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Fortune Favors the Bold (and the Smart) Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

June 5, 2011

I really hate interviews. Putting yourself out for rejection is one of the most nerve-wracking things that you could do. I really thought that I had the interview in the bag before I got there—I nailed the first two rounds of interviews. When I was waiting in the foyer of one of the largest medical research companies in the world, I felt like my confidence has diminished entirely.

What was I thinking that I could go and get this job? I’m only 25 and I’ve only been out of law school for two years…well, I guess that’s impressive considering most people my age just graduated from law school.

I looked down at the resume in my hand.

Oh crap, I did it again.

My resume was completely torn to shreds. I fiddle when I’m nervous so I was rolling the corners of this resume for the last thirty minutes. My palms are super sweaty too when I’m nervous. I was glad that I brought a second copy of my resume.

I looked up at the receptionist.

She still hasn’t called my name for the interview yet. Where is Leon Bradley? He’s the one who is supposed to interview me.

Ring. Ring.

The receptionist picked up the phone, or I think that’s what I saw. It’s hard to tell because her computer screen was so large it blocked her entire head from my point of view.

Finally, I saw a petite brunette emerge from behind the computer. I could hear the clicking of her heels as she walked over towards me.

“Mr. Bradley is ready for your interview.” The receptionist gestured her perfectly manicured hand towards the door. “Please follow me this way.”

I stood up and brushed out the creases in my navy blue skirt suit and started to follow the receptionist down the hallway. The hallway seemed so…sterile. It reminded me of a hospital or something. Everything was so white. It really hurt my eyes. Even the receptionist’s computer was white. And she was wearing white. At that moment, I really hoped that my shoes weren’t dirty or else everyone in the entire office would know where Mel Jones was walking that day—especially the janitor who would be stuck mopping up after my footprints.

“Right here.” The receptionist opened the door.

I gingerly walked through the door. I felt my ankles wobble in my stiletto heels.

Please don’t fall over on your interview. That would be awful and embarrassing.

I was quite shocked when I entered the room; it seemed to be in a different building. The walls were painted deep blue and there was a large mahogany desk in the center of the room. Matching mahogany bookshelves, brimming with books, adorned the walls. The man sitting behind the desk almost seemed to be out of time, like he belonged in the early 1900’s. He wore a grey three-piece suit complete with a pocket watch. The suit complemented his tall and slender figure and seemed to give him some bulk that just wasn’t there. The man had a large mane of ginger hair and bright green eyes that had a spark of mischief in them.

I stood in front of his desk. He looked up at me and smiled. His smile seemed a little goofy. Maybe it was just my imagination or maybe his pointy chin exaggerated his facial features. He looked quite handsome in his own unique sort of way.

The man—Leon Bradley—stood up. “Leon Bradley.” I was shocked to hear such a deep voice come from such a slender man. Leon outstretched his slender hand. I shook it. His handshake seemed very firm.

We locked eyes. His green eyes seemed to pierce through me.

“Mel Jones. Pleasure.”

Leon smirked at me. “Please, take a seat.” He gestured to a leather armchair that was to his right. I sat down quickly.

Did I sit down too quickly? Why am I so awkward…?

“Thank you for having me.”

Leon crossed his legs and leaned back in his leather arm chair. He held out a copy of my resume in front of him.

“Melody Jones…why are you interested in working in Goodard Corporation’s Legal Counsel?”

The real reason why I was interested in working for Goodard Corporation? Not the best topic for an interview. The truth is that I was sick of the hassle of firm life—the backstabbing, the demanding clients, having to put in thousands of billable hours a year…it’s all too much. I needed a change.

“I like the Goodard Corporation’s work; medical advancements are important to our society. I would like to use my legal expertise to further the Goodard Corporation’s mission of eradicating diseases that plague the world.”

Yada. Yada. Yada.

“Ah, I see.” Leon crossed his legs again. He rested his chin over his closed fist. “I see that you went to Lincoln Law School in New York. So did I.”

“Really? It’s a wonderful place to go to law school. I was in the class of 2013. What about you?”

