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Suspense Fiction

September. New month, full of potential and new opportunities. Clara’s life was finally starting to take the right run, she knew it. “New month, new life”, she kept repeating in her mind. And there it is, the new month and the start of her new life.

The building was ridiculously tall: twenty floors (maybe even more), and she felt like a small ant. She looked at it from the bottom, steady in the middle of the sidewalk, with all the people who passed by, without even noticed her. “This is it. You did it. You finally have a job!”, she was thinking. She searched for that job for months, without counting the years of studies she did at college. All of that to be there, in that moment, in the middle of the street, ready to enter in that magnificent building.

The doors opened automatically when she approached them and the noise inside suddenly hit her: phones were ringing, the secretaries at the front desk keep repeating the same sentence over and over again, the elevators opened and closed continuously, making that annoying beep. Clara took a deep breath and approached one of the secretaries: the young lady, with perfectly straight blond hair, smiled at her and said: «Good morning, miss. How can I help you?». Her voice was shrill, and her smile just perfect. Clara smiled too, and just as she was about to answer, the phone rang again. The blond lady motioned Clara to wait, raising her thin index finger. «Browns offices, please hold», she said. Then her attention returned to Clara. «I’m the new intern at the legal office», Clara said. «Oh, welcome and nice to meet you! My name’s Hilary, follow me». Hilary stood up and went straight to the security turnstile, opening it with a small key. Clara hurried and follow her, still overwhelmed by all the chaos.

After the security pass, there was a totally different world. In the lobby, there was three elevators and Hilary went straight toward the central one; Clara followed her in silence and she pushed the 13th floor. “Not my favourite number”, Clara thought. There were at least nine other people besides them: every single one of them too focused on their phones to notice the presence of others.

When the elevator’s doors opened, a big, bright open space welcomed Clara and Hilary. The front desk was of a shiny, light wood and the girl smiled at them immediately. «Good morning, Francine. This is the new intern…Sorry I didn’t ask, what’s your name?» said Hilary. «Oh, I’m Clara James», she answered. «Thank you, Hilary. Nice to meet you, Clara. The boss is waiting for you, follow me». Francine turned around and wait for her to follow. Clara’s heart was beating so fast, she thought everyone could hear it. She never met the chief of the legal department, so her anxiety was at the top. Francine stopped in front of a glass door and knocked. A voice inside yelled to come in and Francine opened the door. «George, the new intern is here», she said. «Oh! Let her in!». Clara entered the office and introduced herself. George was a young man, about 34 years old, and very handsome. His deep blue eyes immediately struck Clara, leaving her speechless. «I’m very happy to meet you, Clara. I hope you’ll find your way here, with us. You’re lucky to be here and we’re lucky to have you», George said. «Oh, and please, call me George. We’re not very formal here, on the contrary, we love each other like a big family!», he added, smiling. «Okay, George. Thank you so much for this opportunity, you have no idea how happy and thrilled I am. I really can’t wait to start!». Clara felt comfortable with him from the first moment, so she put aside her shyness and anxiety, and spoke honestly. «Great. Come with me, I’ll introduce you to the rest of the team». George stood up and opened the door for her. “What a gentleman”, Clara thought.

«Everybody, please listen» George stopped in the middle of the open space and everyone turned toward him. «Welcome our new member of the family, Clara James. She’s the new intern, assigned with Tina. Tina, where are you?», he said. «Over here! Nice to meet you, Clara! We will work together and I hope to teach you as much as possible!». Tina was a middle age woman, chubby and with a very beautiful and sincere smile in her face. There were ten people in the team, everyone specialized in a specific field, but they seemed to work together, no matter what the problem was.

