The Wall of Winnipeg and Me(10)


by Mariana Zapata

There had been no begging me to stay—not that I would anyway—or even an “I’m sorry to hear that,” which I’d heard when I’d left every other job before this one.

Nothing. He’d given me nothing. Not even a damn shrug.

It had stung more than it should have. A lot more. On the other hand, I recognized that we weren’t soul mates, but it became even more apparent after that.

It was with that thought, that slight amount of bitterness in my throat at being so dispensable, that I swallowed and focused on my video chat.

“Vanessa, think about what you’re doing,” the manager argued through the camera.

“I have. Look, I’m not even giving you a two-week notice. Just find someone sooner than later. I’ll train them, and then I’m out.”

Trevor tipped his chin up and just stared forward at and through the computer’s camera, the hard glint of the hair product he used catching in the sunlight in his office. “Is this an April fools’ joke?”

“It’s June,” I said carefully. Idiot. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

His forehead furrowed at the same time his shoulders tensed, as if what I said was finally really sinking in. One eye peeked at me from over his fingers. “Do you want more money?” he had the nerve to ask.

Of course I wanted more money. Who didn’t? I just didn’t want it from Aiden. “No.”

“Tell me what you need.”

“Nothing.”

“I’m trying to work with you here.”

“There’s nothing to work with. There isn’t anything you can offer me that will get me to stay.” That was how dead set I was on not getting wrangled back in to the world of The Wall of Winnipeg. Trevor got paid for making things happen, and I knew if I gave him an inch, he would attempt to take a mile. It would probably be easier for him to convince me to stay instead of finding someone else. But I knew his tricks, and I wasn’t going to fall for his shit.

Picking up the glass of water sitting on the kitchen counter next to my tablet, I took a sip and studied him over the top of it. I could do this, damn it. I would do it. I wasn’t going to keep my job just because he was giving me the closest thing to puppy eyes pure evil was capable of.

“What can I do to get you to stay?” Trevor finally asked as he dropped his hands away from his face.

“Nothing.” If a slight bit of loyalty to Aiden and genuine worry had gotten me to stay since I realized I could afford to quit, the night before had cemented me leaving.

I didn’t want to waste any more time than I already had.

Another pained expression took over Trevor’s features. When we’d first met two years ago, he’d only had a couple of gray hairs scattered throughout his head. Now there were more than a couple, and it suddenly made so much sense. If I considered myself a fairy godmother, Trevor must have been seen as a god; a god who needed to make miracles happen out of the most dire of places.

And I wasn’t helping by quitting on who I was sure was one of the most difficult of his clients.

“Did he say something?” he asked suddenly. “Do something?”

I shook my head, not fooled at all by his act. He didn’t care. Before I’d asked him to call me—and he’d insisted we do a video chat instead—I had asked myself whether to tell him why I was quitting or not. It didn’t even take a second to decide. Nah, he didn’t need to know. “There are other things in my life I want to pursue. That’s all.”

“You know he’s stressed out about coming back after surgery. If he’s a little on edge, it’s normal. Ignore him,” Trevor added.