She's Mine: Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

A departed look was directed at the square analog clock on the opposite end of her office. It was time to go, and she had used the majority of her morning to assemble all of the assurance she would need on her first day back since the delivery. Eliza quickly came to her feet and proceeded to take steps to the nearby mirror hanging on the wall. 

She was afraid at what she might see, but she had to look to make sure that it was adequate enough for watchful eyes. Gaunt features were still present, making angular cheekbones more cutting, but a simple layer of foundation temporarily masked the shallow cocoa surface. A full set of lips was still desaturated from the fatigue and her body's desire to recover all that it's recently lost. After a quick trip back to her purse, a tinted lip balm served its duty in painting over the evident deficiency. 

Underneath a carved portrait in the reflection, she looked just the same, or at least she convinced herself that was so. Running one hand over her wavy hair, she made sure that her eyes were not as bloodshot as they were when she last took a glance at her reflection. Yet it was hard to tell when her normally rounded eyes were more comfortable in a slanted state. Eliza could hardly remember the drive to the building– let alone what time she went to bed. 

Stepping back to see more of herself, Eliza pushed out her chest and used her fingers to tuck more of her blouse into her pencil skirt's waistline. She nodded with approval, but then insecurely tugged the thin fabric loose again. Being self-conscious wasn't something she had felt in quite some time, yet her current reflection made her opinions about herself much more delicate. 

After another glance at the clock, she snatched one leather portfolio and few manila folders off of her desk. It was time to show herself to the world again. So, just as she placed the tips of her fingers on the knob to her frosted doors, Eliza's eyes were closed– engaging in a silent plea with herself to hold it together. 

Before she could strut her way down the hall, she was interrupted as soon as she yanked open her doors, "Morning, Ms. Kelly." 

Looking at the surprised teenage girl, Eliza composed herself and nodded back. It wasn't a shock that the young, large-eyed intern would be taken aback by her less plump appearance. 

"What would you like for lunch today?" a sweet, timid voice inquired, finally lifting her eyes from Eliza's loosely fitted blouse that was strategically hiding the physical aftermath of child birth.

Eliza forced a more cheerful appearance, "Don't worry about that today. I already have my own provisions. Thank you, Vanessa." 

"Yes, ma'am," the intern faded, while the person she was meant to cater to was already walking down the hall with determination. 

Reaching the double doors had been easy, but passing through them was where Eliza found the real obstacle. Nothing should have changed. Everything should go as it should have, despite the latest current event. 

She pushed down on the knob and witnessed the gentlemen at the table talking amongst themselves. Of course–and as she expected– when she entered the room voices descended and drifted around in low whispers. Eliza traditionally took her place at the end of the long table and fixed her eyes on the folders she began to unfurl before her. 

There was nothing for her to say, though the room of ten men and her boss wanted her to. It wasn't any of their business that she had given birth over the weekend, and she wasn't going to feel obligated to talk about it on Monday morning. 

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