It’s just 12:10pm and I can feel my energy draining. I can’t remember how many times I’ve looked up at the clock in the last hour alone. A clock that was specifically placed on the wall right behind my desk for the sole purpose of wearing myself out at some point; as I would find the constant turning of my accessorized neck a chore .
Unfortunately, like my desire for coffee at every hour, I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve probably dislocated my neck in the three months of neck-turning but like everything in my immediate environment right now I’ve dissociated myself from whatever pain there could be or have been.
People join AA for being alcoholics or they go to Rehab for being junkies but I have no idea where a caffeine addict goes to. I should google that but I just can’t seem to think straight after going two straight hours without my coffee.
As at Six months ago I wasn’t into coffee but even despised the bitter taste it had due to my sweet tooth. It wasn’t until I started this internship that it dawned on me that I needed a boost if I were to survive a day of running everyone’s errands. Vivian, the other intern from NYU, was the one who introduced me to it, she said it was more preferable to energy drinks as it had more advantages than disadvantages.
Right now, I’m questioning my IQ for ever believing her. I mean, it has helped me be more proactive but without it I’m likened to a zombie. My sworn enemy who happens to be my supervisor even showed concern yesterday after I raced out of the General meeting we had immediately it ended.
Like my last boyfriend told me – after we both watched Titanic and I sobbed from the moment the ship hit the ice-berg to the point Jack died – people like me just take everything to the extreme. I shouldn’t even try drugs because that would be the end of Vicky.
I’ve realized that adding a generous amount of cream and sugar takes care of the bitter taste. Don’t get me wrong, coffee is not so bad but anything I do can become negative because I’m ‘Extreme Vicky’, my college nickname.
I pick up my empty coffee cup and sniff it like it were cocaine, I can still smell the rich caffeine in it. I admit it, am an addict.
As I turn back to check the clock again – which reads 12:15pm – I notice a post it on the notice board placed by yours truly so I would not forget anything important. I strain my eyes to read it because once again I’ve forgotten my contact lens at home and recommended glasses are just too geeky for me.
ATTENTION: MEETING AT BOARD ROOM BY 1PM. CEO’s order. First meeting with ceo. P.s get extra coffee.
I can feel the panic attack on its way as I start panting like a deer in need of water, what the heck is wrong with today. I woke up on my rock-like bed in my mini apartment with a smile on my face like the weirdo I am because I felt today was going to be better than the last; but the moment that silly black cat passed me on the street, everything has been upside down ever since. I’m not superstitious but this is freaky. I am so going to get fired if I don’t get myself together.
Five months is the period I’ve been an intern at Indigo Couture, a baby company of INDIGO. INDIGO is this big brand that has its own fashion house which also has a clothing line, make-up line, perfume brand, and everything related to fashion.
Initially, Madam Mabel was the CEO. After her tragic death by a car accident a year ago her only grandson, who operates his own ICT Company, took over after an undisclosed will was read.
Everyone knew the Bensons. They held so much prestige in the society given their success in promoting the fashion industry in the country. It is a bit weird that no one knew there was a grandson until the death of Madam Mabel.
It has been my dream to work at a fashion house ever since I finished college and got this job based on my fashion blog which I started in college. No one even knew who I was back then – not that anyone knows me now – but for some reason I was accepted as an intern here after I sent in my application with the link to my blog.
I was so happy to move out of my family home and become independent but after two months here I was ready to run home. It felt like everything was on Speed-mode because there was never a time to rest except for the hour break from 1-2pm. Now it just so happens that there’s a meeting scheduled for that hour. The break would probably be moved to 2-3pm but I can’t survive till then.
Honestly, they do not need me for the meeting, all everyone makes me do is run errands like I’m an office assistant or something. I’m a fashion blogger and I do know a few things about fashion but who cares?
