I Love You I Hate You, p.1Jennifer Zeliff
I Love You I Hate You
Copyright 2011 Jennifer Zeliff
Cover art by Caitlin Wingrove.
SmashWords Edition, License Notes
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the authors' imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
“This job sucks,” Samantha said.
Derek sighed. “We’ve had this conversation a thousand times before.”
“I’m sorry. You’re right.” She shuffled over and planted a kiss on his lips.
“What happened today?”
“Kathy, of course; she was already angry when she came in then she chewed us out for not having the legal paperwork done right. Finally she said we are getting someone new and she wants me to train them.”
“Isn’t that a part of her job?”
Samantha nodded. “She expects that all my work is going to be done, but I had better not even think of asking for overtime.” She flung her clothes over the hamper. “She tried to argue with me about some detail on one of the motions that she thought was wrong, but actually I had done it right.”
“Sammie, you know arguing with her is going to get you in to trouble one of these days.”
“What do you want me to do? She’s wrong half the time and I can’t take the blame for mistakes she’s made.”
Derek rolled his eyes.
“After lunch, she gives me this huge stack of typing to do and says she needs it by the end of the day. All of the other ladies left early and I got stuck.” Sam fussed around the kitchen banging pots and pans.
“It’s because you argue with her.”
“I should be thankful for this job. It pays the bills,” she muttered. Why couldn’t she just stay home and write. Oh yeah, Derek doesn’t like it; too risky. Sam slammed the pan down on the stove.
Beep. Beep. The alarm sounded. Sam rolled over and banged it into silence. She sighed and shuffled to the shower; just living the dream. “Coffee’s ready,” he shouted.
Sam turned off the water and stepped out.
“I’m leaving. Love you.” He pecked her on the lips.
“Love you too.” Couldn’t she just play hooky? Sam shook her head. She needed to do the right thing. Derek counted on her.
Sam threw her coat over the chair and trudged to the break room for a second cup of coffee. When she got back, a piece of paper lay on the keyboard. Come see me. I have more work for you. Sam rolled her eyes and dragged herself to Kathy’s office.
“These need typed up by lunch time. Your trainee starts after lunch and I need you to proof those.” Kathy pointed to several piles on her desk then turned back around. Sam clenched her fist. It took several trips to haul all the files to her cubicle. What a disaster.
An hour later, Sam stretched. When she got back from the bathroom, there was another file on her desk; more research needed. Maybe Derek was right. She could be nicer, but she wasn’t the type for schmoozing. What else could she do? Writing, but they had already argued too many times about it. Lunch time, she would think about it then.
Sam flew out the door, to the picnic table outside. The sun beamed. She yanked out her planner. Jobs she may want. At the top of the list was always writer, but Derek said she wouldn’t make enough money for it to be worth it. She’d always wanted to own a bookstore or an ice cream shop, but they didn’t have enough money for startup and that would be a key requirement. She could research finance options. Sam wrote it down. Maybe, she could go back to school, but for what? Journalism? Business? She didn’t know what she wanted to do. Sam finished her yogurt and chips. Time was up. Kathy waited for her with a young woman. “This is Jessica.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” Kathy trotted off. Sam pointed her in the direction of an empty cubicle. She showed Jessica the manual and gave her a quick tour of the office explaining the process as she went along. Sam left her to peruse the manual across the aisle while she finished the typing. She had just gotten to proofing when Jessica asked, “ are we expected to remember all of this?”
“No. Some of it you’ll pick up after a while. Some things you will still look up.”
“Good. That’s a load of my mind.” Jessica went back to reading.
When Sam finished the proofing, she stuck them in people’s mailboxes to fix. It was time to go home. “Tomorrow, I’ll start to show you how to do some of the basics that way it’s not quite so boring.”
Jessica nodded. “See you tomorrow.”
Research still needed done, but Kathy said no overtime. Sam shut down her computer and headed for home.
Sam pulled open the back door. The smell of garlic and tomatoes greeted her. “Smells wonderful in here what’s the occasion?”
“They’re talking about potentially promoting someone to handle all the logistics.”
“Is it a possibility for you?”
“It would be a long shot, there are others with more experience but we’ll see.” Sam pecked him on the cheek. Maybe, please; then she wouldn’t have to work anymore. Maybe, he would let her stay home and pen novels. It could happen.
“Dinner’s ready.” He made chicken parmesan. He must be in a good mood. Let’s not ruin it tonight.
The next morning Sam poked her head into the cubicle. Kathy waited, tapping her foot; her face red. “I need that research now, can’t trust you to do anything,” she hissed.
Sam bit her lip. She dropped into the chair and got right to work.
