First Days Are Always the Worst Days or Are They?
“Oh I wouldn’t want to impose on you but if you so insist. I haven’t really gotten a chance to look around for food eateries yet so I would appreciate it more than you would know”he said pleasantly surprised at her offer. He wrote down his cell phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to her for her to call him with the details. He figured she would need it anyways.
When they arrived back at their cubicle Oliver was a little bit flabbergasted. He knew they would be traveling he just didn’t realize it was quite so much and so long. Thank God I decided not to buy a cat,he thought to himself. He chuckled at Lacey’s not so quiet outburst. She really was a character and he knew they would get along well and it would not take long for them to get close.
“I knew we would be traveling I just didn’t realize quite how much. Wow… I’m just… Wow. I mean I’ve done some traveling but nothing like this!” he said as if he were almost talking to himself. “Don’t apologize its totally fine. Its quite refreshing to know that not everyone in our field is uptight all the time” he said with his crooked smile.
“I can’t believe all the places we’re going to go to. Maybe I don’t even need an apartment!” he said jokingly. He did wonder what would happen to his apartment though and he was glad that it wasn’t outrageously expensive. Maybe he could rent it or something.
“Wow how do you even pack for this sort of thing? I don’t even know where to begin. Oh well I guess having my clothes get here in the first place would be ideal. Hopefully they get here by Wednesday. Otherwise I guess I’m going shopping” he said with a laugh. He would probably need to go shopping anyways because he would need warmer clothes. England, even during the summer, is not very warm so he didn’t have many summer clothes.
Lacey was more than accepting in having Oliver come over to dinner at her apartment the few days she had with him before they took off to their amazing trip around Europe. “Oh, it’s really no problem. We don’t have a spare room, or I’d offer you a place to stay as well.. no need for a full apartment to yourself when you’re only in the country for a few days.” She added in, with a warm smile plastered to her face. Being kind was something she was just good at doing, and it was a lucky break that she’d found a co-worker who wasn’t as uptight as others would and could’ve been.
Once they got back to their cubicle and Lacey began to apologize about her outburst, it really took the girl aback that Oliver was so understanding. He really seemed like Lacey, and the similarities they shared in a wide range of things including personality… was almost uncanny. But she was more than glad that she had found someone like that. Almost like.. fate. Almost.
"Ugh. Packing! I knew there was something that I forgot to stress about. How am I supposed to take three months worth of clothing in two check in bags? Looks like I’ll be spending the company credit card to it’s money’s worth." Lacey added with a soft smirk lacing her lips. "I can show you how shopping is truly done. American style." A soft laugh escaped her, as Lacey plotted back down on her chair, turning on her laptop so she could start her research right away once the packets arrived.
First Days Are Always the Worst Days or Are They?
“Well like you said its a reminder of home. I like the rain. Never thought of it as washing everything away though. Its a good point. I like it. I may use that” he said smiling. Rain to him was almost a muse. He really enjoyed watching it and taking pictures of it. Every artistic photo he had ever taken that was in the rain were always the best ones. He didn’t know why, but it always turned out that way. When he was a kid he remembered watching the raindrops race down the window. When he had nothing to do he would spend hours watching them and taking pictures of them with his first camera.
He laughed as she said it sounded like her mother was in the room. “Right right I’ll stick to Lacey. I wouldn’t wanna get myself in trouble on our first day working together” he said grinning at her. She was definitely something that was for sure. It didn’t take Oliver long to realize there was something different about her. She always seemed to be able to put a smile on his face ever since they started talking and he hadn’t talked to anyone who could do that for quite a wile.
“Its just a hop across the pond” he said with a chuckle. “I’m glad I did it though too. You seem great I’m really looking forward to working with you as well” he genuinely was glad to work with her. She seemed to be really great at what she did. He looked surprised when she said she looked him up. Well he really should have expected it because he would have too but he didnt’ know her name or anything to look her up. “Wow someone does their homework” he said raising an eyebrow and leaning forward in his chair to look at what she had found. A few of his best, a couple had been award winners and a few just rudimentary photos he had taken here and there. He had to admit, she was very good at looking at people’s backgrounds.
