Therese has been waiting for her friend Dannie at their favorite café sitting on their favorite spot, the smoking lounge, for almost half an hour now. The lounge is located at the back of the café, across an empty alley. The area is small and intimate with only 3 tables that can accommodate the customers. Therese like it there because they can have peace and privacy during a conversation. In addition, it is always so certain that they will be alone at that place, it is very seldom for them to share the place with another customer.
"He's always. ALWAYS. Late" she thought.
Therese, alone at the area, just finished her fifth stick of cigarette and her second cup of coffee while waiting for her dark haired friend. It is a lazy Saturday afternoon, so, she doesn't have any place to go to right now. She swung by her office earlier that morning.
This 25 year old brunette is working as a photographer and writer for a popular lifestyle blog, she dropped some photos and negatives of food and dogs, her assignment for the previous week, then got her list of assignments for the upcoming week. Seeing the envelope that contains her new assignment with a written note from her boss that says "Goodluck Belivet! I trust you with this one! Xoxo Gen" made her uncomfortable. She knows that something is up. Nervous about the thing that she was about to read, she tear open the envelope and slowly unfold the paper…
Note: See you in 2 weeks.
Therese rolled her eyes, she thought that it has been a knowledge to her boss that she doesn't do or capture humans. She is more up for animals, food, peculiar and bizarre events and those artsy stuffs that need some attention in the world of lifestyle blogs. She just can't understand the reason why Gen, her boss, decided to give this assignment to her instead of giving it to Michael, who usually do this kind of stuffs. Before leaving the office, Therese decided to ring her boss, there must be some kind of mistake, she thought.
"Hi. Gen, it's me." Therese said when she heard that the other line picked up the call.
"Hey Belivet, what's up?"
Why is she acting like that she has no clue that there's something wrong. Therese thought.
"Ahmm. Yeah. About my assignment.." Therese continued.
"Yep. What about it?" asked Gen.
Therese who is now pressing her cellphone to her shoulder so that she can examine the paper more closely with her two hands.
Holding it with two hands will really change a thing. Good job Belivet,Therese told to herself.
"Well, Gen, it's about... It's about…"
"Toddlers. I know." Gen cut off Therese before the latter can finish her sentence.
"Exactly Gen! It is about toddlers. You know that I can't do humans. Can you give this one to Michael? I'll get his assignment for the week."
"Belivet!" Therese suddenly stood up straight because Gen just used her professional voice to her.
"That is the one assigned to you." Gen continued.
"Therese, as your boss…" Gen's voiced softened "and as your friend… I think it is now the time for you to grow up and conquer that fear of yours."
"No buts Belivet! And besides, it is a two week assignment, so you have the time in the world to do something. It has extra plus on it so… i mean. Extra bucks. I know that you can't refuse a little bucks in that small world of yours" Gen playfully said
"Plus… Michael has some 'human assignment' too. He is going to tail a big shot in Wallstreet for a week. So, consider yourself lucky that I only gave you the bite size…" Gen chuckled at her own joke.
Therese, even though still numb and don't know how to process the event that's happening right now, smiled. She really felt lucky having a boss and a friend like Gen.
"Got it Boss!" she said.
"Good girl. Well, please check in the office on Thursday around 11 in the morning. I just want to check your progress by then. Alright Belivet?"
"Yes…" Therese weakly replied.
"Therese?" Gen said this very softly, almost like a whisper.
"I believe in you. You can do this." Therese can feel the sincerity in the voice on the other line, she was really grateful.
"Thanks Gen. I appreciate it.. really. Bye!"
"Goodbye! See you Thursday."
With that, the phone call reached its end. Therese, contemplated what do and called her closest friend. Dannie agreed to meet her on their favorite café by 4pm. 30 minutes had passed, her dark haired friend is still nowhere to be seen.
Therese puts another cigarette on her mouth, just thinking about her assigned task for the next two weeks is really making her anxious. Therese retrieves her lighter from her pocket and proceeds to light her cigarette.
Oh for fuck's sake Therese thought while shaking her lighter up and down. Hoping that this action will help in producing that precious fire that she craves for. Looking at the end of the cigarette at her mouth, Therese once again tried her luck with her lighter.
She heard that someone entered the premise of the smoking lounge. Without looking up from her cigarette Therese sighed, she tried again...
From her peripheral vision, she can see that a blonde woman settled at the table an arms away from her table. Without giving a single care in the world, she continued.
"Goddamnit!" she said a little too loud for a whisper.
"Here Darling, let me…"