The In-Between

You had to share what’s hurting or bothering you with the ones that loved you. I wished Mom was here. She’d say the right thing to make me feel better or chew me out for not putting on my big girl pants. I laughed at that thought.

“Yes, sir,” I replied, still laughing hysterically. I hung up the phone and walked over to the window. Taking a deep breath, I looked out to the city below. “I hope you’re ready for me.” 

I stepped back and turned to look at the office. A slight shiver went down my back.

What the heck do I do now? 

Taking a deep sigh, I went back to my desk chair. Sitting down, I looked over at the computer, turned it on, and thought of a good password. After typing it in, my screen came up. I had just started looking through the many emails and documents when my phone buzzed. It was Cara. “Hi, Cara.” In the excitement, I had forgotten to call her.

“Hey, Nike. So, how’d it go?”

“Oh, well…”

“Oh no, Nike, he didn’t like any of it?” she said, concern in her voice.

“No, no, he loved it. He loved everything.”

“Nike, that is wonderful! So what did he say exactly?”

“He didn’t say much at first…” I told Cara everything, well, not everything exactly, but what I could tell her. I mean hey, I’m not telling anyone that my dad shed a tear or two. Come on, the King of Gods had a reputation and all, I thought to myself. Then I told her the last part about Dad giving me the company.

“Wow! What the…” she responded with surprise in her voice.

I laughed at her response.

“But seriously, Nike, what are you gonna do? And do I still have a job?”

“Of course you do. They gave me an executive assistant; her name is Sheba.”

“So wait, what does it mean for us in the shop?”

 “Cara, I assure you, you are my right-hand gal. The gang will be just fine.” 

“Okay, Nike, but what should I tell the team?”



“Yeah, nothing has changed. I’m still the same person.”

“No, you’re not. You’re a goddess.”

I laughed to myself because I didn’t think she was going to react like this. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m only down the street, and I plan to still be in the store. Cara, don’t be upset,” I said soothingly.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Nike. I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful. I just wasn’t ready for you to leave us.”

Laughing, I said, “I’m not leaving, and besides, things are just looking up for us…well, you.”


“I’ll talk to you later.” 

“Are you coming by the shop?”

“No, I don’t think so. I think Sheba has plans for me.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Hey, I will fill you in on everything. Thank you, Cara. Really.” There was a knock on my door. “Hey, I’ve got to go. I’ll call you later, and don’t worry, everything is going to be okay.”


“And don’t tell anyone anything. I need to see what I have to do around here first.”

“It’s fine, Nike. I won’t say anything.” She hung up.

There was another knock. “Come in.” 

“Ms. Nike, is this a good time to go over a few things?” Sheba asked as she walked into the office. She took a seat in one of the chairs, and began rattling off all these things I was now responsible for. Then she stood and asked me to follow her out of the office. She had scheduled me to meet with the department heads, department managers, buyers, testers, marketing teams. 

After the meeting two hours later, I needed to get out of the building. I told Sheba I needed a moment, and that I was leaving for the day. She wanted me to have Joshua take me home. I laughed and said, “I live downstairs.” 

“Oh…oh, right.” Her eyes widened briefly. “I forgot that you all live here. Very well then.” She tugged on her blouse and left the office.

I headed down to my apartment, looking forward to getting out of my dirty clothes.

“What happened to you?” Francisco asked.

“I got a real job.” I burst out in laughter.

Francisco knew not to question me. He smiled and went to lay out some fresh clothes for me as I headed to the shower.

It was an emotional day, and I put on some cello music to settle my mind. A lot had happened. I thought about everything as I showered. I had no idea I’d get so emotional today. I didn’t mean to unload on Dad like that. But I felt better. I knew it sounded dumb, but sometimes some things just can’t be held inside. You had to share what’s hurting or bothering you with the ones that loved you. I wished Mom was here. She’d say the right thing to make me feel better or chew me out for not putting on my big girl pants. I laughed at that thought. 

Grabbing the towel to dry myself, I headed to my room. Good ol’ Francisco, he always seemed to know what I needed. He laid out my matching cotton blue pants and shirt set. He knew that I liked to be in comfy sleep clothes when I’d had an insane day. There was a cup of cinnamon tea on the nightstand. I hadn’t thought about how deeply all that had happened over the last few months had affected me. Taking a deep breath and exhaling to stop the dark thoughts from returning, I allowed the music to calm me.

“Lady Nike, your siblings were wondering if you cared to join them this evening for dinner?” Francisco’s voice sounded muffled through my bedroom door.

“Tell them I can’t tonight, new job and all.” 

He laughed through the doorway. I could hear him talking into the phone, more likely to pass along the message. 

“I’ll make you a salad,” he shouted from the kitchen. 

After dressing, I passed by my desk and there was the diary that Moxie had given me when we first returned. I picked it up and thumbed through some entries. I took the book over to my bed and read through. I wrote more than I shared before. I chuckled to myself. I skipped to the page marked Cara, giggling as I read the entry of how I met my best friend.

Nike (Nikki Crump-Hansted)
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