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Rated: E · Fiction · Drama · #2246989
A young woman starts working for a cosmetics company and runs into trouble.














MOLLIE’S DILEMMA
By
Mary Faderan
Once upon a time, a woman named Mollie came up to her husband and said, "Honey, I've talked to someone who sells Jorden Cosmetics. I think I'll join Jorden. She gets a discount on her makeup and creams, and then she gets a commission from what she sells to people."

Her husband, Steve, looked at her with a serious look. "Really? Why do you want to do this when we're alright financially?"

"I want to see how I can be a business woman with it. I like the idea of building a business, and I enjoy the products that I've bought from Tina, who's my Jorden Lady. Can I do it, Steve?"

"What's it involve?"

"I get to join for as little as $30 and it gets me a website and then for another $45 I get a little package of inventory to sell." Mollie said innocently.

"I see. And then what?"

"I'll sell to our friends and our family."

He snorted. "We've few friends and our family isn't into makeup. My Mom doesn't wear makeup, and your Mom doesn't either."

"But your sisters - "

"They work in a lab and they don't let women wear makeup." He went back to his newspaper.

"Oh, Steve, please, let me do this?:

"And who else are our friends that will buy? Are you going to see people and sell them the stuff?"

"I will. They'll be friends of our friends, that's how I get bookings and referrals, that's what Tina said," Mollie answered, seemingly happy to answer his questions.

"Bookings, and referrals? Oh, my God I don't know. Who the hell are these people? Are they all going to be strangers?"

"They're FRIENDS of my friends and relatives."

"They're strangers, period. NO."

Mollie sulked a bit and then she said, "Ok what about our Facebook friends? Will that be ok?"

"No."

"And what about if I just sold from my website? I can have my own Facebook page and do live videos - "

"Live videos? NO."

"Oh, Steve!"

"I'm sorry, honey, but this is way too risky. I don't want any Tom, Dick or Harry looking at your lovely face."

She sputtered, "But that's how Tina does it! She earns a lot of money from these things. It's now the pandemic so we don't need o see people directly. It'll be on Zoom mostly."

"ZOOM?" He almost got out of his chair. "Fucking hell, no Zoom."

"Why?"

"Do you know there are hackers that go with Zoom and download your picture and then they do this and post it on social media where they can get off on you and your girl friends' faces?"

"Sick!" Mollie exclaimed, feeling let down.

"Yes, sick. So NO."

"Ok, what if I just did it on line, sent emails to people and asked them to buy from me?:

Steve hesitated. "Is that what you can do and that won't get you to see or be seen?"

"Yes," Mollie looked resolute. "I promise. I'll send emails to my friends - girls from my high school and college, and they’ll buy from my website, Honest!"

He put down his paper and looked hesitatingly at her. "Ok, let's try it for a few weeks - if you don't get anything, you'll close it down."

"Oh, good!"

She went off to call Tina and they spoke animatedly for a few minutes.

Then Mollie came back and talked to Steve. "It's all set. But I have to add some more money."

"Money? How much more money do they want from you to join?"

"Well, it's like this, I have to buy inventory that's going to be a wholesale of $225 and retail of $450 and then - "

"Whoa, slow down young woman. I don't have that kind of cash lying around!" He looked as though he was controlling his temper. She was such a beautiful woman to him and he didn't want her to cry.

"Oh, Steve, I think it will go well. I'll sell a lot, I know I will."

He said nothing. "Let me think about it. What sort of inventory are you talking about?"

"Makeup, skincare, makeup tools, that sort of thing," Mollie replied, twirling her fingers behind her back feeling nervous.

"I'll be getting a bonus check from work in a week or two. Ask me again when it comes." Steve wrinkled his face and said after a while, "Look, honey, why do you want to join Mary Kay? We're really alright financially."

"But I want to build a business with Mary Kay."

"And what about the people there?"

"Tina will be my superior, and she will be guiding me, and then both of us will have a Sales Director and she'll - "

"Hey, this is a multi-level-marketing scheme, isn't it? You'll make some money and they'll get some sort of commission off of your earnings, is that right?"

Mollie looked puzzled. "Really?"

Steve wondered whether his wife was as clueless as she sounded. "Yes, my dear, it's that."

"So what?"

"You don't mind these goofballs making money off of you and getting rich off of your efforts to sell this makeup?"

"Oh, Steve, I'll be with good people," she expostulated.

