Disclaimers – See Part 1
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Part 4 —
For all her charm and liveliness, Addy was not happy. For sure, she loved her kids and she thought that they were absolutely the best thing in her life. Nothing had ever fulfilled her more in life than being a mother. Her kids thought she was the coolest mom ever because she was so hip and avant guard in her way of thinking.
Addy was the genuine thing. She had become a naturalized American citizen because she believed in democracy. She confessed that although she was not a Republican, Ronald Reagan speeches always gave her goose bumps.
Addy had a liberal mind, but was very much aware that everyone was entitled to their own opinion and although she taught her kids to free themselves from social stereotypes, and constrains, she believed that they had to form their own opinions and make their choices.
Karen admired her openness and understanding. “Your kids are very lucky to have such an accepting parent. Ironically, I bet they are very traditional. That's the way it goes. I bet your parents were traditional.” “Very. I'm the black sheep of the family and probably the only democrat!” Karen laughed at her remark.
Addy thought that people were put on this planet to live to the fullest and enjoy life. She loved life and it showed. Her children were as adorable as she was because they had every bit of her in them. They were outgoing, involved and simply fun. They had inherited their mother's go-getter attitude, especially Laurie, who was turning out to be quite a character. Joey was great, a good wholesome guy who would someday make an excellent dad and husband.
Addy's job suffocated her. The work did not allow her to be creative. It constrained her, it placed boundaries to her personality and it simply ‘sucked the life out of her' as she would put it.
That is why when Karen presented her with the possibility of change, she took it. She was daring and adventurous and what the heck, you only live once, right?
Later on, Addy later rectified that thought. She came to the conclusion that she had lived many lives, and that life wasn't short as most people would say. She thought that life was wonderful and that nothing should ever be taken for granted. She advice her children to live a plentiful life, and not to miss out on things. “Just remember…when you hear the music, get up and dance!” She also believed in not having regrets. She'd tell them. “If you are going to be sorry you did it, don't do it, if in doubt -- don't! But, if you are going to be sorry you didn't do it when you had the opportunity, then do it. Specially, if you think that it's a unique opportunity that will not present itself again.”
Addy did not get along with her mother. She was a difficult person. They were very different people. They had never been able to see eye to eye. As liberal as she was it was probably the product of her mother being so traditional. Her father had long been dead, and her mother was very dependant on her. Addy had a great sense of commitment and responsibility and she dealt with her mother strictly out of her sense of doing the ‘right thing.' But, her mother was the total opposite to Addy's easy going nature.
She hated that a woman could be so helpless, so dependant and so annoying. Another thing about her mother was that, as dependant as she was, nothing ever seemed to please her and everything was complaint after complaint. Addy always asked for divine help in trying to cope with her obligation. Karen admired her for coping and dealing. No matter what her mother came up with, Addy dealt with her. At times she'd say that her mother was going to put her in the grave before her time. “What can I do Ker? No one wants to deal with her!”
“Why are you so different from her?” “Programming. I think I never wanted to be like her, so, I've worked very hard at being different.”
Addy also had Luke to deal with. Another difficult person. They married young. Luke had been fun and amusing. He still was somewhat amusing, but had turned out to be a difficult person. He was always concerned about himself, his work and his hobbies and interests and had not turned out to be caring and nurturing to her. Addy and Luke had more of an arrangement than a marriage. A fact revealed to Karen much later.
Luke was pretty self centered and had never been one to be worry about the other person. She at first had been very attentive and caring towards him, but realizing that their relationship was more of a one way street, she finally gave up and began to focus her attention on her children and herself. He could take care of himself. He was all that mattered to him anyways. That put a riff in the marriage.
There were many other things that put a riff in the marriage. One big thing was his unwillingness to do anything about birth control. Addy didn't want to get pregnant again and had refused to go on the pill on account of possible health risks. She did not trust condoms. She did not want another child. So they stopped having sex. After a while it didn't matter.
He never had any interest in matters concerning the house except to object to whatever Addy wanted to do. This had gotten to a point where Addy stopped asking him and did as she wished. Simply put, Addy lived her life, did as she wished, and dealt with him in the least possible way.
She thought that if he was ever so displeased with the situation and asked for a divorce, she'd give it to him in a heart beat. He would never do it, though, why would he? He had it all going for him there. There were three reasons why she tolerated the circumstances. One he was a good father, two he had always treated her well, and three he had never cheated on her.
Such being the case, Addy would never leave him while the kids were home.
She often wondered, if she would after they were gone, if she would be the one asking for the ticket out. In sum, Addy was bored and unhappy in her marriage. That's why when Karen showed up and put some life and fun in her life, she was thrilled.