I wish I had met Madam Mabel. Finally, it’s 12:35pm,
“Adieus to you all.” I mumble as I pick up my Louis Vuitton bag and strap it over my shoulder. I stuff my size 8 pedicured feet into my Guess shoe. I had opted for a simple forest green boyfriend shirt with a black jean today, all on sales.
I step out of the office timidly, wink at Vivian who mouths at me while she types away on her laptop, “One for me too.” I smile at my Coffee addict buddy as I sneak off to the elevator, passing a few empty cubicles and guessing they were already at the Board room or on their way there.
Five minutes later and I’m at the coffee shop which is just opposite the office building. I open up my bag to get a bill from my wallet when I get a glimpse of the time on my phone, 12:45pm. Is it just me or is the time on slow motion today.
Two minutes later and I’m praising the service of this Coffee shop as I wield in my hand two steaming coffee cups with a smile plastered on my face. I notice a vacant table and go sit on it, placing the two coffees on it and immediately a dapper looking man dressed in a stylish suit walks up to me.
I can’t help but access everything everyone wears because it has become a part of me.
“Can I join you?” He asks with the loveliest smile, men shouldn’t smile as well he does, it would just melt a poor girl’s heart.
I nod in consent and he takes the chair opposite me and places his own coffee in front of himself also, “Is that healthy?” He asks, referring to my two cups of coffee.
“One is mine, the other is for a colleague,” I reply and he smiles again. That smile is just too yummy. Do I smile that well? Because I know I smile a lot, like I’m doing right now. I’m sure he thinks I’m a bird-brained girl right about now.
“So what is a pretty girl like you doing here?” he questioned then sips his coffee nonchalantly.
I can’t believe I finally have my coffee before me but all I can think of is his smile and how his Adam apple bops when he swallows.
“Escaping.” I reply, then I grip my coffee like it were a lifeline while still staring daringly at him.
“May I ask what you’re escaping from,” his brow furrows with interest, “and please do warn me if I’m intruding but for some reason you seem like a very interesting person.”
I blush at his observation, “I’m not that interesting, believe me, it’s just that I work right over there,” I point to the building right opposite the glassed coffee shop. “And there’s this meeting we have with the new CEO, I do want to be in that meeting but then I question my relevance.”
“What do you mean.” He asks with a lot of curiosity in his tone.
“Well, I’m just an intern with a year contract. Prior to getting the position, I had always wanted to work at a fashion house, specifically at Indigo Couture but all I’ve been doing there is running errands like some office assistant. I have so much ideas but no one is willing to listen. Sometimes I wonder why I got the position in the first place.”
At this point I’m wondering why I’m talking to a total stranger about things I didn’t even know bothered me. “I heard from someone at the office that I was picked by the new CEO himself but that is just absurd, I mean, why would he even pick me?” I point to myself and chuckle,
“What does he know about fashion because I’m aware he runs an ICT company and is a geek and that has nothing to do with the fashion industry? No one respects fashion anymore, they just believe its a Childs play. Fashion is fun, don’t get me wrong but it takes someone fashionable to know what fashion is.”
I open up my bag, bring out my journal and place it in from of him, “In here are ideas I’ve been working on ever since I started working here but I feel so intimidated all the time by the brilliant minds in there.”
I exhale pathetically,“I’ve lived my life based on a dream to be up there someday,” again I point at the building, “but all I’ve achieved so far is an addiction to coffee.” I laugh at my dry joke as I feel a sting of tears in my eyes. I had no idea I felt like such a failure until now.
I see him reach over to me with a white handkerchief in his hand, I catch a glimpse of the time on his Rolex watch, 1pm. Whao! So I’ve been blabbing all these while and its just 1pm. Is this some kind of sign that I should just stop being a baby and go for the meeting?
I take it and mumble a thank you while dabbing my eyes. Thank goodness for waterproof mascaras, else I would look like a panda right now. “I have to go, for some reason, I think I should be at that meeting.”
“Yes you should, and remember that you are special indeed, otherwise you would not be a part of Indigo.” He says with a smile again.
