She walked down the hall with no knowledge of what waited for her but with bold strides she moved. Following the directions of the note that was left on the windshield of her car, she stopped in front of the dark brown door that had the numbers ‘53’ on it. Taking a deep breath, she curled her right hand into a fist and allowed her knuckles to make a gentle beat on the door.
Without too long passing, the door swung open and the smell of vanilla with a hint of burnt wood hit her nose and a smile broke out on the face of the man that stood in front of her.
“I am glad you saw the note. I would ask that you forgive the unorthodox methods of getting you here but please come in.”
With caution, she walked into his place. She had no idea why she was in the apartment of one of the biggest people in the magazine industry and this made her more nervous than ever.
“Please have a seat while I bring some tea out.”
He disappeared into only what she could assume was the kitchen. She used that time to glance around the huge place, taking everything into consideration. The sitting room alone was bigger than her whole apartment. The old bookshelf by the fireplace was dusty but filled with books. She walked over there and ran her fingers over the classics. She knew she shouldn’t feel so comfortable but she could never help herself when she saw the likes of Macbeth, Lord of the Flies and Jane Eyre.
Attention shifting to the walls, she admired the art littered all over them; a dog lost in a field, a boy crying for his mother and a happy couple smiling at each other on a mountain.
The sounds of sliding slippers alerted her to his return. He walked back out with a tray with two mugs, tea, a small kettle, milk and sugar. Placing it on the table, he offered her a seat.
As he made the tea, she watched him with all her attention, unsure of what she should say or do.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why am I here?”
He finished adding two spoons of sugar to her mug before handing it to her and settling into his chair.
“I read your work and I have to say, I was impressed. It was beautiful yet sad. It is just the thing I have been looking for and I wanted to meet you in person. Randall spoke very highly of you and your work.”
She made a mental note to buy Randall, her friend, the most expensive meal she could afford.
“I don’t know if Randall informed you but I am opening up a new column for the magazine that will be focused on short stories and I want you to be the head writer for that column.”
She gasped and placed the mug down. She was unsure whether it was the rush of the tea down her throat that made her to cough or the offer she had just received.
“Do you need some water?”
She shook her head and composed herself. Her brows lifted, making her eyes open wider as her face broke into a grin.
“It would be an honour Mr. Samuels.”
“Oh please, call me Peter.”
After the tea and a mini discussion about the specifics of the job, she stood up to leave. As she opened the door to make her way out, his voice stopped her.
“One last thing Stephanie.”
“Merry Christmas and I can’t wait to begin working with you in the New Year.”
“Merry Christmas to you too Peter and thank you so much.”