Illusions begin, p.19
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       Illusions Begin, p.19
 

           N.L. Greene
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  ***

  Becky threw herself into her work and completely lost track of time. She didn’t even pull herself away when Helen knocked on her office door. “Come in,” she yelled to her as she continued to read the case file she had been asked to review. It was so boring but something she had to do.

  “These came for you Becky,” Helen said as she came into the office. Becky finally pulled her eyes from the papers in front of her and looked up to see Helen. Well, actually she couldn’t see Helen because she was being blocked by the huge bouquet of flowers she was carrying.

  “What in the world?” Becky breathed out as she quickly cleared a space on her desk for Helen to set the large arrangement down. “Where did these come from Helen?”

  Helen had a huge smile on her face. “I don’t know, but they’re beautiful and they smell heavenly. Why don’t you read the card?” she suggested as she plucked it from the bouquet and handed it her.

  Becky’s stomach rolled. This was similar to the type of things Lance did when he was trying to win her back. She really didn’t want to go through all that again. She opened the small envelope so cautiously; she had Helen laughing at her. “Good grief girl! It’s not a snake. It won’t bite. Just rip that baby open and see who sent you these beautiful flowers!”

  Becky stuck her tongue out at her but did as she said. She ripped it open and took the small business card sized note in between her fingers.

  I would really like to take you out to dinner.

  Call me.

  Ethan.

  She nearly fainted. She felt her cheeks heat as the blood rushed to her face. Her stomach began to dance around and her fingers started to shake.

  “Becky? You okay honey?” she heard the concern in Helen’s voice but it quickly faded when Becky looked up at her with a huge grin on her face. “Oh honey, I haven’t seen you smile like that in ages! Who is this from?” she now asked with a coy smile of her own.

  “Ethan,” Becky answered dumbly.

  Helen raised one penciled in eyebrow. “Who is Ethan?” she asked but then her eyes widened. “Oh! Is he the Detective working on your case? The one with the deep voice that called for you earlier?”

  Becky nodded, remembering just how deep and sexy his voice was.

  “Oh!” Helen said again, her smile growing. “Well, what does it say?” she demanded.

  “He said he wants to take me to dinner and to call him.”

  “Well call him!” Helen yelled while handing Becky the phone so she could do just that.

  Becky had to laugh. Helen was at least fifteen years older than her and most of the time she acted like a second mother to Becky. But now she was squealing and jumping around like a school girl.

  Becky set the phone back down and quickly held her hand up to stop Helen from protesting. She was way too nervous to just call him. She needed to process what was happening and make sure she would be able to form coherent thoughts and complete sentences once he was on the other end of the phone. And that’s exactly what she told Helen. She told her about how Ethan made her feel and how difficult it was to talk to him because she just didn’t know how to. She told her about her lack of experience with men and how that made Ethan even more intimidating.

  Helen sat down in one of the chairs in front of Becky’s desk and studied her for a moment. Becky could tell that she was deciding what to say and if the conversation was appropriate for them to have. Becky remained silent. She didn’t want to pressure Helen into stepping over a line she had drawn between her personal life and work, but Becky desperately wanted to talk to someone about this. She didn’t think her mother was the right person, especially not after she seemed okay with Lance cheating on her. She still couldn’t understand why her mother would be okay with something like that. She knew her parents loved each other and although she could admit that she probably saw them through rose-colored glasses, she knew beyond a doubt her father would never do something like that to her mother.

  Helen finally pulled her from her thoughts when she spoke up. “Becky, you know I love you like a daughter but I’ve always tried to keep our relationship more on a professional level.”

  Becky nodded and waited.

  “But I care about you too much to let you sit here and not have someone to talk to about all of this.” Becky let out a sigh and smiled at Helen. Helen returned the smile but then became more serious. “I need to ask you something first though…why aren’t you talking to your mother about these things?”

  Becky hesitated. Lance worked in the office building and she didn’t want to talk about him to others in a negative way, even if he was the world’s biggest asshole. She also didn’t want Helen to think badly of her mother. On the other hand, she needed to talk to someone. She needed advice or else she was going to make a complete fool of herself on a date with Ethan, if she could even get that far! So she opened her mouth again and everything came pouring out. How she found Lance at their engagement party, her discussion with her mother, and her mother’s crazy response.