"No, I've changed my mind. No bonus for this Multi Level Marketing scheme. They'll make you very sad. I don't want you selling stuff and I doubt that these women friends of yours want to switch from what they're using and buying from you just because you're a friend. You might lose friends that way. And, I do not know those women and I don't want to give you any way to get in trouble." He saw her start to speak and headed her off. "No, Mollie. I'm not going to give you the money. And don't ask your Mother for it. I forbid it!"


















Despite Steve's objections to Jorden, Mollie called Tina and declared her decision to join Jorden.

"That's wonderful! Which one do you want to do, the eStart of the full thing?"

"I'll start with the eStart for now and then I want to buy the extra package for the forty-five dollars," Mollie said, feeling pleased.

"Great! I'll introduce you to my Sales Director. We'll have an agreement drawn up - it's for all consultants to sign - and then we'll have a three-way call with Ramona - that's her name - and then you're one of us!" Tina said with a song in her voice.

Mollie hung up and felt happy. She was going to be a Jorden Independent Beauty Consultant. She dreamed of getting the makeup and skincare products for some time and envied Tina's immaculate skin. Surely, Jorden products were the best in the world, she said to herself.

"I heard you talking on the phone," Steve said behind her. He was looking a bit stern.

"I was talking to Tina," Mollie replied defensively. "I want to do this, Steve. Please let me join?"

"Ok, fine. But you'll have to take it out of your salary with the florist."

She lifted her chin and said, "Fine." But she inwardly quaked. Her salary with the florist wasn't much. It was only enough to be pin money for herself.

"I'm sure you'll realize the big mistake you're making," Steve said with a wry voice. "But, you’re a headstrong girl. I want to make sure you tell me if you run into trouble, Mollie."

Mollie looked at him with a questioning face. "Trouble? What trouble could I get into with Jorden?"

He said nothing and left her looking after him with a questioning look in her face.

The night of the three-way call, Mollie was introduced to Ramona Silkstocking and Tina started off their conversation. "Now we're together in a call, I wanted to introduce you to Ramona. She's my Sales Director. She's great and you'll be happy in our little group."

"Little group?" Exclaimed Ramona, her voice somewhat shrill. "We have over a hundred consultants under my wing, you know, Mollie. I've been with Jorden for over twenty years. I wanted something more in life than what I had - which wasn't much. I was married, like you and had two girls who were still in their pre-teens. My husband was working at a factory and he wasn't making that much. So when I joined Jorden Cosmetics, I realized it might help us with our debts. We owed over one hundred thousand dollars because my husband had an expensive hobby - he was into motorcycles. He had three bikes and he was always wanting to get them all spruced up with new gadgets, and then getting them traded in for the better model. So Jorden Cosmetics came into our lives at the right time."

"Oh wow," Mollie said.

"And my mother-in-law was a Jorden lady and she was fairly successful in it. I was her student, you see. And it was a great career. I made so much good money from Jorden. We paid off almost all our debts. I was able to get a free Jorden Cosmetics silver Cadillac several times in a row. And I've been to so many different places - even in Europe with Jorden Cosmetics."

"Oh that's wonderful!" Chimed in Tina.

"And now I have over a hundred consultants under me. We meet every Saturday - we do it virtually because of the pandemic, you see - and we have a great time! I have a video on YouTube that you can watch - I'll send you the Facebook invite to our exclusive group and then the link to the video. You'll be so excited to see what all we are doing! There's going to be such fun, Mollie."

"How exciting! I'd love to join your Facebook group!"

"I'm sure it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Now," Ramona paused. "What about this. I'll send you the agreement, and Tina, you need Mollie to send it to you and we'll be all set. You, Mollie, will get an email from Jorden Cosmetics about your new website that you'll sell from and then an account with Jorden Cosmetics. There'll be plenty to learn with the Jorden Cosmetics website."

Mollie wondered what all she was going to learn but one question had not been answered, and she hesitated to ask. "I'm not quite sure about the eStart. I want to buy the forty-five dollar package. Is that enough for me to sell?"

"Oh, yes, for a short time!" Ramona said. "I'll have to advise you that you need to get in touch with everyone you know about Jorden Cosmetics so they'll be eager to buy from you."

With that they rang off and Mollie sat in thought. She was beginning to get a few qualms. Ramona was a bit too overwhelming and her claims that she earned a lot of money and that it was enough to get her a Jorden car made Mollie feel excited and afraid at the same time.

