"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!" The piercing noise of my high heels on the hardwood floor resounded through the entire hallway as I tried my best to keep the binders and loose papers in my arms from crashing down onto the floor. I was highly aware of the many eyes following me, of the way they seemed to judge me for that single fleeting slapdash moment. I had grown used to the looks however, law school isn't something one endures without receiving weird looks once in a while.
I'm late, I'm late… I alternated speed walking and running, trying to be as quick as I could be without drawing even more attention to myself. I rounded a corner, ignoring the people gathered around the coffee machine there which by many was used as a sanctuary from the slow passing of hours within cubicles and at desks. It's a miracle this company still has employees, I thought to myself.
Soon I skidded to a stop in front of heavy oaken doors and took a moment to catch my breath. I checked my hair in the oily sheen of the wood and was a bit thrown off by the flawless door - not a single dent or scratch distorted my reflection. Most of my white hair was still caught in the bun at the back of my neck, but a few loose strands hung down the sides of my face. I had my arms full however, so they'd just have to stay there. No biggie, right?
However as soon as I caught glimpse of the loose strands of hair, my attention was also drawn to a crease in my skirt, a tiny ink stain on the hem of my dress shirt and of course that one spot that I had discovered this morning right beside the left corner of my mouth…
That's enough of that, I internally scolded myself. This wasn't the time. I needed to focus, and plus, I still had my arms full. I contemplated putting down the stack of files to tidy myself up, but just as I leaned down the door swung open and I found myself staring at the knees of a very well-tailored navy blue suit. I shot up as I felt a blush starting to creep up my neck. "Mister Holter, what a surprise."
"Hello miss Shields. I'm glad you could join us." The dark-haired middle aged man vaguely gestured over his shoulder as he made room for me to move past him. I kept my gaze pointed slightly downwards, offering me a view of the slightly straining button on mister Holter's blazer. The man didn't look that heavy set though, there was clearly a lot of muscle underneath the layer of fluff most likely nurtured by CEO life. My boss didn't offer to take anything off my hands, but I didn't mind. I had gotten the files this far without dropping them, the least I could do was get them the rest of the way onto the table.
"Please mister Holter, call me Elsa. I've told you many times." I attempted a smile as I walked past him into a large, square meeting room. A heavy, hardwood table (just as oiled up as the door, I noticed) stood right in the middle of the room and seemed way too big for the small amount of individuals seated at it. The people, no matter how impeccably dressed, seemed to be drowning instead of waiting.
"Quite." Mister Holter didn't seem impressed. I bit my lip softly as I put my things down on the table and tried to re-organise them after my little sprint through the hallways. My attempt at kindness hadn't quite turned out as I hoped. Don't worry about it. His turn. You tried.
"Miss Shields, you know why you're here?" Yes, to make you bunch of weasels even more money over the backs of hardworking people you don't care about. I inhaled deeply, distracting myself for a moment by taking in the craftsmanship that had gone into the hip-height wood embellishments along the otherwise green painted wall.
I inaudibly blew out the breath I had been holding. "To legalise the takeover, mister Holter." I forced another smile as I sat down in my chair. This was going to be a long day.