Latest Event Updates
The Office Wife, Issue 3
The Office Wife, March 11, 2017, Issue 3, Olivia Gaines
Manigault Hurley, R & D
A quiet Tuesday morning ensued as Vicki made coffee in the breakroom for whichever members of the board who were in the office that day. Although the suggestion box requested, almost daily, the purchase of one of those machines with the little pods, it was not economical to purchase so many expensive packages, to make one cup of coffee at a time. Besides, the pods left a medicinal taste on her tongue. It wasn’t as if she were a coffee purist, but there was no reason to ruin a good cup of Joe, with a plastic cup of ground nonsense.
Speaking of nonsense, Vicki checked her inbox to find five invitations for lunch from Konnie with a K who had an unnatural fascination with personal organizers and Washi tape. Twice in the last two days, Vicki found stickers with Washi tape in her office mail box. Konnie was like a naughty little cat who liked to leave dead treats on your pillow. There was something odd about the young temp in a not so good way. The Washi tape felt like little dead bodies in coils of bright colors left for her to see every other day. To make matters worse, somehow, Konnie found out today was her birthday.
A roll of Washi tape with little balloons and cakes sat on her desk with a card, when opened spit out a puff of multi-colored confetti. It was all over her desk. By the time lunch rolled around, Vicki’s futile attempts to rid herself of the meddlesome colorful dots only resulted in confetti in her hair and stuck to her neck and face. Taneeka, her office best friend of only a month, sent her a text message with an image of her face, frozen in laughter.
Vicki’s phone binged. It was another text with an image from Taneeka.
This image was of her nose, taped upwards, Miss Piggy style with a bright strip of Washi tape. It was comical. However, it wasn’t as comical as the image of Manigault Hurley, standing in front of her desk dressed like a character from Monty Python.
“Allow me, Ms. Lawrence, to take you to lunch on this special day of your birth,” he said with his lips pressed together as if her were holding in a wad a slobber and a chunk of peanut butter in his cheeks like a deranged chipmunk.
“Thank you Mr. Hurley, but I can’t today,” she tried backing away from the offer.
“Nonsense,” he said, leaning back rubbing his little flat stomach. “It is your birthday. If you don’t have plans, and based on that lunch bag, I can only assume you don’t, then allow me to treat you to a lovely lunch at my club.”
He was right. Her lunch bag held left over take out from the Chinese restaurant around the corner from her house, which always had too many onions, which gave her horrific gas. She didn’t want to eat what was in her bag any more than she wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon finding discrete places to poot.
“Come, it will be grand. My driver will take us over to the club, you can order whatever you want, and I will have a lovely cake ordered just for your special day,” Manigault told her.
He seemed like a nice man who reminded her of Grandpa Lawrence. She hoped he didn’t have the same sense of humor though. Her Grandpa Lawrence, for fun, enjoyed taking his teeth out in church to make lewd gestures with his tongue to the ladies in the choir, but he never followed up on any of his suggestive behaviors. She prayed Manigault was the same way.
“Sure, it would be nice to join you for lunch on my birthday. I am certain you are going to make this a day to remember,” she responded.
“No, I am going to treat you to a good meal,” he told her with an expressionless face.
Vicki was just crossing into the three-month mark at American Conglomerate. Thus far, based on what she’d seen, clicks and grouplings were formed, but Manigault stood out from the crowd. He was a man of what appeared to be impeccable breeding, ridiculously good taste paired with a reputation without flaw. From what she could gather, his private life, was indeed very private. His desk held no personal photos, momentous, only documentation of his life at American Conglomerate.
“Perfect, I will meet you downstairs at my car at 11:45, please don’t be late,” he cautioned.
Vicki looked down at her watch. It was 11:15. She had thirty minutes to prepare herself for what she knew was going to be a drawn-out conversation on his bug collection from New Guinea or worse, a long-winded montage on the down fall of the black man. This was usually followed by an invitation to make her life easier by offering her a key to his love pad downtown, or worse, a tiny ranch house in the Valley right below Rancho Cucamonga. Suddenly her appetite waned the same moment her desk phone rang. It was Taneeka.
“Hey!” She said to Vicki.
“Hey back,” she said slowly.
“Happy Birthday,” Taneeka said quickly. “Drinks on me after work if you can make it.”
