The Sugar Quill
Author: S. Gwendolyn (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Retrospection  Chapter: Chapter 2 - What Dreams May Come
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Chapter Two—What Dreams May Come

Chapter Two—What Dreams May Come

Susy shivered as she walked through the door.  It’s just my nerves, she thought.  The room was much larger than she was expecting.  It looked more like the entire size of her home than an office.  It was wallpapered white with lush white carpeting, but was contrasted by large black walnut furniture upholstered in black leather.  There were some armchairs and a sofa in one corner opposite of the large glass table that was long enough to easily fit a dozen or more people around it.  There were several doors leading off of this main room.  Carefully walking a few paces through the remains of what had been an expensive vase, Susy saw through two of the open doors that there was a library as well as a bedroom, from which a stunningly beautiful woman emerged.

“Do be careful.  That vase fell just before you came in,” the woman lied.  “I’ll have someone clean it up in the morning.  Ms. Blake, please sit down.”  Her voice was like chocolate silk—smooth and elegant, but a bit too sweet to be used in ordinary circumstances.  Susy made her way to one of the armchairs feeling very inadequate.  She didn’t feel she was dressed well enough to be in a room like this.  The woman, whom she assumed to be Ms. Rouselore, was dressed in a short black evening gown with her blonde hair done up in a French twist.  Susy fiddled with her French braid and straightened her long denim skirt as she sat down, placing her newspaper full of work on the floor.  Why couldn’t I have stopped at my desk and dropped these off? she thought angrily, they certainly don’t belong in a place like this.

Ms. Rouselore sat across from Susy in the other armchair. “I suppose that you’re wondering why I asked you here, Ms. Blake.”

“Yes, I am,” Susy replied, trying to add confidence to her voice.

“Well, let me get straight to the point.  I hate chitchat during business meetings.  I was reviewing some of the personnel files last week when I ran across yours.  You are extremely overqualified for the position that you currently have.  And I intend to rectify that...”

Completely to her surprise, Susy found herself blurting out, “Please, Ms. Rouselore.  Don’t fire me.  I really need this job!”

Nonplussed at the outburst, Ms. Rouselore paused a moment before saying, “My dear girl, I have no intention of firing you.  I intend to give you a new position and a much overdue raise.”

Out of all the possible reasons or rumors for coming to Ms. Rouselore’s office that Jarett had suggested earlier, this was not close to any of them.  Ms. Rouselore stood up and started for the large glass table on the other side of the room.  She sat at the head of the table, motioned for Susy to sit near her, and started flipping through some file folders.  Susy saw that they contained all of her records of her short time of employment at the Salt Lake Times.

“Do you have any pets, Ms. Blake?”

Susy was confused by the question and sudden change of conversation, but answered, “Yes.  I have a cat.”

“Does it mind traveling?”

“Um...I’m not sure.  I’ve never taken her anywhere,” Susy replied, wondering where the conversation was going.

“Well, most casts don’t mind too much.  Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Mind traveling, Ms. Blake.”

“Oh.  Um...no?”  She didn’t mind the commute to work too much, if that’s what she meant.

“Well, that settles it.  We leave in the morning.”

As her confusion continued to grow, Susy found herself saying, “I don’t mean to be rude, but what’s all settled?  Where are–uh–we going?”

London.  I need a travel assistant.  Your personnel records indicate that you’re the best qualified to get along with my temperament.  I also want my life story written and published.  I see that you majored in journalism in college and I believe that you’ll do your best.  I’ve made sure that your house payments will be taken care of and your supervisor will be notified immediately of the situation.  I don't believe that you have any relations that need to know if you leave town, do you?”

The initial shock was just now beginning to wear off.  She was going to London–tomorrow. “Um…no.”

“Well, it looks like everything is going to work out perfectly.  I’ll have a taxi pick you up tomorrow at 8:00 AM.  The flight leaves at 9:30.  Any questions before you leave?”

“Yes.  How long are we going to be gone and what do I need to wear and pack and...is this a dream?  Because if it is, I’m really going to hate waking up!”

Ms. Rouselore grinned.  “This is not a dream.  I’m just a tool in making your dreams come true.  Now, pack what you hold dear as well as comfortable clothing.  I’ll take care of anything that you don’t have.  I expect to be gone for a few months, but depending on the amount of fun—” she paused, “we’re having, that could change.  Anything else?”

“No.  Thank you.”  Susy couldn’t help beaming.  This was the last thing she had expected: writing professionally, being published, and traveling to England.  But as she stood up she realized that there was something else.  “Ms. Rouselore, why me?  Not that I’m complaining, but I’m sure there are several writers who are more qualified than I am.”

“Let’s just say that from what I can see from your files, you remind me a lot of myself.  Someone once gave me the opportunity to prove myself, and I thought it was time to pass along the favor. And as you will soon learn, I like doing things my own way.  Now, I’ve got some things I need to finalize before we leave.  I’ll see you at the airport tomorrow.”

Susy shook hands with Ms. Rouselore, retrieved her newspaper-covered papers and left the office.  Charlie must have left, because the elevator was empty.   Making a quick stop at Jarett’s desk, Susy scribbled a note.


Jarett~


I’ve got a new position, but I don’t have time to write about it just now.  I’m leaving for
London in the morning, but I promise to write more once we are settled.


~Susy

It was short, but it would have to do.  She knew that if she didn’t go out to unbury her car now from the newly fallen snow, she might not find it until she returned from England.  If only she had been able to find a parking spot that wasn't four blocks away!

//
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