Untitled – 08/01

Another body has be found by the Metropolitan police, a young woman who has not yet been named was found dead in her flat this morning. This is the second person this week found dead in London. With no comments from the police, we are yet to understand how far they are in their investigation and what the cause of both deaths are.

I can’t believe she sucked off Ron for that position!”
“Well, we don’t know how true that is Karen.”
“Of course we do! I mean,” Karen adjusts her focus to myself as she takes a swig of her cider. “She was nothing, nobody even noticed her during her internship. All of a sudden, there’s the Christmas party, her and Ron go missing and before you know it, she’s not only being hired, she’s in-line for the big job role?”
I look back at the screen where Celia had now began reporting another issue and looked back at Karen.
“I just don’t want to think of the worst.”
“Think what you want then, but after the Christmas party and Celia got all those fast tracked promotions, Ron and his wife got,” She placed her forefinger by her throat and slashed it as if to behead herself, “a divorce. You do the maths Taylor.”
She raises her eyebrow at me then makes her way into the kitchen. I watch Celia and can’t help envy her. Karen was talking about sucking, but what truly sucked was the fact that I had been studying almost my entire life to be where Celia was. Years upon years dedicated to being a journalist and yet all I had become was a measly receptionist for a low ranked radio station that no one had really heard of.

I take a sip of my strawberry and lime cider and change the channel. It was bad enough that Celia and I grew up in the same area together and even studied together, but somehow our worlds seemed light years far apart and watching her progression did nothing for my self-esteem. I settle on some late night talk show as Karen returned.
“You ever wonder how people like that go on with everyone knowing how you got to the top?” I ask her.
“Babe, when you’re at the top, do you really think you’ll care about those below?”
“I probably would!”
“Trust me Taylor, when you get high enough you don’t even hear the whispers of those below, let alone the gossip.”
“True.” I sigh as I roll my head back. What made our paths so different? Same age, same journey, practically same upbringing yet, she was Daisy Buchanan and I was Nick Carraway watching her from across the bay.
“What’s the time?” I tap my phone screen causing it to light up.
“Half past ten.”
“I’m off to my room, Damian is meant to call.”
“And off she goes!” She throws me a cheeky smirk and heads to her bedroom. I turn off the television calling it a night too. I didn’t expect any late night calls, but sleep was calling and I couldn’t afford to be late again this week. If I wanted to get to where Celia was, I had to make sure I made no mistakes on my journey in getting there and lateness was not going to be it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dammit! I’m going to be late. Bloody delays have now got me sweating as I run towards the office. Greg is going to kill me. I’ve been trying to impress Greg ever since I got the job. He’s not very known in the industry, but ever so often he gets invited to events and award shows that is basically an aspiring journalists wet dream. If I could get myself just included in the list of attendees, then I could network and who knows whom I could meet.

Yet without a doubt, every event, every award ceremony Greg invites the ‘more important’ employees. The radio hosts, his secretary, everyone known to man but me. Of course I know it’s a long shot, I’m just the receptionists, but I want to prove I can do much more and I can’t do that by taking calls and fetching refreshments.

I practically hurdle over people and push through the office doors when I notice that it’s still quiet. Without hesitation, I take off my jacket and bag, stuff them under my desk, neaten out the creases in my shirt and get to work. If he hasn’t noticed then it’s better to get my head down straight away than to apologise.

Time goes by, a few calls and emails come in that I attend to. Everyone upstairs is busying around as we have an ‘important’ guest arriving today for an exclusive interview – the only thing is what we classify as ‘important’, is far from that in reality. My telephone flashes as a call from upstairs reaches my line.

“Hi Bob.”
“Taylor, Aimee Lynn and her team will be arriving shortly – please ensure that they are offered refreshments before you send them up.”
“Sure thi-“
“Oh and another note,” He says cutting me off, “make sure you give Greg’s secretary a call when she arrives.”
“Will do.”
Before I could ask further questions the line cuts. I roll my eyes and put the receiver back on the phone. Bob wasn’t even ranked as anything, yet I got no respect from him. I roll my eyes again and checked my emails when I feel a breeze envelope me. I look up to expect Aimee and her entourage but instead see two men walking towards my desk.
“Hello, I’m DC Fletcher and this is my partner detective Williams, is Mr Evans available?”
Just as I am about to respond, Aimee Lynn walks through the office doors with her team. I look between the detectives and Aimee Lynn. Weighing which one I should respond to first. I excuse myself and rush towards Aimee.
“Miss Lynn –”
“Urgh, my mother is Miss Lynn.” With a nervous smile, I correct myself.
“Aimee, would you like to follow me and I will take you and your team to Greg Evans.” We walk pass the policemen and straight towards the elevator. It was then I was reminded that I was meant to call Greg’s secretary when Aimee arrived and offer beverages, but with the policemen catching me off guard, I’d failed to do any of what I was required to do. The elevator dings as the doors open and I’m left contemplating going in or running back to my desk to call Greg.

