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Second Chance At Love

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Sophie McDermott's life in fast-paced San Francisco was already complicated as a single mother balancing the demands of work and raising her son, Dawson. Just when she believed her life couldn't get any more hectic, fate intervenes. Being employed by Polo Enterprise should be a dream come true, but Sophie is about to come face to face with the last person she ever expected- Alex Hernadez, her first and only love whom she has spent years trying to forget. What will happen when these two get to work closely? Will he get a chance to find out Dawson is his son and will they find a way to overcome the damages of the past and finally claim the happiness they have always yearned for? Or will shadows of deceit and jealousy tear them apart once more?

Chapter 1

Ugh, the story of my life - having to work twice as hard just to get half as far as everybody else. It's like the universe hands you a little something, but then instantly snatches it back with the other hand.

This struggle? It's been my constant companion.

“Sophie, come down! Breakfast is ready, and you’ll be late for work,” called my mom, the one person in my life who hasn’t turned into a burden.

“I’ll be down in a minute, Mama,” I replied, rushing to the dining table.

“Good morning, Mommy,” greeted my child. Yes, I have a child too. Now you know there are two people in my corner.

“Good morning, baby,” I said, planting a quick peck on his cheek before almost inhaling my breakfast and ignoring my mom nagging about taking it slow. I was too pumped for this new job to care about little indigestion. With food still in my mouth, I squeezed both of them and hurried outside, ignoring my mom’s reminder to drink some water.

“Be good, sweetheart. I love you,” she called after me.

At work, the day was just beginning. I settled into my role like I was born for this. I was operating on pure adrenaline and nerves. I was determined to prove my worth and show my employer that hiring me was no mistake

“What do you think you are doing?” Celine, the head of my department asked as I was about to go grab a bite for lunch.

“ it’s lunchtime so I was about to get something to eat,” I said feeling confused and unsure if I had done something wrong

“Do you think this place is for people like you? Celine’s expression hardened

“I…”I tried to get a word out but I couldn’t as she interrupted

“Oh, or u think you deserved to be here. Girl you have to work for your place here. I don’t even know why the job was given to you. Everybody here went to a prestigious school and worked hard to earn their place here and then there is you coming from a no-name and less prestigious school and you think this place is your playing ground?”

My feet couldn’t move from the ground neither could my mouth come up with anything coherent to say as I slowly sat back on my chair. Tears welled up in my eyes and all I could say was

“ I. I’m sorry. I Didn’t mean to offend you. I just saw others going out and I was told of the lunchtime policy when I was employed that’s why I thought it would be fine to go” I manage to stammer out

“Others, not you and if you must work under me, you must do it my way or kiss this job goodbye” She declared before leaving the office.

Not exactly how I'd pictured my first day going but I promised myself in that moment - Celine was going to eat those words. One way or another, I'd prove to her that I belonged here just as much as any of them so I cleaned my eyes, and took my phone out to look at the pictures of the two people who mattered most to me which were my mom and my baby. They are my motivation and I can’t quit.

Working hours were finally over, but I wasn’t done with the task Celine gave me, so I decided to stay back to complete it and make her happy by morning. I was the last to leave the office, and when I got home, my mom was outside waiting with concern evident in her eyes.

"Where have you been?" she asked, with a sigh of relief immediately as she saw me. Before I could answer, she added, "You look so exhausted. Let’s go in so you can eat."

I was too tired to even answer her question. After dinner, I went up to Dawson's room where I saw him sleeping peacefully. Gently, I pressed a kiss on his cheek and then went to my room to take a shower. As I was coming out, I was surprised to see my mom sitting on my bed.

"Mom, you should be resting. I apologize for keeping you awake at this hour.”I said feeling guilty for being the reason she was disturbed

"I don’t think I like this job. It’s too dangerous to be coming back by this time, and the way you were rushing your food was obvious you didn’t have lunch. Talk to me," she expressed her concern.

"I just love your meals, and you know it," I said, trying to hide the truth from her because I didn’t want to worry her. "Go and sleep, and I have to sleep too because I have an early morning," I added playfully, pushing her out of the room.

"If you ever need to talk, just know you have someone," she said with a caring tone.

I nodded and then closed the door, letting the thoughts of the day fill my mind until I drifted off to sleep.

….

It was another challenging day with Celine. I had worked hard on the file she assigned to me, staying up late to complete it. I approached her table, feeling hopeful that she would recognize my efforts.

“Celine, this is the completed file,” I said with a smile, adding “ I had to stay up late for it”

“And, I’m supposed to applaud you for doing a job you’re paid to do,” she said condescendingly.

She then turned her attention to Mia, praising her work while ignoring me entirely. "Hmm, Mia, this is good. You've made progress. Keep it up."

“Should I come back?” I asked feeling dismissed

“ I’m not pleased with your work, redo it” she threw the file at me

“But you haven’t even opened it,” I said

“Are you questioning my judgment”. Wait so you are now the head and I’m under you. Sorry boss, please how do I serve you? She said sarcastically and everybody burst into laughter. “ know your place, you’re here to follow instructions”.

“In what area do you want me to work” I managed to ask feeling helpless

"You are educated, right?" She didn't wait for an answer before continuing, "EVERYTHING. That's absolute trash, and you would have spotted that if you went to a good school."

As I stood there, feeling helpless, she announced that the new president would be arriving that day. She instructed everyone to get ready for the conference hall, but she pointedly excluded me. "That doesn't include you, Sophie, so get out of my face to your desk and start working."

With my head bowed, I took the file and returned to my desk, while everyone else prepared to meet the new president.

Chapter 2

I was flipping through each page of the file, trying to identify what needed to be changed, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. I was still engrossed when they all returned from meeting the new president. Laughter and friendly banter filled the air.

"Oh. My. God. He is so dreamy like something out of a romance novel!" Mia gushed, giggling like a schoolgirl.

Derby, who's married, chimed in, "I can already picture having his babies!"

"Hey now, keep those babies to yourself, Mrs. Taken! The rest of us single ladies call dibs," Mia playfully nudged her.

I wished I could join in this conversation, but the pressure to deliver wouldn’t allow me to act like a normal human being.

Celine did one of those loud cough-clears to get everyone's attention. "Alright ladies, that's enough daydreaming. Let’s get back to business!"

As everyone shuffled back to their desks, Celine zeroed in on me. "You. Yeah, you over ther

Heroes

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