“If it is close by at a local watering hole and on my way home, I could sip on something to cut the edges off my glitter infused morning,” she replied.
“Just don’t sip or suck on anything during lunch. I heard old men give you bugs,” Taneeka joked.
“I think he is just being nice, considering he knows no one else on this floor or team is going to do anything for my special day,” Vicki mumbled.
“You never know,” Taneeka said. “No seriously, you never know, he could be taking you out to set you up for the old rope a dope.”
“As in…a surprise on my desk when I get back?”
“No, he is going to show you that an old stove still has a hot pipe,” she told Vicki.
“Just when I started to like you a little,” Vicki chided.
“Well, hurry up. Manigault hates it when people are late plus, I am dying to find out what this lunch thing is about,” she said.
“Okay…whatever, have fun at my painful expense,” she said before saying goodbye and ending the call.
At least I get a decent meal out of it. Hurrying to the ladies to room to take care of her necessities, she washed her face, fluffed her hair and applied a little lipstick before heading to the first floor. Manigault had said driver. She failed to ask what his driver would be driving. Once she stepped out of the door, she quickly saw.
The classic Bentley was manned by a very large Asian gentleman who remined her of the James Bond villain with the bowler hat that could decapitate a man. I wish I could remember the villian’s name. Her fingers involuntarily went to her neck, caressing the soft skin. The door was opened for her as she tugged a little on the red dress she chose to wear this morning, even considering it was bordering on too little for her curvy body. The dress made her feel pretty even if on the inside, she felt like sludge. The three-inch heels added a bit of height to her frame, as she slid her bottom into the car seat first, swinging well-toned legs around to face the front. Manigault appeared to be pleased. It was more of a move to protect her modesty from the eyes of the driver. He didn’t need to see the hot red lacy undies.
“Thank you for joining me,” Manigault told her.
“It is I who should be thanking you,” she said sweetly.
He only nodded, pulled out his phone, and began to make notes in a pocket note book as they drove to the Lakeside Country Club in Burbank. The drive was short, his body was tense as the car came to a stop in front of what looked like the main entrance. His glasses came down from his face.
“Wait for me to come escort you,” he said.
The driver opened his door first. Manigault inhaled sharply, exhaling what sounded like frustration as he stood, leisurely walking around the car to open Vicki’s door. A well-manicured hand reached inside the car asking for her to join him. Luckily, she’d just gotten a mani and pedi herself as her hand slid into his, coming out of the car, to stand at his side. He wrapped her arm into his as they made their way into the main building.
Vicki learned something new about Manigault that day. She found out that he was Hollywood royalty. Everywhere he turned, people were bending over to almost kiss his ass. He held his head high, walking as if he didn’t see any of the little people as they passed making their way to a private dining area. This pushed Vicki to do the only thing she knew to do, play along. Whatever was happening here was in the now. She was being audition for a role she wasn’t certain she wanted to play.
Over lunch of rock crab claws, something drenched in champagne, and a dollop of mashed potatoes, she said nothing as they ate in silence. On occasion, she would look up at him in well placed intervals and smile. His face did not move the first time she did it. The second time she smiled at him, she added a wink.
It got a reaction out of him.
Brief, but small, Manigault’ s eyes smiled back at her.
Three young men, all waist staff, were gawking at them all throughout lunch. Someone snapped a photo which infuriated Manigault to no end, who raised his hand, and three managers materialized like ghostly apparitions awaiting his bidding.
“My lady friend and I value our privacy. Whoever it was who snapped the photo, I know you will assure me it will not be seen anywhere?” He asked the manager as he got to his feet. He held out his hand for Vicki to come to his side in a show of outrage by the staff’s actions.
“Of course, Mr. Hurley, we will take care of it,” the manager lied.
Vicki held his arm, lips pouting out like an upset child, looking at the manager. In a childlike voice, she asked him, “Manigault, they are not going to sell our pictures to the papa-pazzi are they?”
“Paparazzi dear,” he said to her.
“Oh yeah. Pappa-prazzi,” he said trying to mimic him.
Manigault looked at the manager, “See that they don’t.”
Vicki, to add fuel to the fire, pushed up on her right breast with her hand, as if to shift its attention toward the door as she took Manigault’ s arm squeezing it for support, she held her head high and walked out the door. She added a bit more swish to her hips, stomping her feet like a runway model until they reached the car.
