"Maybe. Who'd you get?"
"De Luca" he responded breezily. "Should be fine."
I glanced at Jennifer. She was typing furiously into her phone, probably updating her boyfriend on her day. "Jennifer, you going for drinks?" She glanced up, nodded, and resumed her texting.
Jane, the human resources receptionist, a petite white-haired women who would have seemed motherly if it weren't for her piercing stare and gravely smoker's voice, strode into the room. "Okay interns, let’s move!" she commanded, clapping her hands. "Report to your attorneys and bring all of your things with you!" She clapped her hands again, and began herding us out. Todd caught up with me on the way out, and held the door for me, pressing his hand gently on my back to guide me through the door. I tried not to smile, but felt a flush hit my face. I headed for the stairs, and prepared myself for the fourth floor, and Broward.
Broward was in his 40s, tall and bald. Shaved bald, in an obvious attempt to hide a receding hairline. He looked like a runner, thin and in shape. He had his jacket on, and was seated behind his desk when I came in. He stood at my entrance and came around the desk to shake my hand. "Julia," he beamed, pumping my hand. "Nice to meet you." I liked him immediately. He seemed intelligent, approachable, and trustworthy. Plus, it appeared he had excellent taste in interns. Looking around his office, he grabbed a set of keys and a stack of files. "Come with me, I'll show you your office and start you working."
Four hours later, I paused in my typing and leaned back in my chair. I stretched my arms and legs and rolled my head, trying to get the kinks out of my neck. I looked around my office, taking my first real appraisal of the space. It was a nice office, more than I had expected as an intern. Dark wood-paneled walls, plush cream carpet, and expensive, heavy furniture - the room had a definite masculine sense, a cigar-bar type feel. I didn't mind. Girly, flowery, and pink didn't exactly inspire fear in the courtroom.
My desk was filled with legal briefs, all with Broward's hand-written notes all over them. They all needed to be summarized, and have his notes added. I sighed. Long nights were going to be the norm, mostly filled with menial work that would do nothing to further my work experience. Welcome to the world of internship. I leaned back over the desk and started in again.
An hour later, there was a soft knock of my door, and Todd Appleton stuck his gorgeous blond head in. "We're heading out for drinks," he said. "Still room for you, if you're interested." He looked carefree, relaxed, and happily done for the day, his tie already loosened.
"I think I'll be here a while," I said, from behind the stack of briefs. "But thanks for checking." His gaze traveled from my full desk to the crammed cardboard file box on the side of my desk. His smile faded slightly. "Alright... I'll take a rain check." He tapped his hand on the side of the doorframe twice and then left, closing the door behind himself.
I rubbed my eyes and focused again on Britley vs Russell Properties, an exciting legal battle regarding a dispute over water rights on a condominium project. Thrilling. At least Broward is still here also. I can hear him on the phone, his seat creaking occasionally when he stands up, usually to pace. I bet a track has been worn down on his plush carpet from the constant pacing. My stomach growled. Tomorrow I would know to pack a dinner. Damn Todd and the other interns, with their light workloads and happy hour drinks. I grumbled a little longer to myself and then tried to refocus my mind.
At 10pm Broward knocked on my office door and entered. Tie undone, shirt rumpled, he looked at my exhausted face with a gentle smile. "Come on, Julia. Let's go. You've put in a good first day." I smiled at him wearily. I was so hungry I was ready to start chewing on a post-it note. I was certain my butt had officially fused to the leather seat, and my hands were cramping from the nonstop typing. I wanted to come across as a road-hardened legal warrior, but I was too tired to keep up the facade. Besides, he looked tired also.
"Alright Boss," I said, grabbing my jacket and shrugging into it. "I won't argue with you, seeing its my first day." I picked up my purse and followed him down the hall, waving to the quiet, round, Hispanic housekeeper who was waiting at the entrance to Broward's office, armed with disinfectant and a trash bag. She smiled at me and waited until we passed before scurrying in the office.
"I'll walk you to your car," Broward said, a statement rather than a question. "You don't need to be in the parking garage alone." I nodded my thanks and tried to walk without stumbling.
We got on the elevator, and the muted music filled the area. I tried to think of something moderately intelligent to say.
"Today I buried you in files." Broward broke the silence. "I didn't give you a proper introduction to the office. Tomorrow I will give you a tour and the basic background information on everything that you will need. Week after next I will be in Fort Lauderdale, so I want to get you as acclimated and self-sufficient as possible." Thank God - a week of normal hours.
"Sounds great," I said. I gestured to the 10-year old grey Toyota Camry, my mom's old car. Now one of the only cars in the parking lot, the only exception being a shiny black Lexus, which I assumed was his. "This is mine," I said, a bit unnecessarily. "Thank you for walking me." I awkwardly stuck out my hand, and he shook it.
"See you tomorrow, Ms. Campbell." Broward smiled and released my hand.
"Goodnight, Mr. Broward." I nodded at him and headed for my car.
6am came way too freaking early. Yesterday I had bounded out of bed, excited about my internship, but today it took two snooze cycles before I lifted my head. My alarm still sounding, I fumbled to turn it off just as pounding started on the wall beside my bed. "It's off!" I shouted. Zack, my stoner of a roommate, stopped beating on the wall. I'm sure he was already back asleep. He had had friends over till past 3am, and they had made no effort to be quiet. I had no doubt there would be plenty of fights in the upcoming months over our sleep routines. After breakfast and a shower, I grabbed a blue sweater dress out of the closet and pulled it over my head, cinching a brown belt around my waist. Grabbing small faux diamond stud earrings and a purse, I surveyed my shoe options. All sexy and over 3-inches tall. Seeing the long hours ahead, I would need to buy some shoes that emphasized comfort over fashion. For now, I grabbed some gorgeous leather and gold Jimmy Choos and slid them on.
I arrived at the office at 7:30am. Pulling open the heavy teak doors, I entered the lobby, nodding to Dorothy, the ancient receptionist. "Good morning Miss Campbell," she said creakily. "Here late last night?" Her bemused expression had no trace of pity.