Lewis Edwards was a pompous ass. He had a condescending, know-it-all attitude that made her cringe whenever he spoke. His name in her mouth felt vile and she seethed with hatred on every occasion that she had been forced to work with him. It wasn’t just Lucy; most everyone who had had the displeasure of dealing with Lewis held a special kind of distaste for him. He was one of those people you needed and detested at the same time. But he was good at what he did; very good. One of the firm’s top earners, Lewis was requested by every client with a bankroll big enough to afford him. He had designed some of the top homes in the state and had a backlog that allowed him the freedom to pick and choose his projects. He had only one true ally in the firm, Keith, and Keith could be a bit of an asshole himself at times. On this particular morning, Lucy found herself in the company of both.
“Good morning to you too, Lewis. And you can get your own coffee.”
“No, I was asking if YOU wanted coffee. Keith and I are sending Stewart on a run.”
“Oh. No thanks, I’ve got mine already.” she said somewhat sheepishly, holding up her cup. Lucy hated herself for letting him get under her skin without even trying. And it was only 8:00 in the morning. There were hours yet to go and she was sure there would be more intentional efforts to offend coming her way before the day was done. It was just that kind of Monday; she could feel it in her bones.
Lucy made her way back to her office and shut the door. From her desk, she could look out over the city and watch the sun dance off the windows of the surrounding buildings. Sunshine always helped her mood and today was no exception. As it glinted off the windshield of a passing car, her gaze was drawn downward to the street below. She saw Stewart returning from the coffee shop and wished, momentarily, that she had asked him to bring her a latte. Lattes were an occasional indulgence she allowed herself but on this morning the strong, black coffee from home would have to do. Turning around to face the mountain of paperwork on her desk, Lucy began her day.
The office was quiet this morning. Not the norm. But Lucy was thankful for the peace and lost herself in her work. It was a good feeling. She was in the zone and as she worked the rest of the world simply fell away. Fell away, that is, until the door to her office sprang open and Lydia appeared. Lydia had been with the firm the longest and, next to Lewis, her clients provided the bulk of the firm’s income. But now, standing pale and shaken in the doorway, Lydia looked anything but powerful.
“What is it?” Lucy asked, stunned by the sudden intrusion.
“It’s Lewis. He’s… dead.”
Lucy was sure she hadn’t heard her correctly. She couldn’t have. But Lydia said nothing more and stood silently in the doorway with a look of shock and confusion that was impossible to dismiss. Lucy rose slowly from her desk and followed Lydia down the hall toward the corner office, Lewis’ office. It was a beautiful space, bathed in sunlight streaming through the glass wall that opened onto his private balcony. It was then that she saw him; a painful, contorted look about his lifeless face. Behind him, the blood spread over the wall in a pattern that could almost have been mistaken for art. Even in death, Lewis managed a sort of quiet elegance. Was it wrong to still hate him in this moment, Lucy wondered.
©Kelly Rainey and 500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2015.
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