successful mergers by pheonix.writing

19 Sep

“Can you give me five minutes?”  Iain sighed as he heard Emma’s voice coming through the intercom.   “I am just finishing off an e-mail to Chris about the quarterly reports then I will be right out.  Perhaps Mr. Sommers would like a coffee.”

The grey-haired lady with the pinched face looked up at Iain and pointed to the leather chair in the waiting area beside him.  “It appears that Ms. Stone is running a little late this afternoon.  If you take a seat I will get you a coffee if you would like.  I am sure it won’t be long.”

Iain unbuttoned his jacket and sat down in the chair laying his briefcase on the small table beside him.  “Coffee would be lovely.  Black, please.”  While he had just finished his third cup of coffee on the way over, Iain could not imagine sitting there for five minutes under the watchful eye of Emma’s new assistant. If it was not for his mother – whose disapproving gaze could easily put this woman to shame – he would have left without even seeing Emma.

His mother was the one who had insisted he take the flight to Chicago in the first place.  He had wanted to call Emma but his mother had vetoed that idea immediately.  “These things must be handled delicately.  You have already made enough of a mess out of this situation.  Let’s not make it worst.”

The directive had come when he returned from a two-week trip to Europe and announced that he and Emma had split up.  “You did what?” she asked when he told her the story.

“I broke up with her.  We were sitting in the cafe in France taking a quick break and watching people walk by.  There was this one couple that was holding hands and laughing as they made their way up the street.  They were tourists, you could tell by their clothes and the huge camera hanging around his neck.  Anyway, the man stopped for a minute then leaned over to whisper something in the woman’s ear.  She laughed and he put his arms around her and they just stood there holding each other for a few moments before they kept walking.”

Iain took a deep breath before continuing.  He knew his mother would never understand how he felt.  Since his father passed away twenty-five years ago his mother had made her way through a series of marriages, each husband slightly more wealthy and successful than the last.  June Watkins did not believe in romance.  She believed in practicalities and marrying well.  Until that moment in Paris he had thought that he felt the same way.  It was why he had approached Emma Stone in the first place.

“It is hard to explain Mother.  This couple just seemed so at home with each other, so comfortable that it did not seem to matter what city or what country they were in.  They just wanted to be together,” he sighed knowing that he was doing a poor job of explaining such a pivotal moment in his life.   “I looked over at Emma and realized that I had never felt that way with her and I never would.   Before I knew what I was doing, I was breaking up with her.”

His mother remained silent on the other side of the line and Iain closed his eyes waiting for the inevitable disappointment in her voice.  “Iain, dear, that is all well and good but one cannot just leave a relationship without any thought.”

“Mother, I am not going to change my mind.  Emma is just not the woman for me.”

“Of course she is not; I had trouble ever believing she was.  But you insisted on moving in with her and I know you feel about her grandfather so your step-father convinced me to keep my opinions to myself.  I wondered if you had finally given up on your crazy romantic notions and realized that marriage was a business arrangement like any other.”

“Maybe I haven’t given up on romance.  Maybe I finally understand that there is more to relationships than a ‘successful merger’,” Iain said.  “I’m sorry that I hurt Emma but Mr. Stone understands and has made arrangements for Emma to move to another office so we don’t have of face each other every day.”

“… and the earrings?”

“The earrings?  Mother, I broke the woman’s heart in a city halfway across the world.  Since then she has had to leave her home and her friends and start a new job and a new life in a city sixteen hours away.  I think it would be a little much to call her now and ask for a pair of pearl earrings that I gave her on our six-month anniversary.”

“You listen to me Iain Sommers.”  Iain was silenced by the sudden icy tone in his mother’s always-calm voice.  “Those earrings were a gift from your father to me on our wedding day.  To be honest I was hesitant when you decided to give them to Emma but I assumed that you had made your decision and that an engagement was around the corner.  If Emma Stone is not going to be part of this family then those earrings should be returned to me.”

“But Mother…”

“But nothing!  You will call her, explain the sentimental importance of those earrings and get them back.”

Iain sighed.  Emma tended to be emotional and would never understand the cold-blooded logic that framed his mother’s view of life and love.   He looked up to see Emma’s assistant coming back to the room with a steaming cup of coffee.

“Thank you,” he said as he took the mug from her.  “May I ask a quick question?”

The woman nodded.

“Did I hear a dog earlier?”

The grey-haired lady smiled slowly.  “Yes, you did.  Snookie is here today for a visit.”

Shit, this was going to be even worse than he had imagined.

3 Responses to “successful mergers by pheonix.writing”

  1. phoenix.writing at 11:15 pm #

    Oh, dear God. *Please* tell me that he brought replacement pearl earrings? I’d still let Snookie at him and hope there was blood and tears, but that would help a little.

    And if Iain doesn’t explain himself–not that I think anything he tries to explain would be good enough–I’m going to be back at the hitting people over the head with big sticks scenario.

    Kudos on making characters who I want to interact with. 😉

  2. ingridfnl at 8:20 pm #

    🙂 I feel the same as phoenix.writing. I find it interesting that the mother’s sentiments about the earrings reveal that her feelings about marriage go beyond a business arrangement. 🙂

    • juleshg at 4:39 pm #

      I wondered about June’s intentions as well — I wondered whether Iain’s dad was her one true love and if her romantic ways died with him. As I got to know her my ideas changed. Perhaps she was making sure that the relationship was really and truly over. Hard to reconcile after you went to reclaim the family earrings.

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