Bottom in first, she swung her legs around as the driver closed her door. She waited patiently for Manigault to entered the other side of the car, turning to face her with a gigantic grin on his face. Vicki shuddered. In three months’ time, she’d never seen him so happy.
“Mr. Hurley, you do know that photo is going to be everywhere by 6 am. It will be all over social media and every one will be trying to figure out who I am,” she said to him. “It never dawned on me that you were the Manigault Hurley.”
“One and the same. I love my job at American Conglomerate and I am very good at it. I allow my family to handle the Hollywood stuff and I make public appearances with unknown pretty girls on my arm to keep the family’s name in the papers,” he said.
He’d told her enough, she understood.
“How many country clubs do you belong to?”
“Unfortunately, four. I visit one each week,” he said. “I love the months with five weeks because then I get a break.”
Vicki started to smile.
“Why are you grinning?”
“Because, if I get three nice wigs, I get a free lunch at an exclusive country club for the rest of the month,” she said with a wink.
“You’re good,” he told her with a larger smile.
“I thought you’d get a kick out of my Papa-pazzi comment,” she grinned.
“That was a nice touch,” he said patting her hand.
The drive back to the office passed in silence until they reached the front door of American Conglomerate. Manigault touched her hand.
“Ms. Vicki, you are a very astute young woman. I trust the details of our day will be kept in confidence?”
“Mr. Hurley, in my current position, everything I see, touch, feel or understand goes to my grave.”
“So, this is safe with you?”
“It will be as safe as the three wigs you hide under the driver’s seat for the next few Tuesdays,” she said, as she opened her door and stepped out into the Burbank sun.
Vicki did not see Hurley for the remainder of the day, but at 4:45, she’d trained her body to hold on, to make that last stop to the ladies’ room before she headed out at 5:10 each day to sit in traffic trying to get home. She returned to her desk to find a cupcake along with small black box on her desk with a diamond ring, nothing flashy, but classy in all the right ways. It had a simple note in bold script.
Keep it in your drawer for our once monthly first Tuesday outings. Enjoy your birthday. – Hurley
She’s passed the test. Whatever the test was, in Manigault’ s eyes, she’d passed it with flying colors. Once monthly outings. So once a month, on the first Tuesday, she was having lunch or making the rounds with him. Uncertain, yet sure as the corn on her left toe aching when it rained, she had just become something special and significant for Manigault.
Oddjob. That was the Bond character’s name with the bowler hat!
She’d been given an odd job herself. Once a month she would wear a pretty dress, don the ring and escort him on his rounds to ensure he got his name and the family brand on a social network site. Eyeing the ring a final time before securing it, she stood up and stuck it into the office safe for the next first Tuesday of next month. However, right now, she was ready to have a drink, celebrate her day of birth first with Taneeka, then her friends at home.
Vicki shrugged. Technically, Taneeka would be the third person she celebrated with since Konnie had been the first. Either way, it sure beat spending her birthday alone. In her heart, she knew much of his private life, he’d spent that way. If lunch or an outing once a month took some of the pressure off him to be a certain something for his family, she could do that for him.
Everybody needs some body.
She had just become a somebody for Manigault Hurley.
Oddly, I am okay with that.
This is an interesting character for me to write. I think you guys are going to love this novel and the way the story unfolds for Naima and Derrick Jackson, best known throughout the world as DJ Most, a famous R & B crooner.
Unlike most of the female characters I write who are looking for a life change and someone to fall in love with, Naima is the opposite. She doesn’t want to fall in love.
She doesn’t even want a relationship.
She is a flirt.
Her career is everything to her.
The idea of a family is not on her radar and she has not interest in having children. The woman doesn’t even like dogs. She doesn’t want one of those either.
However, Derrick has subtle way of changing her mind about life, love and the possibility of a future with him.
This is a rich story with full bodied characters who understand not only where they are in life, but more importantly, where they don’t want to go, or rather end up. In Two Nights with You, a chance encounter half way around the world, becomes a spark to very hot flame, which neither can deny.
Derrick give her courage to make a life change.
Naima give him courage to change his life.
In the end, two nights just may turn into a lifetime.
Come fall in love with me; the best is yet to be.
Have you ever wanted to simply get away from it all?
Yeah, me too. I have a new project with to dynamic authors.
