Foto bij 044 - Emma

Luckily, I find a case to work on quickly so I can earn back the company's trust. I work long days, leaving way after most of the others, and try my best to get back to normal.
It's strange, coming home in a dark, empty house, but it's better than coming home to another fight or a cold shoulder.
Life feels normal pretty soon. I even enjoy early morning commutes to work, and the first signs of true winter.
      The first time running in to Callum feels strange. It's almost like he doesn't see me, he's great at pretending. He looks me straight in the eye, cold and empty, and walks on.
It's what he does, he's a narcissist, that's what my therapist tells me. I see her twice a week, Kenna's advice.
We keep on running in to each other, however, and it almost feels like he's doing this on purpose.

The next time we see each other is at Friday's end of the week drinks, sponsored by the company. I'm surprised either of us are welcome here, because the company doesn't really love us that much right now.
Then again, whatever Callum does, most of the company still sees him as one of their golden boys and will keep kissing his ass.
Which is also when I hear him saying mean things about me, no one bats an eye. He doesn't mention my name, which is why he knows he'll get away with it. He just keeps on mentioning his ex-girlfriend, calling her a whore, telling his friends how terrible she was in bed and how she cheated on him.
Old Emma would have picked a fight, right here and right now.
This Emma just sips her beer and continues her conversation with Sasha and some other colleagues.
"You should definitely sign up, Emmeline," one of them says, "a mock trial is a great opportunity to show people you're back on track."
"Everyone who wants to parttake has to put their name on a list, and out of those names two will be picked at random. It's really great, they do it once every quarter and it can really show people your talents."
This would be the perfect way to show everyone I'm actually worthy of being here, not just some fresh out of law school wannabe who's just trying to marry a rich lawyer so she won't have to work another day of her life.

I knock on Lucien's door about a week into being back at work. Selene has told me he's not busy, so I'm not afraid to disturb him.
He looks up from his computer screen and I can see him telling me to come in.
"I'm not interrupting anything important, am I?" I check, but Lucien immediately shakes his head.
"Just an e-mail conversation with my father, it's a very welcome interrruption," he smiles lightly, "what can I help you with?"
"Honestly I really just needed to get away from my desk for a second, and I know this past week has been intense for you, so..," I don't really know what to say. We don't admit we enjoy each other's company, so I'd never say I'm just coming to check how he's doing, "also I heard about the mock trial, and I was wondering where to sign up."
"Selene probably knows where the list is," he gestures for me to sit down, "want some coffee?"
"I'd better not..," I sigh, "this should look like a business meeting, not a coffee break."
"You're allowed to drink coffee at a business meeting, this could just be another check-up," he makes the same gesture again.
I shake my head. "People already think I'm just looking for a replacement for Callum, if they think I'm screwing the boss it won't really better my reputation."
"You're right, there's a very fine line between coffee and full on soixante neuf against one of these windows," he grins, causing me to laugh.
"I just can't control myself when there's caffeïne in my system, all I want to do is suck-," we're interrupted by the door of Lucien's office opening, both immediately going back to pretending we were having a very serious, work-related conversation.
"Mr. Pritchard is here to see you," Selene seems to feel a bit awkward, understandably, when she mentions Callum in front of me.
"Tell him I'll be ready for him in half an hour," Lucien says, but Selene immediately shakes her head.
"He says it's urgent, it's about the case he's working on right now and he needs to talk to you right now," she looks at me for a second and then looks back at Lucien. "I'm sorry. Can I send him in?"
Lucien looks at me, and I nod. "I should get back to work, anyway. Thank you for the advice, Mr. du Castellon."
      Callum pretty much walks through me when he walks into Lucien's office. See, this man doesn't seem to know what he wants. He wants to pretend not to know or see me, but he also wants to talk shit about me to his friends.
I don't understand men. Maybe I just shouldn't date for a while, until I find the perfect man. He'll be smart, and charming, and attractive. He'll be patient with me, encourage me to do good and make me laugh when I'm feeling down.
Until I find him, I decide right then and there, I'll be celibate. No more dating for me. I'll get plenty of satisfaction and love from work and my friends, I don't need men to be happy.
At my desk, I sign up for the mock trial and finish my case for the day. On my way home, I text Lucien on his personal phone in stead of his work number.
                  Cooking truffle pasta tonight, you hungry? Bring a friend if you want to, I always make enough for ten people.

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