After a while, maybe an hour or two, the two had covered all the basics and they knew each other well enough to set up a decent foundation for a friendship and business co-worker. By the time lunch rolled around Oliver realized he had completely forgotten his lunch, because well he didn’t have any food. “Ah so that’s what I forgot. I just flew in last night and didn’t get in until around 3 in the morning. Its not exactly the prime time to go grocery shopping” he said with a sad smile. “You are too kind. Only if you don’t mind” he said smiling and accepting the other half of the sandwich from her.
After pleasantly chatting through lunch, they threw away their trash in the small wastepaper basket the phone they shared rang. Oliver picked it up to hear Mr. Polluck calling them into his office. “He wants us in his office to tell us our assignment” Oliver said with a huge grin on his face.
He stood up from his chair and allowed Lacey to go first as they walked towards his office. He knocked on the door and Mr. Polluck shouted,”Come in” from inside his office. He opened the door for Lacey and allowed her to walk through before closing it behind himself. He sat down on one of the leather clad chairs opposite Mr. Polluck’s desk.
“So I have an assignment for the two of you. Its quite the trip and something I am putting quite a bit of trust into. I’m trusting you two can handle it. You will be traveling to a few countries at a time then coming home for a week or so and then leaving again. Usually I would ask one of my executive journalist teams, but you two have a lot of promise and I want to really see more than potential with you two. I want results and good ones at that. So on Thursday morning you leave bright and early for Spain. After that you will need to go to Italy and after that France. After that you will be returning home for around a week or so. After that week you leave for England and then Russia. This job is demanding and I need to know I have your full commitment” Mr. Polluck told them.
Oliver could barely control his excitement while Mr. Polluck spoke. “Of course Mr. Polluck. You have my complete and utter commitment” Oliver told him. Mr. Polluck looked to Lacey and was pleased when she agreed too.
“Wonderful. Then you fly out on Thursday morning. My assistant will make your travel arrangements and give you a company credit card for expenses. She will also send you an e-mail of what stories you will be covering as well. She will also give both of you a manilla envelope with all the information you will need for traveling and background information Wednesday before you leave. As for Tuesday and Wednesday, Ms. Hawthorne I expect you to do your research on the e-mail you will be receiving today and Mr. Grenning I expect you to make sure all of your equipment is working properly and have the company give you a spare camera with spare equipment. I need both of you to review company etiquette as well before you leave. That is all. Now get to work” Mr. Polluck said.
Oliver got up out of his seat just as Mr. Polluck’s phone rang and he picked it up quickly. Mr. Polluck gave them a look of “get-out-now” and they hurriedly walked back to their cubicle to get started on preparations for the next few weeks.
"Feel free to quote me." Lacey added with a bit of a smirk, pulling out the rest of her lunch from her bag. "Oh, just last night? You must be exhausted. Don’t worry about grocery shopping. Come over to my place for the time being, we have plenty of food.. and I make dinner every night. Well.. I try to. It’s no haste, and we’d love to have you." It didn’t really occur to Lacey that she hadn’t mentioned a thing about Ben yet, then again.. she didn’t feel the need to. She’d wait for that, or until he asked.
She happened to notice how similar they seemed.. and call it wishful thinking, but Lacey had a deep rooted feeling that it wouldn’t take long for her to get used to this guy. She already admired him. Anything else was just the icing on top of a perfect red velvet cake. The two quickly finished their lunches, making small talk about themselves, and really getting to know the basics of who they really were. It was nice, and Lacey appreciated the fact that he allowed himself to be quite open to her. Most co-workers she’d dealt with weren’t so warm and accepting.
Noticing the phone ringing at their cubicle, Oliver reacted quickly to it, answering it with a stern answer and setting it down gently. The look on his face told her who it was and what it was for, so Lacey abruptly stood up and nodded at him once, putting a smile on her face before they walked down to Mr. Pollucks office once again for their briefing. She didn’t know exactly what they had in store for the two duo, but from what she did know.. it was something big. Something that neither of them could fail at, not that they would.
