You lean back against the concrete wall, watching as your breath created little clouds around you. Your face felt dry from all of the crying you had been doing, but you couldn’t find it in yourself to clean it. Shakily, you look around the corner to see if the reporters are still there, and yep, of course they are. Their hungry faces don’t find yours, which you consider a blessing, but their presence still irks you. You had always been afraid of sharks, but you didn’t think you’d have to worry about them while you were on land. Turns out you were wrong.
You turn back around, your eyes finding a stain on the wall in front of you to stare at for a moment. You’ve never had many regrets in your life, always ready to add some sort of positive to whatever was going on that normal people would consider bad, but this… this whole experience was simply a shit show. Of course you knew that your life was going to change because you stood up for yourself, for all of the girls in the office, but it was all supposed to work out in your favor. You shouldn’t have been the one to get screwed over.
A ruckus behind your little safe haven of a column stirs you from your pity party, and you turn to investigate, only to grimace at what you see. There he was, a smirk coiling around his face as he stared at his adoring audience. The reporters quickly surrounded him as cameras flashed and questions were screamed. No doubt everybody wanted answers to why someone as amazing as him would be accused for something so horrible. You scoffed before turning back again, your hands shaking worse than before. You couldn’t help but listen to what was happening behind you.
“Dr. Anderson, Dr. Anderson, what do you have to say to the woman who accused you of such horrible things?”
“Dr. Anderson, Dr. Anderson, do you think this case will set back everything that you have worked for?”
You grimaced as the questions continued in the same fashion, a numbness overtaking you. They weren’t even saying your name. You had a feeling he was getting a huge kick out of this.
“Now, now everyone,” You flinched at the sound of his voice, so loud and arrogant, it made you feel gross just listening to it. “There’s no need to speak so harshly of Ms. (Y/L/N). The girl was simply acting out, as is typical for her age.” Your hands curled into fists. Funny how he remarked on your maturity all those months ago, but now he found you childish.
“What did you think of Ms. (Y/L/N)’s behavior today in the courtroom? Will there be any repercussions for her actions since the verdict?”
“Come now, people. The poor girl merely wanted attention on herself. Of course she could have done it in a better way, but I don’t think Ms. (Y/L/N) should be given payback in any way. After all, the jury voted the correct way.” The sound of everyone laughing behind you caused a nauseous feeling to creep up into your stomach. You suddenly wished that you smoked cigarettes so you could at least look calm and in control while you listened to these… monsters. Everyone always looked like they didn’t have a care in the world when they were smoking a cigarette.
“The only repercussions Ms. (Y/L/N) will be getting is a life back in unemployment, but I’m sure she was expecting that.” You pushed yourself off the wall and brushed off some imaginary dirt that was on your shoulders and thighs. You weren’t in the mood to listen to anymore conversations today.
Hopefully, the reporters wouldn’t notice you walking to your car. As entertained as they are with Dr. Anderson, you knew that the minute they saw you, they would drop anything to have one interview with you. Not today, you thought, not any day.
You made you way to your car, which wasn’t very far from the courthouse, thank god. You had been hoping this day would go better, be in your favor. There was no way you could turn this around to seem happier.
Finally you were at your car, and no one seemed to be taking any notice of you. You were a bit surprised. The media had broadcasted this case from the moment that it was announced. You figured that the people who had been giving you threats in your inbox would have shown up and hassled you by now. You knew there was a whole crowd here when you showed up this morning. Now, the only people who you had seen since the end of the case were reporters who didn’t see you. Well, at least that was a good thing.
You pulled your keys out of your pocket cycling through your house keys and some cool keychains you had to get to your car keys. Just as you were about to unlock your car door-
“Going somewhere, Ms. (Y/L/N)?”
“Shit!” You jumped around quickly, your eyes finding a tall woman. Looks like you wouldn’t be getting out of this stupid parking lot unscathed. For a moment, you both regard one another, one with unease and the other with a blank stare.
The woman in front of you is tall, much taller than you, and built like she can kick your ass. You’re pretty sure she could kick anyone’s ass with those calf muscles. She’s wearing all purple, and she’s insanely pretty. Probably one of Dr. Anderson’s many fangirls here to yell at you. God, could this day get any worse.
“Is there something you need?” You say, your eyes darting around to see if a group of people were about to jump you. You clutch your keys like a weapon. “I’ve really got to be going now.”
The woman raised an eyebrow at your voice, and you couldn’t help but feel inadequate under her gaze. There was a moment of silence where you shuffled around uncomfortably before she decided to speak.
“Good afternoon, Ms. (Y/L/N), my name is Miss Pauling. I’m here to offer you a job.” Well shit. There was another moment of silence where you two regarded one another once more.
