VIII. Shaddy Promotion
Quickly, I ran towards my assigned desk and rummaged through it for the phone. When I saw a black phone, I swipe across the screen and speed dial number one.
“Hello, this is Moonbucks. How may I help you?”
“Hi. My name is Vivian, and I’m the new inter- I mean assistant of Ms.Baker. I want to or-”
“The coffee is coming right up,” he cut me off. “Come downstairs and pick it up right now.” The call ends.
I immediately ran out the door, hearing Becca yelling one of the many nicknames she grants me. Mentally, I was crying and wondering what I got myself into.
Scrambling in the coffee room, my feet were in pain because of the heels. I heaved shallow breaths, feeling everyone’s curious stares. “I’m the new intern/assistant of Ms.Bake-” The guy turns around, and I gasp, realizing it was one of my upstairs neighbors, “You.”
He smiles, “Oh, hello there, mama.”
If my cheeks weren’t already burning, it would’ve been by his nickname, “I’m no- oh, nevermind. Where’s the coffee.”
He places it in the air before sliding it towards me. “Good luck Vivian.”
I held the warm cup of coffee. “Something tells me I’m not the first intern/assistant of Ms.Baker.”
He scratches his head, twisting his lip ever so slightly. “Try third...this month.”
My legs turn into jello. “Is that why everyone dismisses me so early?”
He nods, placing the cup of water down. “Again, good luck downstairs, neighbor.”
I glance down at his nametag. “Thanks...Cason?”
Cason leans forward. “You might want to go upstairs before she throws the cup at you.” I laughed. “That wasn’t a joke.”
Realizing he was completely serious, I ran out of the shop and towards the elevator. When I reached my floor, I ran towards Becca’s office, not missing the sorrowful looks. I place the coffee and water down. “Here you go, Mrs.Baker.”
She never once looks up from her screen. “Hm.” I stood there, fiddling with my fingers. “Your presence is giving me a headache.”
“Oh. Excuse me,” I said, walking out of the door. I glance around, seeing everyone in their own zone.
Hesitantly, I sat down on what I assumed to be my desk before someone walks up and places a stack of paper down. “Check this and give it to Ms.Baker.”
Quickly, I grasp his sleeve. “I’m the new intern or assistant. I’m not sure what I am, and I am confused. What do you want me to do with these papers?”
“For what not to give Ms.Baker,” he said, giving me a dumb look like I’m supposed to know what to do on my first hour of work. He brushes my fabulous hands-off and walks away. Excellent instructions. Great teamwork. Sarcasm.
Tucking a strand of hair back, I open one of the folders to see a bunch of confusing papers. “Okay, thanks for your help, everyone. Nice to meet you too,” I said to myself before opening the laptop and figuring out what the fuck is going on.
Cracking it open, I saw a sticky note that says - Give up on your dreams and get out - along with the password for laptop access.
Punching in the password and ignoring the strong warning, the screen pops up. There were a few files on the left-hand corner, and I double clicked it to see a bunch of instructions. The guidelines say I’m supposed to look through each folder and shred what I find as crappy designs.
Is an intern supposed to be the one who makes such a big decision?
Scanning the area, I saw the girl that helped me earlier. I gather the folders and walk towards her. “Five minutes of your time,” I said quickly before she can shoo me away. “The laptop told me I should pick what to give to Ms.Baker, but I’m-”
“It’s a test,” she whispers.
She glances at the office behind me. “Ms.Baker wants to see if you have taste. There is no way out. Choose one design and pray she likes it.”
I nod, “I’m Vivi-”
“Introduce yourself to me when she doesn’t throw the files at you.” She resumes with her work.
Letting out a sigh, I walked back to myself and ran through the folders. I bit the tip of my pen and ran my fingers through my hair continuously. I may come from a family of fashionistas, but I got no idea what’s the latest trend.
After three hours, I realize I am screwed. “Just pick one and go with it,” I chant to myself, staring at the endless photos.
A picture caught the edge of my eyes, and I grasped it, remembering how a girl at my school wore it before. Then, I saw another one and recognized it from another student. Standing up straight, I noticed how all of them were caught on my old classmates before.
