The meeting began sharp at 12 30 PM, the directors, Pagers and the team were all there. They talked about the Liverpool branch plan, the growth it is estimating from it, how they will allocate workers and the promising future it will bring to the company. The meeting lasted for over an hour and a half before lunch was served. Around 3 PM Peel returned to her desk, Amaranda had left a note on the desk as promised. This month’s social issue covered the social and domestic violence on woman, she went through the write up, making corrections with a red paper marker, adding up points at the end of the page. After four hours she was done. She called in Amaranda handing over the papers, the write ups had to be re written and printed before their final publication.
It was 7 30 PM, April was on top of her lungs. With a day remaining a lot was still to be done. April would never settle down for less. She wanted what she wanted and that meant a lot had to be improvised till the last minute. It was all worth it because the final piece would always be impeccable. When April returned to her room she found a note pressed down below a coffee mug, “Drink it up, will hangout on Monday if you manage to stay alive!” An orange with its skin peeled out was drawn at the bottom and labelled PEEL. She rolled up the paper, open her side drawer sliding in the paper with a smirk before she went off to work again.
7 56 PM Peel was at the bar alone. She would either come here with April or mostly alone after work before heading home. On normal days she would order club soda with blackcurrant and on days when she would be overwhelmed or stressed she went for gin and tonic. Five minutes later the waiter arrived with gin and tonic. She slouched on the sofa chair staring up at the ceiling, her head clouded with thoughts. She could smell cotton candy and fresh autumn breeze as her mind contemplated sweet memories of her innocent childhood. All of a sudden the white ceiling was now taking up a dark hue, a black door appeared above. The sweet smell was now replaced by a stench of wet mud and dead leaves. The door remained shut, it never opened and it would always remain shut for her. A distant sound of glass cluttering erupted interrupting her thoughts. She flinched her eyes, the ceiling was white spotless. Inhaling in a deep breath she pulled in her upper body towards the table. Her hand reached out for the drink and she gulped it down then ordered for another.
Around 9 17 PM she was home. People would always ask her how she felt leaving alone in a large apartment. All she knew was she felt lonelier with people around. It was Saturday and Mrs. Garner had done the laundry and cleaned the house. She came everyday morning, made Peel breakfast and stayed for the chores while Peel left for work. By the time Peel returned she would be long gone.
She had messages on her voice mail. Mrs. Garner always wrote down the names of the people sending her messages on a sticky note paper and stuck it on the wall in front of the land phone. This made it easier for Peel to jump onto the important messages leaving behind the trivial ones. She took off her clothes and shoes and went in for a shower. She came out wearing her bathrobe, changing into a crop top and loose pajama. She went to the drawing cabinet looking over the names of the callers. There were twenty five names and thirty two messages on her voicemail. She began looking down the list. There were messages from work, her parents and some newspapers. One name caught her eye. She stood still with her pupils dilated, she quickly skipped on the messages till she came across a blank message. She slowed down the pace dialing on for the next one. It was a blank one again then another tap. There was a small silence followed by a deep exhale, “Hi Peel! ... It has been a while, I have an opening in Paris this Thursday....I know you won’t come but I just wanted to say I would be introduced as Owen Blue.”
Her heart raced heaving against the chest wall. She fell on her knees with her limbs dangling. Her breathing exacerbated as she grasped for air. She slowly counted, one…two….three....four….gently lying herself down over the floor. Flexing up her body just like a fetus inside the womb of its mother. She continued seven...eight…nine as all the memories came flooding in, the paint smears, cold nights, rain drops, summer sun, water lilies every little detail, she remembered it all.