Pretend Married

By: Nikki Wild

1





Julia Jones





What could his personal crisis be now?!?

I had just started my morning run in Golden Gate Park when my almighty boss texted me with yet another “public image problem”. Another perfectly good Saturday morning lost. He always made it sound so urgent:

Julia I need you to get down here immediately! Hurry!

When was he going to start handling his own problems?

Although, I suppose if he did, I’d be out of a job!

Still, something about him blowing up my phone at all hours bothered me. Did it ever occur to him that I might have plans? A life? A date?

I instantly answered my own question: It never occurred to him, because I didn’t have plans, a life, or a damn date. I couldn’t seem to find one good single man left in San Francisco……so here I was about to spend the day with a bad one. Duty was calling, and Julia Jones was going to answer. Giving up on my jog through the park, I turned and mad my way up the street to the bus stop instead.

Three more ‘urgent’ messages pinged my phone, demanding that I arrive as quickly as possible. I’m not sure how he expects me to “immediately” get clear across the entire city when I was at the mercy of public transportation. It was a twenty-minute bus ride just to get over to the BART station! I waited on the bench for the number 5 bus, more than a little steamed because that rich billionaire jackass could easily pay a car service to come and pick me up. Shit, he could drop a private helicopter on my doorstep if he wanted!

The bus lumbered up to the curb and the door sprang open. I flashed the driver my transit pass and took the only available seat left – next to an old Chinese woman with a 4-foot tall chunk of bamboo perched on her tiny lap. On a better day I might ask if she owned a panda, or speculated about the profitability of bamboo delivery services, but I wasn’t in the mood. I was used to this sort of thing; just another typical ride on the city bus!

I quickly hopped off at the Civic Center subway station and was instantly stopped dead in my tracks. I had run smack-dab into a crowd of angry protestors shouting and blocking the entrance with their picket signs. I somehow managed to sneak around and squeeze past a real mean-looking guy who was waving a barndoor-sized sign that said SFPD UNFAIR. I ran down the escalator to the platform just in time to see my train pull away. Shit! I’d have to wait 10 minutes for the next one. My phone buzzed in my bag alerting me to yet another text. I pulled it out and read it. It was from HIM of course.

Where the fuck are you Julia?!

I decided to ignore it for the moment…….

The next train was packed to the brim with passengers and I had to stand for the entire ride while holding onto the dirty dangling strap above my head. Upon exiting, I elbowed my way through the crowd and climbed the underground stairs, taking them two at a time, upward toward daylight and out onto Montgomery Street.

In the heart of the city, the impressive hi-rise Armani Building loomed over me and blocked out the sun. Hesitating for a minute to catch my breath, I looked up at the top row of windows in the modern office tower. That’s where Mr. Edward Armani III was probably staring impatiently at his solid gold Rolex watch and wondering what was taking me so long………

Oh my God! I almost forgot! I still needed to get his damn stupid coffee!

I raced inside the lobby and got in line at the Starbucks counter. Was there ever NOT a line?! I ordered his venti latte exactly the way he liked it; with an extra shot of espresso and a whisper of cinnamon. I prided myself on paying extraordinary attention to every minute detail of his life. If only I did the same for my own! Holy Moses! I suddenly looked down at my outfit and realized I wasn’t even close to being professionally dressed for work at the prestigious downtown office. I was wearing spandex workout clothes and neon running shoes! Mr. Armani was just going to have to deal with it. It was his fault for ordering me to dash in here on a Saturday with only a moment’s notice.

Although I hated to admit it, Edward Armani had a very disconcerting way of keeping me on a short leash. Every time I began to feel it loosening up a bit, inevitably I’d find myself at his heel once again. Why did I put up with it? Why did I leave my promising position with a top law firm for this kind of degrading treatment?

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