Sarah sat uncomfortable in the overstuffed leather chair. Her palms had begun to sweat profusely and she dared not wipe them on her new dress.
She inhaled the stuffy air and it almost chocked her it was so thick. The old furnace ticked nervously as it blasted out its incessant heat. She had been here only a few moments, but in her mind hours might have passed and she wouldn’t have known. She crossed her legs once again, thinking the change might fair well with her mind. The mind was hard to please she had learned. It was in a state of constant unrest and just maybe that is why she was unable to focus.
She brought her gaze up to the dark haired man behind the light pine desk. The desk was a comfort zone, a barrier of protection. From who? No one really. But it pleased her mind and that was sufficient for now at least.
She watched as he scribbled on the notepad. In her weakened state she almost felt attracted to him. Almost. She assumed him to be in his thirties, a rugged on the inside, clean cut on the outside kind of man. The kind she was sure to avoid. If not for her own sake, at least for theirs.
“Miss Robbins, I think I will be able to help you?” He finally responded.
She dipped her head as his eyes settled on hers. She dared not to look him in those deep browns. It would be the death of her.
“And how much is this going to cost me?” She replied.
“Well,” he started to say when a light tap broke his thought. “Come in!” He finished.
A perky young blonde entered the musty office. Her chipper smile and frizzy hair told Sarah one thing and one thing only. This girl needed attention. One of those girls that buried her nose in the books, the kind of girl Sarah detested.
Sarah cut her eyes at the blonde and watched her with the grimmest expression upon her pale freckled face. She was much relieved when the girl finally cleared the room, leaving her once again alone to face this man.
“Sorry about that. Now where was I? Oh yeah money. Well it’s two hundred up front and then five hundred once I’m done. If I run into anything tricky well that might just be more.” He replied. His face was relaxed and he spoke with ease.
Sarah picked up her white leather purse, unclasped the metal and pulled her silvery-grey wallet from within. A tremble of her fingers on the wallet made her question what she was doing. But as quick as the thought come, it passed.
She reached her bony fingers in and pulled out two crisp one hundred dollar bills and quickly handed them over. You had to do this kind of things fast; it was like ripping off a band aid.
She watched as he stuffed the money in his pocket and then wrote down the payment on his pad.
“Miss Robbins, it was a pleasure to met you and I know I can find your daughter for you.” He said as he extended his hand to her.
She remembered her hands being sweaty, but she still didn’t want to wipe the sweat on her dress. But how she dared not shake his with a sweaty palm, how would that appear. She stood and nodded, ignoring the gesture of his outreached hand. She noticed his brows squint, and a small bite to the inside of his lip as he pulled away his hand.
“I will call you when I get more information.” He said as he rounded the desk and walked her to the door.
“Thank you.” Sarah replied as she finally broke and looked into his eyes. It wasn’t until then she saw the compassion which poured out of those deep browns. She saw it for the split second she allowed herself to look. Then she turned away and was out the door. She felt his gaze on her back, but she never turned to smile or say a good-bye.
On trembling knees she broke free of the building and onto the bustling sidewalk of the city. She sucked in and stood tall in her new dress and leather shoes, she had purchased at Barneys only days ago. A sliver of a smile formed on her ruby red lips and she now had become Sarah Robbins, New York socialite.
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