  Helen gave her a sympathetic look when she finally closed her mouth again. “You poor thing!”

  Becky shrugged. She was pretty much over it now. Her heart had only been broken for a little while, which told Becky she probably didn’t really love him anyway. Lance was still harassing her but Becky didn’t tell Helen that part. Besides, she was more worried about her loving, attentive mother’s blasé attitude about her finding Lance with another woman.

  “Sooo?” Becky finally prompted.

  Helen sat up straighter and leaned in toward the desk separating them. “Okay, well I can tell you that your father and your mother do NOT have that sort of relationship if that’s anything you’ve been worried about. They have been one hundred percent devoted to each other since the first day I met them. Trust me; gossip spreads around here like wildfire. If either of your parents had been unfaithful, I would have heard about it.”

  Becky let out a relieved breath. She knew her parents loved each other more than anything in the world, but it was nice to hear someone else back up her beliefs.

  “But I will tell you this, as I’m sure you already know…your parents didn’t marry out of love. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the sort of thing your mother was told by her mother when she was getting talked into marrying your father.”

  Becky nodded her agreement. “Yeah, I guess that would make sense…” she trailed off, thoughtful of what Helen just said. She and her mother never really had too many ‘mother-daughter’ talks about boys, dating, or even sex now that she thought about it. Becky always had her nose in a book and her mother never brought up the subject. When she and Lance began to date, her mother pulled her aside once and told her to make sure she started seeing a gynecologist and that it might be a good idea to be put on birth control. They were both so embarrassed during the conversation that it was short and the last one of that kind they ever had. Now that Becky looked back on the memory, she realized how strange it was that her and her mother were so awkward with each other about guys and sex when they were as close as best friends about everything else.

  Helen let her mull over those thoughts for a few moments before speaking up again. “So, my long term advice would be that you should talk to your mother. Ask her about her relationship with your father and explain to her how you feel.” Helen gave her a look that Becky didn’t quite get.

  “What?” she asked in confusion.

  Helen shrugged. “Well if we’re going to step over the professional line, I might as well go all the way. I think you should also talk to your parents about what it is that you want to do with your life.”

  Becky didn’t know what to say so she lied. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She felt so bad for doing so that she couldn’t even look Helen in the face. She just couldn’t look her in the eye and lie to her like that.

  Of course Helen still didn’t believe her. “Oh I think yo
u do. I know you don’t want to be here and that law isn’t your passion. I can see it when you zone out almost every day, when you set your alarm to leave right on time, and when you walk in here every morning as if you’re walking to your final meal.” Helen chuckled but Becky’s heart dropped.

  “You can tell?” her voice was soft and filled with sadness. Did her father know too?

  Helen must have been able to tell what she was thinking by the look of alarm that crossed her face. “Don’t worry; you put on a pretty good front whenever your father is around.”

  Becky slumped back in her chair in relief but still didn’t say anything.

  “I don’t know what it is you want to do, but I know there’s something else and I think you should tell them.”

  “I can’t Helen. You know how important it is to them that I take over the business.”

  Helen nodded her head in agreement slowly but argued Becky’s statement. “I do know that they would love for you to follow in their footsteps. But I also know that they would want you happy. That’s more important to them than anything else in this world Katherine Rebecca.”

  “I don’t know Helen,” she said sadly. The only thing her parents had ever talked about was their daughter being a criminal attorney just like them and how proud they were going to be when she took over the family business and made it even better than it already was. She couldn’t shatter their dreams by telling them she had always wanted to be something else.

  Helen watched her for a moment and then let out a sigh. “Well I’m only here to offer my advice, not to tell you what to do. You should at least think about it. In the meantime…” she gave Becky a wicked grin, “I think you should call that Detective and accept a date with him.”

  Becky groaned, “But I don’t know what to say!”

  “Oh I could tell you a thing or two to say!” Helen said with a wink as she rose from the chair and headed for the door.

  Becky rolled her eyes but laughed, “Okay, okay. I’ll figure it out and then I’ll call him.”

  “Good!” Helen said triumphantly before leaving her office, shutting the door behind her.

  The smile stayed on Becky’s face as she glanced down at the card that was still in her hands and wondered what she was going to say when she called Ethan back.

 
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