Lacey took a seat beside Oliver, and took out a small notepad from her bag, holding a pen tentatively in her hand to note down whatever it was that Gary would be saying to them about their first assignments. She listened carefully, penning down in her neat and script like penmanship everything important he said. But then, her pen almost dropped out of her hand once the worlds ‘travel’ and ‘Europe’ came into the conversation. Oh my god.. she was going to Europe. For months. It all came as a shock, even though she should’ve been accepting something along the lines of this with the work she had taken up the responsibility for. Though her interior was practically going off the walls, she kept her composure still and poised, a light smile remaining on her lips for a cover.
It was all just so interesting and thrilling, that she could barely get out a “Yes Sir” at his request of what she should be doing and preparing for their trip. Her thoughts momentarily reverted back to Ben, and wondered how’d he’d take the news. Probably with excitement.. yet.. she really didn’t want to leave him, for such a long time. Lacey was highly attached, and she always seemed to find it hard to let go to anything she considered hers.. or even that she found a liking to. Just as she came back to reality from her thoughts, Lacey noticed Oliver getting up from his seat, and Mr. Polluck attending to a phone call. She quickly gathered her things and exited, along with Oliver right behind her.
Without saying a word, Lacey quickly walked back to their little cubicle, waiting until it was only her and Oliver around for a small outburst to come out of her. “Oh my gosh! Spain, Italy, France, England, and Russia? This is insane! I can’t believe this..” She gasped, sitting down in her seat with her hands covering her mouth. Her tone was incredulous, her eyes wide with disbelief. After she was done with her mini panic attack, Lacey noticed that Oliver was there to, and probably considered her ‘fangirling’ a bit unprofessional. “Oh gosh.. I’m so sorry. I just.. I’m flabbergasted. Ha. Sorry!” She apologized, her cheeks flushing to a soft rose color.
First Days Are Always the Worst Days or Are They?
“Seattle huh? Always wanted to go. The rain seems like it would be a lot like home for me” he said with a smile. He was pleasantly surprised this morning when Lacey Hawthorne showed up as his partner. He really couldn’t have asked for a better partner. She seemed to be able to get down to business but also she seemed to have a sense of humor when she wasn’t working. He could just tell he was going to work well with her. Well he hoped he would. He never had actually worked with a partner in his field. He figured since they weren’t competing, but complimenting each other’s work then it would work out well.
He raised an eyebrow as she guessed on the spot where he was from. “You are quite good at your job Miss Hawthorne. Very intuitive. I am indeed from North Yorkshire. I come from a really small town called Whitby. Quite quaint actually. I’ve just always wanted to work for a big Newspaper in the United States so I decided to move” he said factually.
As he really began to realize where he was and who he was talking to his excitement began to escalate as he began to wonder what their first assignment would be. He felt a smile grow on his face as he and Lacey continued to talk. Even thought they weren’t talking about anything important per say, he really enjoyed talking with her. She was just a pleasant person to be around. She wasn’t negative like many reporters he knew were. It was a good change of pace for him.
"Most people dislike the rain, when they’ve lived around it for their whole life. I, on the other hand, find it refreshing. I love the rain. Makes me feel at home, no matter where I am. Besides, the rain.. it’s like a refresh button. Wipes out everything, makes it cleaner and newer again." She mused, her mind rendering back to those days she’d be stuck in her room with the big glass window, watching as the rain poured down the streets of her neighborhood, something calming that she could focus on other than her studies. Sentimental things, although she’d never admit it, they were one of her weaknesses. The topic of rain that Oliver brought up, truly made her smile… on the inside.
Her smile only got brighter, and a bit more playful as she heard the name Miss Hawthorne come out of his mouth. “I thought I told you.. it’s just Lacey. Or something other than Miss Hawthorne. I tried very hard to get away from my mother in Seattle. I don’t want to feel like she’s in the room.” Sitting down on a empty stop on top of her desk, Lacey crossed her legs and kept her eyes on Oliver. “I try to be the best I can. But it’s not all just the professional side of me talking. Call it woman’s intuition. Your accent wasn’t so difficult to trace. Though it is very unique. I’ve yet to hear about this place, Whitby? Sounds charming. I was always a fan of small towns. Makes it seem more.. homey.” She said with a assuring nod.