An hour later it was done. Sam handed it directly to Kathy, who said nothing and handed back another stack of papers; more proofing. Sam sighed. Jessica waited outside her cubicle. Would this ever end? Sam showed her how to log into the computer and her work queue. There was a task waiting for her. “Here, this is the section in the manual that gives you step by step directions of what needs done. Let me see it before you turn it in.”
Jessica nodded. Sam started to proof documents. An idea began to form for a novel. If she worked quickly, she could sneak in a little writing time. Sam scanned the documents quickly. A fresh piece of paper waited for her. Elegant ladies and knights in shining armor called to her. Just before lunch, she checked on Jessica. “I think I’m almost done.”
“Good. I’ll check it after lunch.” Sam neglected her lunch. The pen flew across the page.
After lunch, she checked Jessica’s work. It was excellent. Sam watched her pull the next item from the queue and get it set up before heading back to her desk. There were two items in her queue. Sam finished them quickly. Louella leaned over the side of the cubicle. “Rumor has it she knows the head of the firm.”
“The aliens. Did you do the proofing?”
“I like it when you do it. It’s quick and painless. Uh oh, here she comes.” Louella disappeared back to her side.
“What is this note here?” Kathy pointed to the page.
Sam scanned the note. “Exactly what the manual says should be there.”
“I want you to change it. It’s not right.”
“What isn’t right about it?”
“It’s in the wrong spot.” Sam grabbed the paper and put it back on her desk. She knew she was right and if she changed it then she would just get yelled at again. She could email the attorney directly, but Derek warned her about playing nice. Maybe, she should ask him what to do first. Sam peeked in on Jessica. The second project was perfect as well. Sam spent the last few minutes penning a few more words.
Derek wasn’t home when she pulled in. Meatloaf and potatoes were on the menu. Quickly, she put it together and threw it in
Sam jumped. “I heard from Lexi.”
“She didn’t send you more writing stuff, did she?”
Derek pursed his lips. “I wish she would stop filling you head with those foolish ideas.”
Sam brushed past him.
“I’m sorry honey. I shouldn’t be so harsh with you. Forgive me?”
She nodded. “Dinner’s ready.”
“Good. I’m hungry. I’ll clean up afterwards if you want.”
“That would be nice.”
She snuck in some writing time while he was distracted. “If I want to put in a vacation day for Friday, any objections?”
“No. I think a long weekend will do you some good.”
Sam picked up a book and pretended to read. She could do this.
Wednesday and Thursday flew by. She managed to sneak in some writing. The novel was beginning to take shape. Friday morning rolled around. Sam lounged in her pajamas while he got ready for work. “Have a good day.” He kissed her and left.
Sam peered out the window to be sure he was gone. She sprinted to the office and began to type. The story poured out of her. 7,000 words; she ate lunch. About 3pm, she finished the 10,000 words and began proofing it. An hour later, she submitted the work. Please, please little book. Sam folded some laundry and ordered pizza. Can you pick up the pizza on your way home? She texted Derek. Sam cleaned off the t.v. trays and set up the dvd player. Derek banged the door open. “Help please.”
Sam greeted him at the door and kissed him before taking the pizza.
“I knew taking a day off would do you some good.”
“You’re so right sometimes.” Sam divided up the pizza and brought it out to the living room. Derek was placing a movie in. The case read Law Abiding Citizen.
“I heard this was good.”
Sam snuggled up to Derek after eating pizza.
“Wasn’t that great?” Derek asked.
“The plot was good. I hate all the blood.”
“Somebody said it would be that way.”
Sam put her hands on her hips. “You didn’t warn me?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think to. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” He wrapped his arms around her and enveloped her lips into a deep kiss. His hand guided her back to the bedroom.
Zzzzz; Derek snored in her ear. What was she doing sneaking around? Sam crawled out of bed. She couldn’t help it. The novel called to her.
Tap. Tap. Sam peeled her eyes open. “What’s this?” Derek asked holding her writing.
“Just some thoughts.”
“Don’t try that crap with me. You are writing again.”
“So? It makes me happy.”
“Just so long as it’s foolish musings and doesn’t turn serious.”
Sam sighed. “I know. We’ve argued about this before.”
“Good. Are you going to make breakfast?”
Sam pried herself out of the chair, yanked open the cupboard and slammed a cereal bowl on the table. “Breakfast.”
“That wasn’t what I had in mind.”
Sam threw on some clothes and went for a walk. What was his issue? Why couldn’t she write? It wasn’t hurting anything. Tears dripped down her face.
When she got back, Derek had closed himself into the office. Breakfast dishes lay strewn about. He’d made toast and eggs. Sam set to work cleaning up. Ring. Ring. Sam picked up the phone. “Hello.”
“It’s Lexi. I’m so glad to hear your voice. What’s new?”
“I just got done teaching a yoga class. My studio is doing well.”
“I’m so happy for you.”
