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    MJTay3
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Reasons - 4. Chapter 4

Apologies for the delay between chapters. Real life got in the way.

Chapter 4

After a few weeks, Matt and Mikey had exchanged a few e-mails, but nothing specific. Families were doing OK, and the rest was just banter. Matt wanted to talk to him about life, about Rachel, about Mikey's life in Maryland, about anything but mundane crap -- but Matt felt so awkward. To Matt, in certain ways, Mikey was still a little kid.

Clearly though, these e-mail exchanges were the highlights of Matt's day. Cohen started to pick up on it, but her inquiries were shut down, and not politely. However, Matt started to realize he didn't have that many social outlets outside of marriage. Work was his life.

On a lazy Wednesday in December -- everything becomes a bit more lazy in December -- Matt's desk phone rang. "Sup, Cohen?"

"Uhh, Matthew, there's a process server here for you."

That's not a good sign, Matt thought. What the hell is a process server doing in the building -- surely he wasn't getting sued? And Cohen calling him Matthew, not good. "I'll be right there."

Matt straightened his tie, put on his suit jacket, and walked outside. An official looking messenger stood there with a large manila envelope and an electronic signature pad. "Mr. Taylor?" he asked, pointedly.

"Yes, can I ask what this is about?"

"I don't know, sir. Please sign this pad." Matt shrugged and signed. "Thank you sir. You've been served." And he walked off.

Cohen came back with Matt into his office, and closed the door. She had an idea what it was, and so did Matt. He opened the envelope -- divorce papers, ready to execute.

"Well, I knew this was coming at some point," Matt tried to say casually as he flipped through the pages. Cohen looked outraged.

"What a bitch. Serving you this week? Merry fucking Christmas!" Matt had to smile. He knew Cohen was just trying to buck him up, but it was working. "Thanks, Cohen. I'm good. I'll let you know if I need anything."

She reluctantly left the room, and Matt turned his chair around to stare out at the city.

---

It wasn't a great marriage, but to have it ended so unceremoniously was just frustrating. Though, the more Matt thought about it, he should have never gone through with the wedding at all. His best man, Brent, one of his closest friends at the time, tried to talk him out of it. Brent pointed out that Christie and Matt were just incompatible as a couple -- not bad people, but not looking for the same things -- and he begged and pleaded with Matt the night before the wedding to call it off. Of course Christie found out about that, and goodbye Brent. Matt felt like he should probably call him at some point to rebuild that bridge, one of many that Christie had burned down.

Matt flipped through the 55 page "Marital Dissolution Agreement" and didn't see any huge legal landmines. He probably would call on another friend at the firm to look it over, but it wouldn't stop him from signing it. He was most concerned about his rowhouse in DC, which was in his name anyway, and his savings. Those looked to be intact.

He heard a knock at the door, but didn't respond. Finally, whoever it was just came in.

"MJ?"

"Matt?"

"MATTHEW TAYLOR!" Finally, Matt responded -- it was Davis Parson, one of the partners Matt worked for. "Sorry Davis, in another head space right now."

Davis responded, "I know. I talked to Melissa. Want me to look it over?"

"So much for lawyer-secretary privilege," Matt replied dryly. Davis gave him a look that basically said, "don't start."

"Sure," Matt said, "have at it. Everything I asked for is in there. Prenups go both ways these days it seems."

Davis took the agreement, and looked at Matt sympathetically. "Look MJ, take a few days off. It's quiet around here anyway. Melissa was saying you were looking for an excuse to head to LA anyway, so go!"

Matt looked startled. "What? No. I don't, no. I don't have any reason to go to LA." Matt was really starting to hate Cohen's mouth at the moment.

Davis nodded sympathetically. "OK, fine. We're doing this the hard way. MJ, I need you to head to LA and do a potential client meeting for me. I'll probably be attending by phone, but the meeting is Friday at 10 Pacific. Take them to lunch after. Since there might be questions, fly out first thing tomorrow and back Saturday or Sunday just to be safe. Expense whatever you want, it's client development. It's low pressure -- I think she's just seeing who's interested in representing her."

Matt didn't move, so Davis walked behind the desk, hit the intercom button, and said: "Melissa, put MJ on a direct flight out of DCA to LAX tomorrow morning, back over the weekend."

"Yes, sir."

