Chapter 5 – Delivery
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
It’s time to sit down and tackle the task at hand.
I’m ready to work on the sample fashion article for Jim and I’m so dizzy with excitement that I can hardly stop from squealing (in the comfort of my home … with no one around … it’s safer that way).
The best spot in my one bedroom apartment is where my new writing desk is. Naturally a new desk is required to work on this new project (I was sure to label this as a “necessary expense” in my checkbook).
My condo has top to bottom windows that allow for a wide ocean view. Intricate sliding doors give way to a large balcony where I have two lounge chairs, a grill, and a petite table. When I first toured this condo after accepting the job at Sunny News it was the ocean view that truly sold me. A lot of elbow grease went into this condo but it was worth every gathered penny.
The new vintage inspired desk is positioned before the sliding doors. Bookshelves burdened with rows and rows (and more rows) of books line the left and right walls. Also on the right, in the corner is a plush chair for reading along with a tall brass lamp. This is my favorite section in the small apartment. I spend a majority of my home-time here. My bedroom severely lacks attention – but that’s a whole other story.
“Okay time to get serious. Time to focus.” I open my laptop, create a new Word document, and begin typing potential article titles.
Leather and lace. Immediately I think of a lingerie store.
Leather in cool weather? Lame! I’m resorting to rhyming already?
I stare at the rolling ocean waves for an answer. Coming up with a title for my trial column was more difficult than I expected. I know fashion. I am creative. Think Lucy. Think. I tap my fingernails on the desk top. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Leather is better? Even cornier.
I lower my head and grab my hair. “Gah! My mind is blank!”
The doorbell sounds, dissolving my cloud of frustration. It’s Karma with brain stimulants: coffee and red velvet donuts. I open the door to find her all bundled up. You’d think it was snowing outside but it’s only a chilly day in Ft. Lauderdale. Floridians aren’t exactly used to cold weather.
“Hey girl. Good morning.” She holds up breakfast goods with both hands.
“Karma, thank God you’re here. I’m freaking out. Any ounce of inspiration I once had fled from my brain sometime during the night. I’ve been robbed of my creativity. It’s hopeless.”
“You are so dramatic. Pull yourself together, woman. Here. Take this stuff to the kitchen.” She hands the bag and coffee carrier to me and hangs her scarf on a hook by the door.
“Okay. You look so cute, by the way. I love that outfit.” I unload the bag of goods onto a serving dish. “You got scones too? Orange cranberry?”
“Thanks. And yes. There should be blueberry in there too. Anyways, there’s a new hottie working at the bakery. Something about the way he rolls that dough … mmm. I couldn’t go pick up our freshly baked and brewed breakfast looking scrubby so hence the cute outfit and extra purchases.”
“Well I’m sure he noticed you. You look adorable.”
“Yeah I know. Oh, I had them put a small squirt of caramel in the coffee.”
“Good friend you are.”
“It’s no problem. I cannot believe how cold it is down here. Brrr. So glad I have leather for this weather.” She unzips her charcoal leather aviator jacket and hangs it next to her houndstooth scarf.
I look at her and then give her a quick squeeze. “Brilliant!”
I explain the entire scene with Mr. Rhodes, sparing no juicy detail.
“That is wicked cool, Lucy. Talk about good timing.”
“Right? Normally I’m not so lucky. It sort of scares me.”
“Why would this scare you? This is the break-through opportunity you need. This is what you want right?”
“Yes. This is exactly what I want. But what if it’s too good to be true?”
“You can’t think like that. Otherwise you won’t get anywhere. Trust me. Now what other titles did you come up with for your debut article?”
“They were ghastly. I like what you said though. I was thinking I should somewhat localize the title for this first piece. How about ‘Leather & SoFlo Weather.’”
“I like it but it might be a little too long, no?”
“Maybe. What about keeping it simple with ‘Leather and Weather’?”
“Another possible option. But do this. Write the column first. Then title it. Make the title last.”
“Nice approach. Thanks.”
“That’s what I’m here for.”
“These scones are flawless. Impeccable. Mmm.”
We dig into the treats and devour the coffee while standing at the kitchen counter.
“They’d be good for a blog post too.” Karma suggests.
“I thought your blog was about donuts?”
“Eh. Scones deserve a shot. I’ll consider them a cousin of the donut.”
“What would you do without me?”