The three of us are old college pals who have lied to each other about keeping in touch. As close friends, we haven’t done a really great job, but we have an idea. We are going to form a travel club.
Two nights, twice a year, we get together.
You know. To get away from it all.
My character, Naima Russell has a very powerful and affluent friend who just happens to have a plane. Ronald Geffen, a music industry God, has a trip scheduled to Tahiti, but unfortunately, his schedule has a last minute conflict, and he can’t make it. Naima can.
She invites her two good friends, Leah and Yuri.
That is all I am going to tell you for right now. The novels don’t come out until September, but you can pre-order it here for only $.99. The actual book price will be $3.99.
Sooooo….this is the hotel we are staying at in Tahiti.
I know, so amazing. I started looking for things our characters can do while we are on the island for two days. This is what I came up with…I think you are going to like it. No, I am not going to tell you which of these adventures we partake in.
Surf Lessons. Then I saw the surf. #NOPE
Maybe something a bit more tame, like hiking. This is nice and I won’t drown.
This looks cool until I thought about Steve Irwin. #nope
I believe this is more my speed. Hmm…wine or Corona? That’s the hardest decision I want to make; not should I die after this wave bitch slaps me or will that dolphin want to mate with me.
OMGEEEE, I just inked. Post card.
The one on the left, his name is Whan-Na Com En LeiMe. #surethingpal Food is always good. Besides, there are no dishes to wash. Just a piece of fruit on a leaf. Maybe I will pull some leaves off the Magnolia in my yard and pass out ribs at the next cook out. here ya’ go!
Fine dining is good too! I don’t know what that is, but I want some. There is chocolate and nuts. I ‘m good.
We can get all romantic and stuff.
Or I can just be driven around in a 4 x 4.
Either way, I can’t wait to spend Two Nights with You in Tahiti…maybe one more stop. I will let you know.
In my Kindle this month are some goodies.
Burned In Shadows (Shadow Unit Book 2) Kindle Edition
Royce Zarides has accepted his hand dealt by fate. He’s loved and left far too many women. In the bedroom that is. But one kiss from Belinda Raine Ignis was all it took for his eyes to open. Is she really the woman meant for him and his brother Ronin?
Or will history only repeat itself?
That’s the million dollar question he doesn’t want to answer. Ronin does not believe that Belinda is for him and his brother. But one night with her isn’t enough. Even when he sees her for who and what she really is, Ronin still has a hard time expressing his emotions where Belinda is concerned, and time is running out now that she’s to ascend to the status of Matria of the Phoenix Enclave. Belinda (Bells) Ignis is good at ignoring men. She’s had her share of heartache.
Jilted at the altar by her first love, she’s sworn all men off for good. Her mother and Matria of her community has other plans in mind, as well as the Zarides brothers. When faced with the heated glances of Ronin and the smooth tongue of Royce, what’s a girl to do?
The clock is ticking down for certain members of the Shadow Unit. Draven assumed dead, leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. Jes’ new found abilities make for a great addition to the team. But when things seem to settle, they only get worse, as the team sets out to discover the origins of Mr. Black and the notorious Red Sun Organization. Secrets are uncovered and deals are made that result in a deadly blow to all involved.
**This is a Multicultural PNR Erotic Romance** Menage, Light BDSM
Available in Kindle Unlimited
F**K Sugar Friday: A Sassy Little Guide to Supercharging Your Life by Saying “No” to Sugar One Day a Week Kindle Edition
In a (naturally sugar-free) nutshell, F**K Sugar Friday will:
- Help you easily reduce your sugar consumption
- Turn you into an informed sugar consumer
- Give you the structure and support you need to make eating less sugar a sustainable commitment
- Supercharge your life and health in ways that go beyond eating less sugar (I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for this—you’ll learn more in the book)
Best of all, it’s all built on a base of a little cursing and plenty of fun.
Are you ready? Wait—one more thing. Just so you know, I have a ton of experience with saying “no” to sugar. I’ll give you the details in the book, but trust me when I say I’ve got your back with this whole eat-less-sugar thing.
To supercharge your life by telling sugar “f**k you” (trust me, it deserves it)
March (In Her Shoes) Kindle Edition
In my Kindle this month are the following gems.
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming .
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.
Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.
Available in multiple formats, paperback, hardbound, audible, alternate retailers. Start here on Amazon.
