Start With A Bang
“Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.”
Serena mumbled to herself as she ran around her tiny apartment, collecting her purse, her laptop, both personal and work phones and any other thing she needed to carry into work.
“Bad. Bad. Shit. Shit. Shit.”
Serena grabbed her keys on the way out.
“Going to be so late. And I haven’t even grabbed a bite to eat. I am never going to last till lunch.”
Locking up behind herself as she slammed the front door shut, Serena ran down the stone staircase of her apartment building and once more checked the time on the lock screen of her phone.
8:50 am. Her regular bus to work would’ve already left ten minutes prior. The next one would arrive at 9:05. Which meant she would never catch the connecting tram that took her to work. Which also meant that she would never reach on time.
“Buona giornata, Lora!” Serena called out to her door lady, who was just settling down in her office which was situated just to the right of the very creaky, very heavy and very wooden entrance of the old Italian building. *
“Ah... Ciao Serena. Aspetta! Aspetta! Arrivato un paco per te!” Lora called back. **
“Dopo! Dopo! Scusami ma sono in ritardo!” ***
Lora sighed, the small cardboard Amazon package in her hand, “Sempre tardi…” ****
Hastily, dodging the uneven cobblestones on the narrow Milanese sidewalk, Serena deposited her keys into her bag before she dropped them somewhere on the street. And that would be a whole other problem altogether.
Serena had always dreamt of landing a job in the fashion. Studying and living in the prêt-à-porter capital of the world, was just the cherry on the metaphorical cake. She had worked hard, focused in school. There were never any distractions- no crazy parties, no wild nights at nightclubs, no dates, no boyfriends- nothing to pull her away from her goal- to land a job and stay in the Italy. You see, Serena wasn’t Italian by birth. Without working hard and without the little luck she could conjure, she couldn’t hope nor afford to remain in her beloved city of Milan.
So, from the moment Serena attended her first class at the prestigious Istituto Marangoni, her sole focus were her grades, making connections in the industry and working towards her goal with narrow minded determination. Her friends were always out and about, attending early morning classes hungover or still drunk from the night before, Serena would just laugh at them and have a hot cup of coffee waiting on their desk. Such was she.
A year after, she finished her Masters and then it was one bad internship after bad internship. The world has gone through a pandemic and then when she finally had enough, was ready to call it quits and return home, her dream job called her. A luxury fashion house that specialised in outerwear, offered her a job in the social media department. Very cool, very avant-garde. Young and exploding with opportunity- the company was everything she had hoped to be a part of. Had only dreamt being a part of.
Now, many months on, one could only hope that she could get herself to work on time everyday!
Around her, Milan was waking up. Cars beeped their horns as drivers shouted at each other- yelling, screaming and abusing in Italian. Pedestrians walked along the sidewalks to get to their destinations, some on their phones, some with headphone stuck in their ears, almost pushing, pulling and tripping over the tram tracks and uneven roads. The hustle and bustle of this chaotic, lively and fashionable city was why Serena loved living there.
There was never a dull moment.
Deciding to just get a cab to work, since she was going to be late if she travelled any other way- by metro or foot, tram or bus, Serena calculated that she had time to pick up a quick cup of delicious coffee on the way to work.
So, instead of turning left to head to the taxi stand, she took a little detour to the right.
She knew drinking a Starbucks in Italy was sacrilegious. But no one else offered her a warm cup with all the frills and thrills of flavours and syrups. Pumpkin spice was her weakness.
Phone in one hand scrolling away on Instagram, the other holding on to a freshly brewed cup of take away Starbucks coffee, Serena pushed the door to the coffee shop open with her hip, and made her way onto the bustling street of Via Durini.
Her heeled boots went clickity-clack against the pavement as she made her way through the streets to catch a cab. Turning left on the blind corner, Serena was too engrossed in her phone to watch out for the sweaty body running straight in her path. Her newly brewed coffee spilt all over the front of his running gear.
* Have a good day, Lora!
** Ah… Hello Serena. Wait! Wait! A package has arrived for you!
*** Later! Later! Sorry, I am late!
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