Mike poked his head into the office. “Harvey, do you need me to do anything else before I leave? Anything I need to take home for the weekend?”
“No, Mike. You’ve done enough this week. Try to get some rest. Next week might be busy.”
“Okay. Have a nice weekend, Harvey.”
Harvey watched his associate smile a little brighter than usual and skip out of the office. His head told him that the kid was just excited to leave at seven o’clock, but his gut told him that it was because of something else. He turned his gaze to his right and saw that Donna was gathering her things to leave.
“Donna, why is the puppy running out of the office?” He asked through the intercom.
“He has a date.” Donna smiled. She hoped that everything would work out for Mike.
Harvey wanted to ask if Donna knew whom his associate was going out with, but he didn’t feel like it was his place to ask.
“Rachel Zane.” Donna read his mind.
“The pretty paralegal?” Harvey was surprised. He thought that the two were just friends.
“Yeah. Anything else you need?” Donna stood up with her purse.
“No. Thank you, Donna. Have a nice weekend.”
“You too, Harvey.”
As he turned off the lights in the office, Harvey wondered if Mike’s personal life would interfere with his work. He thought that Mike might be too young and inexperienced to compartmentalize.
‘Well, I’m his mentor. If he needs help, he only has to ask.’
Harvey decided that he should start worrying when the problem presented itself. For now, all he had to do was head home and spend a relaxing weekend.
On Monday morning, Mike marched into Harvey’s office as soon as he had thrown his messenger bag somewhere in his cubicle.
“Good morning, Harvey! What a wonderful day it is!”
Harvey chuckled at the burst of exuberance. “Good morning, Mike. I assume you had a fun weekend.”
“You can say that.”
Mike grabbed a chair and started to pour out information about his date. He didn’t really care whether Harvey was interested or not; Rachel wanted him to tell Harvey about them and he had to tell someone about his super sweet date.
Harvey just relaxed in his chair and listened to his associate babble away. The kid didn’t even seem to breathe between sentences. Harvey caught the words ‘the best meal ever’, ‘the best film ever’, and ‘the best date ever’ which gave him the general message that Mike was trying to convey.
“So how was your weekend?” Mike asked.
Harvey found himself letting out a small sigh of relief. The puppy must be done rambling. “Nothing special, but good.”
“Good? That’s it? Tell me the details! You went out with friends? Had a pretty boy over?” Mike wanted to know more about his boss. He felt that they were on the path of becoming very good friends.
Harvey laughed. “Don’t you think it would’ve been special if I had a pretty boy at my place?”
“Well, look around. You already have a pretty boy in front of you and you act like it’s nothing special.” Mike grinned.
“Get out of here.” Harvey said with a smile as he handed over several files.
Then he felt the need to add, “And, try not to daydream too much about that paralegal, will you? Or you won’t have time for any dates this week.”
“Don’t worry, Harvey. We’re going out again tonight so I’ll work super efficiently.” Mike grinned once more before leaving Harvey alone.
When Mike walked into the associates’ area, he saw that Rachel was chatting with Harold in front of his cubicle.
“Hey, Rach. Need something?” Mike asked as soon as Harold left for the copy room.
“No. I just wanted to ask if you informed Harvey about us. I know it’s none of his business, but I work in this office and he’s your direct superior so I really think he should find it out through you.”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it. I told him. He didn’t say anything so I guess he’s cool with it.”
“Oh, great!” Rachel smiled. “Do you mind if I tell Donna? We’re supposed to have lunch today and I usually value her advice.”
“You can tell anyone you want, Rach. I have nothing to lose. Everybody here hates me already. You’re the one who’s going to be less popular when the word gets out that you’re seeing me.”
“Well, if anyone thinks less of me because of that, they’re idiots.”
Mike smiled warmly. He wanted to give her a kiss, but they were standing in the middle of the associates’ area so he would have to wait until they got out of the office.
“Let’s get some work done so we won’t have to cancel our date.” Rachel smiled one last time and headed back to her office.
Mike kept his eyes on his new girlfriend, thanking God that she had finally agreed to go out with him. He had wanted her for months but despite everything he had done for her, she hadn’t wanted him. However, after he had broken up with Jenny because she couldn’t trust him anymore, Rachel had kissed him again (this time in the file room) and Mike had persuaded her to go on a date with him.
‘Best decision of my life! Well, other than running into Harvey with that suitcase full of weeds, of course.’
Mike chuckled at the wonderful turn of events in his life. He had thought that his world was going to turn upside down when he was running down the stairs in the hotel. But now, he had a job that he had always dreamed of, had a competent boss and wise friend who didn’t mind mentoring him to become the best lawyer he could be, and had a gorgeous and smart girlfriend.
‘I wish Harvey was seeing someone too. After all the things he’s done for me, he totally deserves to be happy, doesn’t he?’
He knew that Harvey wasn’t in a relationship only because he didn’t want to be in one; his boss could probably have anyone in the world if he wanted to. He glanced at the direction of Harvey’s office and decided that he could make him happy by doing his job well.
‘Let’s get to work then.’
Mike rolled up his sleeves and took off the cap of his favorite highlighter.