“I’d likely turn to dust, my friend.”
“So did doughboy ask you out?”
“Cute. And …” She pauses long enough to ignite anticipation.
“He did!” She unsuccessfully attempts to repress her beaming grin.
“Ah! Yey! When? Where you guys going? Tell me more.”
“Well I saw him the last couple times I went to pick up mini donuts for the office. He’s so handsome but shy. The second time I got him talking and he is so nice, Lucy. And smart too. He knows everything about baking. It’s his obsession. He’s the one that started making those pumpkin donuts there with the icing that was to die for.”
“Glaze,” I remind her.
“Hush.” She mumbles in return.
“How perfect for you. You love donuts and bakeries and he loves to bake. What a smart match, as they’d say in the old days right?”
“I do declare, a very smart match indeed. However, you’ll be saddened to know that his name is not doughboy.”
“I am not. His name is Patrick Tanner.”
“Patrick and Karma Tanner. I’m digging it.”
She laughs out loud and says, “Let’s not be typical females right now. No talking about the future. No wondering if this guy is The One or Mr. Right. No pondering over the number of children we’d have. Where we would live?”
“Ha! But we are typical females, Karma! Sorry to break it to you.”
“This I know. I just hate to admit it sometimes.”
“You can’t hide from the truth, sweetie.”
“Thanks for the reminder.”
“By the way, just how many kids do you think you two would have anyways?”
“Ah-ha! So you did the female thing!”
“Yes I did. Don’t judge me.” She smirks and places her hands on her hips.
I raise my hands in defense. “Oh I’d never do such a thing. So, continue. When are you going out with doughboy? How old is he?”
“Yeah I know.”
“I told him I’m completely booked until Thursday. He’s 34, only a few years older than me.”
“And are you booked? Truthfully?”
“Nice.” We high-five. How old school is high-fiving? I love it!
“I already know what I’m going to wear too.”
“Speaking of, I’m sorry to interrupt you but I have to show you what I bought today. I’m going to wear this when I drop off my sample to Jim.”
“Ah, Jim. Not Mr. Rhodes anymore?”
“I just told you a few minutes ago that he has a girlfriend. Don’t go getting any ideas.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You were thinking it.”
I pull a luxuriously wrapped package from my closet. I gently rip the gold label sticker and unfold the crisp champagne tissue paper. Inside lies a leather motorcycle jacket by Eryn Carlo. The classic tan shade compliments the jacket along with a smooth, fitted curve of femininity. It’s called the Eryn Carlo Exclusive. Bonus feature? This jacket is a completely office-worthy staple piece. “I’m not sure what I’m going to wear it with yet but we’ll see on Wednesday.”
“That is gorgeous, Lucy!”
“I figured it’d be clever of me to wear a piece of leather when I deliver my masterpiece. You know, add a little visual stimulation.”
“Oh so clever, darling.”
“Thank you. Thank you.”
After Karma leaves I park myself back at the desk and compose a rough draft:
When you think of leather you think warmth. And style. Leather is iconic and there are a few essential leather pieces that are absolute must haves your wardrobe.
- The all too reliable leather jacket. The leather jacket comes in a variety of styles and shades, which makes it easy for any individual to find the right fit no matter their personality and style preference(s).
I’m on a roll! There’s no stopping me now! I’ll even try to feature the Eryn Carlo Exclusive as a “great find.”
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Before I know it Tuesday has rolled its way around to the present. I hoped to see Jim around the office yesterday so I could wish him luck for his important dinner tonight but no random run-ins have occurred as of yet. I’m a little wary about heading up to his floor in fear of appearing to be too eager about the opportunity he’s giving me.
I’m just waiting patiently until tomorrow morning.
Hurry up, tomorrow!
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
This morning I sit at my work desk reading and re-reading my article to catch any previously undiscovered mistakes.
“The article is fantastic, Lucy. Just email it to him already.”
After exhaling a long nervous breath I click send. “It’s sent.”
“Good luck, girlie.” She gives me two thumbs up and then passes me a key lime donut lightly glazed with pure sugar Heaven.
I check my appearance and reapply a cherry tomato lip gloss. It’s ten in the morning. I want to visit Jim personally to thank him again for this chance. To say I’m nervous is an understatement. My hands are clammy, my heart is racing, and I feel exactly the same way I did when I arrived for my first interview at Sunny News. But this time I feel that much more is at stake. I want this so badly I can feel it rolling around on my taste buds.
