By: Karen Gordon

To secretarial goddesses everywhere--we all know you really run the world.

Chapter One

One of the advantages of living alone is that there is no one to judge you when you stand in front of your closet only wearing your Wonder Woman gold cuffs and tiara. I need to feel powerful this morning. I need to get dressed and go to work and to my lunch meeting with Mr. Rockhurst.

Not that I plan on wearing my Wonder Woman costume (although, I considered wearing it under my work clothes, minus the jewelry).

I spent the weekend deep in self-care mode. On my way home from work on Friday I stopped at the grocery to stock up on comfort foods. When I got home, I purposefully ignored the emptiness and busied myself with clearing away the last of the Danny messes then setting up my chick cave for a full-on pity party. Winter had finally arrived and the cold, rainy weekend ahead fit my mood to a tee. I washed and dried my pink hugging pillow then pulled my winter furry blanket from the storage chest. I wasn’t ready to sleep in my bed alone, so the couch would be my world for the next two days. While the water boiled for the potatoes I was going to cream, I lit lavender and rose candles.

Dom couldn’t take either night off from the restaurant, but we made plans for tomorrow to be a spa day for just the two of us. My phone kept dinging as I prepped for my night. It was Dom sending me more recipes for homemade masks, salt scrubs and deep hair conditioners. I always loved silence and usually spent days at home without turning on the TV or music. But tonight it was too silent, Danny’s voice conspicuously missing. So I played Vivaldi while I changed into my softest pink PJ’s then put the finishing touches on my dinner.

When I climbed under my blanket and settled in for my dinner, I was in Vivienne heaven—a heaping bowl of creamed potatoes topped with cheddar for dinner, a beautiful chilled rosé wine, followed by a dense chocolate cupcake. Once I had filled the hollow space in my core with food, I queued up the tears. City of Angels did it for me every time. It may have taken me days to break down and cry when my dad died, but Meg Ryan could get me there in less than two hours. I wailed. I sobbed until my chest hurt and I felt like I had cried myself dry. I cried for my dad, for Danny, for me, for Meg and for her Angel. Damn I felt for Nicholas Cage like I never had before—left alone in the world with all his love to give. I cried myself to sleep.

Dom scraped up what was left of me the next day. She molded me back into some semblance of my old self with lotions and potions, and lots of handholding and encouraging words. She brought Starbucks and chocolate croissants and her mama’s roast pork and plantains to heat up for dinner.

By Saturday night my mood had started to shift. Creamed potatoes were replaced by Puerto Rican comfort food. My pink jammies were tossed in the laundry in favor of yoga pants and a cami. Vivaldi gave way to Kelly Clarkson, and Meg and Nicholas were put back in storage. I spent the night on the couch watching Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, Love her way around the world. It was good to see someone else recovering from loss.

Now I’m in Wonder Woman mode, ready to tackle…I have no idea. Lunch, that’s obvious, but why?

I finally opt for a business suit, but give it some key Vivienne touches. For one, I skip the shirt. A strategically placed safety pin keeps the neckline of my jacket exactly where I want it. It’s intriguing and I add my delicate gold necklace with the Irish goddess symbol charm to boost my powers. I’ll take all the help I can get today. I keep my makeup and jewelry simple to offset the sexy effect of no blouse. And, my piece de la resistance—four inch heels. They’re classic pumps but with devilishly pointy toes that look like they could injure you. They will also make me exactly the same height as Joel Rockhurst. I checked online, he’s 6’2”. It’s harder to be intimidating when you are eye to eye.


I feel fierce and ready for whatever he throws at me when I show up at Carolyn’s desk. She’s on her phone, but she smiles up at me and points to his door, indicating that I should go in. I smile back, suck in a deep breath and pull myself up to my full height before I open the door.

Joel Rockhurst looks like the CEO of a private jet company should, if you’re going by Hollywood standards anyway. He’s a sixty-three year-old silver fox, aging like Richard Gere or Kevin Costner—all distinguished and kinda sexy. He has the body of a man with a personal chef and a private trainer and just enough lines on his face to make it look like he hadn’t hit the Botox, yet. When I walk in, he’s also on the phone and fiddling with a golf club while he talks. He uses it to point to a chair in front of his desk, indicating that I should sit there. I sit on the edge. I don’t want to get comfortable until I know what this meeting is about.

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