I Let You In, Now What?
The next morning I walk into work on a mission. My co workers seem to notice my demeanor so they steer clear and soon I’m up in HR waiting to see Shannon, the head of the department. On my way here, I tried to think of the best approach to this situation. I wasn’t sure whether to tread lightly or just dive right in, and sitting here I’m still not sure.
“Naomi? She’s all set to see you now,” the receptionist calls from behind her desk.
I smile and head into the office.
“Good morning, Shannon. I’m sorry how last minute this is, but it’s very important,” I state as I take a seat in front of her.
She nods her head, “It’s alright. Thankfully I don’t have much for meetings today. What’s going on?”
I hesitant only a moment before diving right in, “Michael Berkley and Claire Martins have been having an affair. I don’t know for how long, but I have evidence.”
“Are you sure,” Shannon asks as her eyes widen in surprise, “What’s the evidence?”
“It’s a bit unorthodox, but here,” I say and hand her my phone.
The video finishes quickly and Shannon looks up, her face completely blank, “Shut the door please.”
I do as she asks a little worried about what she has to say. Could I get into some trouble over this too? I never thought that was a possibility. Maybe I should have.
“Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” she starts, “and you were right. It is a bit unorthodox, but honestly it is 2014 people record everything. I’ll just need you to email it to me though so I can put it in an official report.”
My shoulders relax slightly, “So I’m not in any trouble?”
Shannon raises an eyebrow, “Oh god no! I just didn’t want too many other people to hear about this. I mean I have no doubt there are rumors flying everywhere, but I’d like to keep this as hush hush as possible. This isn’t Berkley’s first infraction. It is his last though.”
“He’s slept with an intern before,” I ask bewildered.
“No, no, no,” she waves off my question, “before you came here he had made inappropriate comments to an intern and she reported it. He apologized profusely and promised it would never happen again. Because it was the first occurrence, we made him take a couple days of unpaid leave, had him take a sexual harassment seminar, and barred him from having anymore contact with the girl while she finished the internship.”
“Oh, well, I guess he likes him young then,” pops out of my mouth before I can stop it.
Shannon thankfully chuckles, “Yes, clearly. I had hoped that first incident would be the only one, but I guess I was wrong to give him the benefit of the doubt. He obviously holds no regard for this foundation.”
I decide to ask the question burning in my brain, “What happens with Claire?”
“She has to be held accountable no matter who started the whole affair,” she states, “Claire was informed of the no fraternization policy we hold between interns and employees. I have to hold everyone accountable for their actions.”
“This won’t affect the foundation financially, will it,” I wonder.
She shakes her head, “No, not usually. If it gets out publicly, which we’ll try to prevent, then most of the time stuff like this just gets criticized for a while. People still want to help raise money.”
“Alright,” I say relieved, “I’m going to head back home if you don’t need anything else.”
“No, I think we are good for now. Thank you for bringing this to me. You are an asset to this foundation, Naomi,” Shannon states.
I smile, “Thank you.”
I get back to my apartment to find Adam puttering around in the kitchen wearing only his boxers.
“Now this is something I wouldn’t mind seeing every day. You really would make a good housewife,” I tease.
He shoots me a smirk before turning back to making himself breakfast. I walk over to him and wrap my arms around him from behind resting my cheek on his bare back.
“So how did it go with human resources,” Adam wonders.
“Turns out Claire wasn’t the first intern Berkley’s set his sights on before, though she is the first to reciprocate,” I answer.
“That’s slightly disturbing,” he comments.
“Yeah no shit,” I say going to sit at the table, “Shannon is going to write up a report and they’re both basically gone for breaking policy.”
Adam finishes eating before throwing on pants and a shirt.
“Come on,” he says taking my hand, “let’s get the heartbreaking news over with.”
I groan, “I hope he doesn’t hate me. Fuck off, why did it have to be Claire?!”
“I don’t know, but he won’t hate you. Now come on,” Adam tugs me out the door and across the hall.
We walk into the boys’ apartment to find Dougie playing a video game in the living room.