Leave me a note if you are also watching the show.
An expensive real estate development is halted when contractors find an ancient relic. The State of Maryland insists archeologists must determine the historical value of the site before construction proceeds.
Frank Light, a famous archeologist, is sent by his university to study the site, a mudflat on an old farm. The relic appears to be part of an old ship but a local black pastor insists the site covers a graveyard for slaves.
As he works, Light changes from a stuffy well contented professor into a man searching for his honor. He and a fellow historian, a female former student, fight for the right to uncover and preserve a terrible mystery she considers “amazing.” When financial and racial interests terrorize them, they realize once the age old lesson in life, truth comes with a very high price in murder.
Slave Graves is the first book of the acclaimed River Sunday Romance Mystery series by Thomas Hollyday. The author’s unique Chesapeake voice once again gives us an exciting read about the people, their beliefs and legends, the animals and the grasping mud and black water wetlands of this mysterious American region. His other critically acclaimed novels include Magnolia Gods, Powerboat Racer, Gold, Terror Flower, China Jewel, and Easter Sunday.
Each book, introducing new memorable characters, retains the simple and beautiful lifestyle, history and beauty of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Powerful subjects such as freedom, atomic war, racism, religion, terror, sailing, and family love, are approached. Stories are insightful and well researched with technical expertise, humor, and fast moving action.
River Sunday Romance Mysteries are suitable for teen and older readers. They have no strong language and romantic descriptions are clean and suitable for family reading, discussion and enjoyment.
Thomas Hollyday has spent years working for animals rights. Part of the proceeds of his books goes to financing the research and maintenance of fresh drinking water resources for wildlife.
This book is Free on May 21, 2017
There are more opportunities than ever for starting a small business or side hustle. With so many options, how do you know which one to choose? You could pick the first idea you think of, but that could lead to stress and failure. Or maybe you need help coming up with any idea at all. Idea Craft can help! You will learn how to craft the perfect business idea for you! You are unique and your small business should be tailored to you. Whether you are looking for a side hustle to earn some extra income, or eventually want to earn a full-time income with your business, it all starts with the right idea.
How will you craft your perfect business idea?
You will begin by brainstorming the topic of your business. Next, you’ll work through some questions to help you understand your business personality. Then you’ll dive into understanding all the many types of businesses available. Finally you’ll craft that perfect small business idea!
Business Topic + Business Type = Your Perfect Business Idea!
This books is for you if . . .
-You want to discover an idea that will earn you extra income
-You need help coming up with side hustle ideas
-You have several small business ideas, but you need help finding the best small business idea
-You want to discover a simple business idea you can do from home
-You have limited time and need to discover realistic side hustle ideas
-You have a lot of time and need to discover a small business idea that can grow into full time income
-You are computer savvy
-You are not computer savvy
-Everyone looking for ideas to earn extra income in a way they enjoy!
This book is Free on May 21, 2017
***Please note: This standalone is a Paranormal love story. You have been warned. Romance and an HEA may ensue. It isn’t likely this will happen though.***
“… Once upon a time…”
Riley Sinclair wakes up in the same place every night- not in a bed, refreshed. No. She awakes in the woods -alone- as the sun peeks through an opening in them. To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend who was murdered (or was he?) keeps haunting her dreams, trying to commune with her.
Putting her best foot forward, taking the steps to move on, Riley is struggling. For every time she closes her eyes, Jerome is there.
When your curse is to be without the one you love, you do everything in your power to reverse it, right?
In dreams, he waits for her, hoping that she’ll see the truth and sleep sweetly.
This book is $2.99 on Amazon.
I would love to hear your positive comments.
The Office Wife, May 5, 2017, Issue 5, Olivia Gaines
Marjorie Hellman- Quality Control
Again, some evil, nefarious, heartless person stopped by the donut shop and picked up two dozen, sugar glazed circles of delight. Light, airy, and nearly melting in a warm mouth, the punctured circles of doom mean happiness on the lips but hell on the hips for all who partake in the accompaniment of morning coffee along with the heavenly treats. From what Vicki could discern from her team, a great number of them needed to spend a few hours in the company gym.
