The milky hot chocolate is just enough to make my stomach tingle and those five seconds of joy are cut too soon.
“Ma’m can you move any slower” an aggravated voice behind me yells meanwhile all the Taxi drivers are rushing through the compact streets of New York City.
I turn and say “yes in fact I can move slower, you have not seen my slowest self yet”. Our eyes meet and I can tell he wasn’t joking. His hazel eyes don’t look beautiful instead I can see the frustration, his hair is messy but not by accident, his jaw line line makes the complexity of his face come all together, and my heart tumbled a bit. Stop staring I tell myself, but I can’t.
“So are you going to move any slower?”
“Well if you take the time to observe I am not the only one walking on this side walk, so I would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t only blame myself for the slow walking.” His face is confused just like I expected. I’ve always been known for my smart remarks everywhere. I keep on walking feeling his eyes still glued on me.
“You dropped a bill” the man behind me says.
I turn and I’m looking all over the crosswalk for the bill I allegedly dropped. It must be the change from my hot chocolate. I look like crazy and can’t seem to find anything until I see what looks like a bill under a old's car tire. When I go to check I get greeted by a big splash of water from a car that was just passing by. I stand paralyzed by the cold water that had settled into a puddle from yesterday's rain. I gasp in disbelief and turn to see the man with a smirk. I can’t believe my H&M cardigan got soaked. What was the warm fabric is now my biggest nightmare, the harder the wind blows the colder I get. As I continue my way to my job, I go to my purse and start looking for my phone when I see my Starbucks change from my hot chocolate!
“Oh my god! What a jerk!” I whisper.
I was looking for this change and all along it was in my purse, how rude can a person be. I’m not really the materialistic type, but this cardigan was given to me by my grandma four days before she passed away. I will not let this ruin my day, no way. As I step onto the elevator that will take me to the third floor where my family’s law firm is located I receive a few snotty smirks from the people from different floors, including my ex boyfriend who happens to work on the fourth floor as a nutritionist. Whatever honestly I don’t focus on anything but that I need to change from my drenched clothes that will probably be the cause of me catching a cold.
As soon as I step out of the excruciating and painfully long elevator ride and step into my office I get greeted by my secretary standing at the front door waiting for me and to remind me that I’m late.
“Stephanie you’re late and you have Mr. Wilson on line one and a new client is waiting for you in your office.”
I roll my eyes, Martha feels an eternal need to remind me every time that I’m late, that I’m late. Like I’m unaware of time. “Can you transfer Mr. Wilson to my brother? I have to take care of this new client. Actually can you take the new client out of my office, and make him wait here? I need to change.”
“Of course, is there anything else you’d like me to do?” Martha replies to me with sarcasm.
“Maybe cut it down on the attitude, I would really appreciate it.” Although Martha is my aunt we have never gotten along. She always preferred my brother and my honesty has always bothered her. I mean if we’re in the middle of dinner and you have lipstick on your teeth, I will tell you. The purpose is not to embarrass her, I’m just trying to help so no one laughs at her afterwards.
I go to the bathroom and wait for Martha to get the client out of my office and to the waiting room. I gracefully without attracting any attention make my way to my office and grab my spare clothes and close the blinds and change into my navy blue pencil skirt, navy blazer, and my white button up shirt. I have a full body mirror in my office, which my father called ‘distracting’, but I rebutted saying that we work in a competitive field and therefore I need to look at my best, which I do now.
I dial my phone to Martha’s extension and let her know that I’m ready to see the new client. I fix my posture and begin to check my e-mails to make myself a tad more professional.
“Good mor-” I’m not sure what to do as soon as I make eye contact with this man, the man from the street. “You’re the jerk from the street that caused me to be late and get my whole outfit drenched.”
“Calm down drama queen, my intentions weren’t for you to get wet. I just wanted you to move because you’re such a slow walker. If you got wet then my bad and I can reimburse you for the damage and we can put this behind us.” The man says as if it’s some business deal.
“The cardigan I was wearing is priceless.”
“For God’s sake I just want to be done with this.” The irritation in his voice makes me snap out of my anger and realize that I might have blown this whole accident out of proportion.
“Okay fine, I will accept a $30 reimbursement so I can go to the dry cleaners.”
“Sounds good with me, now the reason I’m here is because I want to file a divorce.”
“Of course you do, this is what this law firm is all about.” A divorce attorney that’s what I studied to be and that’s what my whole family does. It is incredible the amount of business we have had these past few years. My best guess is that technology and lack of communication has ruined it all. The irony in that is baffling. You would think that the purpose of technology is to communicate better but in my opinion it just disconnects people.
“Yeah my soon to be ex wife wants to take fifty percent of everything I have, she has never worked in her life!” He barks as if I’ve never heard this before.
“Hi my name is Stephanie Miller, and you are?”
