Chapter 24

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Chapter 24

 It was morning. Birds chirped happily, ignorant to my internal worry while the early sun shined brightly into the living room just to spite my foul mood. I heard the front door open finally.

After waiting up all night, trying to figure out how to deal with all the information Holly gave me and the fact that she’d run off without another word, I was pissed.

She was still in her Wonder Woman outfit, but all I could see were her eyes. Even then it took a moment to really look at them. Initially was so caught up in my own anger I didn’t see it- the vulnerability in her posture as she wrapped her arms around herself, the timidity to her stance, one ankle behind the other, and the fear in the depths of her deep blue eyes as she awaited my response, my judgment.

When I noticed, my fury vanished, replaced with guilt and concern which I tried to make clear as I softened my face, eyebrows furrowing as I thought of what to say. I stood up, only a few feet between us, wondering how to handle the situation.

“You left,” was all that came to mind.

“I know you probably wanted me to stay gone… I’ll pack my stuff.” She started off for the slider leading out back. I grabbed her forearm to hold in her place.

“I didn’t want you to leave in the first place. And I definitely don’t want you to go for good,” I told her in a gentle tone, wondering how she could think I wouldn’t want her here. I was confused about a lot of things, but one thing was clear: I couldn’t stand the thought of her not being in my life.

She turned around slowly to look up at me. Her once soft, and neatly wavy hair had become messy and tangled and her skin was blotchy and red from crying.

I looked her directly in the eyes as I spoke to show her that I was being sincere. “Holls… Look, your past is… well, it’s your past. You were a great assistant to Jon; I mean the recommendation from Joan Whittaker alone would be enough for anyone to hire you. And since you started working with me, you’ve been a huge help. You’re great at your job and ultimately your personal life has no bearing on that.”

I waited for her answer. She tilted her head, sizing me up before nodding, slowly.

“There is one thing though,” I added.

“What’s that?” It came out so low I could barely hear.

“Just don’t ever run off again please. I was really worried about you and I wasn’t sure if you were coming back. I get you had your reasons for running away from that douche but please, don’t ever do that to me.”

“I promise,” she whispered. It was obvious she was exhausted and suddenly I was too.

“I’m gonna go to bed, let’s take the day off, eh?” I asked her.

She nodded back and went to leave.

“Holls?”

She turned around, “Yeah?”

I walked up to her and wrapped my arms around her shoulders, talking into her hair, “He’s an a**hole for doing that to you… You deserve to be someone’s first and only choice, only an idiot would let you go.” I heard her whisper a ‘thank you’ and after a few more silent seconds of embracing her I finally let go and went to bed. Knowing she would still be working with me and in my life when I woke calmed me and made it easy to yield to my exhaustion.

When I woke, however, my mind began making up for lost time, heading into overdrive worrying about Holly. It was great that she promised not to disappear and that she would still be working alongside me every day, but I wasn’t sure it would be enough.

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