I groan as I press ‘stop’ on my alarm and roll out of the bed. Monday mornings are always the worst, despite the fact that I love my job. I drag my naked frame towards the bathroom and turn on the shower so it can warm up while I brush my teeth.
Standing under the steaming water, I hum to myself: I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, as I'm lathering soap all over my body. I stay in the shower for a little over twenty minutes before stepping out and wrapping the towel around my body. I walk back into the bedroom.
Still humming the tune, I grab my phone to check the time. Seven- twenty-six. “Okay, you still have about thirty minutes,” I say to myself, tossing the phone on the bed and going into my closet.
“Hmm, what do I feel like serving today?” I ask aloud as I pull out a navy blue fitted dress.
" Yes, this is giving me very much sexy teacher vibes.” I laugh to myself as I walk out of the closet and hang the dress up on the outside of the door.
After drying off and lotioning up, I grab the dress and pull it over my body before proceeding to pair it with a thin tan waist belt and beige heels. Walking into the bathroom, I pull my long black dreadlocks out of the messy bun I slept in and let them hang down my back. After applying mascara and lipgloss, I take a step back to view what I have created and smile. I have never been big on makeup, I always preferred going bare-face and natural. I grab my phone, keys, and purse before switching off the lights and making my way out the door.
Despite having ten minutes to get to work, I drive my Camry through the drive-thru at Starbucks and order a double shot espresso with cream just before racing off to work. I arrive with two minutes to spare.
"Next time, get dressed faster,” I say to myself as I walk through the lobby of Imperf Technologies. I usually like to get into the office early so that I can get a headstart on my work for the day, but some mornings-like today- I cut it too close.
“Morning Gary,” I greet the security officer in the lobby as I make my way to the elevator.
“Morning Ms. Miller,” he greets.
“Gary, please it’s Ariah. “Ms. Miller” is my mother.” I smile as I press the button for the third floor.
“Yes, Ariah, my apologies,” he says as the door closes.
"Cutting it a little close aren't we Ari," my department leader notices as I make my way to my desk, pulling out my laptop.
I smile apologetically. "I'm sorry Thomas, it won't happen again."
"Good, and next time try to be a little more professional with your hair." He tosses me a wink and proceeds to walk around the floor, placing notices about a meeting we're having today.
What the fuck was that suppose to mean? More professional. Oh, you mean long, straight, and blonde. When I wear my hair pinned up, it's not a problem, but God forbid I let it hang down. Hell might break loose.
"Do you know what this meeting is about today?" I ask Tess, far more irritably than I was going for. She shrugs her slim shoulders and shifts uncomfortably as she twirls a piece of her silky blonde hair. "He said something about some new investors, I think". I rolled my eyes at the thought of new investors.
I've worked at Imperf Technologies for nearly four years now. I was hired right after I graduated from college, so I had to move from North Carolina here to Georgia. I didn't mind though, there wasn't much there for me anyway. Working for a tech company was never necessarily on my to-do list but I've grown to love it, despite the glaring faults in Thomas' manners. They brought me in as a graphic designer, but because of my master's in information technology I sometimes get the opportunity to help develop new software.
Imperf was the new, up-and-coming tech company that every investor worth their portfolio wanted a piece of. Our products were top shelf and our software received the highest ratings in not only speed but user-friendliness. Not to mention the aesthetics that our users love. Imperf Technologies evokes luxury and our customers reflect as much.
I open my laptop and begin clicking through emails, writing down client appointments in my calendar while I sip my coffee. Even though we're a technology company and most of the designs are for the company, the design department is allowed to book clients for whatever suits their needs. It's a part of a new program to bring in more customers by offering multiple services.
By the time I finished making phone calls to double-check with my clients about meetings, it was one-forty-five and the meeting is supposed to start at two. Closing my laptop and sliding it off the desk, I stand up with my coffee and make my way out to the elevator. Just before the door closes, I hear a quirky Johnathan almost yell to hold the elevator. I stick my foot between the two closing doors, seeing as though my hands were full, to cease the closing and let Johnathan enter.
"Thank you girl," he exclaims breathlessly. Almost immediately, he perks up. "Ooh, Ari, girl, you look fierce!" I smile at his compliment.
"Thanks, hun and you're looking quite cute yourself," I pay back his compliment. He smiles and twirls himself around and poses."You think so?!" he squeals.
"Yes Johnny," I laugh and step out of the elevator as it opens on the top floor.
We make our way to the conference room as I sip my coffee, "So where were you this morning?" I query as he opens the door for me.
"Mrs. Singer wanted to do some early morning drafting for her Church's new website. You know how old people are, up bright and early," he states tiredly with an exaggerated eye roll.
"And long-winded as hell." We snicker, making our way to sit beside each other at the large, oval, mahogany table in the conference room.
People began piling into the large room. All from different departments in the building: Design, Developing, Engineering, and Media. I open my laptop and began drafting a template for taking notes while the company owner, Mr. Baker, and some other executives began filing in and moving toward the front of the room.
"Here we go."