The God stands before her. Tall, lean, muscular, he’s about six feet worth of charm and gorgeousness. The curly mop of hair that sits on his head is blowing loftily in the wind, whilst his piercing eyes seem to cut through Melody like daggers, causing a searing pain in her heart. Never has she ever felt this strongly about someone, let alone a man, but this one seems different. Maybe it’s the way his eyes crinkle as he smiles, or maybe it’s the dimples on his cheeks, or the tattoos that cover his arms. All Melody knows is she feels a powerful surge within her, and all sense of normality has flown out of her.
She stands transfixed, under the spell of the God. He must practice some dark magic, because her mouth is glued shut, and she can’t even remember if her tongue is there. She must be able to speak, right? But her breath is taken away by him again. Mercifully, he doesn’t expect her to speak, and instead does all the talking for himself.
“You’ll be alright, Hermosa,” he admits, as she drools over him like a dog.
“But, when will I see you again?” She asks sadly. In that moment, she feels like her life is ending, and that all the good in the world will cease to an end. “I’ve only just met you – I can’t let you go yet.”
“We’ll meet again soon, Hermosa.” He insists, and with a whoosh, the God has evaporated into a thick cloud of smoke, leaving Melody on her own. Overcome with emotion, Melody crawls onto the floor, exhausted. She allows all of her tears to flow down her cheeks and onto the ground. Except, it isn’t the ground, as such; it’s a cloud. And each bit of moisture she drops falls onto it, it disintegrates further. For what seems like eternity, Melody wails into the bitter nothingness in the sky, until eventually, the clouds can’t stand it anymore – it breaks with a poof, and Melody finds herself falling, falling, falling…
She wakes up in her bed with a start. Feeling around her mattress, she feels an ocean of sweat surrounding her, and the dampness disgusts her. She leaps out of bed and heads open to the window, where she opens it, allowing the cool air to grace her. The musty smell that lingers in her room is foul, and could almost be considered a stench. She ties her hair up in a bun as she heads back over to her bed, snatching the dirty covers off her bed, and throwing it in her laundry basket as she goes.
From the look of the morning sun outside, Melody can see that it’s still dawn – it must still be very early, because even the morning sparrows are still asleep. As Melody wanders through the halls of her house, enjoying the cool breeze blowing through it, she thinks back to the dream she just had.
“God, that was gross,” she shudders when imagining it again. “I hope I never pine over a man like that, ever. There’s so much more to life than that.” And, still dripping the painful dregs of the dream out of her body, she gets ready for her long day at work. She blasts a shower, throws on an outfit and wolfs down her breakfast, before heading to her work.
The commute to her workplace isn’t as straightforward as her morning routine is though. Despite being early, and her eagerness to get to work, she still has to endure the morning commuters on her journey. It’s full of foul stenches of sweat from the men, and over-powering body sprays from women, but Melody isn’t sure which smell she prefers. Cramped, like a lion in a hamster cage, she sits sandwiched between a couple, whom are arguing animatedly over her, pretending she isn’t even there.
What’s worse is, she has to undergo this for a whole two hours before she evens gets close to work. And after the train, the journey doesn’t get much better; there is a small but deadly walk to face. In the summer it is blistering hot, and puddles of sweat stain her immaculate uniform. In the winter, the blistering cold makes her teeth chatter so much, she always fears they are going to fall out. It’s also hard to choose between the two which you prefer. All of this, only to sit in a stuffy office all day, and listen to managers drone on and on about boring matters that could have been discussed from the confinements of her home – how tragic.
The weather today has taken pity on Melody; there’s a light drizzle in the air, but the clouds seem to be passing over. Of course, they return just as Melody steps into her workplace, but at least she doesn’t have to face that fiasco yet.
Walking in, Melody notices her reflection, and to be frank with you, she’s aware that today isn’t her best day. Her mousy is hair plastered to her face, with mascara dribbling down her face, and her clothes are adorned with specks of water, and, to top it all off, her shoes make a disgusting squelch every time she takes a step. Blasted cars.
“Miranda!” Damien Macobey, her manager, comes over to greet her with his posse of servants. “I’m glad to see you’ve made it today! Such a shame, don’t you think?”
