Blindfolded Innocence

By: Alessandra Torre

CHAPTER 1





I knelt on the floor, a pillow underneath my knees. Blindfolded, I listened hard, waiting for a sign of what was to come. Only the hum of the hotel air conditioner met my ears. Seconds passed, then a minute. Finally I heard the door open and then click shut. Footsteps, muted on the carpet, sounded from behind me, and I felt, rather than heard, a male presence pass by my side and come to stand in front of me. Close, so close I leaned backward slightly. The sound of a zipper being drawn down filled the silent room.





CHAPTER 2





Four months earlier.





I decided to break off my engagement on a Wednesday night at 2:20am. I was drunk, past the point of walking a straight line, but not yet to the point of slurrying my speech. Drunk wasn't the best mindset to be in to make a life altering decision, but a truth that had evaded my self conscious for the last two years had finally ripped back the thin curtain I had always shoved it behind and now stood front and center in the middle of my head, waving its arms and screaming. Luke was not the one for me.





I met Luke as a sophomore in college - emotionally vulnerable after the first "love of my life" unceremoniously dumped me 2 weeks after taking my virginity to run off with a 17-year old blonde, pink toe-nailed, California princess. Luke was quiet, brooding, a sensitive soul who seemed absolutely terrified of me. I was bubbly, beautiful, and determined to get over my heartbreak the college way - partying myself into oblivion. I hunted Luke down, like a lioness would do to a vulnerable baby antelope, making my soul occupation getting Luke to fall completely and hopelessly in love with me. Which he did, putting me on a pedestal and worshipping daily at my whim.





I demanded a proposal within six months, which he did willingly (I think), and we began to plan a life together. This life plan was hampered slightly by the fact that Luke was a dreamer - with high goals but little follow-through. He enjoyed spending time with me, but little else. He worked in construction, and not in a management role, as I had originally thought, but as a laborer. My bubbly persona started to turn into more of a nagging mother role. It wasn't long before my self-conscience starting poking me with a sharp little pointy stick. I had ignored the annoying pokes for the last 12 months. My self-conscience had had enough of waiting.





It is weird the things that enter your head during a break up. I sat on my bed, with Luke sitting next to me, and I wondered why I had never purchased a chair for my bedroom. I had a desk, along with the typical bedside table, and of course, bed - but no chair. A chair would have made this situation easier - sitting next to Luke on the bed would be too intimate, his pain was too close, and I knew I would have to fight to keep from reaching over to comfort him. But enough procrastinating. I stood up, wobbled slightly, and turned to face him. I took a deep breath and delivered the bad news. I think my dramatic breakup speech was hampered slightly by the fact that we were both drunk, but I tried my best to be compassionate, coherent, and firm. I accomplished at least two of those objectives.





Luke turned out to have a streak of stalker in him. As much poking and prodding that he had needed to bathe, balance a checkbook, and show up for work- it turned out he needed little or no encouragement to spend every waking moment trying to convince me to come back to him. In retrospect, maybe I should have spent less effort trying to get him to fall in love with me. I might have overshot that objective.





After two weeks of avoiding my home, work, and any place I had ever frequented during the last two years, I decided to leave my crappy apartment and even crappier job and start fresh. It was good timing. Intern season was starting.





CHAPTER 3





My internship at Clarke, De Luca & Broward began Monday morning at 8am. I sat in the Human Resources offices with eight other interns and waited for my attorney assignment. Our internships would last for one semester; during that time we would be assigned an attorney, and for the most part, would be their personal bitch for the next 10 weeks.





I had heard the stories. Liz Renfield, one of the junior partners, once made one intern cover her gynecology appointment - the intern had to sit in the cold stirrups and undergo a full exam - just so Renfield could make a depo and continue her birth control uninterrupted. Hugo Clarke is apparently the dream assignment - he takes interns under his wing and pretty much guarantees you a salaried position after graduation. Brad De Luca is a skirt chaser, Robert Handler a drunk, and Kent Broward will drown you in work. There were a few new attorneys that hadn't yet built up a reputation, but I was sure that they would have one soon enough.

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