Sharon hesitated at the door of the opulent boardroom. The sun’s final rays streamed through the window. Blinded she turned her back to it.
She dry swallowed against the acidic nausea that burnt her throat. The glass shook in her hand as she picked it up. She took a small sip of water. Her eyes flicked to the wall clock following it’s relentless march towards 4.30pm.
Her eyes flit around the room, settling on the painting on the wall. She walked to it – straightened it. Walked back to the boardroom table. She gripped the back of a chair, pulling it out, then pushed it back. She took a tissue from her jacket pocket, frumpling it.
Turmoil roiled in her stomach. “Should I, shouldn’t I?…” endlessly raced through her mind. An immense pressure threatened to blast her skull apart. “You know you will upset everybody, not just Ben. Mom and Dad will have a fit,” her inner voice admonished.
There was still time…..
Determined she shook her head. “You know you don’t want to be a housewife the rest of your life.”
Ben’s familiar footsteps came up the passage. She lifted her chin and faced the door. Clenched in her hand was her engagement ring.
Ben strode into the room. Confidence oozed from him. He pinned Sharon with a clear green gaze.
Unconsciously Sharon’s hand flew up to her hair, patting a stray curl into place. She snatched her hand back down, hoping he did not notice her naked ring finger.
“And to what do I owe this honour my love? Did you make a mistake again? Need my help to fix it?” In the back of her mind, irritation lifted its ugly head. Determined not to cause a scene she pasted a slight smile on her face, nervously clearing her throat. “Ben…..”
Ignoring her he carried on. “Have you arranged everything for the dinner with the Wesley’s tomorrow night? I don’t want them to think you are tardy. It won’t be long now and you can relax and stay at home.”
“Ben please, can we talk. I have something serious I want to discuss with you,” Sharon implored.
“Just don’t tell me you have not booked the caterers,” Ben said as he took a step towards her.
Sharon held up her hands. “Ben please, can I just talk to you for a minute.”
With a smirk Ben shook his head, lowered himself onto the corner of the boardroom table, swinging his left leg. He folded his hands in his lap, bending towards her. “Okay, what is it?”, then leaned back. He shook his wrist, checking his wrist watch. “Darling…”
Sharon softened her voice. “Please come and sit down.” His face a mask of irritation Ben grabbed a chair, sat down, and pulled his shirt cuffs down.
Sharon’s mind frantically scrabbled for the right words. “Look, I don’t think we are suited for each other. We are too different.” She babbled. Ben half lifted himself out of the chair, bending over the boardroom table, his eyes pinpricks. Sharon cowered. She raced on, “I am breaking off the engagement. We can still be friends.”
An air of menace whooshed through the room. “Oh shit,” her mind screamed, “that came out all wrong”.
His face reddening, Ben rose like a phoenix out of the chair. Inwardly she cringed. Scenes from their past raced through her mind on fast forward. Desperately Sharon tried again. “Look it is not that I don’t love you, I just don’t think we can make a marriage work.”
“You ungrateful little bitch!” he spat.
His words thumped into her solar plexus, igniting a vicious lava of red hot anger. “The condescending arsehole,” her evil twin whispered.
Sharon stood up, unclenched her hand, and flung the engagement ring at Ben’s face. “Take your ring and put it where the sun doesn’t shine!” she spat. “I don’t need YOU and even less you telling me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it!”
Ben grabbed her arm as she strode past him. Holding her tight, he stabbed his shaking index finger in her face. “Just who do you think you are? I can fire you right now,” he menacingly whispered in her face.
An icy calm crawled up her spine. Sarcastically she oozed out, “Really?”
“YES, I CAN,” Ben slowly enunciated.
“For your information, I RESIGNED this morning,” she hissed back. Ben blanched. She flung his hand off her arm.
“If you think you can talk to me this way, you better think again,” Ben threatened as she shouldered past him and opened the door.
“Find yourself another donkey. Better yet, get yourself a vacuous girly to marry. You’re not man enough to handle a real woman,” she flung over her shoulder from the doorway.
“Oh, there’s plenty fish in the sea. You are just too stupid to realise what I am worth,” Ben grated behind her.
Unable to stop, she turned. “Darling, I can do so much better than daily playing the skivvy to your haughty supercilious arrogance.” She just managed to stop herself from slinging in a few choice profane adjectives.
She gracefully pirouetted around and purposefully strode towards the lift. Blanking out his voice, she refused to listen to any further abuse.
A fury of hot tears scorched her throat as she rode the lift to the basement. Shaking she got into her car, her mind reeling. She started the car as her inner voice wryly whispered, “So much for sorting that out amicably”.
One Year Later.
Sharon looked around her office. Hardwood oak floor covered with a Persian carpet. The table in the corner cluttered with files to be attended to. The desk lamp cast a warm glow over the leather topped desk.
Sighing with satisfaction she sat down on her chair. Kicked off her shoes. Stretched out her legs. Wiggled her toes.
She had won another trial. Rode the crest of the wave. Her client got justice. Life was good.