Instead of spending quality time with their mom, Katie dropped Carmen first off at the mall. Both she and Heidi waved as Carmen ran off to join her friends at the entrance to the mall. Driving to Heidi’s friend house, Katie and Heidi struck up a conversation about the gossip of her and Carmen’s middle school; enticing Katie with the idle gossip that her daughters had to endure day-to-day.
Before leaving the car Heidi lingered “Hey mom,” Heidi called, stepping out of the car and closing the door behind her. “I was admiring your bracelet; it’s really pretty, all my friends would be so jealous! Did Dad give it to you?” she commented, speaking through the window. Katie was lost for words; Heidi was more observant of her surroundings than Carmen was and guilt settled in, how could she tell her budding young daughter, her pride and joy, that in actual fact mommy was having an affair, and this is the gift her lover so graciously bought for her. Katie just nodded and beamed “Mmm, Enjoy your day hunny.” Katie drove on hoping that with the windows down the breeze would flow through the car enough to clear her head from what she had almost encountered with her daughter.
She felt sick to her stomach. She couldn’t believe that her daughter had asked her about the gift, how foolish of her to wear it in the first place! Katie glanced at the offensive gleaming bracelet that hang loosely around her wrist accompanying the other gift that he had given her, she was usually more careful with concealing the overgenerous gifts he buys her mostly because it makes her feel cheap, as if he was buying her for her favours a cheap expensive harlot.
She thought she would call and maybe thank him for the presents, but then decided against it and drove on. Taking a form of self-pity she decided to go to the shooting range and let out her stress by shooting floating placards, a pastime she usually enjoyed in the company of her partner Tom, but with the anger and resentment bubbling up inside of her at this precise moment she was more than grateful to endure the exercise alone.
The shooting range was on the other side of town. If she went in that direction she would be going pass his offices, changing her mind about the shooting range, she drove in the direction of downtown also near his offices, to visit her partner Tom at the precinct and quickly pulled right towards the exit of her mystery lover’s exit, crossing and cutting across people parallel to her lane. She had been thinking about him a long time sub-consciously and decided it was now or never. She needed to be calm and collected, and think logically if this was ever going to work he had always had this sort of confused effect on her, even in the beginning, because love or infatuation as she thought of it was always blinding. She bucked up the courage and drove on to personally thank the kind man who posted her such a wonderful package.
Her daily downtown drive consisted of the same highway, particularly clear this sunny day. She drove down the highway with the radio up two smidges higher than she normally would have, blazing through the speakers “Love is a battle field” by Pat Benatar, singing as loud as she could reliving the days of her precious childhood and trying not to focus on the task that laid ahead of her.
Signalling to come off at the exit specified for downtown properly this time, she decided to call the twins on their cell phones just to check in, to make sure they were both ok and to make sure Heidi’s suspicions had died down.
“Mom!” both twins cut in
“Lindsay let me have that dress you wor…”
“Mom, you’d never guess what! My crush, Nathan who I was telling you about asked me out on a date!”
“Oh wow” she laughed “I take it you two are both fine then”
“Yes!” they chorused.
“Heidi, I hope that dress is below the knees! And Carmen, tell me more about Nathan when you come home!”
Having been satisfied with their answers she hung up on the three-way conversation and turned into the car park, dismissing the valet and taking a ticket.
Taking the key out of the ignition, Katie stopped to admire the bracelet one more time; she looked at the time on her watch and rang Malcolm’s office.
Malcolm was Katie’s boyfriend in college and her now part-time lover. He had a 4.0 GPA average and was valedictorian of his class; he was on a fast track to becoming the most sought after graduate in criminal Law. Having had a rough childhood and a poor upbringing he chose to study law in retaliation of his past, witnessing unofficial proceedings of the police with his cousins who were practically raised on the streets and losing a brother to gang culture was a good enough reason to study and educate himself to find freedom. He decided to be on the right side of the criminal justice system rather than the wrong side. So, when a law firm in London approached Malcolm with more than 3 zero’s on the pay check it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Until he had decided to take the Job in London to become a junior executive, Katie and Malcolm, were engaged. They were both inseparable, anyone who knew them could see they were two souls with one heart. When Katie, entered Malcolm’s life, it was life changing for him. It was as if all the pain and suffering he had to endure throughout his life had stopped. When he finally confessed to her how bad a childhood he had on their 11 month anniversary, a secret he didn’t bear to just anyone - she told him exactly how proud she was of him to become the success that he is, and it was then, that precise moment, that the shackles around Malcolm’s heart unlocked and began to truly love Katie with every piece of his body that was possible – he was so consumed by love. And it was that night he proposed.
Malcolm always spent money on Katie he sometimes couldn’t afford, always calling out on favours that his cousins could possibly pull for him, something he thought was necessary in order to keep the one he truly loved in his life. Everything was perfect in both their lives, until the night Malcolm told Katie he was offered a job in London.
It was at Beluchi’s a hit Italian restaurant on Western Avenue, and they were booked in the normally packed restaurant curtsy of Malcolm and his many contacts. Malcolm had pulled out all the stops, their own intimate booth, roses, candles, a chilled bottle of the restaurants finest champagne and a pre-ordered menu on the way. Katie was wondering how Malcolm was going to pay for it, but dismissed it because she was intoxicated by just being in his presence. He had ordered a traditional Italian chicken dish for Katie and a plate of oysters for himself, as they sat eating and drinking – soaking in the atmosphere of the restaurant and the love that flowed between the both of them electrically. She started stroking Malcolm’s leg, hoping to make sure that he knew where this was heading after their meal. Malcolm smiled, put down an empty oyster shell, mopped his upper lip with the napkin and placed his hand gently in Katie’s.
