That was all I felt.
Emptiness. Cold. Hurt.
I had never thought that I would lose my mother so early in my life. My mother had been my role model, the person I had wanted to be when I got older. And now she was gone forever.
My father and I were so heartbroken. She had been the light in our family, and now the light had gone out.
Staring at my mother’s grave still hurt me, even a month after her passing.
My father was still closed off from everyone and everything. I could only imagine the pain he was going through. He had been married to my mother for twenty years.
I came to my mother’s grave every weekend, just to say hey and bring some flowers. But my father visited every two days—to feel close to her.
I just hoped he would find someone one day who would love him as he deserved.
A few raindrops fell on my face, snapping me out of my thoughts. I should go before it started raining heavily.
“I love you, Mom, no matter what.” I put the flowers down and got to my feet. Time to go back to my almost empty apartment.
“Taxi!” I yelled.
The cab pulled up beside me, splashing me with water from the drain.
Great, I thought. ~That’s just what I need. ~As I gave the driver the address to my apartment, I thought about how much I was going to miss this place.
But no matter where I was, I would always be a New York girl.
As the car pulled up in front of my building, I paid the driver, adding a tip, and made my way inside.
I worked as an interior designer, so I could afford to live in this expensive building, the tight security being one of its perks.
I stepped into my apartment, taking a moment to look around. It was empty save for my mattress and some groceries in the kitchen. My bags were already packed for me to leave tomorrow.
I would miss New York. My life was here, my friends, my family, and my job. But it was time to finally leave.
I had already talked with my father about me leaving, and he was happy for me. But he did threaten me that if I did not call him a few times a month, he would get on a plane to come see me.
I got ready for bed, opening a bottle of wine—I’d have a glass and try to read a book before going to sleep. I was a little scared of moving across the globe, but if I didn’t go now, would I ever leave?
Okay, I needed to stop thinking negatively and go to bed.
I did have an important day tomorrow.
Arriving in London after more than eight hours on a plane was hell.
My back hurt, my ears were blocked, and I still hadn’t arrived at my new apartment.
One of the perks of moving to London was that the company I’d be working at was giving me an apartment.
From the pictures they had sent me, the building seemed to be new and modern, with at least ten floors. Each floor housed just one apartment, and it was huge.
My apartment back in New York was not as big and grand as this one was.
I collected my luggage and hailed a cab, excited to see my new apartment.
I had shipped my things a few days before leaving, so they should already be there.
The cab pulled up to a modern and sleek building. “We are here. That will be eighteen pounds,” said the driver, smiling.
I paid him, smiling back.
He got out of the car and started getting my luggage out from the trunk.
Could I be happy here? I wondered as I stared at the building.
“Here you go, Miss.” The cab set my luggage down next to me.
“Thank you so much. Have a lovely day.” I smiled at him, picking up my bags.
I couldn’t help but gasp as I stepped inside the building.
The lobby was a modern space, with floors of black marble and big, wide windows on all sides that allowed the natural light in.
The doorman came to greet me. “Good evening. Miss Carlone, I presume?”
“Yes, I’m Katherine Carlone. How are you?”
The doorman—who wore a name tag that read “Williams”—smiled. “I’m very well, thank you.
“All your things have been brought up to your apartment, and your assistant, Arabella Brown, has set everything up. Let me take your bags, and I’ll show you to your new apartment.”
“Of course.” I followed the nice doorman to the elevator, which took us up.
A gasp escaped my mouth as he opened the doors of my new apartment. The doorman smiled, setting my bags down on the floor before giving me my key and security codes.
“I will leave you to yourself now. Have a lovely evening.” And he left, closing the door behind him.
I was still rooted to the spot, gaping at the beautiful apartment. I snapped myself out of the daze and went to have a look around the place.
I stepped from the front door into an open space—a combined living and dining room.
I peeked into an elegant kitchen—which I would love to cook in—before making my way to the master bedroom. It had a large en suite bathroom and the biggest closet you could ever imagine.
There was a second bedroom with an en suite as well.
The apartment overlooked the River Thames, and the view from the living room was breathtaking.
All the boxes I’d sent had been unpacked, and all my stuff had been neatly arranged, giving the place a modern but homey vibe.
Opening the fridge, I saw that it had been stocked with all kinds of goodies to eat. The cupboards were well stocked too. I certainly had to thank my new assistant when I met her.
Arriving in London on a Friday meant that I had the weekend to settle in.
I had spent the entire weekend at home, redecorating and reorganizing—and let’s not forget, preparing for the first day at my new job.
It was Monday, and I had just finished getting ready for work. I was wearing a tight black skirt that came just to my knees and a bordeaux blouse with the top two buttons undone.
Red lipstick, black Louis Vuitton heels, and a matching bag complemented the outfit. My long light brown hair was let down in voluminous curls.
I pulled on a black coat to top it off, feeling confident to conquer it all.
I was expected at work at eight in the morning. Leaving at half past seven, I figured I’d have enough time to find the building.
I was five minutes late.
I was never late. How could I have let this happen?
Fuck it. I ran like a madwoman till I came to a halt at the reception of the building.
“Hello, my name is Katherine Carlone. I am supposed to start work today.”
The receptionist was a young woman, probably in her mid-thirties. She had dark red shoulder-length hair and wore a long black dress with black heels. Simple but stunning. Her name tag said “Emilia Smith.”
“Oh yes, Miss Carlone. You are five minutes late, but don’t worry, the director is very nice.” She smiled, adding that I should take the elevator on the left to the seventh floor.
I thanked her and hurried to the elevator.
The doors were just about to close, but a man inside put his hand out, stopping them from closing and allowing me to get in.
“Thank you,” I said, smiling at him.
“No problem. Are you new here?” he asked.
“Yes, I start today.”
“Well, you will be great at it.”
“How do you know? Maybe I suck at my job,” I joked.
He smirked before replying, “Well, all the people who work here are more than capable of doing their job, so I think you will not be an exception.” He laughed.
“Oh.” I laughed with him.
“So, what is your name, if I may ask?” He turned to me, waiting for a response.
“Katherine Carlone. And you are?”
“Alexander James, but people call me Alex.”
“Well, nice to meet you, Alex James,” I said.
As the elevator came to a stop on the sixth floor, Alex turned to me. “Well, I do hope to see you around, beautiful,” he said, winking at me before stepping out.
I couldn’t stop myself from smiling back as I felt a blush rise to my cheeks.
The elevator finally arrived on the seventh floor, and I stepped out. A young woman was waiting for me. “Hello, I am Arabella Brown, your assistant.” She smiled and held her hand out for me to shake.
I gave her my hand, laughing. “Hello, nice to meet you.”
She shook my hand and turned around. “I’ll take you to your office.”
I followed her, and she led me into a big, spacious office with a view over the entire city. I loved it.
“You are the newest addition to our company, so of course you get an assistant,” she said. “The boss will be ready for you in an hour, so you still have time to get settled in. And what do you say, shall we have lunch together?”
My gaze still trained on the view out the window, I replied, “Sure, I would love to go to lunch with you. I think we’ll be great friends. And where do I have to go to meet the boss?”
“Mr. Adams’s office is on the top floor—it’s the only one on that floor. I should get back to work. Excuse me,” she replied before leaving me in my new office.
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