A little bit randy

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Chapter Fifteen: A little bit randy

"You've gone mad." Jolene said to me when I explained the pact.

"She said we'd do it my way, no more lying."

"When she stabs you in the back can I keep the knife?"

"What? What does that even mean?"

"I just want to keep it so when you start whining about the skirt I can hold up the knife and say, I TOLD YOU SO CHARLOTTE BOYD!"

"Jeez Jolene, have some faith."

"That's a great idea; I'll name the knife Charlie's faith."

Jolene remained suspicious but did not utter another word on the matter. She would watch Alicia and me from her desk and contrary to Jolene's belief, Alicia kept her word.

The whole staff began working on a new plan of attack to revive the image of our faltering and beloved magazine. With layoffs looming the office had come to the conclusion that something needed to be done, and though I had not agreed originally when I despised her, Alicia's plan to update us to the internet was looking better and better.

Phillip had placed a select few of us, Jolene being the sports editor included, into designing a website that would attract attention. Alicia and I organized meetings with the editing staff of each department to organize their sections on the site. Everyone enthusiastically joined in except for Jolene, who would sit at the meetings and hide behind a copy of what to expect when you are expecting.

Alicia shared the lead position with me at the meetings. With the stress of competition out of the way I threw myself back into work, jotting down ideas for the website, typing up columns, and translating them to something easily readable for internet readers. As my belly grew, so did my confidence.

"Charlie, I just want you to know how proud I am of you." Phillip had grabbed me after one of the site meetings and dragged me into his office. "I just went over the list of the potential candidates for the Features Editor and I must say you are looking good. I am going to hold off making a selection till after we roll out the new website but at the rate you and Alicia are going I have no doubt you'll be top of the list."

"Thanks Phillip." I could feel my heart jump with excitement but I kept my response cool.

As I opened the door to leave Phillip raised his hand and motioned for me to re-shut it.

"Charlie, I'm not just proud of the great job you are doing at work." Phillip paused and glanced at his wife's photo. "I'm also proud of how well you are handling everything." He casually pointed at my protruding midriff. "Rose and I are really in awe of how amazingly strong you have become." Phillip looked up and for a moment I thought I saw the glimmer of a tear.

"Thanks Phillip, that really means so much to me." I began to walk around the desk to hug him but Phillip raised his palm up and stopped me mid-step.

"That's it. You can go." Phillip turned his palm inward and waived me off, focusing back on the stack of paperwork in front of him.

"Okay." I was so excited about what Phillip had said that I didn't even care that he was his normal stoic self. I skipped out of his office, my belly bouncing in tune with my mood. The list was made and I was on top, it's like everything in my life was piecing itself back together. I skipped over to my desk, narrowly missing a set of long legs jetting out from underneath.

"What did Phillip have to say Charlotte?" Alicia had given up calling me Charlie soon after the pact was made, but it didn't bother me anymore. She was on all fours underneath the desk.

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