“I saw you posted it. I’ve got everyone I know reading and voting. Sam, it’s really good. Not what I expected from you.”
“Some things just come to you.”
“I know. Listen, I need to go. I’ll keep in touch.”
“I’ll email you later. Love you.” Sam hung up the phone. The garden needed work today. The trellis was falling apart. She hammered and banged pieces together; much better. Weeds were overtaking the garden. Sam destroyed that evil plot. She cut a few fresh blooms to bring inside. The office door was still closed. Should she knock? No, just leave him be. Sam perused the cupboards and made a grocery list. Tears dripped down her face. Her life had no life. Was this what it was all about? It sucked. She left without saying goodbye.
When she got back, the door was still closed. Fine, he could just stay in there all night. Sam threw the food into the cupboards. Finally, the door creaked open. “Thank you for letting me get some work done today. I’ll fix supper tonight.”
“I appreciate that.” Sam trotted into the office.
“What are you doing?”
“Sending Lexi an email; I promised her I would.”
“Tell her I say hi.”
“Will do.” Derek scooted out of the office. Sam logged onto the contest website. 25 votes. She closed her eyes. They popped open. She better not be too quiet in here. Lex, glad you called today. I miss you. When can we get together? Derek says hi. Love you. Sam clicked send. She perused the public library website. The books were due Monday. She switched the computer off and came out. “How soon before dinner?”
“Ten minutes, maybe.”
Sam plunked down in to the chair and started to write.
“Dinner’s ready.” Sam shuffled into the dining room. He’d made steak, roasted potatoes and tossed salad.
“It looks great.” Silverware clinked against the plates.
“What would you like to do this evening?” She asked.
“I thought we could watch t.v. and eat ice cream.”
“I’ll clean up. You find something good.” Sam loaded the dishwasher and wiped off the counter and table. She plopped into the easy chair.
“Find anything good?”
“The hockey game. Isn’t it great?”
His eyes focused back on the game. Sam picked up her writing.
“You’re ignoring me.”
“What can I get for you?”
“Some attention please.”
She snuggled in next to him on the couch. He started to touch and kiss. One thing led to another. After he was done, he went right back to watching the game. Sam slid off the couch. What was that? She started the shower. Tears dripped down her face. Even that was no fun anymore. Didn’t he care? She crawled into bed.
Sunlight floated in. Derek’s eyes were still closed. Sam tiptoed to the computer. 50 votes; people posted comments amazing, can’t wait to read more. At least that was working. She logged into her email. Tell Derek hi. I wanted to say you are not the same girl. Where did all your energy and spirit go? Find it again before you go crazy. I’m planning a visit in two weeks. See you then. Love, Lex.
Sam flipped off the computer. What was she supposed to say? No romance book says it will be like this. She pulled out bacon, eggs and biscuits. Breakfast in bed will patch the way. His eyes cracked open. “It smells good.”
“Lexi says hi back.” Sam snuggled next to him and snuck bites off the plate. He rolled out of bed and shuffled off to the shower. Steam wafted from the bathroom. The pipes creaked and groaned as water rushed through them. Sam sifted through her closet. What to wear? Derek hated jeans at church. Tucked in the back corner hung a blue floral dress. That should work. Sam styled her hair and blushed her cheeks. They were in such a good spot.
Pastor droned on. What was the matter with her? Why couldn’t she focus on something other than writing? Church was important, but this was her opportunity to show Derek wh
Sam nodded; great more time she would have to spend appearing interested. Why couldn’t he just get it? Maybe Lex was right. Derek pinched her leg under the table. Everyone else was laughing. Sam pushed her food around then got up to clear her plate. She slipped outside for a moment. The door slammed behind her. “Ready?” Derek asked.
Sam nodded and climbed into the car.
“You were quiet during dinner.”
“I was just thinking.”
“If you say writing…” His fingers pounded against the steering wheel.
“So what if I was thinking about writing?”
“Why can’t you just be normal?”
She sighed. “Because I’m me and that’s who you fell in love with.”
He shrugged. “I was hoping you would grow out of it.”
“Why do you have such an issue with it?”
“Because it’s not practical.”
Derek scratched his chin. “I suppose you’re right. I just don’t want to see you give up a good job for something that’s not going anywhere.”
“Who says it’s not going anywhere?”
“I meant that it’s really hard to break into.”
“It takes work just like everything else.”
“Are you prepared for that?”
Sam nodded. “What’s it going to take to let me try?”
“Let me think on it.” They pulled into the driveway. Derek rushed out and into the house. This was the most open he’d been; maybe, just maybe. Sam opened the back door. Sounds of the football game rushed at her. Laundry lay piled in the basket. She sighed, threw on some yoga pants and went to work.
I Love You I Hate You by Jennifer Zeliff / Romance & Love have rating 2.5 out of 5 / Based on38 votes