Tell of Two Lives
It’s kinda funny revisiting the landmark details of this story because it floods me with so many memories. Although many of these businesses are no longer around, I can see them so clearly.
Seeing this reference made me laugh “Healthrider” 🤣
Also, since I honestly do not remember what I’ll discover in rereading future chapters, I’ve decided to entitle this work “Tell of Two Lives”
Catch up Chapter 2
Maya was deeply moved by the sight of that burning building last night and before she knew it she was standing there crying like a baby. Just the thought of all the hard work that had gone into making that building possible and the flames didn’t give a damn. It burned like it was a tenement whose dwellers had long since abandoned it to fend for itself.
Because of the images that she could not get out of her head, Maya had hardly slept at all. The people who were standing around to see what would happen next. Their sighs of relief as those trapped inside were brought out safely. And that young man, with the nerves of steel, who calmed all the victims down it seemed with only his smile. He was very handsome, but what caught her attention was the gentleness that seemed to be coming from his very soul.
So when Maya’s alarm went off at 6:30am that morning to signal the beginning of a new day, getting out of bed was the last thing she wanted to do. If it weren’t for the fact that it was Thursday and she had a standing appointment with her mother, she would have called in sick. But Maya looked forward to these weekly meetings with her mother, Madison, and wouldn’t have missed one for the world. It was the only time when she could count on her mother’s undivided attention.
Madison Franklin was a very influential person. She knew all the important people in the “Windy City”. If you were somebody or on your way to being somebody, you made a point of getting to know her. Madison “the Great” as she was sometimes called was the founder and CEO of the largest public relations firm in the city. She had asked Jamie to take Maya under his wing and after much coaxing on Madison’s part Jamie finally agreed.
Madison knew that Maya was not a dumb child, but it seemed that nothing could keep her attention for very long. In all that she tried she excelled and maybe that was the problem; nothing was ever a challenge. Madison felt very strongly that if Maya had to work hard at something maybe she would find her place and she felt that place was the Power Agency.
After a long hot shower and a cup of herbal tea, Maya was ready to face the world. She found her favorite jeans, on her unused Healthrider in the corner of her room, under three shirts and a jacket where she’d left them several nights ago. She smiled to herself at the mess she lived in; knowing this is where she felt most comfortable. After dressing Maya headed for Alexander’s to meet Madison.
When Maya arrived at the restaurant, Madison was standing outside smoking a cigarette, enjoying a final drag; because she knew it would be her last as long as Maya was around. Maya had always been allergic to dust and pollen; but in the past few years her allergies had gotten so bad that she had now developed “adult onset asthma” and couldn’t breathe without an inhaler when she was in the presence of smokers.
After they’d looked each other over and exchanged hugs, they allowed the hostess to seat them. They had been coming to Alexander’s for four years now and always sat wherever Sophia was stationed. Sophia was a kindly Greek woman, about sixty years old, who treated each of her customers like one of her own children.
Alexander’s was a family owned restaurant that Maya and Madison had found by accident. They had been on the north side all morning scouting out vintage clothing stores and when they had finally decided it was time to eat, they found themselves on Clark street standing right in front of it. It seemed like a pleasant enough place, so they went inside and that was all she wrote. When they ate there they left their diets at the door and ordered full portions of what got them hooked in the first place — ham and hashbrowns. When they’d finished eating and said their good-byes, Maya headed for the office. If she had time, she always caught the #22 bus, because she enjoyed the ride and would then walk the eight blocks to the agency.
Maya shared an office with Jamie as part of the promise he’d made with his partners. It was his way of keeping an eye on her, but she didn’t mind at all because they work well together. Jamie always kept her laughing with those corny jokes he told. She believed that he actually thought they were funny. If she needed his opinion on something she was working on, he was only a desk away. Where as other assistants might have to get on the elevator to get feedback from those they worked with. Maya knew she would probably get lonely if she had to work in isolation. She was the kind of person who when she had something to say, she didn’t want to have to go and find an audience.
When Maya arrived at the office’s building, she sensed that something was wrong. So instead of waiting for the elevator she bound up the twenty flights of stairs and emerged at the end of the hall where she noticed that everyone had gathered. When Casey, who worked in Accounting, saw her standing under the exit sign she rushed over to her. Taking Maya’s hand in her own, Casey began to explain that Jamie had suffered what appeared to be a heart attack and had been rushed to Northwestern Hospital. Maya wasn’t sure her ears were working properly. Casey couldn’t have said what she thought she heard. How could Jamie have had a heart attack, he had just turned 35 two weeks ago?
Maya had to sit down. Her legs were giving out and she was having a hard time breathing. Casey guided her to a chair that someone had brought out into the hall. She guessed they knew she would take the news badly, and someone else handed her an inhaler.