Hearing about his move here for better opportunity seemed like something Lacey would find herself doing as well. “I admire that. Crossing over for a job is tough, and a quite the decision. I’m glad you did it though. Means I get one hell of a partner. I got a glimpse at your work before you arrived here..” she went on, reaching over to turn her laptop on, the screen flickering on to show a slideshow of photographs that Oliver had taken. Her eyes gazed at them admirably, a smile on her lips showing that she indeed found them fascinating. “They’re beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.” She spoke with a dream like voice, fully appreciating his work. Holding out her hand once more for him to shake, this time, with a bit more of sincerity. “I truly.. look forward to working with you, Oliver.”
After an hour or so of mindless chatter and a bit of basic research, lunch time had arrived, and the two were scheduled to have another meeting with Mr. Polluck, to discuss where their first assignments were taking place, and what was in store for them. Lacey pulled out a small bag from her suitcase, having her lunch stored in there. She had some fruit, bottled green tea, and a home made sandwich prepared for her, but when she noticed that Oliver didn’t seem to have brought a lunch, it made her a bit curious, and her nurturing instinct kicked in. “Did you bring lunch, Oliver? If not, I have enough to share. Home made, american style sandwich. What do you say?” She offered with a warm smile, and a quirked brow, as the two made their way into the editor’s office.
First Days Are Always the Worst Days or Are They?
Once the girl had turned around he saw how pretty she was. She had pretty light blonde hair that fell and shaped her face in an attractive way. He smiled his crooked smile at her as he shook her hand firmly. Her hands were soft and small in his. She sounded very American, that was something that he would have to get used to living in America. His whole life everyone had a British accent or Irish or Scottish. Of course he had heard American accents but not quite to the extent he would be hearing them.
“Lacey. Perfect. You can call me Oliver. I’m much too young to be named Mr. Grenning” he told her with his perfect English accent. “Well thank you Mr. Polluck we will be looking forward to hearing from you. Is there an assignment you would like us to get started on?” Oliver asked him in a friendly but strictly business tone. “Mr. Grenning, Ms. Hawthorne, just get settled in and after lunch I’ll call you both in to discuss your first assignment. Until then please get to know each other so you know you can work well together” he said in a dismissive tone. “Yes sir” he replied and turned back to Lacey and smiled at her before opening the door of Mr. Polluck’s office. “After you” he said allowing room for her to walk through.
Oliver opened his messenger bag that contained all the information he would need for his first day including where they would be working. He looked it over and led the way to two empty desks in a cozy cubicle. He sat down at the chair that was with the desk that contained the photo scanner obviously meant for him. “So Lacey Hawthorne where are you from?” he asks as he leans back in his office chair casually.
Now that he is sitting he really can get a good look at her. She is slender, but not scary skinny,and fair skinned like most of the girls back home. Her blond hair created a halo around her head making her seem to glow even in the fluorescent lights. She didn’t wear too much make up and he liked that about her. He thought a lot of girls wore too much make up and she obviously didn’t.
It was a good start, going by first names with her new co worker. Though it didn’t seem too professional, it would be easier for them to get along if they established a friendship, rather than a stern business only relationship. “Alright. Oliver. It’s a good start,” she mused, his name running through her mind as she walked out of the door before him, mouthing a ‘thank you' as she walked through. She'd never met an Oliver before. Always with the new and interesting in Boston, or as she'd assumed and found to be a bit of the truth.
