The Protector

She gritted her teeth, waiting for Jen to meet her at the doorway to the elegant Ritz Carlton. Why had she agreed to come to this melodramatic, waste-of-time event? Jen didn’t need her there. Surely she could have called up anyone of her friends, which she assumed Jen had lots of in her position, and asked them to come. Why her? To make her jealous, Samantha decided, as soon as she saw those liposuctioned legs swing out from the backseat of the black, stretch limousine. Jen never missed a chance to be dramatic.

As Jen emerged from the limo, she tossed her blonde silky skeins over her shoulder and eyed the driver with flirty temptation. She sparkled like a pristine diamond, looking more beautiful than Samantha could ever recall. How did her sister collect all the best, while she got stuck with the leftovers? It wasn’t enough she had the perfect-model life with the good-looking husband, the most adorable son and daughter, the trendy clothes, the more than just reliable car, but she had to have Samantha’s dream job too and be damned successful at it.

As Samantha returned her sister’s smile from across the vast expense of the imperial red carpet lining the ornate front staircase leading to the Ritz Carlton, she fought the jealousy. One of these days, she would too rise to success and she was sure, Jen would be there to cheer on her. That is if she wasn’t too busy traveling to Milan, or Paris, or Australia. She had the life. How could she ever want for anything?

Samantha imagined waking up in a bedroom the size of her entire condo and oozing with comfort as she sipped coffee from under her thousand dollar sheets and comforter, propped up high in her oversized-king bed, watching Ann Curry rattle off the morning news. Her beautifully sculpted and attentive husband would remind her how much he loves her before he dashes into a steamy bathroom, tucked away from her quiet oasis. At work, her day would start with challenging deadlines, just enough to get her creativity flowing and she would counter those challenges with the stealthiness of a tiger on the prowl. She would hunt for the best and brightest on her team and holding the power and taking all the glory, they would work for her, tying the seams together with little effort. At the end of the day, she would get to walk out of that office and get back to a haven of a home, dripping in success. Could life be anymore unfair, inequitable, or illogical?

In her most flamboyant portrayal of happiness, Jen places a peck on each of Samantha’s cheeks. “Let’s go to the ladies’ room first, shall we?” she says grasping hold of her arm and pulling her further into what she knew would be a night ending in self-pity for her. For Jen, the night was just another award for herself, for Samantha it was just another award for someone other than her.

The two entered their respective stalls, and then three women barged into the restroom. “I pray I don’t throw up when I hear Jen’s name being called for that damn award,” one woman said. “Tell me about it. I can’t stand her. That annoying I’m so much more equipped for this project than any of you are,” another woman mimicked her sister’s voice. “I can’t stand the way she has to have her hand in every little thing we do. Can’t she just let loose and stop worrying about her image and let us shine every once in a while?” another woman added. “It’s all about Jen!” they rang out together.

Samantha fumed in her stall. That was her sister they were talking about. Who the hell did they think they were, dolling out insults behind her back? Jen obviously worked very hard to get to this point and now they made a mockery out of that achievement. Samantha finished up as fast as possible and flushed her toilet with a hard twist of the knob thingy and pushed her way out of the stall ready to defend her older sister’s dignity. But all she found on the other side of the stall was Jen’s head buried deep in her hands.

Switching from jealous monster to do-good protector, Samantha pulled her sister into her arms and let her cry; coaxing her into believing all would be okay. But Samantha didn’t know how that would be possible. The corporate world was an ugly, competitive, catty place. If, no… when, that day came and she finally did capture her public relations director position, she would run a much smoother group than her sister, one where she made sure they liked her.

The Protector


Joined March 2008

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  • Trish Royce
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