---

Matt took his seat on the plane in first class. He flew enough that he was upgraded on almost every flight. Plus, the last minute ticket meant that he had priority. He still wasn't even sure why he was going -- Cohen promised to have the meeting prep binder available at the hotel when he got there. Yeah right. Might as well head to the LA office and get someone there to do her job.

[// TEXT MESSAGE //]

Cohen: Did u tell Mr. Burke u were coming?
Me: Did you put in your resignation yet?
Cohen: Remember u have in-flight wifi, so you can do it then. I'm watching.
Me: I'm going for a meeting. That's it.
Cohen: U know I can send an e-mail on ur behalf, right??
Me: Shutting off my phone now, bye!

[// TEXT MESSAGE //]

Matt put on his headphones, pressed play, and went to sleep.

---

An hour into the flight, Matt pulled out his computer. After wrestling with the in-flight wifi, he logged in and found a draft e-mail in his Outlook already addressed to Mikey saying when he was landing. He quickly deleted it, and sent a one-word e-mail to Cohen: "Cheeky."

After mulling over a Bloody Mary or two, Matt wrote:

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE BEGIN //]

From: Taylor III, Matthew James (Associate - DC)
To: Parson, Davis (Partner - DC)
CC: Cohen, Melissa (Staff - DC)
Date: 19 Dec 2013 11:49 ET
Subject: (No Subject)

Will someone please, please, please, please tell me what this meeting is about? I feel like I'm walking into an ambush. My birthday is in August, so this is a terrible time to throw a surprise party... please? Pretty please? Anyone? Buehler?

MJ

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE END //]

The response came back in an instant.

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE BEGIN //]

From: Parson, Davis (Partner - DC)
To: Taylor III, Matthew James (Associate - DC)
CC: Cohen, Melissa (Staff - DC)
Date: 19 Dec 2013 11:52 ET
Subject: RE:

Jesus H. Please just have a good time. Take the clients out, get hammered, get laid, watch 15 movies in the hotel, whatever. It's Christmastime in LA. Use your imagination.

This advice is not on behalf of the firm, btw.

D

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE END //]

Fine, be that way. Another Bloody Mary, or two, or three, or four.

---

"Welcome to LA, where the local time is 1 p.m. and the temperature is 75 degrees."

Fuck, Matt thought. Those Marys hit him harder than he expected, and it's going to be warm, and ugh. He was glad the meeting was the next day. He turned on his phone.

[// TEXT MESSAGE //]

Cohen: Welcome to LA, cranky pants! Firm's car service will pick u up (told them ur name was "Matty") and I told them to bring u powerade. Just guessing. Will take u to Beverly Wilshire. Binders are there, so stop worrying. Hotel has a rental car on standby if u need.
Me: I hate you. But I also love you. So right now, I'm just confused.
Cohen: I confuse all men, dear.

[// TEXT MESSAGE //]

---

Matt got to the hotel and was a bit revived. He perused the meeting materials and confirmed what he had long suspected -- there was no reason for him to be here. There was no way the firm was going to land this client. Still, the manager greeted him like an old friend (they had met once before, apparently), and they upgraded him to a suite. The "courtesy rental car" was a Mercedes C-Class, which was a nice upgrade from the DC metro system. Christie had taken possession of their car in DC, so Matt was looking forward to being able to drive a bit.

He slept off the remnants of the alcohol, Yelped a good sushi place, and drove over. Valet Parking for a $10 sushi roll? What the hell, Matt thought. He wasn't paying. He got back to the hotel around 10, plenty of time to get a good night's sleep before the meeting the next day.

---

1:33 a.m.

Matt stared at the clock. He couldn't blame the time difference, because it was 4:33 a.m. on the East Coast. He knew why he was awake. He fought with himself all day, all through the flight, through his sleep, and through dinner. He lost.

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE BEGIN //]

From: Taylor III, Matthew James (Associate - DC)
To: Burke, Michael (External - Personal)
Sent: 20 Dec 2013 04:46 ET
Subject: RE: California

Hey Mikey -- I made a sudden trip out to LA for a client meeting tomorrow, and I will probably have a little time tomorrow afternoon or evening if you want to grab coffee or something. Let me know. My cell is on my card if you want to text me instead.

If not, we'll find another time.

-matty

[// E-MAIL MESSAGE END //]

Matt watched the message clear through his outbox, put his computer away, and finally felt at peace enough to go to sleep.

Apologies for the delay between chapters. Real life got in the way.
Copyright © 2014 MJTay3; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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