A soft knock sounded at the door, and Erica glanced at her watch, surprised that it was almost ten o’clock. “Come in.”
The door slid open and Allison, one of their graphic designers, poked her head in. “Hey, do you have a min— Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you had company. I can—”
“No, come on in. You guys handle your business,” Connie said. “I need to step out for a minute, anyway, to make a call.”
Noticing the poster boards in Allison’s hands, Erica waved her over to the conference table. “I’m surprised you’re still here,” she said.
“Yeah, I had some ideas on this project and wanted to work on them while my creative juices were flowing.” She spread out the poster boards. “These are new mock-ups for the rebranding campaign. Hopefully, the client will like at least one of them.”
This particular customer was okay receiving mock-ups electronically, but she preferred to look at physical examples.
Erica glanced at the drawings. Allison had only been with the company for a few months, but she fit right in. She was creative and good at incorporating new concepts with traditional ideas. Her eye for detail was second to none…but there was something a little unsettling about her.
Erica often got a strange energy from her. At first, she thought it was her imagination, but she felt it too frequently for it to be a coincidence. Sometimes during meetings, she would catch Allison staring, but then when they made eye contact, the other woman would quickly look away. Allison was quiet, but not shy, at least not when it came to her work. There was just something about her…
“I also wanted to tell you that my relocation date has been moved up,” Allison said, shuffling from one foot to the other. “I’ll be, umm…staying at least until Wednesday. I’ll be here to meet with the client and present this campaign, but that will be my last day.”
“Really? I thought you’d be here for another two weeks at least.”
“I thought so, too, but my sister, who’s been caring for my mom, has a family and needs to be back in North Carolina by next weekend.”
Allison had mentioned that her mother suffered from neuropathy and had been falling a lot lately. Supposedly, she and her three siblings had been taking turns caring for her. But since Allison was the only one of them who was single, she’d decided to move back to New York to provide full-time care.
The story could be true, but Erica sensed that it wasn’t.
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