August 28th|La Feminine
Esohe rapped her knuckles softly on the wood – paneled door opened wide into the office, pausing long enough for Mrs. Osula to lift her gaze from the document in front of her. “You wanted to see me, Mrs. O.?” She asked, her black heels digging into the rug beneath as she closed the space between the door and table her boss was sat behind.
“I just got off the ‘phone with SkyHigh.” The older woman laid the paper on the table and pushed her rimless spectacles to the top of a grey – streaked head of hair. “They are not happy about the spot they lost for next month’s issue.”
Esohe posed between two chairs facing the table, her ten fingers an anchor at its edge. “Their advert came late. It was no fault of ours.” She offered by way of explanation. “I did give them a timeline. They missed it.”
“Can we bump someone else’s in their favour?” Her boss asked. “They have been regular for a while now. And I understand they want to run a sort of promotion?”
“I suggested an insert-like format for the promo and also threw in flashes on our website.”
“No one mentioned that to me.” Mrs. Osula frowned slightly.
“They declined both.”
“Why? Sounds like a good deal.”
“I’ll call Sumbo back and we’ll discuss it.” Mrs. Osula concluded. “What’s the update on – what’s their name again? – the wellness place? Our main feature for October?”
“Aroma?” Esohe supplied. “It’s slated for Friday afternoon between 2.30 & 4pm. I’ll meet the team there at about 3.30pm after the interview is over. Then we can discuss their advert requirements.”
“Let me know how it goes.”
Her boss plucked a wine-colored, rectangular envelope off the corner of her desk. “The resort you wrote about?” She began. “The one you spent a week at?”
“Yes?” Esohe was reluctant to recall the reason she had been there; it was reminiscent of an unpalatable past.
“They’ve invited you for a weekend on their tab.”
Esohe’s face turned confused for a moment. “Why?”
“Apparently, the review increased patronage significantly.”
Her face cleared, and so did her thoughts. “I didn’t even realize we ran it.”
“Last minute decision. On the website. They said it was unpretentious, honest and very good for business. The invitation is their gratitude.”
“Nice of them. I’ll think about it.”
“It’s for two.” Her boss went further to clarify. “And expires in November.”
“Noted. Thank you.”
“And this…” She thrust the envelope at Esohe. “…is for Saturday. I hope you have no prior engagements. I meant to give you last week.” Her employee took the proffered envelope but didn’t attempt to open it yet. “It’s a gala organized by B & I for their charity.” A small, knowing smile began to tug at the corner of her mouth until Mrs Osula’s next words. “You can go with Mr. Williams if he doesn’t have a plus one already.”
Her budding smile froze in mid formation. “Why…how…?” She started then trailed off when realization slowly dawned on her. “Mrs. O, you weren’t the one who gave him my cellphone number, were you?”
It was her boss’ turn to smile. “With the condition that he was never to hurt you or have me to contend with.”
“So have you two spoken yet?” The other woman inquired.
Esohe nodded, the smile forming again. “Among other things.”
“Oh?” Mrs. Osula’s eyebrows shot up.
“He’s…he’s an interesting man.” Was all her employee said. “Will that be all, ma’am?”
“Yes, thank you, Esohe.” Her boss’ tone was tinged with a little disappointment at her evasiveness. an inquire