She went to the living room and switched on the TV and watched one of the shows she liked to watch. Steve was in the kitchen and from the noises coming from the kitchen, he was making dinner.

"I'm making us a steak and potatoes dinner, Mollie," Steve said in a loud voice over the TV.

"That's fine!"

Mollie dutifully went to the kitchen to help Steve with fixing dinner and then they had their meal. Steve and Mollie didn't talk about Jorden Cosmetics. It was obvious to Mollie that he disapproved but let her do what she wanted. She fairly resented that he wanted her to use her own money to do the Jorden Cosmetics business. When they were finished and Mollie was washing up, Steve disappeared and left her to her own thoughts. It was getting to Mollie. This Jorden Cosmetics business was beginning to drive a gap between them. They used to talk about everything. Steve wasn't supportive of her it was obvious. If she went back to school and earned a degree, would it be the same? Asked Mollie of herself. She wasn't sure of the answer.



Mollie signed up with Jorden Cosmetics the following day, taking the money out of her funds in her account at the bank. She also bought the add-on which consisted of five things: a cleanser, day cream, night cream, eye cream, and a mascara. She was very happy. She joined the Facebook page for Jorden Cosmetics, and the Facebook group that Ramona Silkstocking invited her to. There were several dozen members. They posted about their achievements, and their intentions to get parties started, to host parties, to get bookings and referrals. Then they had this topic about doing metrics, where each consultant would fill out a page that was posted and put in how many 'faces' they've done, how many shares, how many Pearl girl chats, how many hundred dollar sales they've made, and a number of other things.

Mollie was nervous about this page, that they called Metrics Consultant Activities. It was daunting. She hurried through her list of contacts on the phone. She sent out emails to all of them, excluding the men of course, and asked them to help her business. She was optimistic they would answer. She waited for a day and another day. She got no responses. Mollie scratched her head. But these people are my friends! She thought miserably.

She attended the Zoom meeting that weekend and she was intimidated by how many of the members did several hundred dollars' worth of business in the last week. So many who did five or more 'faces' So many who had ordered over six hundred dollars of inventory and got a nice bauble for it. It was so intimidating that the rest of the weekend, Mollie stayed in bed feeling morose.

Steve was doing work in the garage most of the weekend and did not notice her depressed state. But when he went to get a snack, he did not see Mollie and looked for her. He found her in their bedroom, scrolling through her cell phone's Facebook and frowning at that.

"What's up, Mollie?" Steve asked lightly, sensing something was amiss.

"I'm sad."

"Why?"

"I have sent out emails and nobody wants to reply."

He sat down on the bed and looked at her sympathetically. "I see. Well, they'll come round and answer someday."

"But I have to fill out a piece of paper that has all these metrics to put numbers to."

"Oh."

"Yes, and I'm feeling like I'm behind already and I just started."

"Well, what will you do now?"

"I'm thinking of texting people now. I'll send out texts. The group has scripts to use to send out texts."

"Texts?" Steve repeated. "Scripts?"

"Yes, scripts. It's part of the way they do the business. It's guaranteed to get people interested - excited - about Jorden Cosmetics." Mollie flung her cell aside and curled up in a fetal position.

Steve reached out and patted her leg. "Don't be so down on yourself, my love. I will say that you are probably thinking that this isn't the right business for you and you're finding it out now."

"But I want to grow the business! Like some of the people I know their husbands are marketing guys."

"They went to school for that, dear girl."

"I know but - hey," she sat up and went for her cell phone. "I'll buy a marketing book, what about that?"

Steve stifled a laugh. "Oh my girl, you have no idea."

















Mollie sat at her computer and felt let-down. She stared at a blank screen of her email devoted to Jorden email. She had sent tons of emails to people. She even decided the other day to go through the phone book and then searched online for email addresses - people like teachers, car saleswomen, car dealership workers, and they never answered her. She wrote now to one of her relatives for the fifth time. She asked him to buy from her anything from Jorden.com and then sat back and felt even more unhappy. This wasn't working out for her. She did get some people from school that she knew from years ago and one of them bought something but she wasn't eager to get a refill.

