The Unsettled Heart
By Alma Fenter
What a beautiful day. The sun was shining so brightly through the trees as Kara Anders walked toward her office.
Kara took her key out to unlock the door and realized the door stood ajar. She immediately removed her cell phone from her purse and dialed 911, backing out the foyer until help arrived.
“Miss Kara Anders, I am officer Kelly. You reported a possible break-in? Tell me which office and I will check it out for you,” the officer replied.
As soon as officer Kelley entered the building he heard talking, knocking forcefully on the door, he announced himself. “Valley Dale Police, identify yourself and tell me why you are here.”
“Officer, this is a mistake, I work here and this is one of the clericals. I’m giving her notes on my day. Nothing illegal is going on here.” I assure you.
“Sir, you still have not told me who you are, I need to see your driver’s license, both of you. Mr. Shaun Pittman, Ms. Gloria Sanders, I have a witness that tells me you should not be here. Ms. Anders, you can come in now. Do you recognize either of these two people?” Officer Kelly called her in.
“Mr. Pittman tells me he works here and that Ms. Sanders is his clerical, do you recognize them?” Turning to Kara as she came completely into the room, he reached out to steady her.
“Yes sir, I recognize Mr. Pittman. Ms. Sanders, though, I’ve never seen before in my life, I’m sorry I called you, you may go now, and thanks again for coming.” Kara said.
Kara stood there, tears running down her cheeks and stared from one to the other. Looking into this woman’s eyes, she said “just who are you, Ms. Sanders, pointing a very shaky finger her way. Why have I never met you before today?”
“Uh, well, Mr. Pittman asked me to come in a little early this morning so he could, I mean he wanted to bring me up to speed on the project for…Shaun, help me explain to her, what she is asking. Actually who is she, and why do I need to explain myself to her?”
For the first time Kara’s eyes looked deeply into Shaun’s. As if she were begging him to give her a straight answer. “Yes, Shaun, you seem to hold the answer to this whole mess. What are you doing here, and tell Ms. Sanders who I am. Tell her why I have keys to this office, and why I would have thought someone had broken in. While you are at it, tell me who she is and why she is here. It seems you have a lot of explaining to do,”
“Mr. Pittman, should I leave and return at a better time,” Gloria asked.
“No, Gloria, we all need to be here. This is not going to be pleasant, but it is necessary.”
“Kara, remember the trip I took last month to Washington? While I was there I met Gloria. She was my assigned clerical during the meetings, helped with all the things you had been doing for me. I stayed another couple days to make contacts that needed to be made anyway. She really is a good assistant and I thought there might be a place for here, in our home office. She made things flow so effortlessly. That’s when I offered her a job here in the Valley.”
“You offered her a position here, without talking to me first? It’s been a month and I am just now finding out about a new staff member? When were you going to let me know Shaun, didn’t you think that would be important? By the way, how did you manage to pay her without me knowing. That’s two paychecks!” Her voice was now rising in anger. The more she realized, the less hurt she felt and the more furious she became.
“Kara, listen, it isn’t what you think. I just knew we would need someone else in the office as things began to grow and I had already seen what Gloria could accomplish. I didn’t want to take a chance of losing her, so I brought her back with me.” Why are you so upset he asked.
“Do you not see all the implications here Shaun? How has she been getting her pay check and where does she live? No one works for a month without being paid. Besides, what is her title and what office dose she work out of? Have you kept her in the dark just as you have deceived me? This is despicable to me, Mr. Pittman.”
Looking directly toward Gloria, she said, “well it looks like you are an employee of Pittman and Anders.” Picking up a job application, she handed it to Gloria. “Please fill out these forms and bring them to me, here in my office. You can take the clipboard and pen out to the foyer. I will need at least three personal references, four former employees, and a full list of your skills and capabilities for your clerical position. I will then look over the application and possibly administer various test as needed. Thank you.”
Shaun took a step toward Kara, but stopped at the tone of her voice. “She will remain on the pay role, out of deference to you, until the paper work is completed and references have been checked. Then, Just like any proper applicant would have had to do, she will be notified of her acceptance of employment, or regret letter. This is not over yet Shaun.” Turning, she walked Gloria to a chair in the foyer.
“Kara, I am sorry for not letting you know first. I guess I knew you would be angry. I wanted to tell you when we first got back, but then I didn’t know how. As for where she is living, you know it is the company apartment. How does she get paid, I pay her from my own personal account, but you knew all of that anyway, didn’t you? How can I make this right?”
“Shaun, not only am I Human Resource Director, I am also your fiancée, in case you forgot that for the last six weeks. The two in Washington and a month here. To you that might not mean anything, but to me it means the whole world. Would you even care if the role was reversed? I’m sure Gloria’s application will turn out just fine. I will come in and do the part of my job a clerical can’t do, but she can work out of the pool on the second floor, doing whatever you think she Is so good at. I’m due vacation time anyway. I will call you.”
“Kara, please, let’s talk about this some more. Where will you be? I’m sorry, I promise I just didn’t think it out. Kara, please wait!”
Gloria had returned to the open door of the office with her paper work and just stood, not making a sound. She knew she was eaves dropping, but could not manage a word. All she could say when Kara walked past her, “was excuse me.”
Shaun sat down in the desk chair with his head in his hands. “Uh, Shaun, what should I do with this application? Should I return to the pool and continue working on the project, as before, or should I just go home? I mean, to the apartment and pack some of my things? Do I still have a job, and what about, well you know…us?” Gloria was so confused.
“To tell you the truth, Gloria, I don’t know. I made a very foolish decision, without discussing it with Kara, and now, I just don’t know anything. I’m sure you can continue working in the pool until Kara and I talk and I work this all out. Just leave the papers here,” he told her in a very dazed voice.
Later that evening he went by Kara’s house, on the off chance she was still there. He walked around the corner of the house and he could see her sitting on the ground beside the old Oak, where he had proposed to her, her head in her hands. Praying, seeking guidance.
“Kara,” he called her name softly so he wouldn’t frighten her. “Can I come and sit with you for a few minutes, please?”
“Sure Shaun, why not? I’m just trying to pick myself up and seek guidance on where to go from here. You know, I would have bet my very life we would never have had to cross this bridge of mistrust. My heart feels bruised and bleeding, yet my mind tells me to run far and wide.”
Shaun sat next to her, but not close enough for their hands to touch. “You know this is the spot we have managed to work out every problem we have faced since I asked you to marry me and we decided to become partners at Pittman and Anders Law Firm. Every major decision was presented for Wisdom and Guidance. You may never trust me again, and I understand that. I just want you to know nothing happened between Gloria and me except poor decisions on my part.”
“Nothing physical maybe, Shaun, but I recognize the emotional dependence she has on you. Through all of this, has Gloria been under any impression that you had anything to offer her romantically? One thing I have received in my prayer, as to what we should do, is that you are not a strong enough man to carry the needs of two women. I think you need time to seek your own affections and to whom you owe your allegiance. I will be making a trip to our branch in Glendale for awhile and give you some space.”
“Can I talk you out of this? Can we work it out together?”
“No, I can’t be a direct impact on your decision. You have to walk this path by yourself. I do love you though, Shaun.” With all my heart.
“Is it okay if I come here, to our seeking place, or will you have your father kick me off?”
“Of course you have access to this beautiful, place of meditation and prayer. I feel like the Father gave this place to us. Only us, you understand. No one else has privilege here. I will leave in the morning, so I will tell you good bye now, and I ask you to follow whatever path He leads you to.”