Instead, one by one they wandered in, pouring liquid cups of brain fuel as they collected one sugar coated circle, wrapped carefully in an American Conglomerate branded napkin, squirreling themselves away at their desks, nibbling away at the sugary treat. If she listened closely, she could almost hear them, like little chipmunks stuffing their cheeks with sugar, and chirping away about the course of the day. Very seldom did Vicki partake in the morning ritual since Summer was right around the corner and a red bikini had her name on it.
It wasn’t every day in which the well-skilled Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors had so much discipline. Most days, if she could get her hands on a bag of chips, an icy cold soda and a bag of peanuts, she considered herself as having eaten from all of the good groups. On days like that, Vicki made a point to have a large apple for dinner. She didn’t know if it kept the doctor away or not, but it kept her tummy placated. A hard lesson learned when she was 25 years of age about her empty stomach and horrific effects of peanuts on her body.
Knowing what to eat and what time to eat it had been a saving grace for her during a very difficult time in her life. Eating her way through her emotions resulted in oily, pimpled skin along with an expanding waistline. Lifestyle changes had been in order. A hard-fought battle ensued between her thighs and her mouth, but her thighs won. The rash on the inside of them from fat friction on her inner gams changed her eating habits quickly.
This was also the reason she wanted to take a chance and approached Marjorie Hellman, the board member who represented the quality control team. The first time she made a step towards her in the breakroom, she’d caught Marjorie stuffing extra donuts in her purse. Taneeka stopped her from saying anything.
“Pick your battles, Vicki. You have no right to approach that woman about her eating habits no more than I have the right to question you about your sex life,” Taneeka James, a board member representing the procurement department told her.
“Yes, but if I were about to drown, and eating one more donut, bear claw, or cinnamon roll was going to make me sink, you’d better say something,” Vicki replied.
“I know what you are seeing, but truthfully, it is none of your business,” Taneeka told her. “Honestly, if it were me, I would resent the hell out of you for saying anything at all.”
“If it were me and I was struggling with an addiction, as my friend, I would want you to at least try. Then, I would know you cared,” Vicki responded.
“Can’t I care from the privacy of my office?”
Vicki watched Taneeka’s face. Maybe she had a point. However, when a person was at the point of hoarding free donuts, someone, anyone, needed to step up and say enough.
“Maybe you are right,” Vicki said.
“I am right,” Taneeka told her.
For now, Vicki walked away and said nothing more.
The subject was brought up over lunch with Manigault. Each month, the eccentric heir and member of what could easily be labeled as Hollywood royalty, he took her to lunch, parading her about on his arm as if she were his latest honey. Vicki didn’t mind. She, in turn, received a really great lunch at a country club or some exclusive venue she normally, most likely would never be let inside to even clean the building.
Manigault was a gentleman who never had a hair out of place or a wayward facial expression. In the last two months, she’d begun to learn his tells. Each month, he also spoke more, allowing her more insight into his world and thoughts. In an effort to not waste so much food, he’d brought to the office a tray of petite fours, leftover from a function he’d attended the night prior.
Marjorie was the first one in the breakroom loading up a napkin with one treat in each color. By lunchtime, the entire tray was gone after the woman made four more trips, each time loading up a fresh napkin. Vicki felt something was wrong. There was no way she could be hungry, but emotionally eating due to some life change.
“My word,” Manigault said. “I do believe Ms. Hellman inhaled the entire petite four tray I brought in this morning.”
“Manigault, I want to help her, but I don’t know how, ” Vicki said.
“Place a ban on sugar in the break room,” he told her. “Bring in a fruit tray, and keep the breakroom loaded with fruits and veggies. It will deter the culprits who bring in all the sugary treats to stop doing so while encouraging Ms. Hellman to make better dietary choices.”
“Do you think that will work?”
He sat quietly for a moment, holding his steak knife. The normally stoic face, showing emotions as the thoughts he were having, displayed across his face.
“Vicki, do you have a gym membership?”
“I don’t have one right now,” she told him. “I sometimes come in early to use the company gym.”
“Good to know,” he said.
Manigault said nothing more to her over the meal as they continued dining in silence. She took on her normal role of looking at him in between bites with googly eyes of admiration, while staff members of the exclusive facility gawked at them. As she returned to the office, the token ring he’d given her to wear on their special outings was placed back in the office safe, until the next luncheon.
