Whoosh! The elevator inside the Tanner Building swept Kelly to the 11th floor in just seconds, leaving her still completely breathless. The elevator itself was totally silent as it powered its way to the top of the building where the offices for Human Services and the Victim Advocate Programs for the city of Carver were housed.
Kelly was still reeling from the incident at the bus stop and was trying to compose herself before she stepped out onto the gleaming Italian tile floor. The Tanner Building was on the historic records and was undergoing extensive renovations and Kelly was glad they had started at the top and worked down. One could see where the old door casings had been replaced with beautiful crown moldings and old paint and wall paper had been changed to organic wall coverings with beautiful earth tones. All of this was accentuated with burnished copper accents that glowed in the early morning light.
Kelly was so glad they had preserved the exterior and most of the interior in its original design. The integrity of the building remained in tact that way. She loved coming to work every day. It seemed so restful inside this building while a chaotic world carried on outside. Unfortunately, part of the chaos actually followed her into the building where she was a grief counselor for the Domestic Violence and Abuse Programs for the City of Carver.
Brushing back the golden cascade of hair that fell almost to her waist, she adjusted her skirt and jacket and entered the office. Even without the hair, which her mother had always told her was her crowning glory, she was a beautiful woman. Standing 5'11" in her stocking feet, she towered over the other women in the office. Her friend Nicky always said they could be twins if only Kelly had her extra 20 pounds and she had Kelly's extra 6 inches.
Today Nicky stood by the water cooler and stared as Kelly marched toward her office with a look that said, "Don't even go there", which is exactly where Nicky went.
"What in the world happened to you?" she asked.
Trying to pretend she was fine, Kelly put her purse in the drawer and sat behind her desk. "Nothing, I'm fine!" she said.
"Oh really" said Nicky. "Then why does your hair look like you just stuck your finger in a light socket, and that grimace on your face makes you look like you just had a colonoscopy that didn't go well?"
"I don't know what you mean, and don't you have something to do?" asked Kelly irritably.
"Well, I am the office manager and I AM doing something! I'm sticking to this chair until I get the details, okay?" said Nicky.
Nicky, short for Nicole Fellini, was of Italian descent with a Latin temperament. Her dark eyes and hair were natural, but not the bright red and yellow swatches that she had woven through the curls. Nicky was her own fashion guru and sometimes came to work in such outrageous clothing and hairstyles that even her good friend, Kelly wondered if she was mentally all there.
"Oh my gosh!" exclaimed Kelly. "Doesn't anyone have a life? she said. "My hair got caught in the bus doors and my heel got caught in a sidewalk vent and ruined my shoes. I nearly landed in a heap in the middle of rush hour traffic! Thank heavens the bus driver saw that my hair was caught and didn't drive off, or I would be as bald as a bowling ball! Oh, look at my leg," she wailed. The leg had scratches and blood running down the back of it.
"I was saved by a couple of hefty street utility workers, and the people watching actually cheered! I have never felt so mortified in my whole life!" She used a Kleenex to wipe off the blood and Nicky got some first aid supplies to disinfect it.
"I'm thinking that not only am I taller on one side than on the other, I also just ruined my favorite pair of heels. So, there you go!" Kelly flopped back into her swivel chair and rested her head on the back.
Nicky sat in the chair