Mollie had been on the job as a consultant for a few months. Her team mates were all cooing about how much they've made, and what they were doing - spa nights with their Zoom customers, and so Mollie decided to observe those Spa Zoom things. She settled down later that evening and joined. Once she got on the hostess of the meeting saw her and her mouth made a motion that turned down on the corners. Mollie realized she wasn't welcome. It made her sad. "Oh, hi," said the hostess, whose name was Marita.

"I'm observing if you don't mind." Mollie said. "I sent you a request, remember?"

"Oh, I remember." Marita decided to brighten her smile. "I'm sure it's ok. I'm waiting for my customer. We're doing a survey of masks."

"Oh ok, what masks are they?"

Marita looked disturbed. "You'll see. Just don't say anything."

The third person came on Zoom and it was a huge woman who was a friend, it turned out. Marita said this woman, whose name was Liz, was an old school friend.

"Hi Liz, how are you?"

"Ok, how are you?"

"Ready to rock and roll?" Marita asked laughingly.

"Oh yea, I got the samples yesterday."

"I've got Mollie with us." Marita said. "She's another consultant. She's just observing. I hope it's ok with you, Liz."

Liz said hello to Mollie with a wave of her hand. "Hi, I'm sure it's ok."

The Spa experience of that Zoom meeting went on and Mollie thought that the customer had too many masks to use that evening. She worried her skin would be damaged with all the masks - a charcoal mask, a microdermabrasion mask, et cetera et cetera.

Mollie watched Marita go through her spiel with Liz. And then she asked Liz, "Did you get to use any of the products you bought from me yet, Liz?"

"No, not really."

Mollie hid a smile. this customer wasn't ideal She bought stuff from Marita and she never used them. How awful is that, she asked herself. It's terrible, she thought. How could this woman go along with this mask thing and she never intended to use the products she bought before? She wondered about Marita and her scruples. Was it really safe to use three masks in one night?

Steve walked in as she observed. Mollie motioned for him to stay out of view of the Zoom participants. He raised his hands and backed away. He mouthed, "Are you ok?"

Mollie nodded and smiled happily at him. He went to the couch and stretched his long frame and reached for a magazine. He wasn't really listening to the chatter that Marita was saying with Liz who was obediently smoothing a charcoal mask over her face. Mollie itched to get out of the Zoom meeting. Then she decided, Heck, I'm leaving this show.

So she cleared her voice, and then said, "Ladies, I think I've got to go now. Marita, thanks for letting me observe."

Marita smiled at her cheerfully. "Great, hope you have a good evening."

Liz never said a word. She was looking at herself in the mirror as her face started to get all black all over.

Mollie left the Zoom meeting and shut down her computer. It was a relief but then more fears came over her. She really needed customers to go on the Zoom and sell products. She tried not to cry. It was awful, she realized.

Steve looked at her and saw that she was crying. "Honey, what's wrong?" He stood up and went to her. "Here, tell me what happened?"

"Oh, Steve, it's terrible, I'm lousy at selling. I can't sell anything," she said as she buried her face in his shoulder.

"Ok, time to quit, my love," he patted her shoulder and held her quietly. "Don't you think?"

She looked up at him, her eyes still glistening with tears. "I'm going to tell my sales director it's time for me to quit," her voice quavered.

"Ok, go ahead. Do it."

She sighed and sat down again. "I'm going to but I think it's best to do it when it's morning. That way she'll see it first thing," she decidedly said.

"Whatever but go on and quit this stupid idiotic sales marketing thing."

"Yes, I will." Mollie then reached for his hand and he took her to their bedroom and closed the door.

















Wednesday morning after the Zoom meeting the night before, Mollie went to her desk where she had her computer. She went through her emails and saw an email from That's Social. It caught her interest. They offered people followers and likers for their social media page. She went to look into their website. They had different rates for likers and followers and for each of the social media - Twitter, Facebook and the like. She decided to get likers but they were too expensive. So she decided to get followers for her Jorden Facebook page. It cost her only ten dollars for 100 followers! It made her feel good to get some followers. As it stood, there were only twelve people who liked her Facebook page for Jorden Cosmetics.

She had some money left in her debit card so she went through with the transaction. As soon as she did it, she was struck with guilty feelings. Why would it make me feel guilty to get followers? She asked herself. Mollie decided to ignore the question that hung in her mind. She had two days to the Unit meeting on Saturday morning. Her MCA sheet was almost empty. She had to have more customers that she could share her business with, which the followers would count towards.