“I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” This has got to be a goddamn joke. Dr. Anderson probably paid this woman to rub your loss in your face because of course you were going to lose today. Everyone except for you seemed to have known that.
“I’m here to offer you a job. Now, I don’t have a lot of time, and I’m going to need your answer now.” Miss Pauling pulled out a folder from the briefcase that she was holding and handed it to you. “Here are the papers letting you know what we will expect from you and a contract that we expect you to sign.”
“Wait, wait, wait, you’re acting like I’m going to say yes when I don’t even know what the job is yet.” Miss Pauling merely gave you a look, one that said that you were being dumb.
“You lost the case, Ms. (Y/L/N).” You flinched at the matter of fact tone in her voice. You knew it, you knew you lost the case, but no one had said it out loud to you yet. “The only people who will hire you now are restaurants and clubs. You can’t follow your dreams anymore. This has ruined your career.”
She was right. If you already got where you wanted to be, if you already had the position that you wanted, then maybe you could continue with only minor setbacks, but because you were just a simple intern whose reputation was now one filled with accusations, not many people were going to hire you.
Of course there was a chance that you would get past this. It’s happened before, but there was only a minor chance. Plus if you did get far, Dr. Anderson had so much power that he would stop you from getting where you wanted to be.
“I don’t even know what the job is. Can you at least tell me that?” You said, your eyes finding Miss Pauling’s.
“You’ll be something like… a caretaker, except instead of taking care of old people, you’ll be taking care of nine young men.” You hummed in response.
“Do they have some kind of… disability?” Miss Pauling smirked at your question.
“You could say that. Like I said, the expectations for the job are in the file.” You waited a moment for her to continue, but she merely crossed her arms at you, waiting.
Fine, you thought, I’ll read the fucking file.
If you’re reading this now, then I’m assuming you lost the case. Quite nice of you to take a stand, but I’m afraid we all knew you were going to lose. Now, since of course you’re going to accept my job offer, I’ll assume that Miss. Pauling already told you your job title.
You will be a caretaker for nine men: feeding them, cleaning the lounge and the kitchen area, and making sure they don’t harm one another. You do not have to clean their rooms, the communal bathroom that they share, nor do you have to clean the medical room. You’ll work weekdays but not weekends. We will also house you where you will have your own lounge area and bathroom.
The contract in this file merely lets us know that you understand to follow our orders. I expect you to be here with Miss Pauling when she comes back.
“Okay, so I have so many questions.”
“Miss (Y/L/N), I don’t have time for this. I’m just here to see if you will accept our job offer.” You huffed in frustration.
“How am I supposed to accept your job offer when I don’t really understand who I’m working for, who these nine men are, or why you guys even chose me? I’m not a nurse, and I’m not a professional chef. Why are you guys doing this?”
“It’s because we know you are desperate, Miss (Y/L/N). Your life has effectively been ruined today.”
You leaned against the door of your car, thoughts piling in your mind. Miss Pauling wasn’t exactly right in her statement, but you knew that you were going to become desperate. You might not be desperate now, but given time, the people around you were going to make you desperate. Your life wasn’t going to be the same, you were going to be hated by seventy percent of the country now.
“I don’t even know how much this job is going to pay.” You were on your last leg. Miss Pauling and you knew that you were about to be caught.
“10,000 dollars a week.”
“Well fuck, you should have just started with that.” Miss Pauling laughed, her stony features softening to a pretty smile. She slowly reached out to you and took the letter from this Administrator person out of your hands. You looked down to see the contract now left in your hands.
The fucking contract that had thirty fucking pages.
“What the fuck? How am I supposed to read this?” Miss Pauling looked at you, an amused glint in her eye.
“You’re not supposed to.” You stared at Miss Pauling in shock. Well, at least she was honest. You looked down at the contract again, a nervous feeling settling into your stomach.
Fuck it, you thought. You had nothing else to lose.
Miss Pauling smiled at you as you grabbed a pen from your purse and sold your soul to this new job. “Thank you for your cooperation, Miss (Y/L/N).” She grabbed the folder containing your now signed contract before putting it back in her briefcase. “I will be back tomorrow to pick you up. You may bring anything with you, including furniture as I will have a moving truck with me. It’s nice doing business with you.”
“Yeah, uh, thanks for the job.” You call back, watching as Miss Pauling turned, her hips swishing to an unheard song.
You sighed once Miss Pauling disappeared behind a corner. Well, at least you didn’t have to worry about bills or anything. You had a job again, one that paid significantly more than your old one.
You turned back to your car, ready to leave.
“Hey, there she is! The woman who ruined Dr. Anderson’s life.”
Shit, fuck, you hurriedly got into your car, your wide eyes watching as a group of men ran your way.
Time to get out of here.