Lillie sat alone in the middle of the cold floor. She held her head in her hands; her eyes puffy as tears rolled down her face. Lillie had no idea what had just happened. She struggled to catch her breath as she sat there…. alone, bloody and confused.
While she could hear distant sirens approaching, Lillie managed to get up from the floor, stumble to the kitchen and wash the blood from her hands. She pulled her hair into a ponytail and wiped away her tears. As she made her way to the upstairs bedroom, all she could remember from last night was walking into her home and being met by an intruder followed by a brief scuffle. There laying on her bedroom floor was a beautifully dressed middle-aged woman covered in blood. Where was Daniel? Was he okay? Who was this woman? How did she get in her house? She had no answers to these questions and no one around to make sense of them.
Around the same time the police are knocking on Lillie’s door, a well-dressed Daniel walks into the local downtown bank branch to clean out the couple’s bank accounts.
Brooklyn, summer of ‘96, Lillie had taken her first job as an assistant manager with a major clothing chain. While working, Lillie studied at the Fashion School in Manhattan, she was excited to be starting a new career and looking forward to moving on with her life. Lillie’s goal wasn’t to live in an overpriced cramped New York City apartment forever. She one day wanted to own her own home somewhere in Connecticut, but for now, this job was a perfect fit.
Like most young women, Lillie had made and “met” some mistakes in her life. These mistakes included but weren’t limited to; paying to take men on trips, cosigning for a boyfriend’s car and purchasing DJ equipment for a man she thought loved her. Her low self-esteem attracted men who were eager to exploit her insecurities. That was all behind her now… Lillie knew the game, and she was in control. For the next couple years, her routine would consist of going to work, school, stacking her money, and rebuilding her credit.
A Glazed Doughnut
It was a routine Monday morning. Lillie arrived at work and prepared for the morning meeting to start. She found it odd to see an extra seat at the conference table. She did not notice him at first as she sat down to enjoy her morning breakfast. But when she looked up, she saw him standing there looking just as delicious as that glazed doughnut she was eating. She gave him a soft smile hoping to not show her excitement. “He is one good looking man, but why is he here?” She thought.
As she stood up to throw away her trash, Daniel walked towards her, and introduced himself. “Good morning, I’m Daniel Messenger, the new manager for your district, and you are?”… He extended his hand to shake hers! “I’m Lillie, one of the assistant managers, nice to meet you Mr. Messenger.” As she shook his hand, she looked at him from head to toe and then quickly reminded herself he was her boss. … “No, it’s Daniel, you don’t have to be so formal. He flashed a gorgeous smile and walked away. His smile lit up the room and she could tell this man was vastly different than the “mistakes” of her past. Life however, was going too well for Lillie. She was focused and could not afford to let curiosity interfere with the goals she had set for herself. A romance with her boss was definitely not one of them.