“So did you order?” Edward asked as he sits down. “No I haven’t, but the Chef says they have some Blue Fin toro that I have to try.” “Yeah I’m sure he wants you to try his toro.” “Stop it all men do not want to sleep with me.” “Whatever, Ivy you are so naive sometimes.” The two sat silently as they scanned the order sheet. Ivy quickly marked the sheet with 6 different sashimi and rolls. “Wow, fatty! You weren’t kidding about being hungry,” Edward laughed as he handed the order sheet to the waitress. “Shut up I didn’t eat breakfast,” Ivy defended. “Hey I love a woman who can eat. Nothing is more sexy.” Edward wasn’t kidding about that. He loved that Ivy was real and never tried to be anything else but who she was. He just wished the women he dated could take a lesson from Ivy. Their items quickly arrived. He always enjoyed watching Ivy eat. He tried not to be to obvious in his stares because he knows how neurotic and self-concious she can get. Watching her meticulously prepare each piece of fish before she skillfully put it in her mouth he tried to articulate in his thoughts why he enjoyed meals with her so much. It was the way she surrendered herself to her appetite and did it with such deliberate grace. Ivy and Edward shared a unique understanding that they never found in anyone else. Surprisingly they never explored any romantic possibilities. Maybe it was because the timing was always off. Maybe it’s because sometimes you are blind to the obvious if it’s too close. Their meal was over faster than Edward would have liked. “Ok time to get back. I have to finish the resource planning for my new project. The new financial analyst on my project is waiting for the numbers. I never worked with her but I hear she is a real a-type personality. You know the type. She probably arranges her sock drawer by color,” Edward joked as he grabbed the bill from Ivy’s hand. “What are you doing?” she asked. “You know I hate when you try to pay for my meals,” Edward replied. “Always trying to steal my manhood.” Edward quickly signed the bill and the two walked back to the office.
As Edward stepped out of the elevator he could hear Gretchen, his assistant, talking to Ana. Ana sounded irritated, which was her normal mode of communication when she wasn’t talking to someone who didn’t have something she wanted. “Well do you know when he will be back?” Ana inquired. “I don’t know, but his afternoon is fully booked,” Gretchen said without looking up from her monitor. “Is this person bothering you Gretchen” Edward asked as he handed Gretchen a stack of legal sized papers. “Here is the presentation for this afternoon. Can you make 20 copies? Oh, and here by the way I stopped at that bakery down the street on my way back from lunch and picked up one of those muffins you like.” “Thank you Edward,” Gretchen said with a sigh of relief. “Ana would you be so kind as to step in my office,” Edward said with a wink to Gretchen.
Edwards office was reflection of the inside of his mind. There were a line of rocks on his desk from his favorite travel destinations. A sandstone from Zion, a smooth beach stone from San Simeon, and pavement stone from Prague. Along the wall was photos of favorite family moments. His high school graduation with his father, the picture of the first house he bought, and all his family dogs. The bookshelf of his office was litter with random books he felt best represented his intellect. A book on Zen Buddhism, an edition of the Kama sutra, a bio-chemistry book, a book on Frank Lloyd write, and a plethora of technical books on web development and various internet related topics. His office was on the top floor of the building. Jack had leased a building in the trendy section of the Arts District in Los Angeles. In Edward’s youth this area was full was not a nice place. Twenty years ago his drive to work would have taken him through a different world. Today it’s home to billion dollar starts ups, gastro pubs and trendy establishments infested by hipsters. On a clear day from his window you could see the silhouette of Catalina and the tall of downtown Long Beach. To the west you could see Staples center and the Los Angeles Convention center. If Edward looked directly below, he could see skid row and the lines of lost souls and mentally ill as they lined up for their daily meals and the free medical clinic. Edward tried to refrain from looking to the West Side. Being born and raised in Southern California he always viewed the west side as an artificial superficial bastardization representation of what his city really was, full of mid-west transplants and the pretentious upper class. Edward grew up in a lower middle upper class household. His parent came from lower class roots, and his childhood was infused by stories of this base. Instead of looking to the Los Angeles the worldEdward always looked east to the neighborhoods of his childhood. The east side is never the Los Angeles you see in movies, but for Edward it was home to all the great memories of his life. His first kiss, his elementary and high school, the hospital where his father died, the church where all his families funerals and weddings, the projects where his father and mother met, and the neighborhood streets where he played with Ivy. This was home, this was the city he loved, this is where the people he loved lived and died.
“Ana why are you do live insist on living your life in a constant state of confrontation with every living thing that crosses your path. Were you Genghis Khan in a former life?” Edward said with his signature smirk. “Shut up Edward.” Ana never had a reply to Edward’s witty retorts. Edward always took this as a sign of their essential incompatibility. From the start he knew this wasn’t the one. She lacked the compassion Edward craved in a mate. Being in his thirties Edward was more aware of what he needed in a mate, and Ana was definitely not the source of this satisfaction. “Have you decided on a direction for Jack’s new initiative?” Ana inquired in her usually aggressive fashion. Her inquiries always felt infused with accusation and contempt. He contemplated on this fact often. The only consoling thought he could settle on was the sex. At least the sex was good and she was a warm body to keep his bed warm. Edward was never one to be selfish when it came to matters of the heart, but he knew Ana only viewed him as prop on the stage of his life. “Ana why don’t you concentrate on your own projects, I will handle this one.” “I just don’t want you slowing me down, my new project has dependencies on your project. If we don’t get the new system implemented on time I will have to adjust my timelines.” “Don’t worry Ana I will affect your precious timelines.” “Ok bye Edward. You have already made me late for my two o’clock,” Ana said in a contemptous tone. As she walked out Edward smirked and found a guilty satisfaction thinking of how despite domineering her day time persona is she was quite submissive in bed.