Many lunches and shopping trips later, the women had become great friends. They had lunch or coffee together at work, or took walks in the park, or went to the gym as time allowed. Karen convinced Addy to make a career move and join her firm. Addy was a bit ambivalent because her experience working for that government office had sort made her insecure about her own abilities, but Karen reassured her that she would have her full support and that all would be fine.
Karen knew from having talked to Addy about legal issues that Addy knew her stuff and Karen was confident that with proper encouragement and coaching Addy would do great. More importantly, the position to which Addy was moving into at the firm was one which did not require legal writing as much as management skills. This was something that had appealed to Addy because as she put it she was tired of writing legal memoranda.
The firm had a lot of computer technology clients and the partners felt that anyone dealing with technology client related accounts should be well versed on technology issues. Having worked closely with the information resources group in her former job, Addy had developed a taste and was even skillful on technology issues. This became apparent a few months after she began to work at the firm and slowly gained the reputation of being the computer expert.
In the Spring when all the technology companies came to town to showcase their products at the Expo, the firm suggested that Addy attend to keep an eye on the up and coming technology. Addy didn't quite understand what good it would do to her legal career to look out for new technologies, but she like the novelties and the futuristic concepts, so she went. It was there that her career took a big turn.
While in one of the conference she sat next to an odd looking thin man with wireframe eyeglasses. As the speaker lectured, Addy couldn't help make some comments to herself. The man seating next to her overheard her comment and looked at her with some interest.
“You don't think this is a good product?”
“It's not that I don't think is good, it's just that it is so……how would I say this? So, plain?”
“Plain? What would you have liked to have seen?”
Addy smiled, “You'll probably think that I'm crazy!”
“Please, indulge me.”
Addy began to describe the ideal product she envisioned. About thirty minutes later she had set forth the whole thing. How it would look, what it would do, who would buy it, the uses it could have. Everything to the last detail. The man listened mesmerized.
“The problem is that I can see it, but I cannot build it. I'm not a scientist, I just have these weird ideas that sound pretty interesting! I'm sorry. I seem to have taken a lot of your time here. I tend to be passionate and get carried away with my crazy ideas. Are you a scientist?”
“Yes.” The man spoke very little, but was extremely interested in all that Addy has to say. He did ask a few questions, but not many.
“I'm sorry to have bothered you with my rambling. My name is Adriana Marcos, I'm an attorney with a passion for technology. If you ever invent my dream product come to see me. I'll be glad to be your attorney.” She said in a joking tone, as she gave him her card.
The man seemed to have genuinely enjoyed chatting with Addy. “Ms. Marcos, this conversation has been very enlightening. You ca be sure that if I could come up with a product like you have just described, I would come looking for you to represent me. It's refreshing to find a legal mind talk so passionately about technology. Most people don't understand it. I'll tell you something else, if this vision of yours was ever to materialize, I hereby verbally, and I'm sure legally, grant you 20% of the rights of ownership. What do you say to that?”
“Sir, I would say that you are a dreamer as I am, and that you have me for a fool if you think that I'd be looking out to see you again!”
The man laughed. “Ms. Marcos, never loose faith in human kind! I just hoe that I may be allowed the opportunity to prove to you that faith and technology can play on the same field!”
“Amen! Until we meet again, wiser and maybe richer!” They shook hands and both parted laughing.
Addy enjoyed talking to the man, and laughed when she realized she didn't even get his name. I'm going to do great, I can't even get the name of prospective clients! Way to go Addy! Wait ‘til Karen hears about this one….She's going to bend over laughing!
She always thought that she had been born in the wrong time. She had never been great at science and math, but thought that those who did were extraordinary people. She thought scientists and artists were the real movers in the history of mankind because they could create. All others, like her, were just paper shufflers necessary only to keep track of things and in order and to move them along. She loved new concepts, and her inquisitive curiosity was always wondering why something couldn't be done differently, or more efficiently.
At the firm, she was bringing in quite a number of clients. The word spread that Sparrow and Finch had a very nice lawyer who cared about people and they came looking for her. Even if she could not help them because she didn't have expertise in the field needed, she would refer them to the best individual and the client would always insist that Addy look over their account as a way of reassuring themselves that she was looking out for them.
She gave them what Karen later called ‘that good wholesome feeling.' Karen thought that Addy's personality radiated honesty and truth and that people liked the sincere way in which she treated them. Addy was as genuine as they came. There was nothing pretentious, or superficial about her. If it couldn't be done she'd tell you. If there was going to be a problem she'd tell you like it was and give you her sympathy and support. People felt good with her. She cared. She had nothing to hide and she always spoke her mind.
Addy's good, friendly nature and apparent naive personality attracted client like flies. Addy had racked up clients that even some of the partners had tried for years to attract. The interesting part was that once she created a reputation of being an attorney who genuinely cared about people, clients referred her to other clients and business was booming for her. Karen was thrilled with her protégé's success. For her part, Karen continued to bring money in for the firm from the financial sector, and soon after Addy joined the firm, Karen became a partner.
