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 It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)

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PostSubject: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Another day, another long and busy schedule. Susan was exhausted with all the new projects that plopped themselves down on her desk. She had to abandon her GrocR app idea for the time being since she could no longer devote any time to it with the new merger that was going on. Salem Ltd. was attempting to acquire Ionize Interactive and she as the economist, marketing liaison, and a handful of other titles had been pressured to make this her primary focus on her already overflowing plate. Not as if a lot of information had been floated her way during the process, making her start from scratch but heeeeey. This sort of thing wasn't what annoyed Susan, mergers were good opportunities to shine. What bothered her was that these talks had been going on for the better part of five months and this was the first time she was hearing about it.

"Haaaaaaaaah..." Susan let out a long and weary sigh as she stepped out of her Audi, turning to the back seat to grab her portfolios. Even as the sun was setting and she was long away from work, work wasn't long away from her. It looked to be a packed week of working 12 hour days and bringing things home at night to prepare for the next busy busy day. When all was said and done she was going to be sure to take some time off. As she was making her trudge up the drive way to her town home, plans for dinner already filling her head, her phone went off with its usual bell chime. Susan sighed yet again and checked the device.

1 Reminder!
Call Cecil Erinsforth (boy from SoundWave) to discuss employment opportunities.

Yes... that was right. The businesswoman would have forgotten otherwise, but she had planned to speak to the young man about career opportunities. He seemed to be an intelligent kid and quite knowledgeable about sound systems, she thought he could make a good tester. Or work in sales. There were a few openings he could fill but they would address that in the subsequent phone call. For now she needed to settle down and get dinner started.

~~~~~

Susan stood in front of her kitchen island, a now-cluttered mess of utensils and ingredients and a smattering of the portfolios open for her to look at as she cooked, her bengal pawing at the fabric on her pants as it begged for some of what was on the counter. She thought she would do something with fish tonight, some pan-seared salmon with boiled green beans and baked yam. Looping her hands-free headset through her ear, Susan hit the dial button before turning on the faucet to wash her hands. The background noise might be a bit distracting, she thought, but he was a teenager and this was an informal call. Turning the water off she would turn to slicing fish as she waited for Cecil to pick up his phone.

Ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ing...

Ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ing...

Ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ing...
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:09 pm

Too close! Too close! Way, way way too close!
Unlike how he had planned before, Cecil was currently at home, door sealed up as best he could in his room. Dad had been talking that morning about how he'd like it if he could spend the night with him and Rydia today. And when it came to it, he...didn't really didn't have to heart or the will to refuse him that. Not least because he kind of wanted to do it as well.
These things didn't happen nearly enough, any more.
So on the one hand, there was going to be movies, bonding, and Chinese takeaway. This'd likely be one of the better days he'd had in a while, and god knows the way Dad's face lit up when him and his sister confirmed they'd be back for this was worth it even if nothing else was.

On the other hand, he'd had to pretend he had a bunch of stuff to grab in order to get this moment, and the opportunity really wasn't going to last long. He was just bloody lucky right now that he was the only one who didn't take forever to figure out what they wanted to order. That particular debate was probably going to go on a while longer, but there was only so far that could be pushed before they wrapped that up or just decided his business was a greater point of interest to them.
As he's sat on his bed, staring at the silenced phone, he mentally prepares himself for just about everything that was about to come next. He jumps as his phone finally starts ringing, and takes a deep breath as he sees this isn't just a badly timed spam number like just about any other time anyone calls.
...this is going to be painful.

Cecil accepts the call, after making one last paranoid check to ensure the door's locked. "He...he-agfkl..."
Come on...this really, really isn't the time to start mangling what I'm saying...
"...hello?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:37 pm

That was odd. It sounded as if there were some static over the signal... Maybe she shouldn't have gotten a completely separate pair of headphones than she needed, her ear piece must be aching to replaced that much more. Susan turned off the water in case the background noise was interfering with what her microphone was registering and causing feedback.
"Hello? Cecil? This is Susan Groves, from SoundWave? How are you today?" she greeted politely. As she spoke she began to meander about the kitchen unable to resist the urge to pace while talking on the phone. Her needy bengal nipped at her heels as she did so yet Susan's brain didn't even register the cat's existence at the moment, she had taken one of her portfolios to read it as she conversed. It was only a phone conversation, her eyes were completely free and she would be wasting time and have to stay up past 11 if she couldn't get through these tonight.