Once the two were getting settled into their dainty cubical, Lacey heard the man’s distinct accent speak out again, this time, directly to her. The way her name rolled of his tongue, made her smile lightly. Turning around in her chair, she narrowed her eyes slightly, as if studying him all together. “Seattle. Washington State.” She said with confidence ringing in her voice as she stated the name of her home. It seemed like centuries since she had last visited her home, but soon enough she would, with wedding planning and all happening. “What about yourself, Oliver Grenning? Can I call you Ollie? Where are you from? Somewhere near Northern England, I’m assuming? Yorkshire?” She asked, a bit of a playful smile painting itself on her lips. Her outgoing and fun personality seemed to slip out as she spoke, which was a rarity, since Lacey knew very well how to act and stay professional.. but what the hell? She was going to be working with this guy for quite a while now, why not be casual with him? Her eyes noticed his gaze on her was fixed, which intrigued her why he was looking at her the way he was. Normally it was Lacey who was deep in thought while staring someone down, but that was her journalistic side kicking in. It was amazing how much she could find out about a person, just by watching them closely. Like how she could identify what area he was brought up in, based on his accent. That was just the pure analytics of it.
First Days Are Always the Worst Days
Beep. Beep. Beep. Oliver groaned as he threw his arm over and slammed down on the alarm clock’s off button. He slid out of bed and fell on the floor with an Unf. Oliver mumbled something in coherent as he got on all fours and stood up to look at his empty apartment. All that was inside the small apartment was an air mattress, his backpack, small carry on suitcase and alarm clock.
Oliver glanced over at the time on the alarm clock and groaned again when it blinked to 7:02am. That meant for Oliver it was really 12:02 pm for him but Oliver hadn’t even gotten home until 3:00am last night Boston time and his sleep schedule was all messed up because that had meant he stayed up all night UK time. Either way Oliver only got 4 hours of sleep and he was exhausted.
He padded over to the small en suite bathroom and grabbed his toothbrush on the way from his backpack. He looked groggily into the mirror and splashed cold water on his face. He then tried to fix his casually mused hair and after a few minutes decided that was as good as it was gonna get. He deliberately brushed his teeth and went back to change. Oliver was out of his apartment only ten minutes later locking the door trying to figure out how to get to work without a car.
He walked onto the street and found a subway station not far from where he was staying. He got in and found the street he was supposed to be on and rode the subway until he was at his stop. He moved with the large group of business people as if they were a school of fish.
He walked up the stairs up to street level and was instantly overwhelmed when right across the street was the giant building for The Boston Globe. He stood there for a minute just staring at the building. It was extremely impressive.
Oliver deciding he should go in now after checking his watch and noticed he was ten minutes early, crossed the street and walked into the glass and brick building. If outside was impressive, inside was more so.
Somehow he found his way to the level he was supposed to be on and rode the elevator up to the 34th floor. Inside was a hustling and bustling section of the newspaper. People were hurrying around with tablets, photos, articles and such. He found the door that said “Editor: Boston Globe World Section” and underneath that “Gary Polluck.” He walked briskly to the door and knocked on it. He was told to come in and Oliver expecting it to be just Mr. Polluck was slightly surprised to see a blonde young woman sitting in one of the chairs across from the desk. “This is Lacey Hawthorne, Oliver. She will be your partner. She writes, you photograph, great team. Now get to work.” Oliver smiled briefly before saying,”Yes sir. It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. Hawthorne, my name is Oliver Grenning” and he stuck out his hand to shake hers with.
Just as dust had settled into the early morning, the gleaming sun showering all of Boston in its magnificent rays of warmth, Lacey Hawthorne opened her eyes to greet the new day. But today wasn’t just any old day.. it was the first day of her new job as a journalist for The Boston Globe. It had literally been her dream to be where she was now for as long as she could remember, and it was amazing to have all of this as her reality. Waking up with a gentle smile plastered on her lips, Lacey stretched slowly in place before rising carefully off the bed, not making too much of movement to stir the man who peacefully slept beside her. Before leaving the bed, the girl stopped to admire her fiance while he was deep asleep, resisting a small laugh as he almost snorted while snoozing away. Placing a gentle kiss on his cheek, Lacey gracefully hopped off the bed, and had her emerald green eyes flash over towards the wall clock which read exactly 6:15 AM. Her job didn’t officially start until an hour and a half later, but she’d need the time to make sure everything was pristine with her and her portfolio before heading to work.
