When does second ever become an option? Playing second to someone’s shadow is a waste of time. But in the eyes of Karolyn Lane, that wasn’t the case.
Sheryl Ford refused to become second to anyone. She took her job as a wife seriously as she was prepared to do. Cook. Clean. Submit. Most of all, commit. As number one, you’re the trophy. You’re the attention that many cease to seek. While others watch from the sideline, there is always that one plotting to dethrone your position.
Karolyn was a part-time assistant to Gary Ford. She picked up his coffee, took his clothes to the dry cleaners; did necessary errands in order to keep her boss happy. Although she was working for a successful man, she was willing to do anything in order to be successful like him.
Her ambitions became conspicuous and selfish. She mostly kept her agenda to herself, sharing her agenda only with people who had no ties to her work.
“Good morning, Mr. Ford.” “How you’re doing, Mr. Ford.” “What can I get you, Mr. Ford?” With a smile each morning; that’s how she greeted her boss.
One night, he asked her to stay behind to finish a project that he desperately wanted to complete. She was prepared for this. Leather pants. A corset top with her cleavage out. This was the day of seduction. Gary knew he would not make it home in time, so he called his wife to cancel dinner plans. Alone with Karolyn, he ordered Thai and Indian food. She was impressed. Suddenly, she felt special. No one has ever done this for her. For the first time, they were alone and she was going to take advantage of it.
Their night together, which she wished was their first date, she lied about her entire life. She fabricated her stories, stating she came from a privileged life when in reality, she lived in a sheltered home for many years because of two drunken parents. She created an imaginary boyfriend, whom never existed, concocting that ‘this boyfriend’ abused her, showing scars from her clumsy childhood falls, to gain sympathy from Gary. She made up charities she’d donated to, hoping to gain his attention; hoping he would think she is more than what she was. Gary thought her life was an excitement. He was impressed by her deceptive stories. He’d never met a woman who experience so much tragedy with ambition and humility. She painted a beautiful picture. She did her homework. She knew how to manipulate this man.
Out of curiosity and amazement, Gary kissed her; taking advantage of her so-called vulnerability. She thought he was gentle, mounting him on the chair, realizing she finally had control. Her job was to keep him interested as much as she could to finally get to the top. Their 15-minute make out session haunted both parties for days: flirting, finding more reasons to be together. This was the beginning of a forbidden affair.
Karolyn watched Sheryl spontaneous visit, refusing to envy the woman, wife to the man she was obsessing. Sheryl’s title meant nothing to Karolyn because she felt it could be easily revoked.
Of course, Sheryl knew nothing of the affair.
Sheryl reminisced about the time she came across Karolyn, as she was boxing her belongings to remove from her home. She thought their encounter was very interesting. She remembered clearly when Karolyn crossed her arms, waiting for Sheryl to leave the house.
“How does it feel to be thrown out of your own home?” Karolyn mocked.
Because hoes like you don’t respect another woman’s home, she thought. Sheryl snickered and smiled inadvertently. “Trick, you don’t need to say anything to me. You mean nothing to me just as you mean nothing to him. You think you’ve accomplished something by standing on the foundation I helped build? I built my chair. You’re just keeping it warm for when I return.
“This crown I’m wearing, you did not overthrow. I stepped aside to watch you crumble an empire I’ve already created, but I am ready to rebuild. My shoes are hard to fill, sweetheart. Your ego couldn’t match mine. I have class and morals. What do you have? I’ve molded my husband into the man he is today. You will just mold him into a puppet that will one day gain control. You have him wrapped around a finger. Temporarily.
“You may be smart, but you cannot outsmart me. Just because you cheated doesn’t make you a winner. It just shows that you’re willing to play dirty to get ahead. And I am your biggest competition who won’t stoop low, but who will maintain her stature.
“Every single day of your life I will cross your mind. Your drive to be better than me, smarter than me, more efficient than me, will drive you crazy, which will also drive you away from him. Hold onto that wheel because one wrong move could make you crash.
“You think you overthrew a queen? Duchess, please! I am the fucking Empress.”
Sheryl walked out, leaving Karolyn with her thoughts.