Several times she had been tempted to have the ring appraised and insured, but instead, she left it at the office secured in the company safe. Leaving it at work versus taking it home made her life easier in more ways than one. It would be difficult, to say the least, explaining the tokens given to her by Manigault after each luncheon date as she pretended to be the doxy in his life.
Vicki liked Manigault. He had a way about him that said he cared without banging a person over the head with his wealth. She truly appreciated although he didn’t talk much, but when he did, that the gentleman never talked down to her. That was worth its weight in gold in her opinion.
The next morning, in the break room, standing high and tall sat a banner, being installed by Nathan Ridgeway, a board member who represented consumer services. A colorful, truly delightful upright banner which encouraged each person to build a better you sat next to the counter which normally held donuts and goodies. The banner also promoted American Conglomerate’s new organic food line. Vicki didn’t care, as long as the team stopped bringing in so many sugary treats.
Marjorie stood in front of the signing looking sorely disappointed.
“Hello Ms. Hellman,” Vicki said, offering a genuine smile.
“Oh, hey,” Marjorie replied. “I guess, everyone is going to try and go healthy huh?” She said looking like a small child who just dropped her last lollipop. She eyed the banner with almost distastes in her mouth.
“It won’t be so bad,” Vicki said.
“Yeah, easy for you to say,” Marjorie said, turning to leave the break room. A second later she came back, grabbed one of the shiny apples from the bowl on the counter. Nathan Ridgeway added a second bowl with trail mix bars, small bags of nuts and cheeses and low carb snack bites. Marjorie grabbed two of each.
“Girl,” Taneeka said. “You lucky you didn’t sit your purse on that counter, she probably would have grabbed that too.”
“Unhappiness,” Vicki said to her office friend. “A person who eats like that is unhappy.”
“Hell, so am I, but I am not eating my way through my emotions,” Taneeka said.
“Then what are you doing since you are no longer shopping your way through your feelings?”
“Screwing,” she said with a flat expression. “My husband has never been happier.”
“See…you need to go on back to your office,” Vicki said with a smile.
“I’m just saying, Vicki. It is the best way to please two birds with one bone,” she told her winking and walking away. Taneeka used her hands to indicate a very large bone, her tongue poking between her teeth in a cheeky reference to the size of her husband’s happiness maker.
Taneeka didn’t seem unhappy.
Vicki pondered the idea as she walked back to her office. Endorphins. Exercise and sex release endorphins to get the brain to trigger the opiate sensors in the body. Marjorie’s sex life was none of her concern, but a good work out always made her feel better. It had also helped with her self-esteem during one of the lowest points in her adult life. Through exercise and getting back in school, Vicki was proud that her confidence level had come up enough to give her the courage to apply for her current position.
Confidence helped secured her new job.
Confidence would also help Marjorie.
But how do I convince her to go to the gym with me?
Manigault had the answer. On her desk were two certificates to an exclusive spa and fitness center close to the office. The package deal he’d given her included in one envelope, two sessions with a personal trainer. The other included a year’s worth of sessions with a personal trainer and nutritionist. Vicki slipped the gifts into the safe, leaving them for a day or so.
Two days later, after carefully looking about her home, she located two old photos of herself. Arriving at the office, she went to the break room to check supply levels. In the breakroom, stood Marjorie at the counter which formerly held sweet treats and pastries. Now, it only held part of her regrets, fresh fruit and snack packs of healthy goodies.
“I know right? I could really use a donut right now,” Vicki said under her breath.
Marjorie glanced at her sideways, giving her an eat shit and die you skinny little celery snacking heifer, look.
“It took me nearly two years, but I did it, Marjorie. I lost over a hundred pounds,” Vicki admitted. She laid a photo on the counter of the old her. The second photo of a shot of the back side of her along with the three asses which used to be attached to her body. One more picture was shared of a younger Vicki with three chins.
“How did you do this?” Marjorie asked, blinking back the tears.
“What is important was how I got there. After my mother’s death, I saw no reason to go on, so I ate my way through the pain until one day, everything on me hurt. I couldn’t completely wipe my own butt, and the thigh rash which hated me had become infected. So, I got my stinky butt up, turned on some tunes and I worked out. Then I gave up carbs, sugar, soda, and basically anything that had a taste. I will admit it was hard, but once I started losing, I never wanted to go back to this look ever again, not because of vanity, but my health. I was teetering on diabetes, my cholesterol levels were ridiculous and I didn’t feel good,” she confessed to Marjorie. “Plus I smelled.”