"I would like to thank you again for helping me out the other day but there is something I wanted to discuss with you, do you have a moment?" Susan walked in circles around her island with a hungry cat trailing her as she spoke, eyeing reports before remembering that she was supposed to be cooking and the skillet was probably hot enough for the butter. As she meandered she would float toward the fridge to grab a stick of butter, absentmindedly placing her portfolio back in its place before closing it.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:04 pm

Thank god she didn't comment on that.
"Fffiiaaghh..."
WHY.
"Sorry. Fine. I'm fine. Told you I was bad on a phone. This is what I meant." Cecil sighs. This would be fine, any other time. He'd think it'd be better even, considering how much easier it is talking with someone when they're not right in front of you. But nope! Somehow, phonecalls are even worse. Especially when you're paranoid that your immediate family might be listening at the door.
...Cecil gets up and listens by the door to his room. If he strained his ears...it sounded like they were still downstairs? Good. That was good? That was good. He couldn't pace like this though, they'd probably hear.

Moving back, he continues listening on. "Iiiiiyay-yay-yay've not got too long right now as it turns out, but I've got-"
"Hey, found what you're looking for yet?"
"-GAH! One moment, one moment..." Cecil takes away the phone with one hand. "Come on, give me a moment you impatient git!"
"Sure thing, thanks for giving me your food!"
"HEY!"
He shakes his head, grinning, before returning to the call. "I, ah...sorry about that. Family. Nothing for you to worry about." Yes. Her. Not him. Dear lord, did Rydia pick her moments. "You were...you had something to talk to me about?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:41 pm

Susan smiled and nodded at her end of the line. Conversational etiquette just happened to be so deeply ingrained into her that she hadn't even noticed she was doing so, it came natural to her to gesture and nod no matter who she was talking to. Even if they weren't exactly in the room with her. He... certainly wasn't kidding when he claimed that he could be nervous on the phone with someone, she might think he was getting sick otherwise. People typically don't make those sorts of noises.
"Mmhmm," the businesswoman would hum, giving a non-committal acknowledgement in return to his explanation. She certainly did agree with him, he was notably terrible at this but she dare wouldn't say that to him. That would be incredibly rude of her. Ignoring him would also be impolite, this was the best she could come up with.

Susan had long forgotten her portfolio chilling in the fridge as she rummaged through her cabinets for a pot to boil her green beans in, simultaneously continuing their conversation.
"Yes, well I-" Screeching. She had to yank the earphone out of her ear, holding it aloft and staring at it as if it had bit her on the lobe. Loud noises and shouting weren't her favorite things in the world, particularly when they were pounding against her ear drums. With the cacophonous screaming over Susan hurriedly rushed to throw her earbud back in her ear, not catching most of what he had. Good thing the ending was the only important part and it didn't change her response at all.
"I-is this a good time, Cecil?" she would ask, "We can always reschedule if you're busy, my lunch tomorrow is free." Truth be told she really did want him to reschedule, for selfish reasons at that. No, not too selfish, but Susan would really rather not have to reiterate herself or talk over background noise... hypocritically as she turned the water back on to fill her pot for the boil.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:37 pm

Cecil sighs. This...really should have been predictable. The change in plans for today definitely complicated things, and he was working on limited time. Still, the alternative...
If I didn't know better, I'd say those two have me bugged the way they show up when they do.
"I wouldn't call it a good time, but...let's just say I'm not convinced that any time will be a good one. This is probably going to be the best time to do this unless you're particularly fond of people showing up ayay, ay-and...and basically bugging the hell out of you." He was getting stressed just thinking about it. It was, in fact, entirely possible he was blowing this out of proportion. They couldn't know his every move. They DIDN'T know his every move. And yet, they knew way, way more than they should, and it often caused him problems.

Cecil takes a deep breath. Got to calm down. "This isn't ideal, but it's probably the best time for us to talk in peace unless this is going to take a long time. I have to deal with my family, but it's better than you having to deal with them, trust me." He laughs, but it's definitely born of exasperation. "They'd either interrupt us to make insinuations about our relationship status, or wait nearby and then show up to make lewd insinuations at the first opportunity. And that's the minimum. So unless you can find some place to guarantee privacy, I do not trust them not to find out."

