It’s Complicated – Prologue


OFC Elizabeth Peterson

Beth sat at her cubicle sifting through the stack of files on her desk. She had just been assigned to a lead attorney at the prestigious law firm she worked for and she was familiarizing herself with his clients. She was still at the bottom of the totem pole; the very bottom. So she would be expected to do all the scut work. Still she smiled because she was exactly where she wanted to be.

Her phone intercom buzzed “Ms. Peterson, Mr. Binder would like to see you in his office.”  Beth grabbed a stack of files and made her way down the hallway to her new boss’ office.  He looked up from his computer as she knocked on his door.

“Elizabeth, are you up to speed on the Evans file?”  Smiling she flipped through the files in her arms.

“Yes Mr. Binder, I went over everything this weekend.” She hesitated then quietly added, “I wanted to speak to you about his contract with Marvel. I think I found something that might enhance our bargaining position. I made some notes in my files.”  She handed him the files and he skimmed through her notes.

Nodding in, was that appreciation? he said, “Good work.  We have a meeting set up with him and his team on Thursday.  You’ll sit in on the staff meeting on Wednesday to finalize our strategy and polish our presentation. You can make your recommendations to the team then.” He dropped his head to read the papers on his desk, dismissing her.

“Yes sir, I’ll make that my priority.” She nodded to him and left his office, squealing with joy inside. If she could nail this assignment it would give her a great start with the firm.

She couldn’t believe she had come this far. Elizabeth Anne Peterson, only child of a single working mother from Tacoma, Washington had studied and worked herself to the bone to make it through the University of Washington with top honors with only a few minor hiccups along the way.

She was accepted into UCLA Law School and graduated at the top of her class. Granted she was drowning in student loans even with the scholarships she had gotten. But she had managed to secure a position at a prestigious law firm with the best entertainment attorneys in Los Angeles working for the most elite clients.

She briefly thought of the sacrifices she had made to get here. She tried not to dwell on those very often. She had made her choices and now she had to live with them. With time she had thought she would be able to make some of them right but it seemed that her position was unchangeable.

She thought back to one of her law school professors calling lawyers ‘sharks’ and now understood the nickname. It was a well-deserved reputation. She was proud of where she was and the hard work she put in but still somewhat shamed of the sacrifices she made to get here.

She thought about calling her mother. But she knew the call would go unanswered. It always did. It has been years since she had spoken to Patricia Peterson. And the last time her mother’s words echoed in her head. “Elizabeth, how could you do that? I raised you better than that.” To this day the words haunted her.

It was unfortunate. No, it was heartbreaking. She had lost a lot to get where she was. But she knew the risks when she took them and now she had to deal with the consequences. She sighed, wiping a few tears from her eye. She was determined to stop feeling sorry for herself. She had contracts to read and she tried her best to focus.

Her eye caught the picture frame crammed in the back corner of the cubicle and the corners of her mouth turned up slightly. It was her and her mother on her high school graduation day. They both had such high hopes back then. Her mother had been proud of Beth. Proud that she had done such a fine job of raising a daughter on her own. Proud that Beth had such high aspirations for her life. Neither knew what was coming that would turn their world upside down.

Maybe one day their relationship would work out. Beth sniffed and turned her head back to the file in front of her, grabbing her highlighter and focusing back to the task at hand, Chris Evans’ contract with Marvel.

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