Chapter 10 Live Like a Widow
“Would you let someone you like basically live like a widow for three years? You have a distorted view of love if you think that’s normal.”
Yara agreed. “You’re right. But why does he insist on you moving back? You’re going to need to move out in three months. It’s just unnecessary.”
Calista didn’t know why. But she wasn’t interested in finding out, either.
During dinner, they eventually chose to go out and have stew.
Calista chose a super spicy stew that caused her to sweat from how hot it was. She felt refreshed after the meal.
She was scared Lucian would stir up trouble. So, she turned off her phone that night.
She woke up early the following day.
She placed her luggage in the car and moved to the apartment she rented.
After that, she fixed her appearance and went to her future workplace—Justa Workshop.
Jacob Xanders was in charge of the workshop. He was a short man with glasses and was about 60 years old. However, he seemed shocked to see Calista.
“Are you the conservator that Yara called Callie?”
Calista nodded politely. “Yes.”
Although Calista didn’t take on much work, all the work she chose was extremely challenging. Thus, she was popular in the industry.
However, she didn’t use her real name as she didn’t want to be exposed to the public. The name she chose was simple, which was Callie.
Jacob had only seen the conservation projects completed by her. He had never seen her in person.
Calista’s skills were exquisite, and her techniques were top-notch. She even restored a few pieces that seasoned professionals couldn’t.
As a result, Jacob always thought Callie was about the same age as him. He didn’t expect her to be a young woman!
“I’ve seen the projects you’ve restored. You’re amazingly skilled for your age!”
Calista chuckled. “You’re too kind. I still have a lot to learn.”
While chatting, Jacob led her to an empty seat. “This is your desk. Bryan, get a few items over for your new colleague to identify.”
It was a fundament*l requirement for a conservator to identify the artifact’s time period and its characteristics, as well as its authenticity.
At first, he had wanted to exempt her from the entry exam. After all, he had personally hired her. However, he decided to follow the protocol.
Calista wasn’t what he expected.
Bryan Lawson quickly took a few artifacts from different time periods. He carefully placed them on the table.
When the others in the workshop saw what was happening, they quickly gathered around.
Whispers were exchanged.
“Didn’t they say the person coming over today was extremely talented? What is someone so young doing here?”
“I guess she pretended to be skilled. She just wants to earn a name for herself. I bet she didn’t expect to meet someone as stubborn as Jacob giving her a test.”
“I heard Jacob made several trips for her. He’s going to be so disappointed!”
While they chatted, Calista had already identified the artifacts on the table. She accurately named the time period, origins, characteristics, and even some minor details of each.
Bryan was surprised. “That fast?”
Bryan was Jacob’s student. It had been ten years since he had entered the field after graduating college.
If he were being honest, he wouldn’t be able to identify these items so quickly, even with his experience.
Jacob nodded favorably at her. He seemed to approve of Calista’s knowledge. However, the actual test would be during her practical work.
As Jacob never watched Calista restore artifacts before, he didn’t dare to give her a genuine one. Thus, he ordered Bryan to fetch a replica for her to restore. It was what they usually used for assessments.
“Don’t take it personally. This is just one of our studio’s procedures. These artifacts are precious and irreplaceable. That’s why we’re more cautious when choosing who we work with.”
Calista nodded understandingly.
Recovering artifacts was a long and tedious process. Plus, no one had high hopes for Calista. After all, a young woman like her would most be an apprentice with her experience. The crowd dispersed after losing interest in her.
Everyone was stunned when they saw the restored artifacts before getting off work.
Someone sighed, “It took me three days to restore these pieces when I first joined …”
They were all amazed by Calista’s quick and skillful restoration work, except for Jacob. He silently examined the restored fragment in his hand.
It wasn’t difficult to notice his fingers shaking uncontrollably if one looked carefully.
Jacob was puzzled as he looked up at Calista. “What relationship do you have with Rachel?”
Something flashed across Calista’s eyes when she heard that name. However, nobody noticed it as it happened so fast.
“I’ve heard of her but never met her,” she replied after some time.
Rachel was once the most beloved and brilliant preservationist in the circle. She was an all-round restoration genius.
One could describe her skills as something beyond this world. Everyone in the industry had heard of her name. However, she vanished shortly after gaining fame.
Nobody knew about her whereabouts all these years.
Jacob continued, “But your conservation technique … It’s almost the same as hers.”
“My grandfather is also a conservator. I learned everything from him.”
Jacob’s expression darkened. In the end, he nodded without asking anything else. It was obvious that he was disappointed.
Regardless, it was evident that Calista was up for the job. Jacob could only acknowledge her talent.
He formally introduced her to everyone. “This is Callie. She’s your new co-worker.”
Standing to the side, Bryan was stunned. “Callie? Is it the same Callie? Shouldn’t she be older? Why …”
Jacob glared at him. He signaled him to be quiet.
“Callie, don’t mind him.”
Calista only smiled in response. After that, Jacob introduced others to Calista.
Justa Workshop wasn’t big. There were only eight to nine people in the workshop, including her.
All of them were easygoing and gave sincere compliments. It was nothing like the bullying Calista faced at Northwood Corporation.
Calista loved the working environment in the workshop, not to mention that she was working her dream job.
After they got off work, everyone in the workshop wanted to head out for dinner. Justa Workshop’s tradition was to have a meal when a new staff member joined. It was considered a welcoming ceremony for them.
They picked a seafood stall to have dinner. Meanwhile, there was a high-class restaurant right across the stall.
Cade Carter stood before the floor-to-ceiling window on the restaurant’s second floor. He casually glanced at the city below while smoking.
He raised his chin slightly. “Look. Isn’t that Calista?” he asked Lucian beside him.
Lucian looked in the direction Cade pointed. As expected, he saw Calista chatting and laughing with other people.