He shakes his head. "Getting off track. What is it?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:57 pm

"That is... that is unfortunate," she hesitated. Well, it looked like she was stuck in an uncomfortable phone conversation Susan didn't want to hold. Not that she didn't want to make this call, far from it, but the constant interruptions would grate on her overtime, she could feel it. The businesswoman hardly liked it when off screen coughing could be heard in business telecons, she liked her chats to be fireside ones that were clear and focused. Speaking to someone with constant distractions was like trying to catch up with a friend while a baby screamed its head off feet away. Far from pleasant. She had expected the call to be semi-informal as well but this was far from it. Susan almost wanted to hang up and leave her offer off the table but that wouldn't be exactly fair. The relationship status comment particularly bothered her as did her own lack of character judgement. Besides the fact was that she had already started making this call, she had to see it through. She wouldn't be too hasty until she could gather more information.

"Well I'll try not to take up any more of your valuable time than I have to... she droned, piling green beans into her pot to throw on the stove and immediately forget about.
"I wanted to talk with you about headphones. Where would you say your experience with them comes from exactly?" She had fully intended on jumping straight in with her offer beforehand but now she wasn't 100% certain. Instead she would beat around the bush until she could learn enough to make a solid decision on his character and if he belonged with Salem Ltd. or not. Really she had nothing to lose but her time and she already slotted out time for this and cooking dinner. Now where did that expense report get to...?
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:18 pm

On the other end of the phone, Cecil is looking distinctly unimpressed. Really? You want to talk about headphones? Try pulling the other one, it'll drop balloons from the ceiling.
...that was probably a harsher response than warranted, but he didn't care too much right now.
Unlike before, Cecil knew who Susan was. Similarly, he also had a much better idea of where her main interests might lie. And as a result, there was little doubt in Cecil's mind that Susan didn't actually care too much about what specifically he answered with here. As long as it was good for business, it was probably fine.
It was a train of thought that'd bother him far less had it not been for the other day. Subconsciously, having the floor ripped out from under him like that still hurt, and the perceived parallels between now and then were doing no favours for his disposition.

Unaware of where the sudden shift in mood came from, Cecil just takes another breath and tries to push down the bile and cynicism. He'd committed to doing this, and regardless of how he felt he had no intention of being a dick here. "Some of it's just hobbyism. I listen to a lot of music, and rather than just blindly grab some cheap headphones or whatever's being advertised at the moment, I like to take the chance to shop around a bit. Get a proper grip on what's on offer, try to find what best fits what I'm after. It's fun." He shrugs. "But apart from that, it's kind of important for me to have a decent pair of headphones. The way my head's wired up, I have to deal with certain...I guess, sensory issues. They can get pretty bad, sometimes. Apart from being something I enjoy, they help me deal with them. To cope well on a day to day basis. And something that important isn't anything you want to take half measures with."

As he finishes talking, he can hear something. Not entirely clearly, but definitely something. He's about to get up and listen by the door again until he realises it's coming from his phone.
"Umm...can you hear something right now, or is it just me?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:59 pm

"Mrrrow! Mmmmrrrrrooooow! Mrow! Mmmmmrow!"


The repeated annoyance was none other than Susan's cat Mimi, bothering her for food as usual. The businesswoman rested her hands on her kitchen island in a backward lean, shrugging at her cat and pouting. Her bengal would cry and she would shake her head and mouth the word no or wag her finger as if it understood what these things meant until finally it would get its way. As she would go to pluck a green bean from her pot with a fork Susan would find the second noise: her pot was boiling over.
"Oh sssshhhhoot...! she would silently exclaim, rushing to get her wooden spoon and some paper towels and do damage control.
"N-no, I don't hear anything," she lied. He was doing so well, she didn't want to risk going off topic again.

In fact that was exactly what she wanted to hear. It was a very respectable answer but most importantly it contained a good amount of the key words she was looking for. Hobby. Enjoy. Important. While he didn't say any more distinct phrases she was looking for like experience or certification what was clear was that he had an interest and passion in it. Such an attitude would be good for a tester or sales representative. She continued their leisurely discussion with a little more favor for him, taking her green beans off the burner and taking to her knees to wipe up the spilled water.
"Good, I'm glad to hear you have a hobby you're so involved in- Tzzz tzzz! Shoo, gowey!" Her attempts at polite conversation were interrupted by her bengal assuming that a Susan on the ground rubbing cloth back and forth meant play time. But she hardly skipped a beat, maintaining her composure and lead over the conversation.
