WASHINGTON DC - Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. (GEH), arrived in Washington, DC today. This is his first official visit to the nation's capital.
The GEH private plane landed at the Ronald Reagan National Airport early this morning, where he was greeted by not only the press but also by representatives from numerous NGOs hoping to grab his attention and support for various issues. Grey has a packed schedule on this brief visit to DC. Later today, he is expected to head to the White House for meetings, including a visit with the President. Tomorrow, he will be attending an international conference at the World Bank on issues related to global hunger and poverty. He is expected to make a speech on GEH's recent campaigns against global hunger. Sources say he is also expected to meet with representatives from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the afternoon before heading back to GEH headquarters in Seattle.
I read the short press release five times before hastily closing out of the window. I did not expect Washington DC to be a place that Christian Grey would be traveling to. He hated all the politics and he especially hated being around any reporters… but why the change of mind? I shake my head to clear any unnecessary thoughts and focus back on my work.
"Hey Ana, do you have a minute?"
I look up to see my coworker Jose leaning over my cubicle. Great, he needs another favor.
"Sure Jose, what's up?"
"Well you know they've been redoing the entire Renwick Gallery - you know, the one downtown? They need a whole bunch of books that we have for their research or something, so they asked if we could send them over. I got the delivery folks to come but you know those buffoons do not realize some of our books cost more than their salaries…. So! I just need someone responsible to play chaperone. Please?"
I sigh and roll my eyes.
I learned from early on that it is always better to be on Jose's good list. He knew all the office gossip and if he liked you, he made sure the gossip died down as quickly as it spread. If he didn't like you - it spread with more vulgar details than anyone cared to know. Jose wasn't necessarily bad - I actually didn't mind him so much. It was just that, no one (probably including himself) knew what his job was. He always went around "delegating" his duties to others and I always ran into him at Starbucks on a coffee run.
"Fine… you owe me one."
"Darling of course I do. You are coming to my happy hour this Friday right?"
I shake my head and before Jose can start yelling add, "It's our one year anniversary this Friday so we are going out to celebrate."
Jose makes a sour face. "Ugh. Fine. If he's making you miss out on my happy hour, he better be putting a ring on it."
March was a strange month for Washington - some years, it was warm enough for all the cherry blossoms to bloom while some years, DC saw some major snow storms. Thankfully, today is not bad - I don't mind being out of the office for a while. The ride to Renwick Gallery is a short one and my work is done relatively quickly. After repeating over and over again the importance of keeping these books in pristine conditions, I decline a ride back and opt to walk a bit while listening to music. Renwick Gallery is just steps away from the White House - thankfully, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House is open to pedestrians so I don't need to make a detour. There is a bit of commotion as the Secret Service activities pick-up. I hear police sirens from the distance - nothing out of ordinary for DC.
Shit, if Christian is coming to the White House for meetings, there probably will be a motorcade since Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to regular vehicular traffic. What if… no, get a grip Ana - we now live in completely different worlds.
I am lost in my train of thought that I don't hear the police sirens coming closer and closer until I hear cars honking. I jump and look behind me to see several Secret Service agents running towards me yelling and a line of black cars following patiently behind them. Oops.
"Mam, you need to step aside immediately."
"Sorry officer. I had my earphones in."
I step aside to where the agent points to and the line of black cars slowly proceeds towards the White House gates. One of the SUVs stop directly in front of me. The Secret Service agent looks at me and back at the SUV, blocking me with his arm.
"Mam, stay where you are."
The rear door opens and lo and behold, Christian Grey exits from the car.
I stare in shock, not sure what I can stay or what I should say. Is this really happening right now?
"Anastasia, it's been a long time."
I continue to just stare at him, hoping that if I stare hard enough, I can wake up from this nightmare. Christian looks at his watch and sighs.
"Anastasia, I have about 5 minutes I can spare before I need to head in to the White House. Can you get in the car?"
That's when I snap out of the trance. "Christian… It has indeed been a while. You look well. You have a meeting at the White House… you should go ahead. It was nice seeing you."
I try to walk away but I'm stopped by the Secret Service agent. "Mam, this is the last warning - you need to stay where you are."
"Get your fucking hands off her." Christian closes the distance we had between us and walks over to where I am standing. "I said I have 5 minutes to spare - would you please get in the car?"
"Christian, you are making a commotion. You should just go."
"If you would get in, I wouldn't be causing such commotion. Please Ana - just 5 minutes. I haven't seen you in 4 years - I'm not leaving without talking to you. You know how stubborn I am - I've gotten worse."
I sigh and get in the car, Christian following right behind me as if he is afraid that I would change my mind.
"Taylor, could you give us some privacy for 5 minutes?"
The man in the driver seat steps out without a word and the car is silent - tension so thick, I can almost see it in the air.
"You wanted to talk - you have 5 minutes."
"How have you been Ana? Wait no… How are you in DC? No… What have you been doing?" Christian sighs before putting his head in his hands. "Ana, we need more than 5 minutes. Let's do dinner tomorrow. I can delay my return flight so we'll have plenty of time. I'm staying at the Four Seasons in Georgetown - how about we do dinner at Bourbon Steak?"
"Whoa Christian, slow down." I've never seen Christian so nervous. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Why? You don't like steak? Then we can go somewhere else."
"No Christian, I don't think us having dinner is a good idea. What is there to say?"
"Trust me - we have plenty to discuss. If I had known you were in DC…"
"Christian.. you had the means to look people up 4 years ago. I'm sure you still do. The fact that you didn't look me up for the past 4 years… it's clear we don't have anything to discuss."
"Ana, I was respecting your privacy. After I left Harvard and you walked out of my apartment, I resisted every attempt to track you down because of your wishes."
"After I walked out of your apartment? Christian, YOU ended our relationship."
There is a knock on the window - sign that our 5 minutes is up.
"Ana, please. Just one meal. If you wish to never hear from me again after, I will respect your wishes. But after running into you like this, I need you to talk to you. Please."
There is another knock on the window - more urgent this time.
"Fine. Dinner it is."
Christian breathes a sigh of relief and takes his iPhone out from his suit pocket. "Your number? I'll call you with details."
I already have the left side of the car door half open, ready to get out. "I'm sure you can find it if you try hard enough."