...the bay sunset, which is renowned anyway, was especially beautiful on Saturday because of the stormy weather....I just had to run out and catch the end of it before the sun went down.)
The prompt from Pat F.on Thursday at The Writer's Workshop was a challenge. Not that it isn't always a challenge for me...but this one stumped me for a while. But the only thing to do in that situation is to go with the first idea that comes .. and run with it. We only have a bit over an hour to write before we read the results to each other....so here it is...
Albert was not yet ready to share his age with Ivy. She had been told that his birthday was coming up, But as his secretary she needed to be careful about broadcasting it around the office. After all Albert was the boss.The company had been good to her. Life was difficult enough since Syd died. She was still coming to terms with an empty house every evening.Ivy felt angry about it all although she knew that his family had a history of heart attacks. Nevertheless, being who she was, one who copes, it was just a few weeks after Syd's funeral that she determined to get herself a job, and get back into a daily routine.To have Albert as her boss was more that she had dared to hope for.She did have a lot of experience noted down on her c.v. But with so many people applying for so few positions, she realised that in this she had fallen on her feet.....or to be more precise...on the office chair!
Her office wall abutted Albert's office wall. And regularly she would either be in his room taking notes or receiving lists of jobs to be achieved, Or Albert would breeze into her office. No knock of course, just striding in and sitting on the edge of her desk with a file or USB to peruse But recently often it had often been with a mug of coffee at the start of the business day. That was quite a thing! In her last job she had always been expected to be both office worker and tea girl for the whole floor.
He was no Adonis, Albert P. Shingle. Sometimes when she thought about it she had a giggle over the name...Shingle! Was it an illness or a beach? She preferred to think it was a beach.And what did the P stand for if anything? Some people put a middle letter into their signature to make it more memorable. Of course it might just be Peter or Paul or maybe Phillip. But she liked to think it was exotic...maybe Peregrine to counteract the blandness of Albert.! Oh dear as the months had gone by that she was thinking more and more about his life outside of the office, And today she knew that he would celebrate his fiftieth. Surely it couldn't pass by unmentioned?
Someone elsewhere in the company must be planning a surprise. No word of this forthcoming...at least none that she had heard of. Her job was precious. She loved the work. She was good at it she discovered. Better than she ever imagined she would be She would let the day pass by.
Every day Ivy made sure that all she did and even what she wore was as professional and efficient as she could make it. She was taking much more thought over her appearance than she had done for many years. Was that her being professional, or did she feel at forty three she still had a lot of living ahead of her? With no children from her marriage to care for life was starting anew .So there would be no way she was going to throw a spanner in the works and step forward now to plan something for Albert's birthday.
But there were little things she could do without making an issue of it. She put a bunch of spring flowers in a pretty jug on the side of the desk - not too ostentatious just enough to sweeten the often stale office air. She bought a packet of triple chocolate biscuits to offer when he arrived with her coffee. She wore a new blouse she had bought at the weekend. Still a crisp white cotton but with a little pie crust collar on it. And in these small ways she hoped her boss would know that she recognized both the day and also the position she held in the company.
At nine fifteen as usual Albert stepped into her office. Coffee in hand, he smiled. She offered him a cookie. He took one and hesitated.
"It's my birthday Ivy. I was wondering if you would join me this evening for dinner? I've taken a chance that you might say yes and booked a table at a local restaurant...what do you say?"
The flowers bloomed and shared their perfume in the room, out through the door and into the rest of the building!
Oh dear...cheesy end...but what to do when Pat says.."Five more minutes and then we shall read!"
Well you bring it all to conclusion...and who doesn't love a happy ending anyway!!
By the way you could see more of my pics on my Instagram site...if you were of such a mind!!
geraldinesnape...documenting the mundane