The following day her Jorden Facebook page had 100 followers more, and two more likers. She felt good about it. And so she posted a live video of her invitation for people to host a party which would gain the host a free gift if the party would get a $300 product sale. Mollie was feeling good after her live video. She put in her metrics for her week. It made the difference. She wanted to get into the inner circle of successful consultants. And this might just do the trick.

On Thursday evening, Mollie texted her supervisor that she had over 28 metric points to her MCA sheet. Her supervisor gave her the third degree. Mollie sensed that her supervisor was skeptical. Her supervisor asked her how she got so many points and Mollie said truthfully that she had posted a live video and shared it on Facebook to her followers. The supervisor then texted back, OK.

But on Saturday morning, before the Unit meeting Mollie suffered a great deal of anxiety and nervousness. It seemed as though the hounds of Hell came upon her that morning. She had aches and pains everywhere in her body. Steve saw her looking listless at the breakfast table and said, "Honey, why are you quiet this morning?"

"I'm sorry Steve but I'm feeling ill."

"Oh, what are you feeling?"

"I've got a terrible headache, and my chest hurts."

"Why don't you take some pain medicine?"

She got up and went to the cupboard where they kept their pain medicine and then fetched a glass of water. Her pangs were intense. It was awful. But she took the medicine and then returned to the kitchen table. "I've got a Zoom meeting today, Steve." Mollie sighed and flipped through her MCA sheet. "I don't know why but I feel this terrible anxiety. I've not felt this way before."

Steve looked at her skeptically. "Is this business of yours causing you this much pain, Mollie?" He reached out to grasp her hand and squeezed it. "I think you need to get over this wish to do business for Jorden. You could be waiting on the vine for customers. Youve not had a lot of people buy, is that right?"

Mollie shook her head. "No."

"I think you should think hard about this, Mollie. I don't like you getting worked up each time you have a meeting with these people," said Steve. He let go of her hand and then started to make his coffee. "If you need me anywhere just know I'm here nearby. I'll be listening if you wish."

It made her feel happier that he was going to be nearby. The time said 8:56 a.m. The meeting was due to start at 9 a.m. Mollie decided it would be alright. The effects of the pain medicine were starting to work. Her racing heart was slowing, and her aching muscles were beginning to relax.

Her phone rang and it was her mother. "It's me, I just wanted to check up on you, Mollie," said her mother, Rose.

"I'm due to be in a Zoom meeting in a few minutes, Mom," Mollie said quickly. "I'll be fine. I have a good result from my last week."

"really?"

"Yes, I have some people who are following me and I shared my business with them," she replied.

"Well, if you say so. Don't mind if I ask you to get me something. I know that you have been hoping to find people to buy from you."

"really, Mother? Oh, that would be good!" Mollie felt happier again. She was so happy that the pains disappeared. "Ok, what do you want to buy from me?"

"I don't know - maybe something to wash my face with, will that be enough?"

It wasn't that much money for a face cleanser but Mollie didn't reject it. Any business was good. They spoke for a short time afterwards and then the meeting time approached and her mother rang off.

Mollie checked off that she had a 'face' in her MCA sheet. It was good for the following week to have a customer finally come forward.

The Zoom meeting was going on when Mollie arrived to join them. They each were asked what their personal win and Jorden win were for the past week. Each of them gave some comments about what their wins were. One of the women there was hooked up to a breathing tube and she said she was going through some more health issues but she optimistically said that she went to the doctor and they decided she would be better off with more medication. Her Jorden win was that she made over a thousand dollars this last week.

Mollie's heart sank and she felt sad. Her total for the last week was less than a hundred dollars, in fact, it was sixty dollars for two customers, and it made her feel quite sad.

When it was Mollie's turn to talk about her personal win and Jorden win, she volunteered that her personal win was that she decided to forget trying to look for a full-time job and instead focus on her Jorden business. And that she said her Jorden win was that she was satisfied with her MCA metrics. She heard someone make an approving sound. After her someone else gave her wins and then the supervisor went on about how great it was to have so many of them get good metrics. She sounded like a cheerleader to Mollie. But still, in her mind, her idea to get followers made it difficult to feel genuinely happy. Again, the pangs of sadness made her feel as though she needed another pill to take.



