“I wouldn’t even know how to start to do something like this. I know I need to, but the stress, my husband Bobby who loves to cook fatty foods, my kids, this job…some days, I just try so hard to get through each hour. Most days, it is a struggle just to get up,” Marjorie said.
“Maybe this can help,” Vicki said handing her the envelope. “Granted, these were given to me by an admirer, and I thought I would share one with you if that’s okay?”
Marjorie’s eyes misted.
“You’re doing this because you feel sorry for me,” Marjorie said.
“No, I’m doing this because when I felt sorry for myself, no one came to my side and said they cared about me. I am doing this because I care about you. I see you are struggling with some personal issues and I don’t have any desire to get all up in your business, but I can be there for you by meeting you at the gym before work or during lunch, or after work,” Vicki said with a smile.
“Besides, I needed an excuse to buy some new workout clothes,” Vicki said with a wink. “Let me know when you want to get started.”
Turning she left the break room with Marjorie holding the envelope in one hand, the apple in the other.
“Vicki,” she called to her.
“Yes, Ms. Hellman?”
“Thanks for caring,” Marjorie said.
“We take care of each other here, Ms. Hellman. I can only hope that when I am struggling, that someone throws me a lifeline,” she said. Walking away, Vicki didn’t know what to expect, or if she would hear from Marjorie, but she did.
They started working out that Friday. It began slowly, but it began. Vicki offered no comments and limited the conversation to Netflix shows, and Marjorie responded. Finding a common ground on a new series, each workout, they spoke about characters in the shows they were learning to love.
Vicki enjoyed her workouts with Marjorie. As personal as the weight loss process could be, it was more enjoyable to talk to a lover of a good series plot than anything. It worked for them both.
A thank you card was left on the desk of Manigault with well-crafted penmanship scribbling out, “The lifeline came just in time. Thank you for seeing that I was drowning. – Marjorie.”
It didn’t take her long to add two and two after several sessions with the trainer and diet coach. Manigault’s name came up twice in the conversation. He’d bought the sessions. Marjorie didn’t care who bought them. She was simply grateful that two people noticed she was drowning and threw her a lifeline.
She couldn’t ask for anything more that genuine people who cared.
Wow, what a month it has been. I got this idea and I am so in love with the concept. I was playing around the colors on Photoshop and I took a look at the basic color spectrum of ROYGBIV.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet and thought hey, there are seven, what if I marry those colors to how I feel about the week.
Then, I pulled out my handy, dandy notebook and looked through some concepts I had. I thought about a Cinderella story in reverse.
- Take a really ugly man. Make him hairy.
- Add in a beautiful woman with surface beauty, but deeper issues.
- Have them meet in a bar.
- Throw in a ventriloquist doll.
Okay, good. We start it off kind of red hot on a Wednesday. We cover the meeting. The chemistry. Some steamy scenes, and a deep conversation. Let’s play with his insecurities and have her notice immediately.
She likes him.
Hell, I like him.
The story is going to be long. He needs to see her life and she needs to see his.
It’s too much detail to do in one shot, even in 100k words, so I break it up.
Violet. Tuesday. Okay good, he is heading to her world and she how she lives.
However, he has to meet and deal with her brother first. I need some time to build the relationship with her brother. I need their interaction to be intense, yet solid. Further, I need to deepen his connection to her, allow him to establish that you are the woman I want, but we have to work this out.
Okay, a couple of days in her world and she finds out more about him, but there is more to this man.
Her brother likes him, but also knows there is more to that man.
She needs to go to his world and find out more.
Bring in some yellow, make it a Friday and she meets his friends. She also see that house.
She can really see Scott, but the house brings up some very old and dark memories for Zelda changing the relationship a bit.
I like this series.
I hope you will too.
Head over to the website and voice your opinion on companies reducing your choices on the internet for their financial gain.
Jon Oliver has made it easier for you by creating a website http://gofccyourself.com but unfortunately, he has crashed the FCC’s site.
Three years ago, a fledgling late night program on HBO exploded into the mainstream when it tackled the net neutrality debate by crashing the FCC website. Why? Because Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, a former Daily Show correspondent, wanted concerned viewers to flood the Federal Communications Commission with their comments or complaints about attempts…