Her desk was a classic silver and white desk, nothing special, but Clara found it just perfect: her first personal desk, where she could put photos or anything else to prove it was hers. In front of her, there was Tina’s desk: it was messy, full of papers, pens and posts-it. She sat down at her desk, and when nobody was looking, smiled. She was so happy and proud of herself. When she applied for that position, she was so discouraged; she didn’t believe in herself, anymore, or in the system. When the nice lady of the human resources office called her, she accepted to do the interview but she wasn’t sure of herself and she thought it went bad; her expectations had been shattered so many times, that she no longer believed in anything. Until the lady of the human resources called her again, two days after her awful interview. She was selected for the job. At first, Clara thought it was a joke. She didn’t understand how that could be possible. Then, when the lady said her new job would start on September 14th, she understood it was real.

And so, she was there: new desk, new colleagues, new life.

But not always thing turns out good, we all know that. Clara did know it too, but she felt so happy she didn’t want to see anything but the beauty of her new job.

 First week passed smoothly, Tina was very patience with her and Clara was learning a lot. The other colleagues were very nice too: Dylan, a guy one year older than Clara, was always ready to help her if he thought she might be in difficult. Clara appreciated his help, but most of the time she didn’t really need it.

«Good morning, Clara» Dylan was in front of her desk, waiting for her. «Good morning, Dylan» she answered. He looked at her, smiling, and he offered her a big cup of coffee. Clara already had her coffee, on her way to the office, but she was too polite to refuse. «Oh, thank you» she said, embarrassed. «Mochaccino with no cream» Dylan said. “How the hell do he knows how I drink my coffee?”, she thought. Clara never had coffee with anyone at work before.

«Clara, George wants to see you in his office». Francine saved her from that terrible situation and Clara would’ve hug her. «Yes! Coming» she said, leaving the coffee on her desk. She definitely didn’t want to drink that.

«Good morning, George. You want to see me?» Clara asked, entering in his office. George was handsome as always: very elegant with his black suite, tall and strong. «Yes, Clara, please» he answered, looking at her with his beautiful smile. She sat down in the chair in front of his desk, and he closed his laptop and joined her in the chair next to hers. «So, tell me» he said «How was your first week here?». Clara smiled before answering the question and immediately said: «Oh, everything’s perfect! Tina is wonderful, I’m learning a lot». George’s eyes lit up and he smiled. «I’m so happy to hear that. Are you sure there are no problems at all?» George insisted. The first thing Clara thought, was Dylan. His behavior seemed weird but she didn’t want to rush to conclusions. «Well…» she started, cautiously. «Yes?» George spurred her to continue. «I mean, it’s not really a problem, but Dylan seems a little too much…helpful» Clara mumbled. She wasn’t sure why she felt the need to tell him about that. She knew in her heart that Dylan was harmless, and she didn’t want to cause any trouble. «What you mean?» George asked. He seemed more nervous, now. «It’s nothing, really. Forget I say anything» Clara said. «Are you sure? You know if you have any problem you need to come to me, immediately». George seemed really worried, but Clara was sure everything was fine.

The day passed easy, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the worried look in George’s face. “When I said Dylan’s name, he immediately changed attitude”, she was thinking. The subway was almost empty, and Clara was glad to finally be able to think in peace. Her apartment was just two stops away, only ten minutes and she was back home. She couldn't wait to turn on the TV and relax on the sofa with a glass of wine. But something unexpected happened when she arrived home.

«Hello, there». Dylan was in front of her condo’s door. «What are you doing here?» Clara asked. She didn’t expect that, at all. «Just came for a visit. Shall we enter?» he said. Dylan looked so different from work: his eyes were wide open and he stood in front of the door, blocking it completely. «How do you know where I live?» Clara asked, ignoring his question. Dylan chuckled. «Oh, Clara. You’re so naïve». Clara was really scared at that point. “Why I didn’t say anything to anyone, damn me!”, she was thinking. Her phone was in her pocket and she grabbed it without Dylan noticing. She recently discovered that if you press three times the power button, the call to the emergency number starts automatically. And so, she did it.