I smack my hands together. “Got it.”
I grab a folder and walk back into the office. Placing it down, Becca stops typing. She flips the folder open, revealing an empty one. Becca closes it and looks at me, tapping a single finger on the folder.
Beads of sweats glisten down my face...neck...armpits...I might as well name myself Niagara Falls because that’s how much liquid I’m producing.
I swallowed, “All of the designs the guy out there gave me had already been used. It is out of style, hence the empty folder. I will be back if I see something that’s worth your time.”
She looks back at the computer. “Go get me another cup of coffee forty-five minutes from now.”
I feel somewhat cheerful. “Right away.”
“Miss Blanc,” she said. I turn back, “Next time, don’t come in with an empty folder. Come only when I call you or something worth my valuable time.” More keyboard sounds. “Close the door on your way out.”
I nod and quickly head on. Once I close the door, a breath of relief exits my throat. At that very moment, I’m excruciatingly grateful to gain the privilege of going to a school where students never wore the same outfit twice. I looked forward only to notice that everyone was staring at me. Straightening out my back, I walk towards my desk despite my weak legs. I grabbed the timer in the corner and aimed it for precisely forty-five minutes.
The guy who gave me the documents earlier was the first to approach me. “Congrats on surviving the first trail.” He grinned, somehow less unpleasant than earlier. So, this is what they meant by two-face. He places out a hand, “I’m Earl.”
I stare at his open palm, “Why did you do that?”
Earl withdrew his hand, “Do what?”
“Just dump those folders on my desk.”
He shrugs, “It’s part of my job to weed out the useless people.”
“What? No, you’re rude!” I didn’t care what his job or what he proclaimed to be his duties. However, what he did was extremely rude.
Earl ran his fingers through his hair, “Look, intern, I’m just taking orders.”
“Bit- Becca told you to do that? Why?”
He nods, “She wants to see if you’re worth the internship. Ms.Baker is the type of boss who hates useless people. It’s better for her to know whom she can use and who she isn’t, so we don’t waste her precious time.”
“How is her time more precious than ours?”
“She makes the company half a million per week.”
I settle down, “Okay, maybe she is worth more than all of us combine, but it doesn’t give her the right to be rude.”
“Gives her all the right.” The girl from earlier leaned against my desk, “I’m Mila.”
“Vivian.” I sigh, “Why did you call me her assistant?”
“Well, first things first.” She places a piece of paper on my desk. “Congratulation on not getting scold so far on your first day.” I looked at the documents that held a highlight section at the bottom. “Sign there-” She gave me a pen, “and you will get your promotion and raise.”
“Wait, you guys are giving me a promotion?”
Earl and Mila look at each other before laughing. “Easy, right?” Earl said.
I stare at the pen, “I’m scared. What’s the catch?”
“No catch. You’re just going to do what you did ever since you entered the workplace. Serve Ms.Baker.”
“You mean assist.”
“Yeah, sure, assist.” Mila tugs the pen near me, but I didn’t take it. “Did I mention that if you stay as her assistant for a year? You can transfer to any other division you choose. Also, we pay for schooling if you choose to go back to school.”
Earl pretends to be surprised and gasps, with a hand over his mouth and the other on his chest. “This is such a good opportunity for someone without college experience!”
“You guys know about me before I even step through those doors, didn’t you?”
They nod, “You’re a brave one.” They clap, and suddenly, everyone in the room claps, scaring the crap out of me.
“Thank you?” After they finished the little celebration, I sigh and look at the contract.
“Earl,” Mila suddenly said.
Earl places a fist underneath his chin. “Yes, Mila?” He pretends to take an interest.
“Don’t you think someone who has no college or fashion experience making 130k-” How much did she say? “a year is such a good offer?”
Earl gasp, “No way! It sounds like an opportunity that the person should not skip!”
Oh no, I know what they are doing.
“Oh yes, let’s not forget about the bonus after every single project and holiday!” She swings her arm across her chest as if she was in one of those cheesy insurance commercials.
Earl gasps even louder and leans backward, almost as if he is falling to the floor. “Shut the front door!”