Before I have a chance to act, Aimee and her team walk through without my permission. I step inside with them, catching a glimpse of the officers who requested for Greg just only a few minutes ago and give them a nervous smile. Sort out Aimee then attend the officers, I chant to myself as the doors shut.
We reach the seventh floor and walk towards Kelly.
“Hi Kelly, could you let Mr Evans know Aimee Lynn is here.”
Her eyes flicker with confusion and anger for just a second before it’s gone.
“Sure Taylor, I won’t be a minute Miss Lynn.”
I hear Aimee groan behind me from what I can assume was due to being referred to as ‘Miss Lynn’. Kelly disappears into Greg’s office, returning with Greg closely behind her.
“Aimee, what a pleasure! Great to have you here, please follow me.”
He walks off with Aimee and her team, leaving me with Kelly.
“Wasn’t you meant to call me before she arrived?”
“I was caught up.” She chuckles and shrugs her shoulders.
“Have fun explaining that to Greg.”
I turn to walk back to the elevator when I remembered the two officers I left waiting for me.
“Well when he has a spare minute, there’s two policemen asking for him downstairs.”
“Pardon?” The confusion in her voice clearly showed she wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying up until ‘policemen’.
“Two policemen are asking to speak with Greg, I’ll have them up shortly.” The doors ping open.
“No! Have them wait downstairs, I’ll get Greg to come and see them.”
I nod my head and enter into the lift. By the time I’d reached the lobby, both officers were nose deep into the guest book I keep just in front of my monitor. The noise of my heels and the marble floor cause the men to look up from the book.
“Hi officers, my apologies that I left you so abruptly. Mr Evans is in a meeting –”
“With the girl you just took to him I presume?” The officer named Williams curtly said. Lost for words I nod and take my usual position around the desk.
“Yes, if you could give him a few minutes he should be with you shortly.”

The officers walk off talking to each other quietly. What were they looking for in the guest book? My curiosity gets the better of me, whilst still watching the men I grab the book and slide it to my keyboard. They’d left it on sign-ins from Monday this week. Looking for something I clearly had no idea what it was exactly I was looking for, my telephone rang, echoing around the lobby.
Hesitantly I pick up, knowing it could be Greg on the other line, “Hello?”
“I asked you to do two things Taylor, offer refreshments and call Greg’s secretary. You did none!” Bob shouts down the line.
“I was dealing with another issue for Greg, I was pressed for time.” I whisper, trying not to attract the attention of the officers, who were already making their way back to me.
“Clients are our priority, keeping them happy is our priority. Delivering outstanding service is just simple knowledge–” By now the officers stood before me.
“Bob I have a customer, I’ll call you back.” I drop the phone on him mid-sentence and address the officers.
“We don’t have all morning Miss?”
“Taylor.” I answer DC Fletcher.
“Taylor, we don’t have a lot of time. We have a serious investigation underway and need to speak with Greg Evans as quickly as possible. We don’t want to have to go up to meet him, but quite frankly, I don’t like waiting.”
Just as Fletcher finishes his sentence, Greg appears from the elevator, clearly confused by their visit.
“Officers I heard you were after me?”
“Mr Evans, I’m DC Fletcher and this is my partner detective Williams – do you have a spare moment, we have some questions we need to ask you?” DC Fletcher said addressing Greg.
“Of course, right this way.”

Greg and the officers take off as I’m left watching them walk away. I look back at the guest book remembering the officers mentioned they had an investigation underway and wonder what that had to do with who came to the office on Monday and Greg. I look back again and notice DC Fletcher staring at me. I wonder what Greg has gone and got himself involved in now?

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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