On her second year at the firm something extraordinary happened. It was exactly nine months after she attended the technology conference that the miracle happened. She later called it ‘her baby' because of the nine month lapse in time.
It was a Wednesday, when the man Addy met at the technology Expo showed up at the firm unannounced and requested to meet with Adriana Marcos. When the partners heard the buzz of who was waiting in the reception area, three of the older and most reputable partners came out to meet him still not believing that this man was there. They introduced themselves and immediately invited him to the office of the most senior partner. They were all salivating thinking of the possibilities of bringing in this account.
The man had not been there five minute when he said in a very firm demanding tone “Gentleman, I thank you all for your hospitality, I am looking for a legal firm to represent my company, but I've come here looking for one of you attorneys in particular and it is with her only that I will do business.” The partners were somewhat in shock at this revelation. “If you all don't mind, I'd like to see if you can look up Ms. Adriana Marcos for me?” Speechless, the men looked at each other.
One of them buzzed their assistant and requested that Adriana be asked to come to his office. On her way there, Addy stopped by Karen's office.
“I'm shitting in my pants! Tobias wants me in his office! What the fuck did I do?”
Karen was startled too. When Tobias called people to his office, it didn't necessarily mean good news.
She followed Addy. “I'll hang around here until you come out.”
Addy went inside the office with a very pale face. However, the minute she was inside, she saw the man from the Expo and smiled. “Ms. Marcos, it sure is good to see you!”
“Same here, how are you?”
“Just fine. I apologize for not calling ahead, but I was in town and wondered if you'd have some time to talk some business?”
“I sure do, but are you sure that it's me you are looking for?” She was playing it cool with the partners just in case. “Yes, Ms. Marcos, my business is with you.” He looked at the startled men.
“Would you like to talk to me right here, or would you rather if we went to my office?” Addy was leaving it all to the client, she didn't want to ruffle any feathers. Walking towards Addy, he turned to the men and spoke to the very surprised group of men.
“If you gentleman don't mind, I'd like to meet in private with Ms. Marcos.” Both the man and Addy went out and he followed her to her office. Karen was still outside looking at the turn of events. When Addy smiled and gave her a thumbs up signal, Karen relaxed. She still remained in the vicinity as Karen and the strange looking man went into Addy's office.
Karen busied herself trying to find out who this man was and what the commotion was all about. When she found out, she chuckled. Way to go, girl! Karen was proud, and smiled contently. She remained vigilant, just in case Addy needed some kind of rescuing.
The short story with this man was the following: He attempted to design Addy's vision of the product, but failed. Instead he came up with a by-product, a chip that revolutionized the computer world and was rapidly becoming an integral part of every single new computer. The product became an immediate success.
The man had the hottest product in the technology market and he was looking for a law firm to represent his company. He however, didn't just want anyone handling his affairs, he wanted someone who would understand his concepts and who was as passionately about the endless possibilities of the product as he was. That person's name was Adriana Marcos. The person who, not only had the vision of the product, but the passion to safeguard it.
Not too mention that she had also a vested interest. As he had verbally agreed, he had reserved for her a 20% share of ownership. Addy didn't even know who this man was, or what the chip did. He explained everything to her. She gladly told him that her firm was going to take care of everything for him. Little did she know when she talked to this fellow that her vision would turn out into the most sold computer product ever. Addy had become a very rich woman over night on account of what she later called a silly vision and a big mouth!
After the man left, all the partners stormed into her office. None of then even knew where her office was until now. Karen came in also, but only because she though that Addy was going to need protection against these wolves! She did need protection and her friend stood and battled on her behalf. This account represented a huge chunk of money. When Addy retold her story no one could believe it.
Karen and Addy continued to spend a lot of their free time together. They even took sailing lessons. The sailing took Addy away for entire days at a time, so Karen had her all to herself. Karen would do anything that would assure her time alone with Addy. Karen also came to get-togethers at Addy's house on family events. She pretty much became part of Addy's family. She loved the kids and the kids loved her because she would back them up and support them and even advocate in their behalf to the point that the kids just adored her.
One of the first persons to drive Karen's new Porsche was Joey. “Wow! Karen it looks fabulous! Are you sure I can drive it?” “Sure.” He looked at Addy for approval. “Just around the neighborhood, don't even think about going on the Beltway!” Addy looked at Karen and nodded. “You even got it in the color mom likes, isn't this the color, mom?” “Yeap, it is.” She looked at Karen. Addy wanted to get one, but Luke seemed to find every possible objection. So, Karen told her that she would buy it and that she could drive it anytime they were together. Karen later told her the truth. She bought the car for her, she could have cared less about the car.
“It suits you. You look good driving it.”
