Friday was another fast day at work. The day had started with a presentation that Mila had completely forgotten about. Of course, she had been proactive enough to have prepared her slides since the previous week on Mr. Duke’s instruction. She knew everything she wrote and had pulled it off successfully.  Just like their name implied, the ACE Group had always been known for their excellent ideas and presentations, which mostly results in them getting the biggest contracts in the industry from multinational organisations.  Mr. Duke had succeeded in building a formidable force for a team that he had highhandedly selected by himself to always represent the company and he had wasted no time in planting Mila in that team immediately she was employed.

Mila had been intimidated at first after attending her first presentation as a passive team mate. She had seen and heard other organisations give really good pitches but then, she had learnt that to overcome her fear of going head on with their competitors, she needed to do more research and think not just local, but global. It didn’t take her long to learn the rubrics of not just knowing how to draft a presentation, but to own it and sell it like a last resort to their clients. She had done the usual that morning and as she sat in her lone corner at the cafeteria during lunch break, enjoying her lemonade, she allowed her mind to drift beyond the walls of ACE Group.

She allowed her thoughts to steal a peak into the dark corners of her memory.  That was a chapter in her life she had deliberately locked away because, the memories just won’t go away. She had never stopped beating herself mentally whenever she remembered what had happened and how it had all ended. She wasn’t even sure if it really was the end of that phase of her life yet so, she had locked away the memories instead.

“Not today” Mila told herself.

She was in a better place now with a better purpose. Maybe, maybe not but she would rather not go down that lane today. She finished off her drink, stood up and left the cafeteria for the office.

…………..

Simi was busy. The moment the company had won the contract, Mr. Duke had declared a TGIF celebration to take place at the company’s open air lounge upstairs and she was part of the impromptu organizers. She loved that role and she was busy playing the part to the fullest. She had immediately used her contacts to get a mixologist, a DJ, and a grill master. Everything was set already by 4pm and everyone was moving to the Lounge excitedly as Mr. Duke had permitted work to end for the day by that time. Most people had used the opportunity to invite friends and loved ones to join the celebration. So by the time it was 6 pm, the spacious lounge was bubbling with life, drinks and good music.

Mila was leaning against one of the rails that surrounded the space. Though, there were canopies and couches that people could sit like those in a regular public lounge, she choose to stand facing the seaside with her drink. She didn’t know why but the sight of the sea side always had a soothing effect on her raging nerves. The thoughts of that afternoon had somehow cast a gloom on her mood  so, as she stood there looking out to the wide expanse of water, she began to regain sanity.

At that point, Simi was by her side with a glass of cocktail drink and a plate of assorted meats. She looked really excited for she had been receiving a lot of compliments from her senior colleagues for a job well done. Mr. Duke had sent her to fetch Mila for the toast to their victory and it had taken Simi a while to find her there. She sighed with relief when she confirmed that it really was Mila standing there in her black jean, Juliet sleeved white boyfriend shirt and her brown kitten heels. She was dressed according to the company’s “corporate casual Fridays” tradition save for the fact that, she had removed the  blazer she wore for the presentation.

” Hey! Are you alright? I’ve been looking for you” Simi said concerned as she had met Mila with her eyes closed

“Yeah, I’m alright. Thanks” Mila answered with a weak smile

“Are you sure?” Simi asked

“Yes Simi. Now, why were you looking for me again?”

“Okay. If you say so then. The Boss needs you for the toast. You know, as the goal scorer concerned” Simi said excitedly. This made Mila laugh. Simi always knew how to exaggerate things but it helped her return to reality again.

…………….

After the toast, the cheers, the pats on the back and an exciting evening, Mila returned home at about 9pm exhausted, both mentally and emotionally. However, she knew there was one person she needed to call but she wasn’t sure she was ready for any soft or hard talk at that moment. So she decided to leave it till the next day.

Tomorrow will be a great day, she assured herself. Tomorrow, she’ll make that call and see what surprises the future’s keeping for her.

She dozed off with these thoughts and slept soundly.

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