I head up to Jim’s floor with a hard copy of my article in a folder and directly approach the office manager’s desk.
The woman behind the high desk counter is very young and insanely gorgeous. Pin straight shoulder length platinum blonde hair frames her face in layers. She looks like a snotty South Beach brat with her blonde hair and Barbie pink nails and sparkly lip gloss. The tan too – what, does she spend every day tanning on the beach?
Oh my gosh, Lucy. Are you done stereotyping yet? My conscience chastises me. Alright, so I’m jealous. Admittedly.
“Hiiiii.” She’s extra perky too using a high-pitched tone which is just too much for early morning. “Good morning. How are you?” And her voice is honeyed with a southern accent. She’s definitely a transplant from Georgia or the surrounding states and super nice. Niceness is not a common characteristic of a South Floridian.
“Hi there. And good morning. I’m well, thank you for asking. My name is Lucy Post.”
“Nice to meet you, Lucy. I’m Rebekah Lynch.”
“Nice to meet you as well. I’m here to see Mr. Rhodes.”
“What department are you from?”
“It’s nice to meet someone from a different division of Sunny News every now and then, you know? I just love meeting new people.”
“Agreed.” I can’t help but smile. Rebekah is so friendly and her gaiety is contagious in a non-annoying way (surprisingly).
“Mr. Rhodes is working from home today, Mrs. Post.” She frowns while checking his calendar. “Wait a second. He’s working from home until the 23rd it looks like.”
“Actually it’s ‘Miss.’”
“No problem. It happens a lot.” I smile. She seems harmless enough.
“I’m really sorry. I know how you feel. You’re probably thinking ‘thanks a lot Rebekah for reminding me that I’m single.’”
“Na I wasn’t thinking that at all.”
“Would you like to leave something for Mr. Rhodes?” She glances at the document I hold with a death grip.
“Um. No that’s alright. I sent him an email as well. Maybe you can just leave a note that I stopped by?”
“Okay, honey. Have a great day!”
“Thank you. Same to you.”
“And don’t be a stranger, Lucy Post.” She smiles and waves.
I begin to walk away and stop. Turning back to Rebekah, I hope I won’t regret this. “Hey listen, a few of us are going to the Elbow Room for happy hour today. If you wanna join you’re more than welcome.”
“Wow! Really? No one here has ever asked me to go out to happy hour before. That is really sweet of you.”
I laugh out loud. “Probably because you’re so kind. It intimidates some people, you know.”
“I’ve heard that before. But I can’t help it. I like to be nice.”
“That’s a rare quality. See you later then?”
“I will definitely make it.”
I mosey back to my desk feeling discouraged. Where is Mr. Rhodes? It’s Wednesday morning and he’s nowhere to be found. What if he changed his mind?
“I don’t understand.” I say over lunch with Karma.
“Maybe something came up, Luce.” She pushes the plate of calamari back my way.
“Did he respond to your email?” She asks hopefully.
“Nothing.” I stab a piece of fried calamari and drown it mercilessly in the bowl of marinara sauce.
“Look at the bright side.”
“There’s a bright side?”
“Happy hour! Today. Elbow Room, baby.” She works the cabbage patch move in her chair causing other patrons to stare. I’d say its embarrassing but – I’m used to it.
I rub my forehead just remembering the invitation I had extended to Rebekah. “I invited a new girl, Rebekah, to happy hour. She’s the office manager on the third floor. Met her this morning.”
“That’s cool. The more the merrier.”
“She’s really nice. And very pretty. The tanned platinum blonde type. She looks like she’s a superficial Boca chick but she’s actually kind. It was surprising.”
“Good because we only invite pretty girls to hang out with us. Anything less would ruin our potential opportunities.” She speaks sarcastically. “ Anyhow, Sandy canceled so that works.”
“Oh she always cancels. Why do we even invite her? And why does she always say yes if she’s not sure she can follow through?”
Karma chuckles, “We should ask her.”
Happy hour that evening is entertaining. Karma and I get along famously with Rebekah but I don’t stay as long as I usually do. I won’t lie. My spirits are down about the fashion column and Jim’s vanishing act. All in all, I just want to be home in my pajamas working on my Eryn Carlo blog.