How To Catch A Billionaire


by Helen Cooper

Chapter 1

“Jane, you will not believe it,” I squealed into the phone. “For once, my name has helped me.”

“What Sarah?” Jane whispered into the phone. “I can’t talk long. My boss is riding my ass.”

“So, you know how today was my first day at Zoom Corp. as a receptionist?” I could barely contain my excitement.

“Uh huh.”

“Well, I am now a top executive working for Mr. Green himself. And the best part is, he is out of town indefinitely, so I have enough time to become as top executive ready as is possible.”

“What?” Jane’s voice increased in volume. “How did that happen? No offense but you are not a top executive, Sarah.”

I laughed into the phone. “Shh. So it turns out that another Sarah Smith was hired for the executive position but when I turned up, they just assumed that I was that Sarah Smith. I mean, I thought they were rather nice to the new receptionist but it turns out that they thought I was the exec.”

“Sarah,” Jane’s voice was worried. “What are you going to do when the real Sarah Smith shows up? Then you’ll be out of a job period and I do not make enough money to pay the full rent.”

“Don’t worry about it, Jane.” I looked around before I said my next words. “I called the other Sarah Smith and apologized to her but said the position was filled and we no longer needed her. I felt bad because it turns out she was really sick with the flu. But the girl went to Harvard Business School. She’ll be fine.”

“Oh my gosh. Sarah!” Jane laughed into the phone. “What did you do?”

“It’s okay.” I laughed. “No-one knows who the other Sarah is, turns out she only did a phone interview because she was doing some internship in London.”

“Well, if you think you can get away with it.” Jane sounded unsure.

“Jane, I didn’t go to school for four years to be an actress for nothing.” I spoke in an English accent. “It’s going to be fine. And get this, I am making $150,000 a year.”

“Whoa.”

“Right. We can move out of our dump and actually move into the city.”

“Can we move to the Upper West Side?”

“Hello…” I laughed. “I’ve already been looking at newspaper ads and Craigslist.”

“Sarah, I don’t know.” Jane’s voice still sounded unsure. “Do you really think you can get away with this?”

“I know so. My new boss, Lewis Walker loves me. I think he has a crush on me. There is no way that he will fire me.” I played with my long blonde hair as I walked to the subway station and smiled to myself. “Something is finally going right, Jane. Maybe you can even quit that shitty job.”

“Do you really think so?” Jane’s voice now sounded hopeful. She was working as a sales assistant at a cellphone shop and hated it. She had gone to school to be a history teacher but hadn’t been able to find an open position due to budget cuts in schools.

“Yes Jane.” I stopped outside the subway station so that I could continue talking to her without losing service. “In fact, why don’t you just walk out of there today? I get paid every two weeks and will be able to carry the rent until you find something you like.”

“Omg Sarah. Are you sure?” Jane’s voice got louder and louder with excitement.

“Of course. Do it. Leave now.” I started jumping up and down in the street, not caring who was walking by and thinking I was a mental case. “Our tide is changing, Jane.”

“Okay. I’m going to go and quit now.” Jane sounded excited. “I’ll see you at home later, yeah?”

“Yup. And then we can go out for drinks to celebrate.” I looked quickly at my watch. “But I have to go now too. My lunch break is almost over. I’ll see you tonight.” I hung up and raced down the stairs so that I wouldn’t miss my train. I was lucky, it pulled up just as I got to the platform. I grinned to myself, my luck had finally changed and I was ready to take on the world.

The train was pretty empty in my carriage so I was able to sit down and check my makeup. I stared in my compact mirror and reapplied some lipstick and mascara. My big blue eyes stared back at me, shining with delight and happiness. I didn’t have to reapply any blush because the cold was making my cheeks red enough. I smiled wildly to check my teeth for food and sat back with pleasure. Jane and I had moved to New York four and a half years ago from Florida to go to college. We had been best friends since high school and had been ecstatic when we had both gotten into college in the big city. She had gone to Columbia and I had gone to NYU. We had shared a studio apartment in Brooklyn since our junior year. Unfortunately, we both hadn’t studied something that had great job prospects and we were broker now than when we had arrived. I had always dreamed of being a big Hollywood actress (don’t ask why I live in New York) and all Jane had ever wanted to do was to teach 6 grade history. We had graduated jobless but we didn’t want to move back to Florida, so Jane had gotten a job in a cellphone store and I had looked for receptionist positions. We had just received an eviction notice about two weeks ago as well. If we didn’t come up with the last two months’ rent within thirty days we were going to be kicked out. Alvin, the landlord had offered us another deal but neither one of us was willing to have sex with him to stay in that dump.

I got off the train with new verve in my step. I walked back to the Zoom building with pride and a little twinge of worry. I mean, I’m not stupid. I was sure that I would be in a lot of trouble if they found out I was Sarah Smith, NYU drama graduate and new receptionist as opposed to Sarah Smith, Harvard MBA and new executive. But I figured if someone realized the mistake and approached me with the truth, I would just pretend to be confused. I had already practiced the lines I was going to say if that happened. “Lordy, Lordy, I don’t know what is going on here. I surely thought that God had blessed me on this good day and seen fit to find it in your hearts to give me the job I deserve and can do, even if my qualifications would lead you to believe otherwise.” I was hoping that whoever I spoke to wouldn’t recognize that I was putting on a Southern accent and send me to a mental institute; though that would be preferable to going to jail.

“Hi Maggie.” I beamed at the receptionist, who looked at me coldly. “I’m just going up to my office, you know the big one on the 30 floor.” I almost skipped to the elevator and giggled as I pressed the button. I couldn’t quite believe my luck. Lewis Walker hadn’t even given me any real work—he’d just handed me some files and told me to familiarize myself with Zoom Corporation.

“Hold the doors.” A deep voice boomed from outside the elevator and I quickly pushed some buttons. I watched as the doors closed and realized that I had pressed the close door button instead of open. Oops, I thought to myself. I didn’t think it was a super huge deal because the doors opened again before the elevator left but the man who walked into the elevator didn’t look too happy. “Didn’t I tell you to keep the doors open?” he snarled at me.

I frowned at him. “Sorry, I pressed the wrong button by mistake.” I attempted a smile at him but he continued snarling at me. “I mean it’s not like it’s a huge deal. You’re in here now, aren’t you?”