Journey To Fortune(6)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

She paused in the doorway. Alexa looked at her oddly, and Tia Rose shook her thoughts from her mind. No more negativity. Not today. She needed to plant her heels in the floor and halt any further negativity. How was she supposed to be productive if she felt like this?

As she began to exit the room, she turned to look back at it, the smallest office, and the one without a window. What would be sitting on her desk when she returned? Diapers, food, or maybe dog shit?

She shook her head and when she felt the hand on her shoulder, she nearly jumped.

“They’re assholes. You’re better than they are, and better than Bethany. Remember that,” Alexa said then walked back to her reception desk.

Tia took a deep breath, relieved that she seemed to have at least one ally, even if short-lived.

She headed to the meeting room, and for the first time, she entered with her palms itchy and her attitude adjusted.

* * * *

Cade Sinclair looked at his watch and then looked around the boardroom. Everyone was there except for Tia Rose. He felt bad for her. She was such a sweet, shy woman. She had gorgeous green eyes, a great perception of design, and a hard work ethic. But she didn’t have a backbone. She never spoke up. She just went along with things. Year after year he passed her up to attend the events in Paris. It was an opportunity to see what new ideas and designs were out there. For the right individual, it would mean stimulating their creativity.

He turned to look at Bethany as Tia Rose entered the room.

Bethany leaned toward Mark, one of the main board members, and whispered then chuckled.

“Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair. I had to take care of some files immediately.” She shyly swallowed hard then took the last remaining seat, all the way at the end of the table, and far from the front. That was Tia Rose. Shy, unassertive, and like a doormat. But he had a soft spot for her. He felt badly for her somehow, and he gave her a small smile.

“Not a problem, Tia Rose. Shall we begin?” he asked.

The staff began to speak about the new catalogue launching this September. There were some fresh ideas, and despite the fact that Cade and his wife Bernadette thought Tia Rose was creating the photos and designs, Bethany spoke up.

“I have the designs right here. I went as far as creating a mock catalogue, which of course can be tweaked and changed, but I think you’ll find my design ideas inspirational and fresh. That’s exactly what you and Mrs. Sinclair had asked for.” Bethany directed everyone to look at the folders in front of them.

Cade recognized these designs. He knew Tia Rose had created them. He’d gone to see her a few weeks back and entered her office. She was so caught up in her designs that she hadn’t heard him enter. He asked for a peek at the pictures and she shyly stood up from her desk and moved out of the way. He recognized most of these. He had been impressed and looked forward to her final presentation.

He looked at Bethany. She was smug and seemed to be celebrating a victory of sorts, but then he looked at Tia Rose. Her eyes were glued to the pages as she flipped through the catalogue. Her face was becoming brighter red.

“These are amazing, Bethany. How did you come up with such fantastic ideas?” Bernadette asked, as she held up one picture of what appeared to be a breakfast nook with three chairs, and a high round wooden table. It appeared Italian in design, and the accents around the small nook were individually inspiring. It was gorgeous.

Bethany smiled, and then lowered her eyes. “You know me. I’m so busy in the office, and then I take my work home. I love working here, and I would be honored to go to Paris so I could enhance some other ideas I have.”

Tia Rose looked up, and when she did, Cade immediately braced himself. Was she going to cry? Was she going to leave the room? Was she going to sit there and let her so-called boss take all the credit for her hard work?

He waited.

* * * *

Tia Rose felt her blood pressure rise, her voice get caught up with emotion as she filtered through her own catalogue. That bitch stole everything, including the layout for the catalogue. That was months of her own hard work, not Bethany’s. But now, as she debated about speaking up, accusing her boss of stealing her ideas, she heard Bethany mention Paris. This was what all the hard work was about. Tia Rose dreamed of taking a trip to Paris and seeing the new designs emerging. She wanted to add a fresh new look to the business and show the Sinclairs what she was made of. But she was such a pushover. She allowed Bethany and others to shove her down, make light of her, and dismiss her every minute of hard work.

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