It was one of those days when the sky dimmed and all you wanted to do was curl up with a book in a nook of your bedroom with your favorite brand of tea. One of those days when you looked out the window and saw nothing but the faint glow of promising sunshine behind a towering shield of grey clouds. One of those days where you just sat around all day listening to the serenity that was brought with the soft pitter patter of rain on your front door.
That was the day that she met him.
The forecast called for a short break in the steady rainfall happening outside so Cora Claidware, the most punctual and organized person you ever did see, steeped outside of the old brown house that was (temporarily) her new home, down the old brick steps that had been used by many young millenials like herself before her, and into the bustling streets of New York.
She worked in a quiet, quaint office around three blocks away from that brown house of hers. The building itself was a beautifully restored postal factory. Cora was almost always in awe at the little bits and dashes of history spread amongst this large and modern city.
She stepped into the building after catching a quick glance in the new glass panels surrounding the outside of her work. As usual, her frizzy brown hair was contained by a quick sweep behind her ear. This bothered her, the dysfunctionality of little hairs that would peek around just about everywhere on her scalp. It was so.... disorganized.
She stepped into the office building and was greeted by a rush of cold air and the scent of...were those doughnuts?
Almost as if reading her mind a familiar pair of green eyes met her gaze.
"Doughnut?" asked Dan Marksfield. a childhood friend and co-worker of Coras.
"Don't mind if I do" Cora said, snatching the doughnut that Dan had clearly gotten for himself out of his hand.
Dan looked at Cora and smiled before saying "I would be mad at you but you are my boss and I have an extreme allergy to getting fired".
"Well I would fire you but" Cora took a bite of her doughnut before finishing the sentence "I enjoy your presence and you have some of the most promising work here".
"Speaking of work Cora, I have a fantastic story that according to you is due in-" Dan paused to check his watch and then continued "two hours."
Cora smiled before Dan snatched the doughnut back out of her hands and walked away.
Sighing, Cora briskly started to walk towards the newly installed glass elevator. Cora herself had personally suggested it. She wasn't exactly the most fit person to ever walk the earth.
Before she could reach it though she felt somebody tap her on the shoulder. She turned around to find herself face to face with a pair of hazel eyes.
"Hi" said hazel eyes "I was looking for Mrs. Cora Claidware?"
"Well, you found her" Cora said smiling. She paused then added "What can I do for you".
"I'm Elijah. Elijah Hope" The man said. Once he realized Cora hadn't a clue to what that meant he added "I'm your new assistant."
"Of course!" Cora said her face brightening. Then it darkened as she checked her watch "Your four minutes and thirty seven seconds late"
"Well" Elijah said "I was going to surprise you with a box of doughnuts but the hyenas got to them first."
Cora stiffened a laugh then said "I'm surprised the elephants didn't get you on the way in."
Elijah crossed his arms and looked away "I may have had a few run ins"
"Well" Cora said, turning around towards the direction of the elevators "If you don't want to be kicked out of this lovely little circus of ours, I suggest you follow me to my office."
The elevator doors opened to rows and rows of cubicles, each one a clean cut, sheer white box. She led Elijah across the old rickety wooden floors the groaned with every step she took. Since her first day here she was absolutely positive that the floor would eventually give way, but in the 7 years that she'd worked here it never had. Of course, it was still a safety hazard, but it needn't be fixed now so she hadn't invested on it.
She stopped at a small glass enclosed office around 10 feet by 6 feet. There was a bookshelf with the books neatly placed in order by subject, then color, then alphabet. On the other side of the room, closer to the door was a small white desk stacked with neat little piles of paper and old newspaper editions.
Cora sighed and whipped out an old iphone and dialed a number. "Hello, this is Cora Claidware, Hey I put in a request for another desk in here around 2:46pm on the Monday of last week and it still isn't here. Yes I know that. No. Mhm. It was the white topped marble slim. No? Mr. Garentole I am your boss and if I want a- Yes? Ok, thank you."
She quickly shoved the phone back into her jeans pocket before facing Elijah.
"People never leave things where there supposed to."
Almost as if on cue, two men rushed into the office with a smaller and slimmer white desk. They installed it across from the bookshelf and then hurried out of the office.
Cora turned on one heel and briskly walked into the office. She sat down at the larger deskand gestured for Elijah to sit at the newer smaller one. He pulled up a chair that was sitting in the corner closest to the door and sat down.
"Now" Cora started "I assume that you've picked up your laptop from AI and have all your papers regarding editing tools and etcetera"
Elijah nodded and took out his laptop.
"Good" She nodded "We normally just email stories to editors so check your instructions and your emails."
With that Cora took out her own laptop and began frantically typing on it. Editor and Chief of a New York newspaper couldn't get more stressful. She was currently editing a story on some celebrity gossip. Cora couldn't remember a day when her life didn't revolve around some famous do hows. Of course, it'd been her dream to walk under the lights and walk the roads of fame. But after a while she'd lost grasp of that. But instead of hollywood and lights and cameras. Here she was, tying away, a relatively close face to fame.
If this was all she could hold onto, she'd grasp it like no tomorrow.
They sat in silence for a moment before she spoke.
"Elijah do you ever feel like the whole worlds weight is on you? Like, your stuck underneath the sky and the stars, trying to lift it all just to make others happy, but you also want to be the one to see those stars once you finally deliver them to their rightful place?"
"You know what I think you need" Elijah asked.
"What" Cora responded.
"A drive" Elijah said, fishing through his bag to find his keys.
"What?" Cora asked, finally looking up from her laptop.
"Whenever I wanna be free I go for a drive" Elijah explained, finally finding his car keys and twirling them aimlessly around one finger.
"Elijah, you're insane!" Cora exclaimed "I can't just randomly leave my job!"
Elijah stood up and walked over to Cora. He grabbed her hand and started the vigorous task of dragging her out of her office.
"Come on boss, you need this."
Elijah drove a red convertible. They'd reached another break in the rain and the sun was just peeking out over the clouds.
"Where are we going" Cora asked, climbing into the passenger's seat.
"Doesn't matter" Elijah said. He jumped into the drivers side and revved up the engine. He pulled out of the parking lot and drove.
They drove for 15 minutes before Elijah put some music on. It was some country song. Coras head started bobbing up and down to the music. She smiled, this really wasn't as bad as she thought it was going to be.
She took some time to look out the window and enjoy the vast sea of people and the huge array of skyscrapers wiz by. It was strange how wonderfully scary it felt to realize exactly how small you were compared to everything else in the world. It was the very same feeling you get when stargazing. That moment when you realize how significantly large the universe was and you were just a mere speck in the workings of it.
Elijah hit the accelerator and the car sped forward. Cora threw her hands up and started to scream and holler in delight with Elijah laughter following.
"Thank you" Cora yelled over the bustling noises of the city and the whipping of the wind in her hair.
It started to lightly sprinkle but Cora didn't care.
She was free.