Journey To Fortune(4)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“Oh, Mrs. Sinclair, don’t worry about the catalogue items Tia was speaking of. I have them all organized and ready to present to you, Mr. Sinclair, and the board. We’re meeting in thirty minutes, correct?” Bethany asked.

“What? How could you have the catalogue when I created—”

“I think you need to go use the ladies’ room, Tia. Perhaps you should have taken a sick day,” she said then chuckled as she looped her arm through Dante’s. Dante immediately pulled from Bethany and gave Tia a very apologetic look. Tia had no idea what was going on, and then it hit her.

“Oh. Oh my God, you’re all talking about my skirt. Oh, there was this cab,” she began to say, but then her boss walked away. The others parted, giggling, and Bethany pulled Dante along with him. Tia could hear what she was saying.

“I’ll take care of you, Dante. You know that Tia is more like my assistant, and that her ideas come from me, right?”

Shoulders slumped, anger and disgust heavy on her heart, Tia turned around and walked into her small office. She closed the door and dropped her items to the rug.

“I get absolutely no respect whatsoever around here. None. Zilch. Why am I staying?”

Because you need this job to pay the bills. You need to send money to Missouri. You need to stop being such a scaredy-cat and start showing these people who you are and what you’re made of. Enough is enough. Those are my designs. My hard work and months of creativity. How can I let that bitch do this to me?

Tia was suddenly filled with so much anger, rage, and disgust at her life and the person she had become that she felt on the edge of an anxiety attack. She was going to lose it.

That’s exactly what Bethany wants me to do. She wants me to crawl under a rock and cry, but do nothing. She wants to take credit for my ideas and reap the benefits. That should be Dante on my arm and in my office and me flirting my ass off with him.

Her belly was filled with butterflies. She wasn’t a flirt. She had little self-confidence, and her self-esteem was just as minuscule.

Tia Rose walked around her desk, opened the small cabinet, and pulled out another skirt. It was black. Black hid everything. She had twenty minutes before the meeting.

How embarrassed was she going to be when she walked into that board meeting? Everyone would know about the brown stuff on her skirt. Bethany would surely spread the rumor that it wasn’t chocolate. She would be the laughing stock of the office.

She quickly pulled off the one skirt and then stepped into the black one. It was slim fitting, and despite what she felt was an unflattering figure, she felt something begin to filter through her. It almost seemed like tiny little vibrations running through her body. Like a tingling sensation, and then the words popped into her head. Salvador’s words. His treatment of her the past few months was questionable to say the least. He had used her for sex, plain and simple.

Salvador was a chubby chaser, and she was chubby.

The tears filled her eyes as she shook her head in a lame attempt to block the words running in her mind.

She saw the little yellow sticky notes tagged to her computer. Send money to Missouri.

She hit the keys on the keyboard rather hard. She was always sending money to her parents. Parents that didn’t love her and that didn’t love one another. It was her guilt for leaving. They blamed her brother, William’s addiction to alcohol on her. It had been five years since she left. Five fucking years and they blamed her even though she was so many miles away. Her brother was a loser. He still lived with them, and thank God she left. They would have eventually killed her, or perhaps she would have beaten them to the punch.

She felt the anxiety, the fear of her father’s strikes against her skin, from afar. She closed her eyes, willed away the tears, the pain, and fear she had. Missouri was behind her, so why was she not cutting ties with them?

Because you have no one. No one loves you here. They don’t love you there either, but any attention, negative as it may be, was better than no attention at all.

She swallowed hard then opened up her bank account information, withdrew the thousand dollars, and sent it off to her mother’s account. As she hit send, she felt bile rise in her throat. It was making her sick to send them money, but she couldn’t stop herself. If she were a day late, he’d call her. He’d hound her until she answered or sent the money. Her father hated her. But he should hate her. She wasn’t anything like her mother. She wouldn’t stand there and take his abuse anymore. Instead she ran. She got the hell out of town, out of the state, and started her new life. That move had brought on five years of panic attacks. Especially when her father called and demanded the money.

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