Drama Contemporary Fiction

This story contains sensitive content

This story contains offensive language.

“So, what do you say?” Lena asked me a thousandth time.

“I say, nay!” A cloud of disappointment shadowed her face.

I admit I was rude, but I couldn’t help it. Only ten days were left before the big event, and no decent caterers were in sight.

Lena, my best friend’s little sister, offered her services when she learned about my dilemma. Thanks to my best friend. I didn’t want a newbie for the most important project of my life. 

“I promise I will prove the best service provider. Just trust me for once? Please???” 

Like I don’t know your skills as a cook!

All those burnt pizzas and stone cakes started dancing in front of my eyes.

“I know what you are thinking. But I swear I have improved a lot. You haven’t seen me cooking since when… 5 years? Or maybe 6? I completed a chef course while you were studying for business.”

“I know, Lena. Brie told me all about it. It’s not that. It’s just….”

“What is it, then?” 

“For the first time in 8 months, my boss has given me the responsibility of this value. It’s the only chance for me to get promoted. I don’t want to ruin it. I hope you understand. I want everything to be top-of-the-range.” I stopped for breath. I couldn’t have been any plainer.

“Yes, I understand. That’s why I want you to try me. You will not regret it.” She decided not to leave without getting this opportunity.

“Okay, I believe I have to surrender.” I gasped.

“Hurray… You’ll see you’ll get promoted the minute your boss’s guests look at the arrangements, let alone taste the food.” Her crow’s feet became widened with the broad smile on

her face. For a moment, I felt like I did the right thing. 

“I hope so.” I tried to be civil towards her. 

The Big Day

It is a good start. Lena was not very truthful about the arrangements though. She exaggerated slightly. At least I am not going to get promoted for the arrangements alone. The food must be better than this.

Oh God! Look at all these corporate people. Big guns. Always hard to please. Please, God, don’t let Lena ruin it for me.

That is when I hear all the clinks and clangs. Throat in my heart, I turn around. 

“Ahhh… Leave me alone, you idiot!” A cocky voice collides with my ears.

Lo and behold, one of the “special guests” of my grumpy boss, a haughty, size zero lass lying flat on the marble floor! The horror!

Running at lightning speed, I try to lift her up and her 30-meter trail of the red strapless dress. 

What insolent gaze!

I can see the timid Lena shaking in the corner with a tray of smashed sushis. 

I’ll see to that later.

“Let me take you to the restroom. I’m really sorry for what happened. Actually…”

“Yeah, you should be! Look at my hair and my dress. That bitch wrecked it all!” 

Calm down, Jen.

“Let me fix your hair. Then, let me help you with the dress.” 

“Oh, I don’t think she needs your help anymore!” I already saw Daniel coming towards us but tried to ignore him.

“What kind of secretary have you hired, Daniel? She can’t even manage an event!” I can hear her whining through my banging ears.

“It’s okay, honey. I was anyway thinking of firing her. Might be her first and last event management, at least with my company.” He’s following the lady like a puppy, holding her trail.

I can see his toxic smile through my hazy eyes.  

Was it a big deal? What just happened? Let me recall. An ordinary girl with a tray in her hands bumps into a not-so-ordinary girl with a diamond-encrusted purse in her hands. She falls down and, without any major mishap, is lifted up with the sympathies of a hundred people. Isn’t that enough to satisfy one’s ego? I guess not. 

What about the girl trembling in the invisible corner? She is not a professional. She deserved it. Why did I trust her in the first place?! 

Let me fix it all up. It’s about my career, after all.

“Hi, I hope you’re enjoying the evening. Do you need anything, sir?” As one last chance to reinstate my reputation, I choose to go to a rugged but dapper young man, maybe a date of another obnoxious lady.

A big mistake.

“Oh, how nice of you to ask. Yes, please. Another of this, please.” He lifts his wine glass at the level of my bosom. Shouldn’t have put on the décolletage. Damn, he’s wasted.

Did he get drunk here, or was he already drunk before he came to the party? I can’t decide.

This is an excellent chance to send Lena with the wine glass. She needs to return to her poised self.

A bigger mistake even. 

“Here’s your wine, sir.” A smiling Lena looks even more gorgeous. I need to keep a watch this time lest she spills the wine on the gentleman if he is one.

“Where? In your hands? Or in your eyes?” men like him, sitting at the same table, are smiling roguishly.

“Excuse me?” I can see Lena losing her bravado again.

“You heard me, my baby mama!” His cronies are cackling now like a bunch of geese.

Time to intervene now.

“You ordered a glass of wine, sir. Here it is.” I try to be as respectful as I can be.

“I ordered just a glass of wine, not the full bottle.” The bully says in his staggering voice. I start losing my patience.

Those men are still guffawing. 

What the hell is he doing now!

“Leave my hand, please!” Lena pleads in her quaking voice.

“Leave her hand, or I’ll call the police!” I scream at the top of my lungs.

Daniel hears me. I don’t care.

“Enough of this drama, Jennifer. No need to come to the office from tomorrow!” Daniel roars.

People are watching.

I don’t have the energy to demand the check for Lena’s services.

We leave silently. People are still watching, snickering.

“I’m so so sorry, Jen. I ruined it for you. You were right. I’m still an amateur.” Lena is in tears.

I don’t think I am sorry anymore.

It’s okay, Lena.

We don’t belong here.

April 10, 2023 09:27

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