Lies . It was not a fun place to go to law school. I hardly left the library for the three years that I was there. My parents and sister refer to it as “the dark ages” because I dropped off the face of the earth, practically. Being the top of your class at one of the top law schools in the country comes with a tradeoff. I guess the trade-off there was my personal life. I made one friend there, Amy. But, long story short, I had a pathetic social life and I doubted that his was any better.

“I was in the class of 2007. I really enjoyed my time there too.” Leon said diplomatically. He smiled and nodded his head.

I saw online that was also top of his class. There was no way he enjoyed his time too.

“Oh, that was right when they were adding on that addition. It must have been hard to study with all that commotion.” I smiled. Smalltalk never hurt anyone.

“You have quite the memory, Melody. We look for that in our employees.”

Well, I do have a photographic memory so…yeah.

“Thank you very much, I’m always glad to hear that in an interview. You can call me Mel, by the way.” I laughed. My laughter was fake, but that’s ok. Leon laughed too. His laugh also sounded fake. This whole interview ritual is so contrived. I hate it.

“I reviewed your resume and you are incredibly qualified. Your first and second interviewers recommend that we hire you. I just wanted to meet you to extend the offer to join our legal team personally.”

I sank in my chair. A wave of relief washed over me. I was hired.

“Thank you very much for this generous offer; I gladly accept.”

Well thank God that’s over with.

Leon stood up from his chair. When Leon stood, he looked even taller and lankier than when he was sitting. He had to build of Abraham Lincoln, except that he was more handsome than our sixteenth president—no disrespect to Old Abe.

“Follow me; I’ll show you to your office.”

I stood up. Suddenly, I was aware of how small I was. I’m only five-foot-two and I only weigh about a little over one-hundred pounds, which is already small, I know. Usually I’m only around people who are six feet tall but Leon was six feet and six inches tall.

Leon walked out of his office and into the sterile hallway. He looked like a charcoal smudge on a blank canvas. I followed him two doors down the hallway.

“This whole wing is the legal division. As you know, there are about 20 lawyers and 30 support staff here. We usually outsource the majority of our work to firms, but we keep a small team of elite lawyers, which you are not a part of, to ‘hold down the fort,’ so to speak. There are other lawyers that work in different locations too, of course. But seeing as this is where our company is based, the action really happens here.”

I know…I’ve read the job description probably fifty times at this point…. I thought to myself.

“I’m happy to be joining this division.”

“You are the youngest person to join this division.” Leon opened the door to the office—my office.

I was quite impressed by the interior of the office. There were an ash-wood desk in the center of the office. It was one of those desks that can turn into a standing desk too. The barren walls were painted cream and empty ash bookshelves adorned the walls. The mid-morning light streamed through the window and danced through the blinds and on to the floor.

“This will be your office. You can decorate it how you please.” Leon paused. “You will have your orientation on June 13 th so you’ll start then. I hope that gives you enough time to leave the firm that you’re working at.”

“Yes, it’s plenty of time, thank you for asking.”

“All of the new employees, no matter what their responsibilities entail, have a generic orientation to bring them up to date with office-wide possibilities. Maxwell Goodard also address the employees that day. After that, you’ll begin working.”

“Alright, I look forward to it.”

Leon flashed me a smile through his thin lips. “I’m looking forward to being with you. I mean, working with you.”

At that point, I really wanted to roll my eyes. I knew what that slip of the tongue meant—he liked me. And not in a “you-seem-like-a-really-cool-and-competent-and-fun-lawyer” sort of way. He liked me in a “I-want-to-have-sex-with-you” sort of way.

I ignored my passing thought. That may have been a mistake retroactively but, live and learn.

“Is there anything that you need from me before I start on the fifteenth?”

“No,” Leon leaned against the wall. He smirked once again. “Just head over to H.R. and get all of your paperwork completed.”

“Very well.” I smiled. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you.”

I hurried out the door. I was quite ecstatic to get the job. Something about this environment put me on edge but I chalked it up to application nerves; applying for a job is scary and it puts you in a situation where you read into things that probably aren’t there.

Yeah. I’m just imagining things. Everything will be ok. 

Written by annabellecoggsworth
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