Tip towing to the bathroom, she quickly discarded the silk night gown she had on, and jumped into the shower, spending an extra minute in there to assure she was clean and fresh. Once she was done, Lacey slid into her robe and went through her daily morning routine, which consisted of brushing her teeth, drying her hair, and applying the slight concealer she put on her face to cover the annoying freckles that spotted her nose and cheeks. Make up was a bit of a unnecessary thing to Lacey, and hence she never wore it unless for special occasions. Since this was her first day of work, however.. she thought it would be nice to at least put on some lip gloss to highlight her already big and soft dusty rose lips, and a bit of mascara for a finished look.
Skipping over to the small walk in closet she shared with her fiance Ben, Lacey eyed the outfit she had freshly ironed the day before and laid out to wear for her first day. A dulcet red flowing shirt paired with a fitted blouse and topped with a white blazer. It was the perfect outfit to show her professional side, as well as her femininity. Getting dressed in under no time, and smoothing her hands over the skirt, Lacey could hear Ben getting up, so she fluttered up behind him and covered his eyes with her hands, a playful smile on her lips. “Guess who?” She called out in a taunting voice, giggling in response to his husky reply of ‘My beautiful fiance’.
Ben wasn’t always a charmer, but when he did or said things like that, it just made her love him more. Charm is one thing that she loved in a man, and Ben’s attempt was just so darn adorable to her. After waving him goodbye with a soft kiss on his lips, Lacey grabbed her purse like suitcase and gave her self a once over in the mirror before leaving their apartment and heading now to her work, where still.. she’d be early.
Taking a cab to the headquarters, since Ben was the one who took their only car to work with him, and he didn’t have to go in until later, Lacey arrived with plenty of time to spare. She got into the building and stood in the lobby for a minute, just looking in awe at how amazing it all looked. Once she got her composure back from looking like a child in a candy store, to a professional woman at her job, Lacey took the elevator to the floor of the Head Editor in charge of World News for The Boston Globe, Gary Polluck. With a charismatic smile painted onto her lips, Lacey knocked briefly before getting entrance in, and greeted her new boss warmly. He seemed to be fond of her at first meeting, but then again.. she’d heard that he’d particularly enjoyed the presence of women, so for now she’d take that as an advantage. Mr. Polluck found it pleasing that she was so early coming into her job, and appreciated the gesture. As they began talking and introducing Lacey into what she’d be doing for the Globe, it was much to her surprise that she’d be getting a partner to work with while she was here.
It wasn’t usual that she was used to working as a team or with others in a position like hers, but then again.. she was quite the people person. She would make it work, and everything would be perfect. Like it always was. After she got settled into the small office like area she would be sharing with her co-worker she would soon be meeting, Lacey went around and personally introduced herself to as many co-workers as she could, to acquaint herself with them. Once she was done, the girl returned to her office, only to be called down back to Mr. Polluck’s office to meet her new ‘friend’.
Taking a deep breath before entering his office, Lacey then sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk, and waited patiently. Once she heard the door open, and a charmingly accented voice call out to Mr. Polluck, Lacey turned around in her chair, rising from it to greet the man before her. Her eyes skimmed over him and smiled warmly in response. He was rather.. dashing. To say the least. Messy hair, crooked smile, boy-ish charm yet manly in a way. It was all too.. mystifying. There was something about this guy.. that she just had to.. investigate. Holding out her slender arm, Lacey shook his own gently, speaking up with her dainty yet confident voice. “Good morning and pleasure to meet you, Mister Grenning. I’d feel much more comfortable if you’d just call me Lacey. Ms. Hawthorne makes me feel like my mother’s in the room.” She said with a bubbly laugh, in hopes to make this introduction as non-awkward as possible.
“When she came in the room, it all made sense. Show me someone that wouldn’t give it all up for
Emma Stone Lacey Hawthorne, and I’ll show you a liar.”
- Ben Michaelson