“I love it. Thanks for letting me drive it. It's so fun!” Addy looked really cool and sexy driving it. Karen thought that looking at her was worth every dam cent she paid for the thing.
“It's all yours, babe!” It really was.
Luke was not a fan of Karen's, the feeling was mutual. He tolerated her because he knew that she had been the reason Addy had landed her fabulous job which had brought so much income to the family that now allowed them to live in luxury. They had moved into a bigger house with a pool and all, had nice cars and had just about any electronic gizmo available. He didn't mind that Addy spent time with Karen because that also gave him free time to dedicate to his pastimes. Therefore, everyone was happy doing their thing and life continued.
Karen, for her part, knowing Addy's family situation and her love for her children had realized that romance was not an option and settled for the woman's friendship secretly and loving every bit of her. Having this woman in her life meant everything to her and she secretly adored Addy.
She, nevertheless, carried on with her life. She went out with friends, dated some men here and there and continued her usual escapades to New York , and several other destinations whenever she could. She, however, was always glad to come back home to enjoy Addy's company.
It was Addy who made her feel at home, who gave her life meaning, a sense of direction and stability, and peace and love she so much needed. As Karen became part of Addy's life, she began to suspect that Addy was not happy in her marriage. She never brought up the subject, though. She would just listen to Addy's remarks or complaints. She was always there to help her friend in whatever way she could and to give whatever joy and bit of happiness she could provide.
Addy was amazing in every way. After she brought in the account of the big software company of which she was 20% owner. She was everyone's darling at the firm. Many other software companies followed.
“Dou you have $5,000 to invest?”
“You are going to have to trust me. I don't have time to disclose.” Addy took her checkbook out and wrote a check for $5 grand and handed it over to Karen.
“There's always risk, as with any of these things.”
“Are you in this too?”
“Of course, Addy. I wouldn't be getting you in it if I wasn't.”
“Then go, make us some money!”
Karen was surprised that Addy had gone for the gamble. Karen was a financial wiz and Addy knew it. It always surprised Addy how blindly she trusted her. Of course, Addy knew Karen would never do anything illegal or anything that would hurt her. She also owed Karen her new job and risking 10 grand was nothing if the woman could have a thrill. She had the money.
These financial gambles happened every now and then. Addy consistently put in whatever money Karen suggested and sure enough they always racked up some profits. Afterwards, Karen would give Addy a full report of the company and how she saw it coming and how much they made. However, for as much of a financial whiz that Karen was, it was Addy's love for technology and what she called her ‘visions' that really made them some good money.
The biggest one what the money they put into an emerging technology when the company was barely coming up. Addy had followed the company's progress. “Ker, put all my money there, put yours too. They have good stuff. Trust me on this one. Put it all there.” Karen was doubtful, but she did. It was kind of crazy, but it was the kind of thing that made you or broke you. The money they were investing was not money they needed, this was their ‘play money.' They were very well paid, and their investments paid off well. So there was enough money to play with. Well, the product turned out to be what Addy had expected. Everyone had or was dying to get their hands on one of those devices. After that, the company took off with more innovative devices and what Addy called the technologies of the future. To make this part of the story short, Karen and Addy became rich over night as the company's stock skyrocketed.
Working at the firm was hard. Addy was putting in long hours. She didn't want to let Karen down. Work required many times that she go see clients. Some times the clients were far away and she had to travel. A lot of her travel was in teams of two or three attorneys. Soon it became apparent that the Karen-Addy team was very efficient and they ended up together many times, to their delight. There was always time for sight seeing, dinners, shopping and fun was always worked into the work trip. It became so fun, that both women looked forward to work trips.
Working together and traveling allowed them a lot of time to get to know each other very well. They became inseparable. When they traveled they usually booked a suite so that each could have their own room and at the same time keep each other company. They traveled just about every where including abroad. Addy was delighted. The travel didn't bother her much because the kids were now older and didn't need as much from her.
Professionally, Addy had proved to be a home run hitter. As a result of her fame, her name came up for a promotion to the management team. As incredible as it was to her, what she called her legal Cinderella story, she made it. Karen was overjoyed, so the whole family went out to eat on Friday.
Originally, the dinner had been planned for Saturday, but because Karen had a date scheduled, the plans were changed. Also, it was fortunate that Luke was out of town that Friday and she did not have to put up with him. She totally disliked him. She already suspected that things between him and Addy weren't peachy and in the depth of her mind she hoped that one day she would leave him. She knew Addy was not gay, but at least, she would be free to enjoy life.
Addy was thrilled that Karen had a date that apparently was hot enough to require the rearrangement of plans. Karen had always told Addy about all the failed dates, some of which were with women, but Addy never knew that part. Addy was always hopeful that her friend would find someone who'd make her happy. They had been friends for two years now and Karen had been able to keep her secret from Addy. She didn't need to know. Why would she?
To be continued in Part 5
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