“What are you doing?” He says as his eyebrows knitted together.
“We never got a proper introduction, so I’m introducing myself.”
“You’re timing could not have been any better than now.” He says with a tad of sarcasm. “Timothy Bennett, but everyone calls me Tim, nice to meet you Stephanie Miller.” He says as he puts his right hand forward and his casual smile makes him look like a breathtaking swimsuit model that makes me forget whatever he did earlier in the morning. Whoever his wife is must be as much as eye candy as he is. “Hello?” Tim says as he snaps me out of my train of thought.
I shake his hand that I left hanging for awhile meanwhile I got lost in those pearly white teeth and those sparkling hazel eyes. “Yeah nice to meet you too.” I say fast as I fidget and look for something to do because I feel myself staring at him for too long. “Okay so let’s get started, what’s the reason you’re filing for a divorce?”
“We argue a lot, and well um she you know cheated on me.” Tim says without even looking up at me.
“Do you have proof?” I ask while trying not to sound pushy because as handsome as this man is he is hurting, it makes me even feel guilty for even checking him out. I can’t help myself, Tim was blessed with some godly genes.
“Yes I do, but she doesn’t know I went through her phone.” Tim says in a low voice almost a whisper as if he was embarrassed of his actions. I sigh and it was little louder than what I expected it to be, and for the first time since we introduced ourselves we make eye contact. “What was that for?” Tim asks
“Nothing, I was just thinking earlier this morning about how technology ruins relationships nowadays.” I say meanwhile typing on my computer not daring to look at Tim because I might just start drooling like when a kid sees candy.
“I guess in a way it does but it’s most of our decisions that ruin a relationship.” Tim says as he carefully examines me. I can feel his stare and I try not to blush, so I do what I do best, an excuse.
“I um have to go to the bathroom.” I mutter meanwhile I struggle to get off my chair, so much for a sly excuse. I leave and start making my way to the bathroom when I hear my name, it’s Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson has been one of my many successful divorce clients, but I have been avoiding him ever since he asked me out. As a person who has been in this whole divorce attorney field for about two years I know not to engage in any type of relationships with clients because I would just be their rebound.
“Hello Mr. Wilson nice to see you, how are you?” I ask in my professional voice I use in court as I make my way back to my office to avoid further conversation.
“Hey Steph, have you thought about the whole date thing?” Mr. Wilson asks as I open to the door to my office. It’s so pushy I might just yes to get this whole thing to get it over with, but I can’t let him win. I never lose not in a trial nor in my life will I let someone push me around and pressure me to things I don’t want to do.
“Yes in fact, after giving it some thought I prefer not to go on a date with you at all since you recently divorced it would make me your ‘rebound’.” I say as I keep eye contact with him to let him know I’m being serious. His blank stare and mouth wide open as if he was going to say something but lost any knowledge of words. “If you can please close the door on your way out? I’m in the middle of a session.”
“You’re missing out.” Mr. Wilson says in a way that reminds me of the same way Martha reminds me in the mornings when I’m late, like he knows it all.
“I bet I am.” I snap back at him rapidly like I had been expecting his response. Mr. Wilson then storms out and slams the door on his way out, just like a bratty five year old kid when he doesn’t get what he wants. No wonder his wife couldn’t stand him.
“Does that happen often?” Tim asks as I make my way to my desk.
“You see it does happen often, but never as pushy as this guy.” I reply.
“Well if people ask you out as much as you check me out, then you must have a lot of guys waiting in line.” Tim replies with a smirk. I can not believe what I just heard. I feel my face getting red and my mouth opening. What do I say? What should I do? I’ll just leave the country and start all over again, it’s okay no one will notice. No I’m a grown woman I should not be thinking like a high school girl. “Don’t worry I’m way over my ex and you won’t be my rebound if that’s your concern. So let’s go.”
“Wait what? Go where? What’s going on?” I reply meanwhile my brain is trying to figure what in the world is going on. Tim is just an unpredictable person and I can’t seem to keep up.
“For a smart independent attorney you sure have a lot of questions.” Tim replies as he starts getting up from his chair. “On a date, C’mon let’s go.” Tim whispers as he’s opening my office door, and I can’t help but follow right behind him.
“I don’t date any of my clients, it’s unprofessional.” I whisper right behind Tim who will probably not hear since he’s a foot taller than me and I’m wearing heels.
He turns his head to see me right over his shoulder, “are you telling me that or to yourself?” Tim says as the right side of lip starts curling up, and I can’t help but just think I’m telling myself that. I’m not the type of person to do this. I go to sleep at 9:30 and have a schedule, my life is lived in a routine and I make sure to keep it that way. As crazy as this whole situation was I would be lying if I said that I didn’t like it. After all this was Manhattan and love was always in the air.
The milky hot chocolate is just enough to make my stomach tingle and those five seconds of joy are cut too soon.