~ Vanessa ~

Shit! 

Vanessa rolled out of bed and groaned.  It was now 7.30 am and she had to be at work by 8.00!  Why does this always happen to me, she thought, and always when it’s a Monday morning.  Well, better hurry up then.  Into the shower she raced, stayed there 5 minutes, then on with her chocolate brown suit, cream long sleeved blouse and violet vest.  She pulled her stockings up in a hurry, ran a comb through her hair, hastily clipped it back with a hair clip, bobby-pinned her fringe out of the way, slashed some lipstick across her lips and wiped the mascara wand over her eyelashes.  It was now 10 minutes to 8.  To the fridge she raced, grabbed her lunch and was out the door in 2 seconds flat.

Not again.  

There went the bus.  Vanessa ran across the street, jumped in front of 3 cars and over the divide fence on the other side of the road and got to the bus stop just as the bus was about to speed off.  Phew - made it!  She fell into a seat at the front of the bus and sighed.  I wish I didn’t have to do this every morning…

Finally at work, Vanessa logged onto her computer and checked her emails.  She opened her inbox and found 3 from Simon. 

Yippee! 

He had finally replied, but she already knew what they would say.  He was leaving his sister’s house tomorrow.  He was going to Canada and then down to San Francisco and onto England in the first week of August… 

Well well, had he sent her some photos!  They were quite raunchy in nature, so she quickly surveyed the halls for people and got to viewing.  These were the best photos yet, exactly what she had asked for!  He had really paid attention to her last email. 

How I miss him

Simon had been her boyfriend for the past 9 months and had gone overseas 2 months ago on a trip he had been planning for years.  He wouldn’t be coming back to Australia for at least 12 months.

She didn’t know how she was going to cope, because up until now he had been staying at his sister’s place in Rapid City, and had sent emails every few days.  Now it was going to be months between all contact, and she knew that they would both change over that time.  She didn’t know if he would want to see her when he got back.

Vanessa could really see herself marrying Simon.  The only thing that kept her going was the thought of him coming back, them getting married, settling down, travelling together and then having children. 

Aaah, that would be pure bliss.  But I don’t know what will happen, why bother to dream?

It was now 8.45 and still no sign of her boss. 

Fine by me, time for a cuppa!  

She went to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea.  

Get out the teabag, put in the sugar, pour in the boiling water and stir, stir, stir. 

She held the cup in both hands to warm herself as she went back to her desk.  This winter had been the coldest ever recorded in Brisbane and she loathed it.  Vanessa had always hated the cold with a passion and with Simon gone it was unbearable.

Vanessa had just moved into her own flat 2 months ago and was having trouble sleeping.  She just couldn’t get used to living in a flat by herself.  Vanessa came from a big family and was used to being around people at all times.  She would wake every hour starting from 2.00am and by the time 7.00am came around, all she felt like doing was going back to sleep. 

It wasn’t fair!  Why did Simon have to go and leave her here, while he gallivanted around the world with his no-hoper brother and friend Ty?

Ty had been a family friend for years and had only just decided to go overseas with them a couple of months before they left.  Now Simon was stuck with paying for both of them as well as himself.  Vanessa knew that he couldn’t really afford to be paying for them, but he did because he didn’t want to go by himself.  She was jealous and upset that he hadn’t taken her along instead and she understood his reasons for doing this, but that didn’t make it any easier.

Vanessa couldn’t stand to have to be away from him for so long, but what could she do?  It was bad enough that she couldn’t eat anything, let alone worry herself sick about what the future held…

It was now 9.00.  John strode in carrying both of his briefcases this morning. 

“Hello Vanessa, not wearing your glasses today?” 

“Good morning John, no I’m finally allowed to wear my contacts again.”

“That’s good, I bet you’re happy about that.” 

And with that John strode straight into his new office.  Vanessa was relieved, sometimes he asked her a lot of questions about herself and it made her feel really uncomfortable. 

But she figured it was nice to have a boss that was interested in her…

Vanessa settled in her chair and relaxed.  She knew that John carried his sports gear in one of his briefcases, so she was certain that today wouldn’t be all that busy and she could relax and think about getting her actor’s resumes done.

Vanessa went down to Sandra’s desk and asked her if she would be able to scan her photos into the computer so that she could do her actor’s cards and then take them to the printers to be printed later that week.  Sandra looked at her “To-Do List” and declined because apparently she was “flat strap” and didn’t have the time to do it.  Sandra was going on holidays on Wednesday and would be in the Sydney office when she returned. 

Damn! , now what am I going to do? 

She couldn’t afford to have the printing place scan her photos and then format everything.  It will have to wait then, she thought, back to my desk.

This really annoyed Vanessa because she had asked Sandra only last week if she could help out and she said she could, but now all of a sudden she couldn’t do it.  Maybe Jacinta the office manager had said something to her – she was an old cow that Jacinta! 

I’ll get her!

She sat at her desk and waited for John to give her something to do for the day, but he was busy reading his emails.  She checked her in-tray and spied a new file that she had opened last Friday. 

Score!  

She would now be able to leave the office of Turner & Turner and go down to her major client’s office to do some photocopying of the leases required for this new file.  Vanessa was looking forward to the walk in the fresh air.  Before she left she went into Alyssa’s office to check if she needed anything from the project office.  Alyssa needed a file from there and another new file opened as well, so Vanessa was in luck! 

Vanessa picked up her jacket and put it on.  Then she grabbed her access card, her mobile phone and her sunglasses and headed for the project office.  It was a frigidly cold day outside, and Vanessa groaned.  How she hated days like this, but alas, the fresh air would do her good.  So head down, bracing the wind with her file she walked briskly along Main Street to the Valley where the project office was located and hoped that inside the project office was warm.

Vanessa slipped her sunglasses off her face and rummaged in her pocket for her access card.  Through the door, smiling at the doorman, and into the foyer where the lifts were.  She pressed the up button and waited.  Into the lift she went, swiped her access card and hit level 8.  Vanessa usually hated coming to the Star Telecommunications Inc project office, but today it was a nice change from her normal cubicle at Turner & Turner.

Up the hallway to her section she strutted, for today she was actually feeling good to be here.  “Good morning.” she said to David, the accounts guy who sat near her section.  He nodded his greeting to her, as he was on the phone trying to get a discount for some supplies he had recently ordered.  That was a lot of what Star Telecommunications Inc did.  They were always trying to cut their costs, and with good reason too.  Vanessa had just read recently in a business report magazine that Star Ent Inc was going under and fast.  But you never knew exactly how much you could believe from those magazines.  Oh well, she thought, I know I’ll have this job for at least another year, because the telecommunications roll-out won’t be finished until August next year.

Vanessa didn’t really care what job she had or where her career ended up, she was really only concerned about what the future between her and Simon would hold.  She was hoping that they would end up together and she would be able to be a mother to the hoard of children she had always planned on having.

She was actually planning to surprise Simon at Christmas by going to visit him in England, but she wasn’t sure if he would like the idea.  So she was going to run it by him when he rang her to tell her he would be leaving tomorrow.  Hopefully he would like the idea.  She wasn’t sure if he would because he had told her that he wanted to be by himself for this whole trip.  Vanessa sighed, what was going to happen to her if he didn’t want her to be near him?

(An excerpt from my book ‘While You Were Away’ ~ maybe never to be published)

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