And so it was, the day that would remain etched in my memory for a long time.
I stand drenched in sweat and panting like an athlete who just finished a half marathon, I couldn’t help the tears that ran down my face. This can’t be happening right now. I feel woozy and fall backwards, thankfully there’s a chair to catch my fall. For a split second I have an out of body experience and look down at the pathetic figure sobbing like a kid and wiping tears from her eyes. ‘Grow a pair you weakling’ I hear my alter ego speak. I look up and she says, ‘Let’s get out of here. Think solutions my dear’.
To the group of consolers, I must be possessed cos one minute I’m in tears and the next I’m walking with giant strides towards the elevators like a woman on a mission. Sorry pity partyers, I’m done crying.
I retrace my steps and my brain is on overdrive trying to figure out a way out of this mess. I feel the stares but I pretend I’m invisible. I look horrible – my mascara has stained my face and my hair looks like I just got out of bed; and judging by the scene I created a while ago, it’s no wonder they stare, whisper and point.
I hear my mother’s voice scold ‘Good girls don’t cuss; I’m so disappointed right now’. There’s a war on propriety going on in my head but I push the voices to the background and focus on the task at hand. How do I get out of here?
The gentleman up ahead is very helpful, he directs me on how to get back on track even if it costs more than I bargained for. At this point I don’t care, I am focused; my sole mission is to leave here and keep my appointment. Everything depends on this last chance I was given.
I keep replaying the entire morning, trying to pinpoint the moment that triggered this chain of events and 2 things stand out in my mind – that blasted traffic light, the bloody fueling station that caused a queue on the road and that heartless creep at the gate. How can a person be this heartless?
It takes me 3 hours to get here after enduring inflight drama, dust inhalation, unnecessary police check points and an assaulting bumpy road trip. I look a mess, my reflection is a disaster but there’s no time to fuss about that, I am on a schedule. ‘What are you trying to prove, you ninny?’ I hear the voice again, ‘shhh’ I say out loud. The lady at the reception looks at me like I’m crazy. I avert her eyes and walk boldly into the meeting room.
They are shaking hands. Everyone is smiling. The screen is blank. They turn to look at the apparition standing in the doorway. My boss shakes his head. Just then, my comic ringtone fills the room, ‘Hey boss I think you have a message’. I look down and read the message from my boss ‘The meeting started early, don’t stress trying to get here cos you won’t make it in time. See you when we get back’.