“Oh actually, it’s Melody,” she corrects him. “A shame about what, may I ask?”
“The weather, of course.” He points outside towards a cloud, as a clap of thunder rolls overhead. “I see you’ve been out in it. Did you enjoy it?”
“I’ve had a blast.”
“Splendid.” Ignoring, or perhaps even unaware, of her sracasm, he claps his hands together. “But anyway, now that you’re here, I need to ask you a favour.”
“No, Mr Macobey, I’m sorry,” Melody starts backing away. “The last time you asked for a favour, I ended up cleaning your daughter’s hamster cage. And then I did it for months after. And then it died.”
“You overfed him,” Mr Macobey spits out, but tries to compose himself. “But anyway, this is nothing like that. It’s very important-,”
“Oh, do you hear that?” Melody pretends to strain her ears. “That’s Greyson. She’s calling for me already, and it’s only,” Melody checks her phone, “nine in the morning. Got to go, great chat, talk soon!” Before her manager can protest, she slinks away from him. For years, having always been underestimated by him, she’s found ways to avoid him, and uses them to her advantage whenever she can.
“Was that Mac’douche’y?” Amelia Greyson, her trusted colleague, asks her as soon as Melody sluggishly walks in. “What does he want this time?”
“Who knows?” Melody groans. “I have so much work to do – I don’t need any more today.”
“You’ve only just got here! And besides, there’s a new guy starting here today. Apparently, he’s pretty hot stuff.” She stares at Melody suggestively.
“And so was Mark. And then what did we realise Mark was?”
“A fleabag.” Amelia admits. “I just don’t like to see you sad. And alone. And, of course, we have the summer ball coming up soon, and obviously I’m arranging it, and I don’t want you to be on your own.”
“I’m not going to be on my own. Just because I don’t have a partner, doesn’t mean I’m alone. I have a lot of friends here… right Jen?” Jen doesn’t answer, and immediately storms out of the room. Melody puts on a brave smile. “Honestly, I’ll be fine. You enjoy planning these sorts of things, and I don’t. I might not even go yet.”
“Don’t be silly, you have to go!”
“Ames, you just focus on planning the best ball there ever is. I’ll keep on carrying the whole company solely on my weary shoulders alone.”
“You’re such a torment,” Amelia smiles at her, when the smile dies on her lips. Before Melody can see what’s happening, Amelia is up on her feet, and walking across the office. “Hello, you must be Grant. I’m Amelia Greyson, I’ve heard a lot about you.” As Melody imagines them shaking each other’s clammy hands, she winces, mentality preparing herself for the train wreck, and stands up as a formality. When she turns around to see the new guy, though, she is taken aback. There, standing before her magnificently, is the gleaming God she envisioned in her dream this morning. Except this time, he had a few more clothes on. As she realises, it’s too late for her to turn around, and her colleague notices her.
“And this is Melody Harper,” she grabs her arm, yanking her towards the God. “She’s one of the best we have. And the most stubborn.”
“Melody, this is Grant. He’s the newest member of our team.”
As Melody reaches her hand out to shake his, a flicker of recognition passes across his face. “Lovely to meet you Grant. I’m sure you’ll settle in nicely here.”
“I’m sure I will.” Melody tries to ignore the static electricity passing between them (or is she imagining it?) and focuses instead on getting back to her work. She walks back over to her desk. She is sitting down for a few seconds, before her manager interrupts her once again.
“Okay, so I’m going to need that favour now,” he grimaces at her. “You need to show Grant around. As you’re our leading example, you need to show him everything, and make sure he knows the core values.”
“Core values?” Melody mutters, and stands up as Grant sneaks up on her. “Oh God, you scared the living crap out of me. Don’t do that again!”
“Sorry boss,” he holds his hands up apologetically. “It won’t happen again.”
“So,” he grins at me, “I guess we are going to be spending the whole day together.”
Melody sighs. “I guess we are then.” And with that, they get up and leave, ready for a full day of touring and unexpected surprises. Despite the annoyance at being snatches away from her work, and the confusion she feels at seeing this man again, she also feels quite excited at what seems to be a new adventure for her. I mean, who is she to deny this gorgeous man a tour of his new workplace?