through resumes Steele suggested would make good candidates for our assistant. I selected three and called to schedule appointments for them to come in to meet us later in the week. Then buried myself way past 7 pm in completing all the mid-month reports completed.

Used to be the last person to lock up with maintenance long gone, I was surprised when I heard my name as I came out to get some water. It was Steele sitting at his desk with his tie undone and jacket off, looking ravishing (I need to get a grip). I thought I was alone why are you still here? I’ve been reviewing previous psychological to understand just what Beautiful is looking for in the report. For the life of me, I don’t understand how you gathered the information you do, with just the brief survey they fill out in the package. You can’t is all I said trying to maintain a straight face. What’s so funny, Renee gave me the package and 10 cases that’s been approved for the 2nd quarter getaway. Told me everything I need was in the case file. Everything you needed to get started is in the case file, but until you do a face to face, you can’t complete a profile. Are you telling me you meet with every family for every trip? Yep, some come to the office, some interview via Skype, some I travel to. That’s why we are working on the 2nd quarter of next year now with two-quarters left in this year. It also allows us to shift a child to an earlier session if their health takes a turns for the worse.

I don’t get it, how have you done this solo with this level of information and supervised? I didn’t, my position was only established 2 days before yours, for the last 6 month I co-directed the psychologist under Renee and handled all intake. Jefferson, also worked with the oversight of the therapist until 2 months ago when he left to move to Nevada. Prior to that, I was the intake person and developed a system that we always had participants screened in case we had last minute spots to fill. Impressive.

Why are you here so late, everyone is long gone? It’s customary for me to close up the place. Last one in most mornings and last out most nights. All work and no play leads to an early burnout! Been talking with Renee about me have you? Well, kind of when we were meeting regarding Beautiful bring most of our staff on board we came to the table with profiles of every position and worker. We just didn’t have pictures and in most cases didn’t use names, but yours was the exception in regards to Thorn as well as Renee. They are very impressed and seemed quite taken with you. Thorn is a good person, long winded but his heart is good and full of compassion for so many. As for papa Renee, he like my second father. Papa Renee? Do you remember Liz from camp, my best friend, we’ve known each as long as I been alive and the sister I never had. Well her father is Renee. I see.

By way the last time I stayed over for the weekend, we decided to go fishing, he couldn’t take the rocking, so we had to bring him back to shore and as the ladies went fishing. Once we got back, he had to clean and grill the fish while the girls had girl time, even Mom Betty joined us. Oh, I see. We tend to forget most people who don’t work with us, don’t understand our relationship, but then again most people question my relationship with Thorn as well.

Well to listen to them speak of you, you are Beautiful’s miracle worker. Not really, I’m just versatile enough work with many types of people and maintain some sort of order or calm amidst the craziness.  So what does Diane do for fun and relaxation? Pretty much what I’ve always done, sleep and read a good book. The Diane I use to know had a life beyond work and books, she loved swimming, long walks and laughing. Come to think of it, the Diane I knew didn’t appear to be a workaholic at all. The Diane you use to know died when you decided just to walk away. I didn’t just walk away. Really what do you call it when you asked me to give up my life and transplant myself to where ever you lived. Being denied any explanations and then leave the next morning without a word to me that day or since until 3 weeks ago when you walked in here?

That Charles was losing a battle and your ‘no’ was like a nail in his coffin. Something I regretted every day since. What gives, after everything we shared, it’s like you died with Timothy. Apart of me did die when my brother died. What, your brother, his family was there, there was no relation to you. On official records no, I was not related to his family, but I was related to him. Explain! When Timothy was born, due to his medical condition and my father’s financial position struggling with a family of 4 already, he convinced my mother to put Timothy up for adoption. I located him three years before he died, right before our mother passed. You never said anything, did he know? Yes, he knew, the family was hesitant at first, but after getting to know me, the agreement was the truth wasn’t to be known by anyone outside of the family. So for his last two years, I personally worked with him as an assistant while going to school. Then when he passed, our mother was gone, and you wouldn’t come away with me, it was just as if everyone I loved was rejecting me. So my father and I haven’t spoken since the death of mom, especially since he learned I found Timothy. The only thing that gave my mother solace before her death. My sister, she daddy’s little princess and haven’t been able to find her since she changed her number.

How does ‘I can’t just pack up and leave my family’ a rejection? How is anyone supposed to know you love them when first you never said anything and second leave without a trace or a word? Diane, I’ve spent the last eight years, trying to figure how I let the best thing to come my way, slip to away.

Until my partner said I quit, I didn’t think I’ll ever see you again. It’s getting late I need to go. Diane let me take you to dinner, neither of us had lunch, and it been a long day. I can’t tonight, I’ll grab something on my way in. I know I was wrong, but I missed my friendship with you. It’s like for the past couple of weeks, you’ve been avoiding me unless it was a meeting with someone else. I’m not going to bite you. Am only asking if we can be friends. Charles, you have no idea about anything except how you were affected. I need to go home, see you tomorrow.

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