Join me each week for the fictional adventures of Leila Jennings, Lake Norman’s newest resident.
This was it. The big day. Leila stood on the curb outside the Transportation Center watching the sleek blue LYNX rail approach with a soft purr. She lifted a hand over her eyes, angry that she had lost her sunglasses yet again. Correction, not lost, but left them sitting uselessly atop a chaise lounge back at the pool.
Above, the skyscrapers looked like castle turrets and she felt like a peasant about to cross the moat, or in this case, Trade Street. Around her, women in suits, and men in polished shoes bustled up and down the stairwell in haste to reach their jobs, liasons, breakfast…whatever it was, they sure were in a hurry. Leila looked down at her white blouse and grey skirt, her fifth outfit attempt this morning, and thought that the peasant analogy was dead on.
Four blocks later, she stood inside the three-story atrium entrance to the Bank of Charlotte. Oblivious of the black marble and glass walls, she was struggling not to take her heels off, sensing a blister on the side of her small toe. Instead, she managed a semi-graceful saunter over to the bank of elevators and read the plaque that indexed each floor’s identity.
“Intimidating, isn’t it?”
Leila glanced sideways, but there were three people beside her and all were staring at the elevators as if Bob Barker had just asked them to pick the door with the prize behind it.
“Are you a Bah?”
It wasn’t one of the three people beside her. It was a four and half foot tall red-headed woman in red-framed glasses to her left.
“B.A. Business analyst. You look like a business analyst. You have that touch of IT arrogance, but you look sharp, intelligent, I’m guessing an MBA. And your mouth is hanging open…the awe of a definite newbie.”
Leila guessed the woman to be anywhere from twenty to forty-five years in age. Even in red pumps the stocky female only came up to her shoulder. Analytical green eyes amplified by the lenses over them stared up at her.
“I’ve been standing here less than a minute and you concluded all that?”
The woman snorted and shoved the frames back up onto the bridge of her nose. “I’m good.”
Leila couldn’t help but to smile. “I’m Leila Jennings. A business analyst on her first day.”
“I’m Monica Cornhauser.” Monica grinned. “I call myself a loan shark.”
“So you’re a loan officer? Or a bookie?” Leila’s eyebrow arched, “Or you’re the single-most threatening man-eater in this financial institution?”
“Yes.” Monica nodded, her head jerking at the ding of the elevator.
Leila moved towards it, but Monica caught her with red-chipped fingernails. “You’re not getting on that one.”
“That’s going to the 25th floor.” The red-head looked up as if her glasses had the power to see through the ceiling and the twenty four ceilings above it into the magical fairyland known as the 25th floor. Her head fell back down and her glasses slipped on her nose. “You’ll never make it above the fifteenth floor here.”
With a frown, Leila’s hand curled into a fist. She had not even started her job and already she had a goal to attain. She was going to make it to the 25th floor.
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