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Authors: Sue Lee

Tags: #Contemporary

Nerd Girl

BOOK: Nerd Girl
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Copyright © 2013 Sue Lee

 

All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. All characters and storylines are the property of the author and your support and respect is appreciated.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Edited by Erin Roth, Wise Owl Editing

Cover design © Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations

Formatting by Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Epilogue

Acknowledgements

About the Author

 

 

Falling in love is a lot like executing a project plan. No matter the objectives, there were some fundamental things you needed to do to ensure everything stayed on track.

 

1. Keep it on a strict schedule

2. Assess and mitigate risk

3. Have a good, strong team supporting you

4. Learn from your mistakes

5. Work your ass off until you reap the rewards

 

After seven years at Megasoft Software Corporation, one of the most iconic technology companies in the world, I’ve had a lot of experience keeping projects on track. Over the course of my career, I’ve saved trains from skidding off rails, rescued colleagues from drowning, and put out four alarm fires. That’s all figuratively speaking, of course. If there was one thing that I knew I was good at, it was my job.

You’d think all that practice would’ve carried on over to my personal life, but at the ripe age of twenty-nine, I, Julia Hayes, was perpetually stuck on point number four—I couldn’t seem to learn from my mistakes. I think it’s the main reason why, when it came to love, I hadn’t yet been able to reap any rewards. That and I’m a serious control freak.

Being a tad OCD, I have a bad habit of analyzing everything to death. So of course, I’ve tried analyzing this one anomaly in my life. Where I had succeeded in business, I had failed miserably in love. A corporate-driven project was predictable and controllable; risks could be mitigated and mistakes were learned from and hopefully not repeated through post-mortems.

Easy stuff.

Falling in love and getting to my happily ever after? Let’s just say my track record hasn’t been so good.

Unlike my color-coded underwear drawer, when it came to matters of the heart, there was no set of rules to follow. If my relationships veered off track, I couldn’t just increase the budget and extend the deadline. So if a boy broke my heart, I did the only thing I knew I could control. I managed my heartbreak by occupying myself with something I was good at—I focused on my career.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Chocolate cake sobfests work for some people, and I felt just as defeated as anyone did after a failed relationship. But eating sugar and hitting replay on sad Taylor Swift songs about relationships gone astray lead to more misery and ten extra pounds. I didn’t like being in any sort of free fall. Being in a free fall meant losing control. Do you see a theme here?

When my boyfriend of three years, Andrew, confessed to cheating on me and proposed to the other woman, I thought it appropriate to change jobs. I was working a ton of extra hours in an effort to occupy my days, not to mention the evenings, but after three months, I realized overtime wasn’t cutting it anymore. It was time to do something more drastic. I now found myself walking across the Megasoft campus, crossing the street between Building Eighteen and the athletic fields, on my way to a job interview.

I love that MS (this is what we call Megasoft for short in Seattle) is so supportive of employee ambitions and encourage moving about within the company. There were many privileges of being an MS employee, and having access to all the job postings before they were made available to the public was one of them, along with free software and soda.

I strolled along the sidewalk, watching a soccer game that was in progress across the street. I admired the fact that at MS it wasn’t considered out of the norm for people to be playing soccer outside in the middle of a workday. My first interview was scheduled for ten o’clock. I looked at my watch, which read 9:35. I was right on track to arrive early with at least fifteen minutes to spare to mentally prepare myself for what would be about five or six hours of interview grilling.

As I continued my walk, I mentally rehearsed potential interview questions. I really hoped they didn’t ask me vague, puzzle, “gotcha!” questions. I really hate those “gotcha” questions. When I was first hired into MS, I was twenty-two years old and straight out of college. During my first round of interviews, I actually had a lead software developer ask me a question about light bulbs. When it came to MS interviews, asking candidates a question about light bulbs was almost a cliché. If you were in one room with thee light switches and there were three light bulbs in the room next door, which switch went to which bulb? You could only go into the other room once before you provided your answer. Personally, I never understood the point behind these questions, other than intending to make you squirm and feel like an idiot, but some jerk asked one every time. For the record, I got the light bulb question correct.

As I went through the mental drill of reviewing mock answers to classic MS questions like, “How do you deal with ambiguity?” I noticed a soccer ball rolling across the street, heading directly towards me. Without any hesitation, I walked into the middle of the road and reached down for the ball. I was carrying my laptop between my chest and left arm, so I picked up the ball with my right. As I stood up, I heard tires screeching and looked to my left in surprise, only to see a black SUV slamming its breaks. The car had slowed down enough to round the corner, but couldn’t stop fast enough to miss a girl in the middle of the road, and before I knew it, the bumper knocked me down with brute force.

My laptop propelled itself out of my arms, made a skidding, crunching sound, and bounced a few feet away from me. I cringed. Despite the fact that I had just been hit by a car, the first thought that came to my mind was,
Oh shit
!
My laptop’s toast!

My life was in that machine. At MS, your laptop was like another appendage; it was an extension of how you functioned. If my hard drive was damaged, I was screwed. If the hard drive was somehow saved, but the machine no longer functioned properly, then waiting a week to get it fixed would be like trying to walk with one foot.

The fact that I had just been hit by a car didn’t really seem to faze me and I was quickly getting over my worry about the laptop. The fact that I might be late to my interview was freaking me out a bit. The worst first impression you could make in an interview was to be late for it. It translated into
this person is unreliable and inconsiderate of my time.
Not to mention, I had less time now to mentally prepare for my five hour grilling.

I looked around on my hands and knees to locate my laptop. I spotted my machine a few feet away and noticed the battery had fallen out.
Shit. Shit. Please let it be okay
. As I attempted to scramble back up into a standing position, I noticed one of my Jimmy Choo heels, the ones I bought in Palm Springs last winter, had fallen off. I was relieved to find that the heel was still attached and started crawling towards it.

“Oh my God, are you okay?” The nearby voice was concerned and alarmed. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you!”

I didn’t turn. I was so focused on getting my shoe and my laptop and the stupid battery and onto my interview that the voice was just white noise.

He asked again more urgently, “Are you okay? I didn’t see you step off the sidewalk so quickly.”

Still in shock, I looked up and found myself looking into the most arresting blue eyes. They were the shade of the ocean just before a summer storm, almost a gray blue. The color suggested calm, but they were anything but. They were anxious and distressed and I sighed as a wrinkle set between them. I fought the urge to reach out rub it back to a smooth, unfurrowed state.

“Oh, I think that was our fault,” said another voice.

I looked towards the direction of the second voice and saw it was one of the soccer players. His face had a pained, guilty look. I hoped I didn’t lose their ball.

I felt pressure pulling me up by my arm, which shook me somewhat out of my accident-induced haze. Looking at Mr. Blue Eyes’ face again, I blinked a few times to get my bearings.
Wow … Not bad
. His hand on my arm felt warm and tingly and very comforting. He smelled so good, too, like soap and … what
was
that wonderful smell?

BOOK: Nerd Girl
9.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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