I wish I could take time to access this gorgeous man in a Classy Suit but I have to get out of here and catch that meeting.
“What’s your name?” he asks me while he gets up and drops a bill for the three coffees.
I stare blankly at the coffee on the table and realized I hadn’t even taken a sip and I still felt a boost of energy in me. I guess all I needed was an opportunity to voice out my opinion, which is a habit I will adopt from this moment. I would not be too timid to let people know my ideas, even if they aren’t accepted, I would not be disappointed as long as I have shared my view.
As I finish my little pep talk, I look up at this stranger in a suit and smile with gratitude, “I’m Victoria but you can call me Vicky, and you?”
“Carl,” he grins “Carl Benson, it’s nice to meet you.”
All I can think of right now is all the novels I used to read that led the female characters to this point. This very point when you open up your mouth at the wrong time.
He’s staring at me with that amazing smile on his face again and all I’m thinking is if it’s the same Mr. Carl Benson I’ve just called a Geek?
Blow a breath of air my way and I would drop on the floor like a feather. Did he just say Benson? I laugh, “I almost thought you were. I mean. You know. Are you?” I ask with a choked voice.
“Don’t panic, I believe we still have a lot more to talk about but why don’t I hear more of your ideas at the Board meeting.”
He opens the coffee shop door and exits. I watch him from my spot inside the glassed door as he crosses the street and goes into the very same building I’ve been blabbing about.
I am so dead. I am so fired. These words keep ringing back-to-back in my head.
Well, I had better get fired in style. I flip my hair, grab my bag and start to exit the shop only to realize that my feet were not cooperating.
They felt like blocks as I forced myself out of the shop, across the street and into the elevator.
I keep thinking about how I should have said something before he left, maybe something like.
“Sir, I didn’t mean all I said, I was just blabbing because I was low on caffeine.”
Then maybe he would have said,“You can call me Carl. “Can I still call you Vicky?”
Then he would have laughed at all I had said and forgiven me. Maybe he would have noticed my bag and said “I like your Louis Vuitton bag by the way, I need to get a similar type for my kid sister,” does he have a sister? I don’t think so but I’m consoling myself so whatever.
As I hear the elevator beep and open up, I realize that while I’m still stunned and have probably lost consciousness from so much excitement and shock; I realized that in the past days of going on coffee breaks for everyone else and myself, this fateful day when I chose to be a naughty girl, I crushed on someone at the coffee shop who just so happens to be my boss. That evil black cat I crossed is still hunting me with its voodoo.
I’m at the top floor for the first time and I walk to the Board room with my head held high, sadly that very act made me see the time on the wall, 1:15pm. Oh great, now time chooses to run fast.
I open up the board room door at a snail pace with my smile on my face and despite being late, I nod a greeting at everyone who bothers to look my way and I take a sit close to Vivian.
She whispers, “coffee?”
I respond, “long story.”
I look up at Carl who is right at the front saying something about internship. Here it comes, my imminent exit from this place all due to my big mouth.
I’m smiling and thinking about where to apply to when I hear my name.
“…Victoria shall be given permanent position as she has impressed me in her effort in research despite how busy she was in carrying out everyone else’s errand.
“I hope there will be room for more ideas from her given her new position on this floor because as you can see in the photocopied journal I gave to everyone of you, we have a lot to learn from her.”
I think he’s talking about me, or is there another Victoria in this office. Everyone is finally looking at me like I exist and it dawns on me that I’m not getting fired but promoted. Take that black cat!
“So please give a round of applause to our new permanent staff, Victoria.” He’s smiling at me and all I can think about is how I’d love to see that smile everyday of my life.
As everything suddenly kicks off to its usual pace after the meeting ends at 2pm, I know for certain that there would be a lot of events in the future.
Maybe this is one of those Cinderella moments or maybe I’m just going to get promoted.
Either way I’ve won the lottery with just me deciding to go on an desperate Coffee Break.