"In any case I'm sure you didn't think I would call to speak to you about headphones."

"I wanted to offer you a job."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:36 am

"Suuure you don't." You can practically hear him rolling his eyes. He might be one to talk here, but she was a terrible liar. Still, he leaves it there.
What irks him more as Susan continues talking, however, is the reduction of what he said. He admittedly didn't know what she was going to say if 'the thing she didn't hear' hadn't interrupted him, and he couldn't help but feel he shouldn't be getting hung up over this, but he did. Whether it was simply a poor choice of words in this scenario or a real indication of what she was and wasn't hearing didn't matter - it was bothering him.

But again, it's pushed down, just beyond the boundary of his consciousness.
At this point, Cecil's starting to get a little on edge, frustration bleeding in from the edges. At least they were finally getting to the point. "I had kind of-" The sound of someone trying to open his locked bedroom door can be heard.
"Who are you talking to there, Cecil~?"
There isn't a sigh, or a groan, or any blatant sound of irritation as the muffled sound of his father's teasing tones comes through the door to his room. Just a little hint of it in his voice as Cecil speaks to Susan. "Sorry. This'll just be a moment."

He starts heading for the door...and decides on something else. He was already rumbled - no point in making this worse. A quick rummage around, and he has a piece of paper and a pen.
I promise I'll tell you about it later. Just leave me to it, please. I won't be long.
He slips the note under the door. After a brief moment of the door being used a writing surface, he gets it back, and he can hear his father walking away from the door. He looks at what was written.
Food should be arriving 10 minutes. Don't take too long with your girlfriend! Or boyfriend. You know I love you either way.
...he loved him too, but he didn't know how he lived with him sometimes.

Crumpling the paper and stuffing it in his pocket, he picks up his phone again. "Sorry. Shouldn't be any more interruptions. So, a job? Care to elaborate on what you had in mind?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:40 am

The businesswoman would take that free time offered to her by the small break in the conversation by yet another interruption to begin chopping fish fillets. She floated over to her refrigerator with a mewling cat at her heels to grab her... portfolio?
"What in the world...?" Susan wouldn't question it, only put it back on the table so she could take out the thawed salmon and start rifling through her drawers for a filleting knife. She eagerly awaited what he had to say about her offer, it wasn't everyday that a well-known company spokesman offers to back you in the hiring process. When Cecil came back she was relieved that that should be the last their conversation would be postponed by simultaneously frowned into the phone. She had expected a more... exaggerated response. It appeared to her that she was the only one between the two of them that was ecstatic about this endeavor.

"Well..." she would begin apprehensively, summoning up the positivity from deep within that she needed to finish this conversation successfully, "I was personally impressed by not only your extensive and detailed knowledge of current market products but also your willingness to assist others in selecting a product that is right for them. I thank you again by the way." Her tone had eschewed the apprehensiveness it had once had once Susan began to reach full swing. The hungry howls of a cat could be heard through the other end of the line as she scooped slices of fish into a skillet.
"I believe that you could potentially make an excellent product tester or a more than adequate sales representative, though both positions would offer room for growth in their respective fields. It would be entirely up to you."

The sound of sizzling fish echoed over the airwaves as the begging cries of the background cat grew louder and more desperate.
"Mmmmmplease don't misunderstand, you would still need to submit your own information for the position opening available on Salem Limited's website along with a resume. I'm not actually an owner or manager so what I have just promised may seem misleading..." Susan grimaced, feeling her confidence give way underneath her rambling. She was talking out of order again and that might just cause her problems.
"T-that's not to say that I'm unable to get you the job, I have quite a lot of trust and weight within Salem Limited and I can all but guarantee you that if I were to personally endorse your application you would be hired immediately." At least that part was true. Susan had a certain reputation within her company: when she talked people listened, or they failed spectacularly and were let go soon after. The woman would rest with her hands on the island, intently watching her food cook for once while her greedy cat wove itself around her legs.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:04 pm

Cecil's stomach drops out at the reminder of the other day, and the previously suppressed irritation is more than happy to join the mix of terrible feelings. He tries to stamp down on them, but they just won't go away in their entirety this time. "Don't worry about it. It was no big deal."
...the way he says that, it sounds more like he's trying to convince himself. Something isn't quite right.