“And-” Mila drumroll on my desk, “the discount-” she paused, “70% off for every single Vivus store and the ones contracted with Vivus!”
“Shut the back do-”
“Okay!” I squealed and grabbed the pen from Mila’s hand. I mean, how bad can work for Becca be? It’s only for a single year, and I can transfer towards any department I want afterward.
After I finished, Mila grabbed the contract from my hands. “Congrats, Miss Blanc.” She grinned and did somewhat of a handshake with Earl before a hearty laugh left their throats.
Why do I have a bad feeling about this? The phone on my desk beep, and I press the button beside the blinking light. “He-”
“Vanessa!” Becca shriek. “I send you a few emails. I want everything on my desk, no mistakes, by tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, Ms.Baker.” I double click on the envelope on the left-hand corner, assuming that is the email section. My mouth drops, seeing the endless amount of emails she sends me.
“Good luck Assistant Blanc," Earl sang and danced away from my desk with Mila.
The timer beeps before I can glare at my new co-workers. “Fuck the biscuits.” I grab the phone and dial the coffee shop.
I am shuffling down the lobby with two cups in my hands. I didn’t see where I was going and crashed into someone. Letting out a squeal and strutting backward, I sigh a breath of relief seeing the coffee and water still in my hands. However, my left hand had a bit of coffee burn. “It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt,” I mumble to myself quietly.
I bow down at the person in front of me, too busy to spare them a glance. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I said before I ran towards the elevator.
By the end of the day, I was dead. With my head pressed against the desk, I visualize my funeral - Dead due to overwork. “Who drinks ten cups of coffee a day?” I mumbled underneath my breath.
Gazing upward, I noticed how everyone was still seated on their desk. My eyes skew towards the clock, seeing its five minutes after five. I chew on my lower lip, wanting to leave. However, it seems rude to go first on my first day of work.
The door behind me clicks, and Becca steps out. She stood there, with a coat over her shoulder and wallet in one hand. When I saw her walk towards the exit, my mouth pressed tightly, and I grabbed my purse. Tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, I stare at the ground and walk right behind her.
I’m not leaving work.
I’m escorting my boss out.
When we exit the double doors and into the elevator, Becca glances at me, but she doesn’t say anything. She pressed for the lobby, and I quickly pressed for the daycare floor.
“You didn’t stay,” she said, breaking the silence.
I glance at the changing red numbers. “I... I’m ensuring you get out of your office safely.” I chuckle, “After all, I’m your assistant.”
She lifts a brow, “You sure know how to kiss ass.” My floor ding, and I wasn’t sure if I should leave. “Not too shabby for a no one.” She waves her hand towards the hallway.
I took it as my cue to leave the elevator. “Thank you for the opportunity.”
She nods, and the door closes. When she was out of view, I slump onto the floor and release a deep breath. “I survive,” I whisper to myself before taking off my heels. I ran down the hallway and jumped up high at the end of the hall. “I survive!” I squeal before dancing into the daycare.
Receiving Marisa, I bounce her in the elevator. “Guess what?” I look around the empty place. “Fake mommy made it!” I squealed and embraced her tightly. “Fake mommy is going to make it! Just 364 days left!” I kiss her chubby cheek while she tilts her head in confusion.
The elevator ding, and I wheel the stroller out. “Maybe, today isn’t so bad af-” I bump into someone, “I’m so sorr-”
I stood there with a baby in my arm, eyes meeting with deep chocolate. There he is, the man that broke my heart over and over.
A beautiful face, where the billboard didn’t do justice to it. Well defined, with a chiseled jaw and prominent cheekbones. Clothed, dressed to perfection within his navy blue suit and a casual handkerchief tucked inside the pocket of his coat. I tilt my head, seeing a small coffee stain on his white button-up shirt. He looked down for a moment, towards Marisa, and his eyes narrowed. I swallow as it inched back towards me. The burning sensation lurking inside my stomach only emerges with each ticking second.
“Holy shit in my butthole! Liam, since when do you have a baby boy?!”
Wait...Did he say, boy? Does he not see her b- where the fuck is Marisa’s bow?!