The office was a buzz, a hive of worker bees going about the business of finance, audits and investments. That’s what happens when you have to constantly work with people’s money. I’ve learned so much in the couple of months I’ve worked at Bolt Investments. I practically could give financial advice.
A few days had past and the weekend finally arrived. I got a lot done on the gala planning with the budget I could use. I looked at the list in my notebook as I ticked the items complete. I had just found out that the gala proceeds will go to this year’s chosen charity, a children’s hospital. I was glad to be apart of the planning process and wanted to give them my best.
The venue, sponsorships and gift bags were already sorted and booked. Eric was happy with my progress.
The entertainment and catering and beverages were still needed. And then it had to be all handed over to marketing to promote the masquerade ball event, and finance to approve it.
I breathed out. It was a huge undertaking and hoped it pleased Eric. He was putting his neck out for me, and I wanted to make him proud.
But I didn’t want to overthink or stress about the gala right now. Tonight, was the blind date and honestly, I was excited, but petrified at the same time. I’ve been out of the dating game for so long. And hoped everything would turn out at least okay. I didn’t want to expect too much. Eric informed me the restaurant I was to meet my date at 7pm sharp tonight.
The clock on the wall ticked idly by. It was only 3pm. My new outfit hung against my wardrobe and Stacey promised to help me get ready. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach at the thought of tonight.
Eric finally came out of his office and stood in front of my desk and plopped a stack of reports that needed to be placed in the system and filed.
“You have your glasses back on?” He noted surprised.
I nodded, my mind too distracted.
“When you done, send it to Human Resource,” he casually said, pointing at the reports. “And after you can go home.”
I looked up at him and found him observing me. “I can leave the office early?”
He nodded and smirked. “Don’t you have a date to get ready for?” He teased.
I smiled and breathed in deep.
“Don’t be nervous tonight. Just keep the conversation light. He’s a good guy. I know him. He’ll make you feel comfortable.” He assured. His words comforted me.
Eric smiled warmly for the first time. Not a smirk or a grin. I nodded, listening to him. “Trust your gut!” He said.
“Rule number 3. Don’t do anything you not ready or comfortable to do. You’ll know if it’s right or not.” He advised.
“Okay. Sound advice.” I said. I began to really look up to this man. He was really trying to look out for me. I must be really good at my job! I looked down at the reports that clumped my desk, beckoning me to grab them.
Eric sighed. “You can leave the reports till Monday.”
“Go Harper, you can leave.” He instructed as he waved to the glass door.
I stood up, my joy overwhelming me. “Thank you, Eric!” I cheered.
“Yeah yeah, don’t get used to it. It’s a onetime thing.” He said, returning to his office. “And don’t do anything I would do.” He added with a cheeky wink.
“Absolutely not!” I laughed. I grabbed my bag, turned off my computer and dashed out the office.
“Ouch!” I screeched.
The pluck still stung from my eyebrow that Stacey had tweezed. “You such a baby!” She teased.
“My poor brows aren’t used to being violated.” I rubbed the stinging spot. “It’s sensitive.”
“Well suck it up buttercup. Pain is beauty.” She said as she applied blush to my cheeks.
“Do you even know how the dude looks like?” Stacey asked.
I nodded my head. “I do, his name is Tom Billings... I checked him out on Instagram.” I said. “He’s kind of cute in a nerdish sort of way. He had on spectacles, with short curly hair. He seemed slightly short though, but I’m happy.”
“Huh uh. Well at least you won’t be stuck with Shrek or somebody.” She teased.
“That’s mean. I wouldn’t even mind going on a date with Shrek. Look, he’s a funny guy and saved Fiona from a fire-breathing dragon.”
Stacey chuckled. “Oookkkaaaay. Please don’t say dorky stuff like that on your date. For the love of everything that’s normal.” She giggled.
I rolled my eyes. “Stop making me nervous. I’m not good at banter. You know I go way off topic sometimes when I’m nervous.”
“I know! When that happens, rather say nothing at all.” She advised.
I sighed. “Oh dear. Maybe I should call Eric for some advice, I’m not too sure about yours.” I snapped.
“What sort of boss helps their assistant date?”
“He’s used to dating and just wanted to help, giving me some pointers.” I defended. I don’t know why, but her comment rubbed me the wrong way. I squirmed in my seat. I didn’t have to explain myself, but I felt the need to. She didn’t have to know what prompted him was the whole five-year-no-sex-thing.
“But he is one HOT man though. I bet all the ladies drool over him at work. He probably could get any woman he wanted.” Stacey mused. “I caught a glimpse of that sexy ass.”
I flinched. Again, not liking that comment one bit.
“Are you almost done?” I asked impatient. Trying to change the subject from Eric’s ass.
“Sit still, I’m almost done...” She instructed.
I obeyed with an eye roll. “Just a little red lip...” She smeared the lipstick on my lips “...and we done!”
I looked at the mirror and I was happy with what I saw. I left my brown hair loose, freshly washed, and blown. Smelling like vanilla! I placed some mascara on my eyes and slipped on black heels, with my black dress that flowed out below my knees. It was a smart classic look. I clasped on my rose gold charm bracelet on my left wrist.
“You look hot Violet.” Stacey said, nodding her head approvingly.
She gasped. “Hang on!” With a swoop over my bed, she raced out my bedroom door. Two minutes later I was handed two small gold hooped earrings. “This will finish the look.” She beamed.
“Thank you, their beautiful.” I said and placed them on each earlobe.
The message came through with a beep that the cab was ready to pick me up.
“Enjoy yourself cuz!” Stacey called out as I walked out the door.
I glanced at my wristwatch. It was 6:55pm. I arrived five minutes early at the upbeat restaurant. I nodded in approval at Eric’s choice and was glad I was early enough to scout the area.
The seafood restaurant was humming. Long tables were filled with people young and old, and small tables were scattered around, huddled by couples. I asked for a table away from what seemed like a bachelorette’s dinner. It would only be a distraction.
The friendly waitress escorted me to a table close to a corner. Nice and private I thought. I sat down on the wooden cushy chair. I checked my watch. It was 7pm. Right on time! I instinctively scanned the bustling restaurant. But told myself to give my blind date some time to get here. I blew out a deep breathe trying to relax my prickling nerves.
The waitress returned with two menus that I asked for and a wine list. “Thank you.” I said. “Could you give me white wine in the meantime. My date will come later and then we’ll order some food.”
“Sure thing!” The waitress said, crinkling her freckled nose as she smiled.
Goodness knows I needed the wine right about now.
After some time, I checked my watch. My date was running eight minutes late. I strained my neck looking out at the front entrance of the restaurant trying to recognize Tom. A man that looked like him came through, making my nerves jump, but met a pregnant woman at another table seated on my left.
I bit my bottom lip.
My anxiousness slowly growing. Gosh! I’m so bad at this.
The waitress returned with the wine. I grabbed the glass and took a sip immediately.
I glanced reluctantly at my watch. He was ten minutes late.