Growing up writing was one of my passions. It was a form of escapism from my reality, to create stories to play out in my mind and put those images to paper. But as an adult, with a job and responsibilities, finding the time to sit and write something got harder. During this time away from work I realised just how long it had been since I wrote something. So to wake up my writer instincts I started on a short piece of fan fiction, a section of the popular Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy told from the perspective of a side character Taylor.
In all the years I have worked here I had never seen anything like this. The things I have seen here. Insurmountable wealth, relationships with terms and conditions, a room of pain, but none of it shocked me as much as the sight before me now. My boss sitting on the floor next to the elevator, head held in his hands.
“Miss Steele is home, Mr Grey.”
“How was she?” He asks feigning dispassion but his grey eyes betray him. I remember Ana’s tear stained face in the rear-view, body convulsing from her silent sobs.
“Upset sir,” is all I can say. For a few seconds he just stares, lost in emotions that I doubt he’s ever experienced before, then he nods silently dismissing me.
Christian Grey may be a lot of things. A billionaire CEO, a domineering sadistic megalomaniac, but today all I see is a broken man.
Back in my office I turn my attention to Leila Williams. Scanning through the security footage for the fourth time searching for a missed detail, something to explain how she got past the security. I feel my body stiffen as I watch her appear in the kitchen just metres from Gale, knife in hand. I hit the power button plunging the image into darkness unable to bear the terror in Gale’s eyes, like a deer caught in the headlights. She wasn’t safe. And it was my fault. The buzzing of my cellphone against the desk distracts me.
“I need some modelling glue.”
I pause for a moment intrigued. “For what sort of model, sir?”
“A model glider.”
Where did he get a model glider? Of course, Anastasia.
“Balsa wood or plastic?” I ask riffling through the drawer.
“I have some. I’ll bring it down now, sir.”
I knock on the heavy oak door of his study and wait for his response before entering.
“Why do you have this?” He asks as I place the small plastic container on his desk.
“I build the odd plane. Flying was my first love, sir.” I can feel a small smile lifting up the corner of my mouth as I recall childhood memories of flying, dreams of joining the Air Force. He just stares at me, confused by my statement.
“Colour-blind,” I say by way of an explanation.
He nods signalling he understands. “Thank you for this.”
I glance out the huge windows that look out over Seattle and notice the orange sun hanging low in the sky.
“No problem, Mr Grey. Have you eaten?” He stares at me both surprised and annoyed by my concern.
“I’m not hungry, Taylor. Please go, enjoy the afternoon with your daughter. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Sir.” I nod heading for the door. Pausing for a few seconds in the doorway I look back watching him completely engrossed in carefully arranging the pieces of plastic, as if he were trying to piece together his heart.
When the alarm sounds at 6am I feel too exhausted to move. His nightmares Ana kept at bay are back with a vengeance, filling the night with desperate screams and haunting piano melodies. In just a few weeks she’d had such a profound effect on him.
A reminder pops into my mind in flashing neon lights. Today Gail was back from her sisters. I hadn’t set eyes on her since Grey’s decision to follow Ana to Savannah. The decision that had left Gail here alone. Suddenly I’m anxious to be near her.
Spotting Mr Grey heading into the kitchen I wait behind the corner out of sight, eavesdropping like a child. The sound of her gentle voice like music to my ears.
“Good morning, Mr Grey.”
“Hi, Gail. How are you feeling?” I hear him ask, voice strained from fatigue.
“I’m good, Mr Grey. It was just a shock.”
“Thank you for not involving the police.”
“The police are not what that girl needs. She needs help.”
Gail is right. She does need help. My mind flashes back to when he first met Leila. She was lively, mischievous, so different from the desperate broken girl on the CCTV.
“What would you like for breakfast, sir?”
“Just coffee, Gail.”
Still not eating, like a dog pining for its owner.
“Sir, you didn’t eat dinner last night. Maybe you are coming down with something?”
“Gail, just coffee. Please.” His impatient tone brings the conversation to a halt and a few moments later he is retreating to his office.