Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

“My name is Donald Hunt.”

A few long seconds of silence ticked by as April stared in horror at the cream-colored intercom. “The Donald Hunt?”

“Ms. Morgan, I don’t want to sound rude, but I’d prefer to finish this conversation face to face. Would you mind inviting me up?”

Donald Hunt was asking to come up to her apartment? Cleanliness wise, the studio was okay, but she couldn’t possibly let one of the richest men in New York into her five-hundred-square-foot home. His bathroom was probably bigger than her entire place. “Umm, I’m not really up for company.” Did she really just turn Donald Hunt away?

“I assure you I won’t pass any judgment. I do have some pressing matters I’d like to discuss.”

If he insisted, who was she to say no? Sam would be furious when he found out about this, but that would be his problem. Actually, he would probably be interested in what his father was doing at her apartment and then get furious.

And there she went again, basing her decisions off of what Sam would want. That was old April. This was new, reckless April. “Come on up.” She hit the button to unlock the front door.

She was on the sixth floor and at the end of the hall, so if she was lucky, she’d have two to three minutes before he was at her unit. Running past the kitchen area, April opened the one door in the apartment to get into her bathroom. She took a good ten seconds to take in her frazzled appearance and make a game plan. She flipped on the hot water dial and grabbed a brush. Her dark hair was a frizzy mess, but it was quick enough to run a brush through her naturally straight, chestnut locks and pull it back into a tight ponytail.

By now the water had gone from frigid to lukewarm, and she ran her washcloth under the stream before she wiped down her face. Once the dark smudges under her eyes were gone, she managed to appear semi human. There was actually a minute amount of eyeliner still around her eyes, which made the dark brown of her eyes seem even darker.

She wished she had time to put some concealer over the brown circles under her eyes that managed to look even worse than normal thanks to the crying, but she needed to pick her battles.

She’d probably already used up her two minutes, but she hadn’t heard a knock yet. She jogged out of the bathroom, slipping off her sleeping shorts as she moved. By the time she reached her dresser, the shorts were off and she slipped on a pair of jeans. She shoved the discarded shorts into the jean drawer and slipped her shirt off.

A rapping sound came from the front of the apartment, but she sure as hell wasn’t opening the door topless. After throwing on a bra and black t-shirt, she slammed her drawers closed and ran to the door.

Not being a complete idiot, she leaned in and peered through the peephole. Her breath caught in her throat. Sure enough, there was Donald Hunt in her hallway. Real estate mogul, businessman extraordinaire. The only thing he wasn’t perfect at was being a dad. At least according to Sam.

And now he stood outside her door and waited to talk to her. She twisted the knob and looked right into Sam’s blue eyes. The shock of the similarity between father and son was striking. Though Donald’s neatly trimmed white beard, the same snow white as the hair on his head, covered his wrinkled face, she could tell he had the same strong cheekbones and jaw that she was so used to seeing on Sam.

“Hi, Mr. Hunt. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She held a hand out, which he met with a firm shake.

“No need for the pleasantries, Ms. Morgan. I’m fully aware that I’m intruding on your Saturday. Feel free to call me Donald.”

“And you can call me April. Come on in.” She backed away to give him room.

He moved past her as his eyes roamed over her living space.

“It isn’t much, but it has everything I need,” she murmured, unable to stop her self-consciousness from taking over.

“Nonsense, April. This is a tough city and you’re already doing much better than so many others.”

He turned back to her, and April stood straighter.

“I know about you,” he said.

“Know about me? What does that mean?”

“It’s a crazy world we live in, these days. Knowledge is power. For instance, I know that you know who your father is, but never visit him. You were born in Kentucky, but your mother moved to New Jersey when she had financial troubles. There, you lived together with your aunt as your mother’s drug addiction got worse, until your aunt kicked her out. When you were sixteen, your aunt gained full custody of you and, even though you had good grades, you didn’t have the money for anything more than community college.”

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