He swallows as Susan continues on, still listening and trying to disperse his darkening mood...rather unsuccessfully. Just about everything in the background of the call that wouldn't have bothered him at all normally starts to stand out to his ears, becoming harsh and grating. Hearing Susan reminded him of how it felt the other day, the sizzling of the fish raked and clawed at his hearing, and the sound of a cat that he might have found endearing another time becomes one that just makes him long for the moment when Susan would give the damn thing what it wants so it'd shut up.
Deep breaths, deep breaths...
Nope, that wasn't fucking helping.
Standing up, Cecil starts to look for his earphones, when he realises that right now he'd be too distracted by anything he put on in one ear to properly catch anything he heard with the other. It's a realisation that gives him a rising urge to cry, but no sobs come, and his eyes stay dry.

Fuck it. Fuck it. He needed this call over, and he needed it over soon before he got bad enough that it'd ruin what ought to have been a happy family night for everyone.

"Definitely making a bold statement there aren't you? You seem pretty sure of that." The words that might have been spoken with sarcastic humour another time are instead said with a harsh edge insistent on not being blunted. "I guess that's a good thing for both of us. I've got a strong opening for a job, and you get good help for your company. Sounds like a win-win situation...well, assuming there isn't anything here that might turn out to be a problem for one of us, at least."
...what am I bloody doing? I need to quit with this. How I felt wasn't her fault, and if she's anything like I think she is she probably doesn't even realise that she's not the only one being bugged by crap in the background.
Just...get this done without antagonising her. She doesn't deserve it.


With an effort of will in pushing everything away, Cecil manages to return a sense of calm to his voice. "Sorry about that. Just...nothing for you to worry about, alright? It's nothing to do wi-" He chokes on the words. "...it's not your problem."
Cecil sighs. "I'm going to have to look into things before I make any decisions. It'd be stupid to jump into this too quickly after all, let alone without having all the details." His expression tightens as he says that, feeling a pang of frustration toward himself.

"Is there anything else you want - or well, need, to go over right now? It sounds like you've got a few things to deal with on your end."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:19 am

Susan knew a snipe when she heard one. She worked in business, she spoke that language. The undercutting poison that laced innocent questions all in the name of a power struggle. It ruffled her feathers to hear no matter who it came from. But she wouldn't allow it to wash over into her voice, it encompassed her body language instead. A twitch of the eyebrow, folded arms, tenseness in the shoulders, gritting teeth... Her cat Mimi could sense the tension coming from her and promptly left to be somewhere else, granting Cecil his wish. She scowled at no one as Susan handled her fish over the burner, being a little more rough than usual. She stifles a scoff before answering.
"...no, of course not Cecil. If your schedule permits I foresee no problems," the businesswoman chirped. A little too saccharine sweet but it held back the bitterness.

She took his apology and considered it, taking her time in doing so. The pause over the phone was almost deafening as she did so, with only the sound of sizzling salmon echoing over the speaker. Ordinarily in this circumstance she would have hung up and never contacted the boy ever again. She was doing him a kindness and he had the audacity to be rude about it, it was simply cause and effect. Susan would have washed her hands of it to trouble herself no more... but she would give him one last chance. For her own sake. This was no longer about him, oh no. Everyone deserved a second chance and he had gotten his, but Susan considered herself a good judge of character and did not want to prove herself wrong. Once was an occurrence, twice a fluke, and three was hard fact. There would be one more attempt to prove herself right after all and no more.
"...................that's quite alright Cecil, thank you. You sound busy yourself." She would force an authentic-sounding chuckle. It was just good manners, really.
"Although speaking of permitting schedules I believe it would be best to go over this in person. If you wouldn't mind I would like to meet over lunch tomorrow. What time and location would best work for you?" Susan hovered away from the stove to check her tablet for her schedule, sure she was booked full but certain there was something she could put off or cancel. So many unnecessary meetings that could be solved by emails filled her life as it was.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:50 am

This felt...wrong. So very, very wrong. He winces as the sounds of sizzling suddenly surge with Susan's aggressive fish handling, and his breathing shakes as it reaches his ears. Whatever the specifics of Susan's current mental state were, they eluded him. But the barely noticed cues and just simply the knowledge of what he'd done were enough to tell him all he needed.
He'd fucked up. No ifs or buts about it.
And wasn't that just typical of him?

