MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
I have three cars. They go fast across the floor. So fast. One is red. One is green. One is yellow. I like the green one. It’s the best. Mommy likes them, too. I like when Mommy plays with the cars and me. The red is her best. Today she sits on the couch staring at the wall. The green car flies into the rug. The red car follows. Then the yellow. Crash! But Mommy doesn’t see. I do it again. Crash! But Mommy doesn’t see. I aim the green car at her feet. But the green car goes under the couch. I can’t reach it. My hand is too big for the gap. Mommy doesn’t see. I want my green car. But Mommy stays on the couch staring at the wall. Mommy. My car. She doesn’t hear me. Mommy. I pull her hand and she lies back and closes her eyes. Not now, Maggot. Not now, she says. My green car stays under the couch. It’s always under the couch. I can see it. But I can’t reach it. My green car is fuzzy. Covered in gray fur and dirt. I want it back. But I can’t reach it. I can never reach it. My green car is lost. Lost. And I can never play with it again.
I open my eyes and my dream fades in the early-morning light. What the hell was that about? I grasp at the fragments as they recede, but fail to catch any of them.
Dismissing it, like I do most mornings, I climb out of bed and find some newly laundered sweats in my walk-in closet. Outside, a leaden sky promises rain, and I’m not in the mood to be rained on during my run today. I head upstairs to my gym, switch on the TV for the morning business news, and step onto the treadmill.
My thoughts stray to the day. I’ve nothing but meetings, though I’m seeing my personal trainer later for a workout at my office—Bastille is always a welcome challenge.
Maybe I should call Elena?
Yeah. Maybe. We can do dinner later this week.
I stop the treadmill, breathless, and head down to the shower to start another monotonous day.
“TOMORROW,” I MUTTER, DISMISSING Claude Bastille as he stands at the threshold of my office.
“Golf, this week, Grey.” Bastille grins with easy arrogance, knowing that his victory on the golf course is assured.
I scowl at him as he turns and leaves. His parting words rub salt into my wounds because, despite my heroic attempts during our workout today, my personal trainer has kicked my ass. Bastille is the only one who can beat me, and now he wants another pound of flesh on the golf course. I detest golf, but so much business is done on the fairways, I have to endure his lessons there, too…and though I hate to admit it, playing against Bastille does improve my game.
As I stare out the window at the Seattle skyline, the familiar ennui seeps unwelcome into my consciousness. My mood is as flat and gray as the weather. My days are blending together with no distinction, and I need some kind of diversion. I’ve worked all weekend, and now, in the continued confines of my office, I’m restless. I shouldn’t feel this way, not after several bouts with Bastille. But I do.
I frown. The sobering truth is that the only thing to capture my interest recently has been my decision to send two freighters of cargo to Sudan. This reminds me—Ros is supposed to come back to me with numbers and logistics. What the hell is keeping her? I check my schedule and reach for the phone.
Damn. I have to endure an interview with the persistent Miss Kavanagh for the WSU student newspaper. Why the hell did I agree to this? I loathe interviews—inane questions from ill-informed, envious people intent on probing my private life. And she’s a student. The phone buzzes.
“Yes,” I snap at Andrea, as if she’s to blame. At least I can keep this interview short.
“Miss Anastasia Steele is here to see you, Mr. Grey.”
“Steele? I was expecting Katherine Kavanagh.”