Easy Street?

“Humph. Easy street,” Jackie said as she walked down Meadow Lane.

Jackie finally made it.  She was living on easy street or rather Meadow Lane.   Ever since she was a little girl she had hopes and dreams of living on Meadow Lane.  Anybody and everybody that was somebody lived on Meadow Lane.  And now she’s somebody and lives on Meadow Lane.

Meadow Lane is aptly named because once upon a time it was a meadow.  It’s lined on both sides with the fattest and greenest American Holly evergreen shrubs. Growing on the meadow are a variety of holly trees, rhododendrons, azaleas, and to many wild flowers to name.  It’s absolutely breathtaking.  And of course a few cottage style houses peppered here and there.

Jackie has always wanted live in Mrs. Pearson’s house.  She thought it was the finest thing she had ever seen with its stone and stucco work.  The large bay window that practically took up the left side of the house.  The arched doorways inside and out.  The trellis with ivy growing on it.  The old-fashioned stove.  The chimney that looked like a church steeple.  And the crème de la crème the location.  It sat on the highest hill on the meadow and made it look like it was looking down on everyone else.

She spent many a day at Mrs. Pearson’s helping around the house and with the business, Pearson Petroleum.  That is filing.  Mrs. Pearson’s husband was in oil and when he passed she really relied on Jackie more so than her own children.  Here kids weren’t particularly reliable.  She could however rely on them to ask her for additional money when their allowance ran out.  Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Pearson stated that in order for the kids to get their trust funds in full they had to work for the company for no less than eight years, which they absolutely resented and as a result did not.  Therefore they were relegated to monthly allowance of $20,000.

Mrs. Pearson convinced Jackie to come work for Pearson Petroleum after she graduated from college.  She interned during the summer and worked very closely with Mrs. Pearson.  Worked on projects as a “junior” project manager.  Sat in on advisory committee meetings. Met with executives from other oil companies.  And did a lot shadowing.

****

There was a light, timid knock on Mrs. Pearson’s office door.

“Come in.”

“Mrs. Pearson,” Jackie said timidly as she opened the office door.

“Yes.” Mrs. Pearson said, not looking up from her papers.

“Mrs. Pearson. . . ” Jackie paused.

She stops reading, takes off her reading glasses and looks at Jackie.  “Yes, Jackie.  What can I do for you?”

“I- I-I’ve b-b-been hearing som-som-somethings that I-I-I’m. . .”

“Jackie,” Mrs. Pearson interrupted.  “Have a seat and calm down.”

She sits in the chair directly in front of Mrs. Pearson and takes a deep breath.

“Sorry about that.  But something was brought to my attention that has me a bit concerned.”

She explains there is a rumor going around that when Mrs. Pearson retires in two years she will be taking over the company.

“If it’s true, do you have a problem with it?”

“But there are so many other people here that have been here much longer and know everything.  Jake, the COO, your self-proclaimed right hand man.  What about him?”

“What about him?”

“Shouldn’t he be the next in line?”

“Look Jackie,” Mrs. Pearson said walking around her desk.  “My husband founded this company and together we built it to where it is now.  We have always maintained that people need to be in positions they are best suited for.  Just because you are chief operating officer doesn’t mean you should be President/CEO.  Jake is a good at what he does.  Phenomenal actually.  And that is where he should be.  Yes he is my right hand man and I can count on him to run the company for short periods, but long-term — no.  I know it may sound harsh, but the reality is if Jake or Nelson or Emily were in my position, I don’t think that we would be continue to be as successful as we are.”

****

Six months later Jackie found herself thrust into a position that she was not yet ready.  Mrs. Pearson had a stroke at work.  It left her unable to speak and paralyzed on one side.  She could barely feed herself on her own and needed round the clock care.  Her children, Daniel and William, tried to get her declared incompetent so they could get their trust funds; but no such luck.  She was able to prove that she was far from being incompetent.

Mrs. Pearson died two months after her stroke and one week after her funeral Jackie was voted in by the board as the new President/CEO.  The following day was the reading of Mrs. Pearson’s will.

“Jackie, you will need to be at the reading of the will,” said Mr. Tracer, Mrs. Pearson’s lawyer.

She was somewhat perplexed by this as she hadn’t expected anything else from her and quite honestly didn’t really want anything else.  She sat there half listening to what people got or didn’t get and when Mr. Tracer called her name she listened to what was left her.

“To Jackie,” Mr. Tracer said. “I leave my houses.”

“Houses?”

“Meadow Lane, the house in Cancun, the villa in Monte Carlo, and the chalet in Switzerland.”

“No.  I don’t want it,” Jackie said.  “This isn’t how I was supposed to get this, any of this.”

Jackie runs out of the room and Mr. Tracer follows.

“I didn’t work for this.  This house. This job.  Nothing.  She gave it all to me without having worked for it.  Yes, I’ve always wanted this house, but I thought I’d get it by working hard and buying it someday.  No, I can’t take it.  I won’t”

****

“It’s been over two years, Jackie,” Mr. Tracer says.  “What are you going to do with the house.  It’s yours.  You can do what you like with it.  Sell it.  Rent it.  Live in it.  But you should probably do something with it.

Jackie is standing in foyer and even though no one is living there it is still immaculately kept.

“I think I’m going to need new furniture.  I think I’ve worked hard enough for it now.  And besides Greg, Tyler, and I are going to need more room in the next few months.”

Mr. Tracer smiles, “Twins, I hear.”

*****

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, kgwaite gave me this prompt: living on Easy Street.

I gave Dani this prompt: Write a story from the perspective of your favorite super hero, who has aged and his/her powers have diminished and/or out of whack.

****

Please feel free tell me what you think by leaving a comment.  They will help me grow as a writer.

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  1. Weekly Roundup: December 22-27 | scriptic.org - December 28, 2012

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