“Hey guys,” he greets when we come into view.
Adam takes a seat next to his roommate on the couch while I take the chair to his right.
“Look Dougie, Naomi and I need to talk to you about something,” Adam states.
Dougie turns off the game and gives us his full attention. I shift nervously and glance at Adam, wondering who was going to say it.
The young defensemen chuckles, “What’s going on? The two of you look like someone died.”
“Dude I don’t know. Fuck, I don’t know how else to tell you this,” Adam struggles to say.
I step in, “Dougie, Claire’s been cheating on you.”
“No fucking way. With who,” he quips.
“Her boss, Michael Berkley,” I answer.
He shakes his head refusing to believe me, “No, you’re wrong. Claire would never do that to me .She’d never jeopardize her career and education like that either. I don’t know where you got that information from, but it’s wrong.”
I rub my face in frustration, “I saw it with my own eyes.”
“She got it on video,” Adam adds.
Dougie’s gaze narrows, “Show me.”
I pass the phone to Adam to hold while Dougie watches. I’m afraid he might throw it if he gets angry enough.
“I went out to dinner with Steph and Jen last night. We were getting ready to pay when they walked in arm-in-arm,” I explain quickly, then let the video tell the rest of the story.
He looks up at me once the video finishes and I see the heartbreak in his eyes.
“I don’t…What…Fuck,” is all Dougie manages to say before burying his face in his hands.
Adam looks at me with pleading eyes, unsure how to comfort his friend. I move over to the couch and wrap my arms around Dougie resting my head on his shoulder. Adam rests what he hopes is a comforting hand on the other shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” I say finally, “I’m sorry you have to go through this. I wish I had the right words to get you through this.”
He looks at me and simply shrugs, his eyes red with unshed tears. My heart breaks for him and I start crying.
“Jesus woman, why are you crying,” Dougie asks in surprise.
I sniffle, “Because you’re one of my best friends, and I don’t like to see you hurt. I know it was the right thing to do, but I feel shitty for showing you the video.”
“Naomi, don’t worry about it,” he says with a heavy sigh and finally hugs me back, “It’s better to find out this way and not by a random person or worse the media.”
I grab a tissue to wipe my face, “True, god only knows how the media would decide to spin something like this.”
“Thankfully I’m pretty sure we dodged that bullet,” Adam comments, “though I can only imagine what’s going to happen when Claire gets fired because someone found out about her affair.”
I look over at the clock on the wall, “We may find out that last bit soon enough.”
“What do you mean,” Dougie asks as both men give me peculiar looks.
“Well,” I start, “I took the video to human resources this morning. Both Claire and Berkley are going to be fired for breaking the fraternization policy. By now they’ve most likely talked to Mike, but Claire should just be getting to the building now. They are probably going to meet with her right away.”
“She deserves whatever is coming to her,” Dougie says with venom seeping in, “God, why did she have to do this to me?? I thought we were happy.”
“You’d be surprised what some people are capable of,” I state with an edge to my voice.
Adam reaches behind Dougie to place a hand on my arm to pull me from my dark thoughts.
He looks at his roommate, “The only one with all the answers is Claire, so you make sure she answers them.”
Dougie groans loudly, “I don’t know if I can face her. I don’t want to do this.”
“Yes, yes you can, and we’ll be here every step of the way if you need us to be,” I say.
“I’m not sure you being here would really help, Naomi. You are the one who caught her,” Dougie points out.
I smirk, “She’s more than welcome to get in my face. I have a few choice words of my own for the little shit.”
“Naomi…” Adam warns.
I huff, “Fine, you ruin all my fun.”
Suddenly Dougie’s phone goes off and he looks at the message.
He looks back up at us, “That was a text from Claire. She just told me she got fired and is on her way over.”
“What do you want us to do bro,” Adam asks.
“You guys can head out,” he says with a shrug, “I think I can do this. I have to anyways.”
I give him another hug, “Are you sure?”
He nods firmly so we leave him to it.