«Dylan, please leave. I don’t want you here and you’re scaring me» she said, out loud. She didn’t know if someone was listening to her, but that was her only hope. «Why? I’m not doing anything to you, Clara» Dylan said. «I want to go home and you don’t let me going inside my apartment» she said. Dylan began to approach her, his eyes wide open and a strange smile on his face. He grabbed her left arm with such a strength, Clara tried to free herself with no success. «You’re hurting me! Let me go!» she screamed. But his grip grew even stronger. In that moment, she saw blue lights enter the cross street they were on and she couldn’t be more relieved. «Is there a problem, here?» the officer asked. Dylan immediately let go her arm. «Everything’s fine, officer» he said. The officer ignored him and looked at Clara. «He was leaving, right, Dylan?» she said. Dylan looked at her and nodded. Her eyes were full of anger. «Are you okay, miss? We received your phone call» the officer asked, when Dylan was gone. Clara nodded, still shocked. «Thank you so much» she said at the officer. «You must be careful, miss. Do you have anyone you can go to, tonight? Those people tend to return, you know…». The officer looked really worried. «I don’t, unfortunately. Don’t worry, I’ll lock all the doors and windows and I’ll go to work with a colleague, tomorrow» she said.

When she was finally in her apartment, the first thing she did was to lock every single window and the door: she also put a chair, in front of each window’s door. Then, she called George.

«I’m so sorry, Clara. Don’t worry, I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning and then I’ll talk to Dylan myself» he said, after listening to her misadventure. His words comforted Clara, even though she wasn’t be able to sleep for most of the night.

«Good morning, Clara. Did you get any sleep?» George asked, when he pick up Clara. «Oh, well, not really. It was very scarry, you know» she said. His blue eyes were full of worry. «I can only imagine. You know, I’m really worried for you, living alone with a maniac like Dylan fixed with you…» George said. «What you mean with “maniac”?» she asked. Why did George used that particular word to define him? Clara was very suspicious now. She couldn’t believe that her dream job had turned out to be her worst nightmare. «Well, there’s something you probably need to know…» George said.

Turns out, that Dylan had a very turbulent past. His criminal record wasn’t exactly the best, but the company hired him anyway because he was the cousin of the big boss. «I never want him, I swear. But unfortunately, I didn’t have much choice, because Mr. Brown himself came to my office to talk to me and force me to give him a job. That’s why I asked you if everything was fine, yesterday. Dylan has a real problem with women, especially with those beautiful and smart like you. He thinks he can possess them, and he doesn’t accept the success they might have». George seemed very angry while he explained the difficult situation she was in, and Clara only wanted to hug him and thank him for being such a beautiful human being. «It’s not your fault. But, you know, if he doesn’t leave, I can’t keep coming to work…» she said, instead. George nodded and looked down. «There you are!», a voice behind her forced both of them to turn around. They were still in the parking lot, talking. «We’ve been interrupted last night, so…» Dylan was coming toward Clara, with the same look of the night before. Instinctively, she did a step back and George a step forward, in front of her. «I think it’s for the best if you leave, Dylan» he said. Dylan stopped in the middle of the parking lot, his eyes full of anger and his fists strictly closed. «Move, George. There’s nothing for you, here» Dylan said. «Dylan, please, we can talk upstairs, what you think?» Clara said, with trembling voice. Dylan relaxed a little bit, releasing the fists. «Alright. I’m sure George here is talking to you about something important for your work. I’ll see you in the office», he said, and then he left. Clara was shaking. She couldn’t believe what was happening. George gently took her in his powerful arms, and she started to calm down. «I can’t come, George, I’m so sorry» she said, crying. Her dream job was gone, forever. «Don’t worry, Clara. I’m here for you, I promise» George said.

September 03, 2021 16:16

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2 comments

Francis Daisy
23:32 Sep 07, 2021

I love how descriptive your writing is! I felt like I was part of the action all through your story. Your writing is amazing!

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Giulia S.
21:38 Sep 08, 2021

Thank you so much! I try really hard to transmit my feelings and I'm so happy you can feel them! :)

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