Mollie decided to take Sunday off. She had a long morning Saturday with the Unit Zoom meeting and it had been grueling. She wondered why she had to spoil her weekend with Zoom meetings. It wasn't great to start the weekend with work related stuff. She hated having the weekend get off on a bit of a roller coaster ride with her emotions. She was nervous, looking back on it, about her metrics. Her meeting had a second meeting after it that she also got into. This meeting made her think that the leaders had no real idea how to make selling more interesting. They weren't inspiring her. She felt let down. And this meeting was for those who had metrics from fifteen and up and she made 32 metric points, thanks to her hundred or so followers on Facebook. She breathed in deeply as she sat alone in the living room. Steve had gone off to church. Mollie wasn't a church going woman. He was more of the kind of person who wanted to have some faith sharing with his friends at church.

She heard the door from the garage open a few minutes later and Steve walked in. He was all bundled up and some snow clung to his coat. "Did it snow?" Mollie asked, surprised.

"Yes, a bit. I'm glad I had the right kind of outerwear on. I forgot to check the weather today." Steve took off his coat and hat and gloves and piled them on the couch. "How are you?"

"I'm ok."

"You don't sound ok."

"I've been thinking."

"That could be dangerous," he chuckled and got on the couch next to her. He kissed her cheek. "I'm sure you need me to talk to, what's up?"

"Oh Steve," she felt the need to tell him everything. "I'm sorry how I feel about Jorden Cosmetics. I feel awful."

She started to cry. "Oh, Mollie, what's wrong? Is it that bad? How did the meetings go?" Steve took her in his arms and rested his chin on her head.

"It's awful," she sniffled. "I'm feeling like a cheat."

He looked at her face. "A cheat?" Steve looked concerned. "What did they make you do?'

Mollie's tears fell from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. "I'm guilty of cheating. I bought followers for my Facebook page. I had to. I needed to make some numbers happen for our metrics."

He was silent for a minute. "How much did that cost you?" His voice was neutral.

"Oh, nine ninety nine."

"Nine dollars and ninety nine cents, right?" He looked nervous.

She nodded.

"oh, ok, good. That's not too bad."

He chuckled and said, "That's damn funny Mollie. Whatever possessed you to buy followers?"

"There's a thing in the MCA sheet. It said one point for every ten shares to people. So I got 10 points right off the bat with the hundred followers."

"Oh my God," he exclaimed. He slapped his thigh with his hand laughing at her. She looked at him with a tremulous mouth and started to laugh too. "Mollie, what did they say?"

"I did not tell my director about how I got to have followers. I just said I shared with my followers on Facebook."

He shook his head. "No, don't know what to say, Mollie. Are you thinking you can keep doing this week after week? Sharing with the same hundred people? And putting ten points on your whatsit?"

"Oh Steve, what do I do?"

"I don't know but I think you should give it up."

She was silent for a long time. "I need to make it work, Steve."

"Not by spending ten bucks for followers, really, Mollie."

"I'm thinking they really can't do anything for new people like me. They just didn't have any real inspiring people who gave talks in the second Zoom meeting. I think they don't seem to have any new ideas to help people like me who don't have much feedback from those I've sent emails to. I've asked a few of the consultants and they say it's like that. They won't reply. And to keep trying."

Steve leaned back and stretched his legs. He looked exhausted all of a sudden. "Mollie, you should quit. Just stop this and quit."

"But - "

"No, don't say but, just quit it. You see how you went through yesterday. You had a nervous attack. You took a pain pill. And now you're in tears. You feel guilty. You don't know how this will affect your mental health if you keep doing this stupid job." He pulled her in to his arms and added, "I am making enough money for us to live on. Sure we have bills, who doesn't? I think you can keep going to work at the florist but this Jorden crap you need to leave it."

Mollie sighed in his arms and then said, "Yes, you're right, love. I'm going to leave it. I can't deal with how my weekends are shot because of the meetings. Having to share a weekend with strangers who spout on about nothing in particular."

"See?"

"I'll quit. I will. I'll go over to the computer and email the company. I know who to reach there. Then I'll send an email to my supervisor and tell her."

"And then you'll feel better, I can assure you." Steve smiled down at her and then kissed her. "You'll be fine. It's not worth it. And forget about it. Just leave it behind. You do better with the florist job. And, I don't know if you really need to work either. But it's up to you."

"I like the florist job. It's part time and I can use the money to add to paying bills like I've been doing."

Steve smiled gratefully. "And I'm grateful for that. Now, wipe away those tears and send those emails."



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