The Two of Hearts
By Marilyn Douglas
Date: April 15, 2019
Ch. 2Lady Justice

“Tell me again the meaning of competency?”
The maid stared back into her face blankly uncertain whether it was a trick question or literal one. To answer Ms. James in a manner that she found unsatisfactory lead to many negative repercussions. The staff joked that one day she would pronounce, ‘Off with your head!’ The young woman standing before her angry boss remembered this and tried to look calm but she trembled on the inside as her employer threw her daily tantrum.
“Too many times… too many times I have said, I do not want yolks in my scrambled eggs and yet the dish you bring me is more yellow than the damn sun. Leave my sight Maria… leave before you eat these frigging eggs and the plate as well!”
Danica James massaged her temples and squeezed her eyes shut in frustration before breathing heavily to expel the negative energy she thought the maid brought into her room. To be honest, no one could please Danica-it was an impossible task and today Maria the maid just happened to be the unfortunate one to mix up the breakfast menu.
Truthfully, it wasn’t the maid’s fault. Danica enjoyed watching them squirm and purposely made a dramatic production of any and everything. Even when no mistakes were made and everything was perfect, Danica still picked at the minute spot on the maid’s apron or the scuff on Richard the butler’s shoes.
She disliked the poor and average immensely. They were stupid and sniveling and according to her dad, they were the joyful recipients of his hard earned money compliments of the Governments Robin Hood tactics. She overheard them talking sometimes about taxes and other financial hardships. Their fault for being lazy and lacking drive-they should simply work harder she thought.
Ignoring the plate of eggs prepared to her specifications, she dismissed the maid and turned her attention to her tablet screen where she was doing some investigative research on Charles Mayhew. So far she knew he was thirty years old, Son of an Irish father and Persian mother who emigrated to the States and a billionaire.
His claims to fame included dating Russian Model Alexandria Aristov and actress Emily Taylor. In his business portfolio were telecommunications, shipping and artifact companies that did booming business domestically as well as internationally. He had been on the cover of Forbes magazine twice and the ‘Watch List’ predicted that he would end the year well ahead of his nearest competitor with a gap of five billion between them.
Leaning back in her overstuffed lilac recliner and propping her red bottoms on the table with the offensive breakfast, Danica digested the information and shook her head in rebellion. No… it would never do to have her best friend rise from dirt poor to be richer and more powerful than the James family. If Cassandra and Stuart hit it off as well as the silly girl had said, things in Danica’s world would simply be topsy turvy. Instead of being the one dishing out the exclusive invitations to the millionaire parties and restricted entry events, it would be Danica at the receiving end.
She couldn’t allow that. Danica couldn’t allow this girl she had taught to be a woman to suddenly play the leading role. It just wouldn’t do. Cassandra wouldn’t know what to do with the money anyway and what would she do with diamonds and pearls? Would she wear them to her dinky waitress job? Danica laughed out loud at the thought of her friend dressed in black and white, balancing a sliver tray while diamonds dripped from her neck. Her face soon turned serious.
Honestly Danica could have helped Cassandra much more and her father actually thought she did. Incapacitated and living on his own floor of the penthouse suite since the accident ten years ago, Bill James’s mind was still active, but some days the lights were brighter than others. Reluctantly, he relinquished his role at the helm of his company and allowed one of his partners to oversee the runnings. The quarterly reports were sent to Danica who pretended to understand what they meant but failed miserably.
Reassuring her father that all was well financially, his mind rested peacefully at night knowing his only daughter was taking care of his interests. The shift of three nurses and on call doctor received their payments, the roof over her head was secure and her black card worked in every restaurant and boutique she visited. Those were the only things Danica cared about- up until now that is.
Now that her social rank was being threatened by someone she considered a friend, she would be forced to balance the scales once again. One day when her father was lucid and talking he said, “Darling, remember that all animals are created equal, but others are more equal than others.”
Danica remembered those words every time she saw a wealthy man dragged over the coals in divorce court by his stunningly beautiful immigrant wife who desired to walk in the streets of gold in America, placing as much distance between herself and her usually impoverished upbringing as possible.
It served them right Danica thought, allowing a poor immigrant to trick them into marriage and the poorhouse. Cassandra wasn’t an immigrant, but she was poor and hence Danica thought it her duty to help her understand her place on the social totem pole. Nothing this exciting happened to her anymore and setting the stage for a heart wrenching show seemed appropriate after what Cassandra dad did to her family. Her father was never the same after the accident.
Standing and walking over to her vanity next to the large window, Danica inspected her figure and fluffed her long blonde hair. She loved her own reflection more than anything else in the world and as she applied her pink lip gloss and blew herself a kiss, she whispered, “Payback is certainly a bitch.”


At Cassandra’s insistence they met at the Bistro on the corner of the fashion district. Only because it was near to the Chanell store did Danica agree to be seen in the place. She was sure the owners of the simply decorated eatery had ever heard of a Michelin star after their regular coffee was delivered devoid of any of the fancy additives Danica was accustomed to. Casting the matter aside to concentrate on her friend who seemed flustered and upset, she sipped the hot drink and listened to the latest challenge Cassandra seemed to be having.
Dressed in denim and a tee shirt with no recognizable brand, Cassandra’s hands trembled nervously as she tried to hand the envelope to her friend. Watching Danica read the threatening words on the paper, she pretended to sip her coffee while imagining the horrible things that would happen if Charles found out the truth about her. They were going on a date tonight and she needed the reassurance of a person more experienced with the rich. She was on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
“What do I do Danica? Should I just ignore this and continue to pretend? Obviously someone knows about me and my real life. All I wanted was to find a nice guy and settle down… I don’t care about his money, I just care about how he treats me… he listens to me when I speak and respect my opinions. I wouldn’t care if he was broke… I would still see him.”
Leaning back from the envelope and its contents, Danica scrunched up her face pensively and admired her mischievous handy work while batting her false eyelashes. Before responding she ran her fingers over the words, remembering how powerful she felt while penning the piece.
“Well, one of two things has happened here. You either betrayed my trust by telling someone else other than me about him or you are making this up. No one cares about you dating him that much, but what concerns me is that I may be associated with the lies you are telling this man.”
“Lies Danica?” Cassandra whispered, “You were the one who told me it was a good idea to act like I was already in his class! And second to that why would you think I would tell anyone you were involved? I know you have an impeccable reputation and I would do nothing to harm it.”
This was not going according to Cassandra’s plans. Instead of resolving anything she had now offended her friend. This was a curve ball that couldn’t be left on this rogue path. Tonight Charles was picking her up from the hotel penthouse he thought she lived in and she needed some of Danica’s clothes to keep up appearances.
Of course, being a good friend Danica would never allow Cassandra the indignity of being picked up in her slum of a neighborhood but the girl needed to squirm a bit. It was only fair that her first baptism of fire be from someone she trusted. After all Danica knew the elite would never allow the likes of Cassandra to join their ranks. People like Cassandra belonged in black and white saying ‘Yes sir.’ Only a friend would do this for her and she should consider it a favor.

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