3014 Words
ZARA   When the alarm goes off , I notice that I have been awake for a long time now , I could hardly sleep last night because of the huge anxiety that this day is causing me and my already exhausted nerves , I still find it difficult to believe that the day has finally arrived , the day for which I have been working almost all my life and I feel as if it is the beginning of my new life.   Since I was a child and my uncle Louis spoke to me about the great company that belong's to the Graham family , my mother's family , I knew that I had to take the reins someday , it killed me inside to see my mother being horribly disenfranchised for the simple fact that she is a woman , she fell so madly in love with my father that when it came time to take over the company as the only daughter and heir to the Graham’s family , she chose the life of a wife and mother, leaving everything else in the hands of her new husband.   It is not that this is something reprehensible , I firmly believe that all women should be free to choose what they want to be , and that decisions about their lives should not define how good of a woman they are thought to be; But the issue here is that my mother did not really have that freedom when she was young , my grandfather , who was really good and loving to me and my brother , it was never like that towards my mom , he was always disappointed that he could not have more children and that his only child was a woman, not the heir he had wanted for so long.   So , he made it his goal in life to get her a “ good husband ” , so that he would be the one who would take the reins of the company , while my mother stayed home being the trophy wife as she had been taught all her life to be, and raising the future heirs of the company ; something like a modern American monarchy , a really sad life if you ask me , but my sweet mom tried to make the best out of it.   And then my father decided that the business world was too boring and complicated for him , all those endless meetings and complicated numbers were too much to bare and for that reason he should put his charisma to good use and become a politician like his father before him , so he asked his brother to take over the company because he was the nerd one of the family after all , and that is how the last twenty years it has been an Arlington , rather than a Graham , who runs the Graham Group , and even though my uncle is the best in what he does , I think is about time the company returns to it's origins.   I thought many times about changing my last name and using my mother's maiden name , becoming Zara Graham so that I could honor my mother's name , and somehow give her back the control she had lost over her own legacy and name , but that was before I reconciled with my father after years of thinking really poorly of him , and although I would now consider it an insult to his memory to do change my last name completely , I did persuade my mother to agree to change our last names to Arlington-Graham.   With no more time to waste , I get up from my bed , brush my teeth , and wash my face , then I make a protein shake and go for a run around the park like I do every morning , after this , Taylor , my personal trainer , comes in and kicks my butt in my boxing class that is due every Monday , we try to alternate the type of exercise we do so that I don't get bored and my body doesn't suffer if I work a single muscle too much , but today I am too preoccupied about all the things that are going to happen so I could barely avoid Taylor's punches and he mocked me at every chance he got.   Once Taylor is gone , I take a shower and try not to think about everything that will happen today , I just focus on applying my coconut shampoo and conditioner , a body scrub to leave my skin shiny , and after the long shower , I apply the moisturizing on my face and body , today I must look more than perfect because my photo will surely appear on the covers of several local media outlets and probably in a couple of national media too.   Today my uncle will hand me the reins of the company in a symbolic act that will be held in front of the employees and the press , because the actual change of leadership already happened in our shareholders meeting last week , and I only hope that this goes better than that meeting.   The outfit I will wear has been changed countless times , from pantsuits to midi dresses , or skirt suits , yesterday I tried everything that I had in my closet until I found one that made me look professional , but at the same time made me feel confident and pretty , without being vulgar , nor too elegant; In the end , I decided on a white pantsuit and a blue-greenish blouse to highlight my green eyes , accompanied by nude high heels.   As I blow dry my hair and try to decide whether to leave it loose and straight , with waves , or just pick it up in a ponytail , I remember Tom used to tell me how much he liked my jet-black hair down , and even though he preferred waves , today I decide to leave it straight , and apply light makeup that highlights my eyes while I try to not think about him , not today , I need to take him out of my thoughts at least for one day.   Anxiety makes it difficult for me to perform these tasks , as my hands tremble slightly , so a winged eyeliner was absolutely out of the question , I cannot risk looking like a raccoon in front of the whole crowd that will surely be waiting in the company terrace for me to give my speech and not make a fool of myself.   Thinking about the speech that I should give makes my anxiety grow , because although I have never been a shy person , much less one who is easily embarrassed or who is afraid to speak in public , and I have won several awards in debate's competitions , this will probably be the most important speech I will give in my life , and that increases the pressure on me considerably , so I try to memorize the whole thing while I finish getting ready.   My mother , brother , my soon to be sister-in-law , and who is probably my best friend in the whole world: Ben , along with other friends , will go to the company to give me their support on this important day , Joshua , my older brother , was supposed to be the one who take the reins of the company someday , not only because he is the first-born , but because he is also a man , that is how my grandfather and my mother wanted it to be , but my father was determined that Joshua continued his legacy in politics , and that caused a lot of arguments between my parents when we were growing up.   The funniest thing was knowing that Joshua did not want to follow either path but wanted to study music and play the piano until his fingers fall from exhaustion , you can only imagine the chaos that caused in our family , and that is where I decided to announce my intention of someday taking the reins of the company , my parents agreed immediately and were also quite pleased , but for different reasons.   