The scariest part of it all, however, was that she still wasn't just dropping this. Nobody was that nice, and he did not doubt in the slightest that he was not at all worth it. So...just what awaited him tomorrow, if he agreed to this? What horrors were in store for him?
...whatever it was he was about to have dropped on him, he was just going to have to suffer with it. Regardless of how bad it would be or if one of his family would show up to cause problems, he didn't deserve to even be able to think about trying to avoid it at this point. He'd earned this, and now he was just going to have to deal with it. No alternative crossed his mind.
Steady breathing...it was nearly over. For now. "Where and when won't be too much of a problem. Just as long as I won't need to have too much money to hand, I'll manage."

...wait, wasn't this the first time he'd arranged to meet with someone outside of dealing with family?
It...it was. Oh, bloody hell - if everything else wasn't depressing, that certainly was.
...she didn't need to know that specifically, but it did hurt him right now if she was expecting him to have any suggestions. "Honestly, I'd appreciate the input here. I've not had much reason to visit any establishment that I'd expect to be suitable for such a meeting."
Cecil has to stifle another sigh at that. He didn't know what Susan would think on hearing that, but there was no way it would be anything good, let alone at this point. Not like there was ever much to sell anyway. Whatever could have possibly convinced here I was worth her time, it's completely beyond me.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Not What You Know But Who (Susan & Cecil)   Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:17 pm

"I'm glad to hear that Cecil, then I will make room in my schedule for tomorrow aaaaaaaat... from 12:15 to 12:45 at Deli del Bistro, 406 North Market Lane. It's a soup and sandwich shop in the Backlight District I think you will enjoy, they do a very good Ruben." Dutifully Susan would choose a time, option, and location that would likely sit well with the boy. She chose a time (with time inbetween) that he could leave school grounds and make it to the meeting place, a sandwich shop for the younger generation that may not like pasta or anything else, and a place she knew he could afford to go since she had already found him there. And when he had said anything and anytime was acceptable she took that to heart and firmly decided on the location. Speaking of which...

"MmmmmIf you are referring to bus or train fare I can reimburse you for your trouble, but lunch is on me. You don't need to worry about anything, this is a fairly casual meeting... although if you show up without a collared shirt you may as well turn yourself around." Her last sentence was structured as a joke. Susan wasn't joking, not a bit. If she were choosing the location she would also select the standard of attire for the occasion. Jeans and tennis shoes were fine but God help him if he wore nothing but a tee shirt, she would stand up and walk away. Though her demand at the end may have sounded a bit more harsh her entire tone had shifted toward neutral. She was no longer ecstatic for this opportunity nor was she peeved at Cecil's attitude. She was perfectly respectful and in the behavior to get things accomplished. Susan would forget past slights and only focus on current promises.
"I can send you a map point of the location after this phone call, but it is very close to the Academy, roughly seven minutes by train. I will be sure to conta-"

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Ringing and the loud siren rang feircely through the speaker causing the businesswoman to yelp and drop her phone onto the counter. Her fire alarm blinked at her with its blinding white warning lights. Her panicked amber eyes flitted over to the stove where her salmon happened to be smoldering because one should not leave things cooking over an open flame to entertain a phone conversation. Susan fumbled with her phone, now with a new crack in it and quickly held it to her mouth.
"I'vegottagoI'llsendyouamessage-"-click
She carelessly bounced her phone back onto the counter as Susan shuffled over to the sink, turning on the water and engulfing herself in a black cloud of smog. Well... dinner was ruined. She wouldn't even feed the blackened salmon to her cat. She didn't even sigh, didn't respond, just wore a defeated look on her face as she slipped the pan into the sink. The businesswoman picked up her phone briefly, but noticing two fresh cracks in it she moved to her tablet instead.
Susan M. Groves shared a map pin with Cecil Erinforth.
I will contact you if anything changes. See you tomorrow!

- S. G.




After taking care of everything that she was responsible for in the immediate future Susan felt as if she had free time to suffer her miniature breakdown. She buried her face in her hands and slid down the island to sit on the floor and didn't move for several minutes other than to pet her bengal Mimi when she approached to purr against the stressed woman. But the moment eventually did pass and Susan stood up to move on with her life. Dinner was a disaster, so she thought she would get a glass of wine instead. Maybe two. She felt like she would need it. In any case she would try again in an hour, she still had some grace time left for another attempt before the pizza parlor closed.

~~EXIT~~
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