Sleeping with Her EnemyBy: Jenny Holiday
When Amy Morrison was left at the altar, she went to the office.
If this were a movie, she and her giant puffy dress would have hailed a cab to the airport and been on a beach at the beginning of the next scene. Or at the very least, the Hollywood version would have shown her and her bridesmaids defiantly boarding a city bus and then cut to them getting blitzed at a karaoke bar while they sang Taylor Swift “boys suck” anthems.
In fact, Taylor Swift would probably play her in the movie version of The Jilting: Toronto Edition. Everyone was always saying how much she resembled the pop queen. They shared the same blond hair, blue eyes, and penchant for vintage clothing and red lipstick. Once, Amy had even managed to talk her way into a club because the bouncer mistook her for Taylor. But the similarities were superficial. Amy didn’t even sing in the shower, she wasn’t creative, and instead of burning her way through half a dozen guys in as many years, she’d dated the same one for the past seven.
The one who, an hour before their wedding was to start, had come to her with tears in his eyes and apology written all over his face and told her he didn’t love her anymore.
If she were Taylor, she’d already be working on a kiss-off ditty that would top the charts and make her rich.
But she wasn’t Taylor Swift. She was just Amy Morrison, vice president of Winter Enterprises. She might be a whiz at overseeing multimillion-dollar commercial real estate projects, but she did not have the ability to convert her heartbreak into a platinum record. So she’d come to the one place she felt safe. The place she felt confident. The place where people needed her, where, because she was good at her job, nothing ever fell apart.
Yes, when Amy Morrison got jilted, she went to work. She’d given a fleeting thought to going to the Rogers Centre instead. There wasn’t a home game that day—she would never have scheduled her wedding in competition with a home game of her beloved Toronto Blue Jays—but she’d thought maybe just being there outside the stadium would calm her. But in the end, she’d gone for the sure thing. The truly safe place.
The office had an extra benefit—it was guaranteed to be empty because her colleagues were all uptown at her wedding. She could picture them milling around Edwards Gardens, talking in hushed voices about poor, poor Amy. Her cheeks burned when she thought about her mother, who would be in hysterics by now, mortified by the shame of it all. Her mother had the uncanny ability to make every situation she encountered about her, and Amy felt certain her daughter’s non-wedding would be no exception. Her father would be no better. He’d have tossed back several martinis before the ceremony anyway, and then once his wife started along her trajectory to nuclear meltdown, he would have polished off several more. Right about now, he’d be at the point where he thought he was fine, all blustery bravado, but really he’d be slurring his words, talking too loud, further incensing Amy’s mother.
She waited until the elevator door slid shut in the lobby, and she pressed the button for the forty-ninth floor before she let the tears come. But, oh, they came. Seven years. Engaged for the last two. She was only twenty-nine, so she’d spent nearly all her twenties with Mason. As her career had taken off, she’d supported him though med school, paying the rent while he’d concentrated on his studies, and later, on his OB-GYN residency.
Staring at herself in the mirror-paneled wall of the elevator as it made its journey to the top of the skyscraper, she tried to summon anger to replace the tears. Anger would be better than this gutting sadness, this utter humiliation. But it wouldn’t come. Normally, Amy was not a woman who took bullshit from anyone. She was usually really good at summoning righteous rage when a situation called for it.
But apparently Mason took that, too, when he snatched away everything she’d planned for, everything she had to hold on to, ruining the perfect future she’d been meticulously constructing, with those five evil little words: I don’t love you anymore.
She swallowed hard and swiped a hand across her face. With any luck, the suite would be empty, but sometimes the cleaners were here on Saturday afternoons. She just had to pull it together enough to make it to her office without running into any of the custodial staff.
Because God forbid someone see her looking anything less than perfect.
Goddamn, the office was quiet. It was Saturday, yes, but normally Cherry Beach Software’s offices were populated with at least a programmer or two on the weekends. The tech geniuses Dax Harris employed generally didn’t observe the whole nine-to-five thing, which was fine with him, on account of the whole genius thing. If they wanted to play ping-pong all week and then go on coding binges on the weekend, who was he to judge? The company had been successful beyond his wildest dreams in the decade since he founded it, so he must be doing something right.
But today, as he locked his office and made his way to the elevators, you could have shot a missile through the empty corridors. It was Canada Day, but still, the programmers didn’t normally notice, much less observe, holidays. And he would have expected Jack Winter, the CEO of one of the other two companies that shared the forty-ninth floor, to be in. The two of them often went for a drink on Saturday afternoons after catching up on paperwork in their respective companies.