Roughly two weeks had passed and Harvey had been both amused and impressed at his associate for finishing his work by seven o’clock just so he could go out with his girlfriend. Out of the nine workdays, Mike had missed only one day because he had to follow him to a dinner with a client. Today was Friday and Harvey was wondering if Mike would be able to extend his magnificent record as he looked at his watch.
‘In three, two, one…’
“Harvey, I’m going to head out if things can wait till Monday.” Mike was as punctual as a clock.
“Sure. Have fun, kid.”
Mike beamed and lowered his voice. “Oh, I think I’ll finally have some fun. Not that I haven’t had fun all this time but you know what I mean.”
Harvey knew exactly what kind of fun he was talking about. “I don’t really need to know the details of your love life, Mike.”
“Well, you seem to lack a love life, so I figured I could let you share mine.” Mike joked.
“And, how did you figure that out?” Harvey raised his eyebrow.
“You haven’t sported that smug grin of yours in the morning all week. Don’t think that Donna’s the only one who can tell if you’ve got laid or not.”
Harvey wanted to smack the smug look off the kid’s face. ‘When did he learn how to smile like that? Who does he think he is? Me?’
Mike checked his watch and said, “Listen, Harvey, I’d love to banter some more with you but I’ve got a dinner reservation at this romantic place and well, I have to be at my best if I want romantic things to happen after that.”
Harvey made a gesture with his hand. “Get going then. I don’t need a sad puppy on Monday.”
“Wish me luck, Harvey! Have a great weekend!”
Harvey watched as the boy ran out with excitement written all over his face. Harvey chuckled and hoped that he would see the same excitement on Monday morning for the sake of their clients.
Monday morning came but much to Harvey’s surprise, there wasn’t any kind of excitement on Mike’s face.
“What happened?” He had to ask.
“Nothing romantic happened.” Mike sank into the couch.
“I kinda got that part. But why?”
“Unromantic things got in the way. Her grandfather had a seizure while we were having dinner so she went straight to the hospital as soon as we were done eating.”
“And, you guys didn’t meet up during the weekend?”
“No, she wasn’t in the mood. On Saturday, she was worried about her grandfather. He’s recovering nicely, by the way. Thank God for that. And, on Sunday, her car broke down. She adores her car so yeah… she wasn’t in the mood because it was in the repair shop.”
“Tell me about it. But it’s fine. I thought she’d never go out with me in the first place so I can wait. This is nothing.”
Harvey nodded. Mike was a decent kid.
“Besides, I’m going to see her tonight. I only have to wait till seven. I think I can manage that.” Mike smiled.
“Right.” Harvey felt a little disappointed even though he knew that his associate was allowed to have some action even when he himself didn’t feel like having some these days.
“We’re going to try the new Mexican restaurant today. You know she’s a foodie, right? I bet she’s going to order us the weirdest dishes on the menu. I just hope my stomach will be able to handle them because a stomachache will surely kill the mood.” Mike expressed his concern.
“You’re in your twenties, Mike. You’re supposed to digest steel. I think you’ll be just fine.” Harvey reassured him.
Mike smiled. “Thanks, Harvey. It’s really nice that I can talk to you about this. I feel better now.”
“Now I’ll go get some work done and make your life easier.” Mike grinned and left the office, leaving a slightly uncomfortable Harvey on the couch.
Mike was telling a funny story from his childhood while enjoying his tiramisu when his cell phone started to ring.
“Oh gosh, I’m sorry. I should’ve turned it off.” He apologized and pulled his phone out of his jacket pocket.
“It’s okay. You’re a first-year associate. You’re supposed to leave your phone on. In your case, even more so. You answer to Harvey.” Rachel smiled.
“You’re right. It’s Harvey.” Mike smiled apologetically and answered the phone. “Hello? Harvey?”
“Yeah, I’m sorry to step on your romance but I need you in here.”
“You’re still at the office?” Mike was surprised.
“Yeah, it’s the Anderson case. He changed his mind just now and wants us to come up with a whole new arrangement.”
“Oh, it can’t wait till morning?”
“If it was up to me, I’d leave you alone for the big night but this guy has no patience. I’m sorry, Mike.”
Mike nodded. He understood how irrational and annoying clients could be. “It’s okay. I’ll be right there. Oh, do you want me to get you anything? How about some burritos?”
Mike could hear Harvey’s mouth watering at the idea. “Haha, no need to answer that. See you in half an hour.”
Mike put his phone back in his pocket and grabbed the bill. “I’m so sorry, Rach.”
“It’s okay. I work in that firm too, remember? I know what things are like. Besides, this will give me some time to shop for new lingerie.”
“What…?” Mike had to swallow hard.
“I put on my best one for tonight but I could always buy sexier ones.” Rachel smiled and called the waiter. She would have to order Harvey’s burritos instead of her gaping boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Harvey looked down at his phone, wondering why he had just lied. Mr. Anderson did want to change the terms of his deal but he had said ‘Take care of it first thing in the morning’. So why had he felt the sudden urge to work on the deal right away?
‘I just wanted to get things started earlier. You never know when things will get complicated. And, if everything goes smoothly, well, then we’ll have a happier client. Besides, the kid said that he could wait. I’m sure he can wait till tomorrow night. It’s no big deal.’
Harvey pushed aside the small amount of guilt in his mind. He would feel better on Wednesday morning when Mike would walk into his office with a broad smile on his face.