Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

After a few more minutes passed, April fished out her phone to call Annabelle. As she got into her contacts file, the jarring buzz of the door unlocking sounded.

April slipped into the building and finished the short walk to Annabelle’s unit. She was about to knock on the door, but stopped when she heard fumbling on the other side. A few seconds later, the door swung open as Annabelle flopped back into her wheelchair. “Sorry about the wait. I was laying down for a few.”

April stepped in and pushed the door firmly shut behind her. “No worries. I was stuck in traffic anyway.”

Annabelle backed up and gave April enough room to squeeze past. “Did I miss anything in Finance class?”

“No. Just some interest rate equation with fifty thousand variables. But Professor Lewis said we don’t have to memorize it. Just understand how everything flows together.” April set her book bag on the table in the small kitchen area and took out the finance textbook, her note pad, and the extra copy of notes she’d made back at HuntCorp.

“I took a look through the homework,” said Annabelle. “It didn’t seem too bad.” She made her way to the side of the table without a chair and slid right in. “Have you started counting the days ’til graduation?”

April snorted. “No. Well, maybe. There’s too much other stuff going on.” She was tempted to ask how the physical therapy session that led to Annabelle missing class went, but held her tongue. If Annabelle wanted to talk about her progress, she would. Although her friend had never seemed to mind discussing the car accident that changed her life forever, April never felt comfortable asking.

“Is Sam working you to the bone again?” asked Annabelle.

“No. Today wasn’t too bad. Not nearly as busy as I thought it’d be. But then again, Sam barely—never mind.”

Annabelle leaned forward, her dark eyes wide. “Don’t ‘never mind’ me. I want to know. Sam barely what?”

“I don’t know. He went out to lunch with his new supermodel girlfriend, and was...strange when he got back.”

“Stranger than normal?”

April cracked a smile. “Good point. But, yes. He was stranger than normal. I know he was swamped with work today, but he hardly asked me to do anything. I didn’t review any spreadsheets, scan email, help out other departments. All I did was answer the phone. I felt like such a—”


Her brow furrowed as she replayed the afternoon in her head again. “Yeah. I know I started out that way, but the past few years, we’ve been operating more like a partnership. I don’t know what happened in Paris to change that.”

“Maybe he realized exactly how much he appreciates you.”

April’s gaze shot to Annabelle. “Don’t say that. He sees me as an asset to the company. Trust me, I spent years wanting him to see me any other way. We have the perfect, professional relationship.”

“If you say so.”

The memory of Sam’s eyes roaming over her came back in a sudden rush. She took a deep gulp and pushed the thought away before she blushed. “He probably just got into a fight with his new girlfriend. Just forget it. Let’s talk interest rates.”

“Please,” snorted Annabelle. “If the choice is between smokin’ billionaires and finance, the answer is always the hot guy.”

April rubbed the bridge of her nose. The last thing she needed was her old feelings to roar to the surface. “What if the choice is between boy talk and actually passing one of our last college classes?”

Annabelle threw her head back in mock despair. “Ugh! I hate it when you talk reasonably.”

“Just wait until I start talking interest rates,” muttered April as she cracked open the textbook. “You won’t be able to contain your excitement.”

By Friday, things were mostly back to normal. As the accountants worked to finish the three years’ worth of audits in order to file with the SEC, it was a mad rush for April to get them all the documents they wanted. Whatever had bothered Sam earlier in the week, neither of them had enough time to let it get in the way of the audits.

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