Amelia was feeling on top of the world. She was almost skipping along as she headed for work. This was her last day.
The magazine had been a great training ground, but Amelia was ready to take the leap. Her stylist business, The Barefoot Fashionista was on its way, and today, at midday she was hopefully signing up her first big client – Maggie Barker, an up and coming actress.
Amelia was ready, willing, and able, and she couldn’t wait!
She was bouncing along happily as she thought of the meeting. She was smiling at everyone she passed. As she got closer to the office, she waved to the pop-up coffee shop owners and to the sales girl from the boutique next door. She sidestepped the courier who was delivering parcels, and as she was about to walk through the front door, she noticed the camera crew further up the street. Wonder what that’s all about, she thought.
Life was good and everything was going exactly as it should be. Even the sun was shining.
The morning passed uneventfully. Amelia was handing over the last bits and pieces to the new girl, recruited from fashion school. She remembered when she started and how daunting the magazine was. She looked at the clock…. 11.30 a.m. Not long to go.
They were meeting at Maggie’s flat, not too far away. It should only take 10 minutes to get there, so she had fifteen minutes up her sleeve before she had to leave. Maggie had slotted Amelia into her tight schedule so she couldn’t afford to be late. She quietly gathered together the personal portfolio she had prepared for Maggie so she could scoot out the door quickly. She hadn’t made it public knowledge that she had a meeting and didn’t want anyone asking questions. After all, she hadn’t clinched the deal yet.
Satisfied, she was giving herself a big mental tick for organisation – not always her best strength. Just as she was about to leave Amelia noticed Bev, the head secretary purposefully hurrying towards her.
“Just popping out for lunch Bev.”
“Could you spare a minute,” Bev said, as she steered Amelia towards the Board Room.
“Can’t this wait.”
“No, not today,” said Bev, as they reached the door.
Bev stepped forward, opened the door and there stood at least 20 people – all with a glass of champagne in their hand. Amelia was stunned. This was the last thing she expected. The magazine was not one of those girly friendly places. It had been all work, work, work in the five years that she had been there. Deadlines and pressure didn’t make for a chatty social environment, but here, in front of her were all the important people, and even some of her clients – all, holding their glass of bubbly.
Surrounded by happy faces, Amelia couldn’t think of a thing to say. She couldn’t run and she couldn’t stay. She needed to get to a phone and she needed to do it quickly, but the minutes ticked by as she walked around with a smile plastered on her face.
“Thank you. This is so thoughtful.”
Tick, tick, tick.
Fifteen minutes later she was in a loo cubicle with a mobile in her hand, but Maggie wasn’t answering. She heard the door to the ladies open.
“Amelia, are you in here?”
“Yep, be out in a sec.”
“The boss wants you.”
Oh geez, what now!
Andrea waved her arm as Amelia walked back into the boardroom. There was no way she could escape the boss. She would just have to keep ducking out and ringing.
Fifteen minutes later, and Maggie still wasn’t answering.
Amelia looked at the clock. 12.30, and just as she was about to make her excuses, food trollies were wheeled into the room. Oh, I give up, she thought. I will try Maggie once more, and if she doesn’t answer, I’m going to relax and enjoy this. Maggie didn’t answer and Amelia did relax, and she enjoyed herself immensely.
Much later, after she’d tidied her desk for the last time, and was heading down the street towards home, she saw the film crew up ahead. Right in the middle was Maggie. She had seen Amelia walking towards them, and was smiling.
Maggie had been called away to her shoot much earlier than she had expected and had turned off her phone. She’d left a note on her door.
All was well.
The Barefoot Fashionista’s reputation was intact.
© Inara Hawley 2017
The Writing Exercise for this piece:
Create a ticking clock situation for the main character who has an appointment and can’t be late.