One Day You'll Be Mine(5)

By: Alana Hart & Lauren Lashley

I still had no idea where he’d gotten that kind of money.

I still think he could have used it for his business, which he wanted to start after he discharged from the military.

Five minutes after our call ended, I realized no amount of hope would bring Ellis back to Skype. He was in the middle of traveling to Iraq, and therefore I’d be lucky to get an alert or email on my iPhone when he was available again.

“Rose, please, get away from the computer. Breathe. Get your life. Go for a walk.” It was a little after 7 in the evening, so the summer sun wasn’t as cruel at this point.

Not that I hated the sun. Thanks to my Polynesian and Black heritage, my sun kissed skin had a nice heat-friendly glow. But, Dallas was unreasonably hot, and taking a walk any earlier than 7 PM was a recipe for disaster. I wouldn’t last the full hour I expected of myself.

Grabbing my earbuds, I slipped on a pair of Yeezy’s in a size 6, grabbed a water bottle, and headed out the door. I lived in a townhome in Uptown Dallas. The area was popular for professional socialites, and those who wanted to be seen and known throughout the area. I’d purchased my place a few years ago using part of my inheritance from my grandfather as my down payment, making the mortgage manageable.

Yes, I came from money, and I loved what money can do, but I was smart about how I handled it. That’s what Ellis loved about me. I didn’t take every dollar I had, only to blow it at Neiman Marcus, or on a night out with the girls. I was about building and developing, because you never knew what tomorrow could bring.

I remember going to a business event with a friend last year. A billionaire was speaking. His name was Com Mirza. He gave us a sage bit of advice: spend 10 years working to live off 10 percent of our income while investing the other 90 percent.

Intelligent challenge. Challenge accepted.

Although I hadn’t joined the 10 percent lifestyle group, I wouldn’t be far off with Ellis’ help. Once he returned from his deployment, we planned to rent out my place for a premium. I’d relocate to San Antonio, move into base housing with him, and continue my job from there.

I currently worked as a full-time beauty editor for Belle, a lifestyle magazine for Texas women. Our central office was in Dallas, however, we had satellites in Austin, Houston, and of course, San Antonio. The deployment would give me enough time to wrap up loose ends here, and transfer to the San Antonio satellite. I wouldn’t be a full time beauty editor in the sense that I had the in-office role and title, but I would still have an editor at large position, provided I could travel some of the time.

Making my way through the walk, I enjoyed the sights and sounds. City life wasn’t for everyone, but as a native, Dallas had the best energy. Every evening, you could literally see the transformation as days ended. City lights peppered the skyline, giving the city a distinct appearance you wouldn’t see everywhere else. I was particularly fond of the wavy, multicolored Omni Hotel, the spherical Reunion     Tower, and of course, the 72-story Bank of America building with the dazzling green lights.

I was walking distance to upscale restaurants like Avanti, Baboush, Capital Grille, and the Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa. I passed these places regularly on my daily walk, just to take in the gorgeous energy and architecture. Like downtown Kansas City, Missouri, it was just captivating.

A hand slapped my shoulder. I was so entranced by the views and lost in the music coming from my earbuds that I hadn’t noticed my name being called. “Rose!”

I turned, curious, only to see it was Alejandro. He worked on our design and layout team. I didn’t consider him a friend, per se. We never really spoke outside of group settings regarding deadlines, but we weren’t enemies.

“I hope I didn’t scare you,” he apologized. “I had just gotten out of the office, and wanted to grab something to eat. I noticed you walking, and wanted to say hi.”

“Oh hey!” I let out a deep exhale. “You scared me. I didn’t know who that was slapping me on the shoulder like that. How are you?”

Alejandro dug his hands into his pockets, grinning sheepishly. I could see the color come to his cheeks now. I didn’t realize how boyish he could be. Either that, or you’d think he was bashful by nature.

“I’m good,” he continued. “We’re finishing the layout for the fall issue. If all goes to plan, we should be headed to the printer in less than a week. Has the beauty team corrected all of their submissions?”

“Which ones?” I was puzzled. As far as I’d known, everyone’s work was completed and ready to go.

“Rebecca’s article had a few issues. Did you get the email?”

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