Hayley’s Story -Part 2

I woke up in my bed the following morning. I had no recollection of how I got there or what happened to me when that woman drove me home, but I couldn’t help but be annoyed with myself. I acted irrationally and it could have ended completely different if that woman wasn’t as nice as she was. I took a deep breath and thought about telling Veronica, but after contemplating about that option for a minute or two, I realised telling Veronica was a bad idea. I already have a headache, I didn’t need her telling me off on top of that.

I looked at my watch and saw I was only 20 minutes late in waking up for work. If I rushed and drove fast, I’d probably still make it on time. But who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to work today. With the constant thumping in my head, and the nauseous feeling that began rolling in the pit of my stomach, going to work was just a mere dream. I laid my head back into my pillow and sighed – never will I drink on a weekday again…said the alcoholic. I blindly reached for my phone on the bedside table to call my boss telling him I won’t be able to come in today when my phone rang. I sat up again, groaning at the way my stomach felt from the fast movement and answered the phone.

“Hello?”
“Hayley! Are you awake? Wait what’s the time – you should be awake by now.” What was my boss doing calling me at 7 in the morning.
“Nick I was just about to call you.”
“No Hayley! Save it! I need you in today, there’s some clients that I need you to meet.”
“Nick, I feel like shit. I really don’t know any miracles that would help prepare me for any type of meeting today.”
“Hayley, I need you in.”
“But Nick, I’ve helped you with so many things!”
“Like what Hayley?”
“That time you needed me to write up those reports, the other time you begged me to take the Harrison Brothers out for dinner because they were investing loads of money into the company. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
He sighed. “Look Hayley, the meeting is at 1’oclock. Get in for 12 and I’ll let you leave after the meeting. That’s the best I can do.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. Nick and I were a duo. I was almost his limbs and without me, sometimes he’d be lost. And without him, I wouldn’t have a job, that paid well. We understood each other very well, and he was eager to build me up through the company, which I appreciated. However, days like now, when I was hanging from my ass, I couldn’t be bothered. But because of what I knew Nick had and would do for me, caused me to have a soft spot for him.
“I’ll be there for 12:30PM.”
“Hayley!” He growled.
“Alright! I’ll be there for 12. Thanks Nick.”
“It’s fine. You owe me.” And with that the phone cut. I guess I wasn’t going to get a lay in like I would have liked, so I trudged slowly to the bathroom and ran a warm bath. I didn’t have to leave until 11Am. So I had time to shake this hangover off.

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

I had managed to shake off some of the hangover, not all of it, but most of it which was better than nothing. I’d worn my navy pencil skirt and white shirt with the matching blazer, knowing this meeting was a big deal if Nick decided to call me in the bloody AM for it. As I drove to work I couldn’t help but remember being slumped in the passenger seat the night before. I thought I’d slept, but images of me giggling and talking flashed in my mind. The memory was faint, but I do vaguely remember having some sort of conversation with that woman who drove me home. I remember dropping keys and her picking them up, but then everything faded.

I slammed my foot on the brakes as the lights turned red. With the way I was today, I couldn’t do anything but focus on one thing at a time. Which meant if I was driving, then that was all I could do. I couldn’t try to recollect of the events that happened the previous night, because that was way too much for my brain today.

Once Nick had briefed me on who was coming today, I finally understood why it meant so much for me to attend the meeting. It was the owners of Harriet&Co. One of the most popular upcoming businesses currently in the industry. And somehow, Nick had managed to get them interested in his future business plans and had let them know how much profit he could deliver to the company and how much they could save. Obviously after hearing profit and save, they were on board, so it was me that had to set up the meeting room, take notes and also explain our plans for the next 6 months.

It wasn’t a hard task as I’ve done this multiple times now, however, when I thought about how big of deal this was to Nick, I started to feel nervous. I wasn’t too sure whether it was still the alcohol in my system or the fact that I knew I couldn’t mess this up. Whichever one it was, it was messing me up and my stomach.
“Hayley, they’re on their way. Is everything ready?”
“Presentation is sorted, I’ve got my laptop to take notes, and the business structure for the next 6 months and previous 6 months are all printed and included in the slides.”
He smiled and nodded slightly. “That’s my girl.”

Just as we’d finished prepping, he received a call.
“Okay Hayley they’re here. Get Karen to bring some complimentary snacks in here and water and I’ll bring them up.”
I nodded and he was out before I finished nodding. I called Karen, asking for some food to be brought up here immediately and took a deep breath. It was time to get my game face on. I quickly put my phone on silent and threw it back in my bag when I noticed a white piece of paper neatly folded in my bag. I wasn’t too sure whether that was there before or maybe I just missed it earlier. I looked at the door and noticed no one was there yet. I reached for it and unfolded it.

Hi Stranger,

Is it bad that I didn’t catch your name? Sorry about that, but I do hope you’re feeling better. You was very friendly tonight, but that’s okay – it made me laugh. I hope you didn’t have to go into work, you looked shattered when you finally got home. 

I had to carry you to your bed which wasn’t easy. Carrying a drunk woman to her bed, whilst she’s undressing in your arms was really tough. I do hope you’re okay. I left my number below. Call me when you have a chance, you do kind of owe me now, right?

07473829574 – Melanie x

What in the world?! I must be dreaming, she left me a note. I am an absolute mess. I couldn’t even bare to read the note again. I couldn’t believe I was that much of a wreck that I couldn’t take myself to my own bed. This is beyond embarrassing. I guess I do owe her, but can I really see myself meeting up with her again? And live through that embarrassment, I’m not too sure.

A cough appeared from the doorway. I looked up and there stood Nick and the operational manager and CEO of Harriet@Co standing in the door way. Nick’s eyebrows were hunched with concern. I scrunched the paper into a ball and plastered a smile on my face. I walked towards the men, whilst throwing the paper in the bin on the way to them and outstretched my hand to the men.
“Pleasure to meet you, I’m Hayley.”
“Ah! Hello Hayley, I’m Simon and this is Conor, lovely to meet you.”
“Have a seat fellas, get comfortable.” Nick ushered them to their appointed seats as I walked to mine, noticing the food on the table. I must have been engrossed in that damn note that I didn’t even hear Lauren walk through the door and set up the table.
“Hayley, shall we begin?” Throwing the thoughts of the note that Melanie left in my bag out of my head, I returned my focus back onto the presentation and the meeting at hand.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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