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A PROPER LADY Chapter (1)



The city was full of noise from people rushing to work on this Monday morning. Vehicles passing and honking their horns occasionally to the slow traffic that rightfully stopped for a red light. Market owners sweeping their storefronts and meeting the delivery trucks at the doors. All this was far from the normal life that Casey Morris was used to, being raised in a quiet little southern town.

By the time she had showered and finished her breakfast and coffee the clock shown twenty minutes till eight. The boss Mr. Duncan was adamant about the office crew being there at eight sharp, which normally would not have been a problem if it had not been for the argument she could hear through the thin walls in her neighbors apartment. It had to have been four o'clock when she finally fell asleep. The apartment building was close enough to her work that she could make the walk in a short enough time but today she found herself practically running down Harris Corner trying to not be late.

Casey's aunt Mona had helped her get the job with the company Duncan and Duncan Shipping. Mr. Henry Duncan had been a college classmate and close friend of Aunt Mona and her husband John, who also lived and worked in the same city as Mr. Duncan. Aunt Mona taught history at Barton High School and John taught science at the city community college. Casey's mother was less fearful for her baby daughter going to a big city fresh out of college by knowing she would have her aunt Mona close by.

As she neared the front entrance, she saw other coworkers just arriving and slowed her pace so that her breathing could become even. Waving and greeting as she entered the building, her eyes automatically went toward the office of Mr. Dunlap, who was sitting at his desk and pointedly looking at a stack of papers and now and again would look up from them and she could see his mouth move as if he were talking to someone in the room with him.

Trying to smooth her wavy blond hair back into the loose hair clasp that had been whipped gently by the wind and her practically running to make it on time to work, and glancing quickly at her face in the corridor mirror to make sure her makeup was not smudged. Taking a tissue from her purse, Casey blotted here and there at her face and looking at her eyes, clear blue and bright as the sky. She was totally oblivious to how striking her eyes really were.

Julie Adams, who had the desk next to Casey, moved over to where she was readying herself to sit behind the desk, and quietly whispered " Mr. Duncan wanted to see you in his office the minute you arrive."

Her brow furrowed at the fear of maybe being fired or let go. The business had not met the shareholders demands of processing orders this year and she thought to herself "Maybe I'm the next one to be let go since I haven't been here as long as most."

Feeling her feet drag a little, Casey made her way into the office with pen and paper in hand and trying to remove the feeling of dread. Mr. Duncan usually called on Julie for the more important dictations. As she entered the office, Casey"s eyes automatically looked toward the spare chair next to Mr. Duncan, expecting to be called on to "have a seat" but the chair already had an occupant. His hair as dark as his deep brown eyes and a smile on his face as he rose to greet Casey with his hand outstretched and waiting for her to respond.

Hoping that her hands weren't sweaty, she shook his hand as Mr. Duncan introduced him to Casey, saying " Casey, this is Edward Mathews. The board has hired him to step in and help our company. As you know we have lost business because of the economy and with his knowledge of shipping he has hopes of increasing our profits." Looking at Mr. Duncan with a questioning glance, as Casey wondered why she was made privy to this information, Mr. Duncan carried on with his statement "and he will need a private secretary that has knowledge of the companies that we have our business with."

Casey froze, as she thought to herself "I can't do this! I am not ready to put myself out there. What if I fail this company miserably". After all, isn't that why she always let Julie step forward when Mr. Duncan called on one of them to come and assist in the business meetings. Julie knew more of the clients likes and dislikes than she did.

With both men looking at her expectantly, Casey took a deep breath and said "It would be a pleasure to work with you Mr. Mathews." as she thought to herself, "What have I gotten myself into?"

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