Doing the Right Thing(3)

By: Elizabeth Lennox

Jane huffed a bit, but then rolled her eyes, dismissing their comments. “We were talking about Lillian, not me.”

The women laughed, but as soon as the amusement died, Lillian’s face fell again. “I appreciate you ladies being there for me, but the idea of George and me being together,” she laughed slightly, shaking her head, “No. That’s just not going to happen. Before I became engaged, George and I were friends and laughed a lot together.” She hesitated, looking at her cocktail but then shook her head. “Maybe another time…we might…but…

She took a deep breath and looked at her friends. “Trust me. George hates me. Phillip and I make a whole lot more sense that me and George. The man…” she huffed a bit, shivering with some emotion that she didn’t really understand, then focused back on the conversation. “George becomes so impatient with me. Phillip and I have never even argued because we agree on pretty much everything. George calls me princess, and not in a nice way,” she huffed. “Phillip would never be so offensive as to call me by a ridiculous, condescending nickname.”

She lifted her lemon drop martini and took a sip, then carefully placed it back on the table, looking at her friends with a slight curl to her lips. “I went to George months ago and asked his advice and, back then, he was more than willing to help me out.” She sighed and rubbed her forehead. “He was always sweet and generous with his time back then. He would sit down with me for hours, explaining things over and over again until I understood.” She lifted her lashes to her friends, needing them to understand. “The guy really is brilliant,” she told all of them. “It wasn’t until…well, a while ago that we started fighting. Before then, he was one of the nicest, most charming men I’ve ever met.” She bit her lip and twisted the martini glass around on the table. “We used to sit and talk for hours after everyone else had left the office. Normally sharing a meal and it was always really…nice,” she sighed, unaware of the dreamy expression in her eyes.

“If I hadn’t suddenly become engaged to Phillip, I might have considered George as husband material.” She bit her lip, then shook her head. “No. That’s not true. George used to tease me all the time. He used to say things that…” she closed her eyes, shivered, then opened them again as she stared into the depths of her lemon drop. “No. George was never really husband material.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I think I’m just one of those women who shouldn’t get married. It isn’t required. Why am I so worried about it? Besides…”

Becca rolled her hands around each other, evil-witch-style. “Yeah yeah. Let’s go back to the part where you agreed to marry Phillip and George changed. I think there might be something important in that story.”

Lillian cringed. “Right. Well, I told George about my father’s suggestion to merge my fund with Phillip’s fund. I had no idea those two were bitter rivals. But apparently, George really hates Phillip. When I told him about the idea, George blew up. He was furious with me, accusing me of marrying an ass, of being just part of the status quo, and not thinking for myself. It was a brutal argument. But later, the next day, he came back and apologized. George told me to do whatever, that the merger idea was truly brilliant and I should just toss everything over to Phillip to take control and…” she pressed her lips together and blinked rapidly, as if she were trying to push back the tears. “Then he told me to go shopping.”

The three of them gasped in outraged fury. “He did not!” Becca whispered, horrified.

“What a chauvinistic pig!” Tallia exclaimed in disgust.

“He didn’t mean it, did he?” Jane asked anxiously, trying to give the unknown man the benefit of doubt.

“That’s exactly what he said.”

She opened her mouth to continue, but Tallia lifted her hand up in the air. “Don’t!” she glared at Lillian. “You were about to defend him, weren’t you?”

Lillian stopped and closed her mouth, causing the others to laugh for a moment. Then they turned serious. “He doesn’t know about my desire to be a designer,” she told them all. “No one but you three know anything about that.”

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