My father thought that this took the pressure off Joshua from his place at the company and let the way free for him to pursue his career in politics , which never happened by the way , and my mother , being the incredibly good woman she is , was just happy that I would like to take over the company of her family since she could not do it herself , she would support any path that I choose , but this particular one brings her joy and that is one of the reasons why I have always been so obsessed with this.   So , from a very young age , I strived to be the best in school , not only academically , but I was also the class president , the debate club president , winner of multiple medals and awards for horsemanship , which guaranteed me to get a place in one of the world’s best universities to get a business degree.   Already in my last year of university , I decided that it was time for me to join the company , but , my uncle wisely told me that if I wanted to take charge one day , I had to know absolutely everything and everyone in the company , and therefore , I had to start from down and earn my promotion with hard work so I could know how everything worked within the company.   This is how I started in my internship position first , making and bringing coffees for my superiors , taking photocopies , carrying the mail , and receiving clients , in the course of the last two years , I managed to get promoted , first to personal assistant to the chief of operations , for which I had to organize her schedule , run her errands , plan meetings and meals , and even pick up her clothes from the dry cleaners , because she took very seriously the word of my uncle when he told everybody that they should not treat me any different from other employees , and although most of them still treated me with deference , she didn't and I liked that.   After a few months in that position , I became second in command in the operations division , where I had many more responsibilities and people under my authority , so six months ago , when my uncle announced that after more than twenty years in the company he was finally retiring , It came as no surprise to anyone that he took me directly under his wing , and started teaching me all about being the CEO of one of the largest and most recognized business groups on the continent. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I look at myself in the mirror and nod to encourage myself , I take the cards where I put some pointers for my speech , and I head to the company , as soon as I enter , I feel the eyes of all the employees on me , many of them know me personally because I had to work directly with them over the years , so I greet everyone I know with their first name , and those I don't remember , I ask them to repeat the name for me , and do my best to memorize them.   Since I started this journey , I decided that I wanted to be the type of boss that people admire and respect , instead of being the boss that everyone fears and despises , because , at the end of the day , the loyalty of the employees and their love for the company is which keeps it afloat , as my uncle has wisely said on multiple occasions.   He is adored at the company , he has always been a fair person , strict but at the same time kind , very wise and generous with the workers , I have already heard stories on multiple occasions about him buying a house for a worker who lost it in a fire , or buying a car for another who had to move far away to take care of his sick mother , I know that he learned the names of all the workers , and has always cared to talk to them and be aware of what is going on around the company , instead of shutting himself up in his office on the top floor and looking at them all from above like a superior being they should fear and adore.   I want to be like that , I want to be as admired and respected as him one day.   But even the employees have a certain reverential fear of me , I have noticed that although they are nice to me , they are also a bit cold , so I was hardly ever invited to meetings outside of work , and as I was promoted in the company , people avoided eating with me in the cafeteria , and they only exchanged a few words in the corridors with me , it got to the point that they even avoided getting on the same elevator as me.   I attribute this to my resting b***h face , but mainly to my attitude during my father's wake , which was packed with journalists and paparazzi , all eager to cover the scandalous and shocking death of the state governor , they went out of their way to take pictures of my poor mother , and his children on their worst day , although , as Joshua was still recovering from the injuries of the accident , he did not stay until the end because he had to rest , and it had to be me , along with my uncle , who dealt with all that circus around us.   But I did not do it in the best way , because I was furious , I was very angry because my father had been taken away from me when we had finally started to build a beautiful relationship , and I could already imagine spending more time with my family , perhaps shortening my holiday vacations to go back home , it was the first time I actually wanted to spend more time with them , only to have that taken away from me in a just a couple of minutes.   So , my little tantrum and subsequent attack on a paparazzi was the talk of the town for several days , and that surely spread like wildfire in the company , when they found out that I was going to inherit the leadership of the company one day they probably thought I was going to be as impulsive and aggressive as that day.   And today , when that day has finally arrived , I find myself getting into an elevator alone while the other employees pack themselves in the one next to this , and as I press the number to go to the top floor , I close my eyes and take a deep breath to try to calm myself and not get into a downfall.   " One moment , please! " I hear a man scream and hear him running towards me , so I rush to press the button to keep the doors open , when suddenly , a hand appears in the middle of the doors to prevent them from closing , and my heart stops when I look to the object surrounding his wrist , there is a white gold watch which I would recognize anywhere in the world , because I designed it myself , and then , as If he was trying to answer the million questions that came to my mind the moment I saw the watch , Tom sticks his head into the elevator and freezes completely when his blue eyes meet mine. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Free reading for new users
Scan code to download app
  • author-avatar
  • chap_listContents
  • likeADD