Grabbing my wrist, he begged me not to go. With the blood pulsing through my veins, my rage quickly boiled. Turning to face him, I shoved the palm of my hands against his chest. I was surprised by my own strength. Although he was bigger than me, I was able to force him to stumble back a few steps, landing on the wooden desk. He managed to balance himself, but he didn’t move. His sorrowful eyes were staring into mine, pleading: those eyes that I once fell for, that I trusted, that allowed me fall under his spell. Those eyes now only filled my stomach with such vile disgust.
Collecting my thoughts was impossible. My mind was racing a thousand miles per hour. I’d never felt so much pain in my life. I gave him one last look, but he did and said nothing. His eyes were saddened, but I didn’t care. I wanted to get away! I turned away from him and ran as fast as I could. I could hear him yelling my name.
Snatching my purse from the table without looking back, I struggled to unlock the front door. I managed to open it with a shaky hand, tripping down the first few steps, realizing at that moment my feet were bare. Carelessly, I ran down the driveway and reached my car. I shoved my hand into my bag to collect my keys, but I couldn’t find them. Shit! He was by the door. Rushing in the process, I was able to locate them and jump into the driver’s seat.
Looking up, I found him on the bottom step, yelling, begging me to stop. My heart was pulsing at such a rapid speed I felt nauseated and lightheaded. After turning on the ignition, I raced out of the driveway and onto the street. The speedometer reached ninety-five miles per hour. My hands were sweating, and my heart was pounding so loudly I could barely hear myself breathe.
After twenty minutes, I was far enough to pull over by the curb, checking my rearview mirror; he was nowhere in sight. I made sure the doors were locked. Then burying my face into my hands, I screamed and burst into sobs, allowing all the rage and betrayal to pour out. How could I have believed and trusted him? How could I have been so stupid; this whole time he was warning me, but I was blind and didn’t care … I wanted the good and bad … all of him.
Knowing at that moment what he truly was, I realized that everything was just lies. Aarrgh! I looked down, trying to catch my breath. Through blurry, watery vision I caught sight of my cream silk nightgown spotted in bright red blood.
My thoughts were uncontrollable. I was trying to make it all go away, and I pounded my fists against my temples, but all that managed to do was inflict additional pain. Why me? My chest felt tight, and it was so hard to breathe I was hyperventilating. After a few minutes of taking long deep breaths, I was able to control the airflow through my lungs. Then it all came back to me: the day I met HIM.
The month of April was so beautiful this year: clear skies, bright green grass, and a cool breeze perfect enough to wear a light jacket. It was my last day of class before my summer break began, and for some unexplained reason Professor Johnson required the entire class to attend the last day even after we’d submitted our final exam and paper. He was blabbing about what we learned in the entire semester of our Contract Law class. I knew I earned my 4.0 GPA, so I ignored his unnecessary lecture.
Staring out the window, I continued to admire Harvard’s landscaping as students and faculty scattered around. This had been a tough year, and I was just happy to be taking a break. The last few months had been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster. Finally I was at a point where I could wake up without crying, go to school without zoning out, and enter a public place without the aching memories.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a round of applause. I joined in as I knew the class was finally over. The students began to pack their bags. I quickly placed my laptop and textbook into my backpack and headed for the door. Professor Johnson was standing by the entryway saying farewell to everyone.
I knew it would be difficult to walk by him without being pulled in for an intellectual conversation. So I attempted to hide my face by lowering my red cap. There were a few students in front of me, and I tried to blend in and sneak out, avoiding eye contact. I was almost out the door when Mr. Johnson shouted my name twice. A few students turned around, flashing sympathetic smiles. I couldn’t say I didn’t hear him. Slowly I turned on the balls of my feet and flashed a full-toothed grin. In return I was faced with the stupid, goofy smile I was beginning to dislike. Ugh!
When I reached his side, he lifted his finger, indicating for me to wait a minute. Great! He pulled me aside and had the audacity to keep me waiting. After he gave a few more farewells, we were left alone in the huge classroom. Facing me with another big smile, he began to walk towards his desk.
I followed, dragging my feet all while forming a handgun with my finger and thumb and aiming it at my head. Then I pulled the trigger. Okay, so that may seem a little childish for a twenty-four year old, but I didn’t want to be bothered that day.
He took a seat behind his desk and handed me a sheet of paper. Raising an eyebrow at his amused grin, I looked down at the document. I was dumbstruck when I saw the letterhead. It was from The Law Office of Marcus DeLuca! I continued to read the letter when I realized it was addressed to me.
Dear Ms. Sullivan:
Thank you for applying to our summer externship. As you are aware, our firm chooses four law students each summer from Harvard Law. Each student will be placed in one of our four legal departments.
After reviewing your resume and references, we would like to invite you to interview for an opportunity to be a part of the externship program.
Kindly make arrangements to be at our office on Friday, April 27, 2012, at 9:00am, at the above address, Suite 2500. You will be meeting with me and possibly Mr. DeLuca if he is available.
Unfortunately due to our fast-paced environment and busy schedule, this date cannot be rescheduled. If for any reason you cannot make this date, kindly call our office for a courtesy cancellation.
I look forward to meeting you. Thank you for your time and cooperation.
Very truly yours,
Human Resource Manager
Stunned I read the letter two more times. I couldn’t believe it! I looked up at Professor Johnson who still had that smirk on his face. I shook my head in disbelief. “Um, Professor Johnson, this is terrific, but I didn’t sign up for the externship position. I thought it was only for third-year students.” He adjusted his crooked wire glasses and cleared his throat.
“Well Lisa Harper is really good friends with my wife. So I asked my wife if she could do me a favor and put in a good word for you. Mia, you’re the best student I’ve had in my twenty years of teaching. You’re attentive; you submit your work on time, and you earned a 4.0 GPA your first year! You deserve this more than any third-year student.”