Chapter 1 - It's Almost Fate

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"Come in," a muffled voice responded.

Mia opened the door slowly, a cold breeze rushing through her hair. Tanya Sheridan was behind her desk scrolling through her computer. Her mustard yellow suit complimented her caramel skin warmly, and her high ponytail gave her an even more empowering look, one that matched her position and personality.

"Mia, please sit."

She did as told and rested her hands on her lap as she waited. A few clicks later, Tanya turned to her, palms pressed down on her planner. "Alright, Mia. I just finished reading the article you submitted this morning..." She glanced at the screen again, noticing the time stamp. "This very early morning, I may add."

Mia nodded once. "How do you find it?"

Tanya sat back in her chair and pursed her lips together. "Well, it was written beautifully. Your best quality, as always. There's just one thing I don't like about it."

Mia stared at the plaque above Tanya's head, the one she'd always notice in her office. It was the largest one out of the three displayed, made of glass and loosely shaped after a diamond. It was an award Tanya had won years ago for her investigative journalism, one Mia had only dreamt of earning for years. But Tanya had left that life a long time ago when she settled down to start a family, and then the magazine became her very existence.

"There's a lot of things Chicago has to offer, but it's been written about a million times. What you wrote about was no different," Tanya began. Mia felt her cheeks heat up, the room growing warmer by the second. "When I gave you the weekend for it, I expected more. We're not paying you to explain what appears on the first page of Google search results."

Mia nodded understandingly, knowing that she hadn't put in the same amount of passion that could have been used had the topic been different.

"Listen, Mia. Next month's issue is important. It's our thirtieth anniversary, and we're going all-out on spreads, online and in-print. Everything is going to be integrated for easier access, and with the article you wrote, do you think people are actually going to spend time reading about something they can just find in Instagram tags? I don't think so."

Mia nodded again. "I... I completely understand."

"I wanted something new. I wanted you to make readers feel like they're stepping out of their comfort zone. It didn't mean hopping on a boat to the amazon, but it also didn't mean hopping on a plane to eat the best deep-dish pizza the world has to offer." She sighed and went back to her computer, closing a few tabs before pushing the screen towards Mia.

Mia couldn't quite make out of what Tanya was showing her, and she was shy to inch forward. The words were too small to read, and too many to odd out clearly.

"These are tickets I want to book for you. For this Saturday," Tanya said, eyes glued on Mia. "I want you to go home."

Mia's mouth opened slightly as she felt as if her throat had closed-in on itself. She suppressed a shocked gasp, blinking quickly in response to the events that had just flown by. "I'm... I-I'm fired?"

Tanya's eyes widened before she bursted into laughter. "No, I didn't mean it like that. I realized that you're not from here, obviously. The accent gives it away sometimes even when you try to hide it. So..." She clicked on the screen, zooming in on the words and now — as Mia could point out — numbers. "I'm going to give you a second chance before I actually consider on letting you go permanently. These are tickets to Scotland. I want you to write about home. I've never heard of this town you grew up in, and I think it works well with what we have planned."

Take Me Away | Richard Madden [Completed; Editing]Where stories live. Discover now