New York Rain(6)

By: Riley Moreno

Brenton Huxley and his company had been her last hope at bringing the Chinese solar tech from SolarTwo into the United States, but now that he had refused her – so flatly, and without any consideration or sympathy, it had seemed – her options had run out. She would be forced to shelf this solar tech project, perhaps permanently. She had had so many hopes and dreams running on this, and now they had all been dashed.

She had come here, to this small hole-in-the-wall Irish pub, a place which she often frequented, to drown her sorrows after the failure that had been this afternoon. She sipped on the last of her drink and took out her phone. A message from her friend Jenny was waiting to opened on the screen. Jade took another sip and opened the message.

“How'd that proposal go earlier girl? Did you get the result you were after? My date with Ferrari dude was a disaster. The dude had like NO personality at all. But tomorrow another guy is taking me out to a sushi bar. This dude drives a Maserati. Winning! -J.”

Jenny shook her head, as she usually did after reading messages from Jenny. She typed out a hasty reply, not being in much of a mood to converse with her friend at the moment, considering how down she was feeling.

“Hey girl, it's been a long day. Will tell ya about the proposal another time. Sorry to hear about Ferrari dude, but good luck with Maserati guy. -J.”

She stuffed her phone back into her purse and finished off the last of her drink.

“Another Long Island for ya, Jade?” asked the bartender, a grey and grizzled old New Yorker with a heavy accent and thickly-lidded eyes.

“No thanks Joe,” she said sadly. “I think I've had about as many Long Islands as I can handle tonight.”

“Fair enough,” he replied. “I just hate to see such a pretty lady lookin' so unhappy.”

Jade couldn't help but laugh.

“You're such a sweetie Joe,” she said warmly.

“Well you're one of my favorite customers,” he said with a grin and a sparkle in his green eyes. “Are you sure I can't tempt you with one last Long Island? It's on the house.”

“No thanks Joe. I have to get going.”

“Listen kid, chin up, okay? I know you had a big disappointment earlier with that Brenton Huxley thing, but look, don't let it get you down. You can take a hit like a champ, and I'm sure you're gonna get right back on your feet and keep fightin' the good fight. That's right, ain't it?”

“Thanks Joe, and yes, I'm going to get right back up and keep fighting. It takes a lot more than that to get me down.”

“I know it is. You're a real fighter, you are. Alright then, you go be on your way. Take it easy, huh?”

“Goodbye Joe,” she said with a smile.

With that she stood up from the bar and walked out onto the street. She looked at her watch and considered calling a cab, but then figured that since her apartment was only seven blocks away, she may as well walk. It was a clear night, and the spring air was crisp and refreshing without being uncomfortably cold. A good, quiet walk at night was always good for clearing one's head.

She started walking along the sidewalk, keeping a fairly slow pace as she allowed her thoughts to wander.

Again and again though, despite what he had done to her, her thoughts kept on returning to Brenton Huxley. She had felt a powerful attraction to him, a magnetism that she really had not felt for a long, long time. Not since Vince.

“Hey, watch where you're going, lady!” shouted a sudden voice, waking her from her thoughts.

“Sorry!” she said to the old man she had almost walked into. He shook his head and carried on walking.

“New Yorkers,” she thought with a sigh. “I really do miss the friendly people of home. Florida, I miss you a lot sometimes.”

She had been in New York City ever since Vince had passed on. After that tragedy, and all the sadness and sorrow that had come with it, she had had to pack up her life and leave everything behind. No more warmth and sunshine and laid-back living; no, life had become about business, numbers, clients and profits. Something into which she could plunge all of her focus and energies, in an effort to forget about the terrible tragedy that had befallen her.

And so it was, lost in her thoughts again, that Jade didn't notice the two shady figures, who had been quietly following her since she left the pub, speeding up their pace and catching up to her as she passed a narrow alley.