“Katie, I have something to tell you – it’s huge for me but I don’t know what it means for us”
She smiled encouragingly, looking deeply into his eyes, “tell me”
He cleared his throat. “I got a job offer in…”
“Omg baby that’s great!”
“Let me finish Katie”
He paused. “I got a job offer in London and I accepted it”
Katie’s smile disappeared; she wanted to join in his excitement, but the thought of losing him was unbearable. Her hand slid from his and she rubbed her shoulders as if she were cold, pondering her next move.
“I’m happy for you.” She managed to say past the tears lodged in her throat
“When do you leave?”
“At the end of the month”
“So soon…” she lingered
“Maybe” she thought suddenly “I can come with you” she beamed ecstatically feeling foolish she didn’t think of it before. Malcolm smiled, “I was thinking that, but wouldn’t you want to finish college?”
“Yes, but I could transfer to a college in London and continue my studies there!” she thought on her feet putting the puzzle quickly together.
“Or we could just try a long-distance relationship?”
“But I won’t get to see you”
“Of course you will” he laughed “I will pay for your plane tickets personally to come and visit me, and we could spend plenty of time together!”
“Ok, I guess that could work too”
And the subject was never picked up again.
The first six months Malcolm was in London, Katie went to visit him. They spent 3 days just cooped up in Katie’s hotel room, reconnecting and remembering each others body from the time that was lost in-between. They abused room service and watched sunrise and sunset from their window. The rest of the days Katie had left in London, they went sight-seeing all around London, picking up little trinkets and gifts for friends and families back home. Malcolm left Katie outside of a coffee shop and told her to wait for him. He put his hands over her eyes,
“Um, Denzil Washington?”
“Close, keep guessing!” Katie swivelled around in his arms and pecked him on the lips; he smiled down and presented her with a box.
“What’s this?” she asked innocently.
“Why don’t you open it and find out?” he smirked
“Yes sir” she saluted, and opened the box. Inside was a pair of earrings with tear-dropped shaped pearls.
She gasped. “Malcolm! You shouldn’t have”
“Yes I should, it’s your leaving present. I didn’t want you going home empty handed, whenever you wear it you can think of me” he lingered.
Katie didn’t think anything of it but proceeded to put them in her ears. “Thank you” she smiled.
Malcolm dropped her off of at the airport, and they kissed one last time “I love you” they both whispered and Katie disappeared into the terminal.
It was the last time they saw of each other.
It was the disappearance of Malcolm that motivated Katie to change her major from English to forensic science to help track Malcolm down.
Having moved back to Chicago in the winter from living in Europe he hoped to rekindle the affair. He thought by showering her with gifts, a thing George had stopped doing since they got married, this would somehow have her back in his arms, as he sat comfortably in his revolving leather chair looking out of his fully glassed office which he received on becoming partner, he stood up and stretched as he watched Chicago’s hustle and bustle from the 13th floor, he was feeling lucky and asked Margo his secretary to hold all his calls as he had a feeling someone was going to pay him a visit, as his cell phone began to ring.
Hanging up the phone, Katie quickly tried to do something fancy with her hair, and re-applied her lipstick. Pulling down her casual shirt covering her stretch marks that she was trying to get rid of and the semi-flat belly she tried 12 years trying to flatten again.
Stepping out of the elevator into one of the offices in the complex, the plush air-conditioned lounge greeted her with a cool breeze, after coming in from the deadly heat global warming was producing in Chicago today.
Taking in the scenery of ‘Williamson & Williamson’ she walked to the desk and asked Margo a loyal and jealous friend to her boss, to see if he would accept her visit. Margo hesitated to let her through, and eventually pushed aside her personal issues with Katie and became the good secretary Malcolm had always believed she was. Margo watched as Katie walked in through the double glass doors and envied everything about her, she touched her hair and thought she needed to make a hair appointment with Michael straight away.
Politely knocking the door, and hearing his strong masculine voice, she entered the plush environment.
“3 hours and 47 minutes, a new record” was what greeted her when she walked in. “What took you so long to come and personally thank me for my gift?” Katie smiled and sat down on the leather sofa which lined the wall of the office, she crossed her legs and she thought of how to answer his question, she thought about his question over again, but couldn’t help but glance at the male figure standing in front of her; his muscular face just the right shade of caramel brown, she heard about gorgeous black men but she never thought she would see one of them; her eyes traced down his body, gazing at every stitch and button in his dark blue jacket that complemented his skin colour quite sexily.
Malcolm smiled and licked his lips for moisture and stood in front of Katie as he caught her of guard day dreaming and waited for her reply. “I er... had a lot of things on my mind” she replied as she snapped out of her thoughts, he flashed that gorgeous smile again at her with those pearly white teeth and at once she melted like butter, realising that he was seducing her just by looking at her, she gathered her things and headed for the door. “Malcolm, thanks again for the bracelet” she just managed to make sound audible.
She quickly burst through the office doors trying to leave as quickly as possible before he said something that would make her stay.
Malcolm stood in his office still mentally playing the image of Katie, having not seen her for 2 days, he knew she knew that he was mentally undressing her and she didn’t want to act upon her whims so he hurriedly went to go check if she was at the elevators.
After rushing out of his office, Katie waited for the elevator to come up, noticing that the elevator was on the 3rd floor and she was on the 13th, she took the stairs knowing that Malcolm would soon come to see if she was waiting for him. She got to her car and exhaled, she had got to stop taking cases with gorgeous men. She just sat in her car breathing deeply, picking up the phone she called George.
“George, I’m coming to your office”