I am busy going through the hardcopy of my presentation. I have already double-checked the softcopy to see if everything is okay. Dylan is staring at me and it’s getting on my nerves.
“Will you stop staring at me for a sec? It’s making me more nervous,” I say as a wave of anxiety overwhelms me.
“Try and relax. I’m just happy that the boss actually chose you. You’ll totally ace it,” he says.
“You think?” I ask him, a wry smile forming on my face. He nods. He helped me with the softcopy of the presentation.
“You’ve got this,” he says, “Look who’s coming, I’m outta here, see you later and all the best,” he walks away quickly and when I look straight ahead, Beverly is strutting her way towards my desk and behind her is, you-know-who.
I take a deep breath and ignore his presence when they both stand in front of me. I guess they already met downstairs.
Beverly is grinning wider than usual and I furrow a brow as I notice the blue dress she’s wearing is shorter than the usual dresses she normally wears to work.
“Meghan, this is the wonderful man I have been telling you about!” she squeals and I cringe, “I know, I know. I didn’t even know he’s my new boss. Can you imagine that? I believe you two have already met, right?” she asks Topper.
“Yes, we have,” he says with a smug smile on his face.
I clench my fists so hard that my nails are digging deep crescents on my palms. This is unbelievable!
Topper and Beverly met in Miami. So I assume that’s where he’s been ever since he left town.
Look at him, standing there looking all innocent when the truth is, he was telling me he wanted us to get back together a few weeks ago and now he’s with my best friend? What kind of madness is this?
“Oh, lovely. She’s my best friend and you two will get along just fine,” Bev says.
No we won’t. We haven’t gotten along ever since he walked through those doors and got the position I have been dying for.
“Great,” I say, forcing a smile that fades immediately Bev turns around to talk to someone.
“I’ll be waiting for you,” Topper says as he straightens his coat and tie.
“What?” I ask, a frown plastered on my not-so-pleased face.
“I said, I will be waiting for you. You do have your presentation ready, right?” he asks as he raises an eyebrow and tilts his head to the side.
“Oh, yeah,” I say and look away. He’s part of the board now and he’ll be there to listen to my pitch. Mr. Lawrence said that he’ll only be available online, meaning he’ll be able to see and hear me via Skype. I’m already nervous even though I have everything ready for the pitch.
“The rest of the board will be there in twenty minutes, be there in ten. I’ll help you with–”
“Dylan and Bev already helped me out, I don’t need your help, everything has been set up,” I say and Beverly turns back to us.
“Good luck, love. I’ll be rooting for you. Give it all you’ve got,” she says and I note that her fingers are entwined with Topper’s and I nearly hurl my guts out. Bev doesn’t have any clue who she is dealing with here. The man she’s clinging on to right now doesn’t deserve to be called a human being, because I have never seen anyone else with characteristics similar to his.
I quickly pick up the necessary files that I need and switch off my computer just as Topper walks into his office. Thank goodness he walked away.
I make a mental note not to look at him during my presentation, I don’t need any distractions, but still, the fact that Bev is dating him bothers me. A lot!
I try to push the thoughts away and I make my way to the board room.
“I can do this. I am Meghan Mae Kline. I can do it,” I tell myself right before I pull the double doors open and luckily, no one is there, yet, except for Dylan who is now done connecting the large screen on which we’ll all be seeing Mr. Lawrence.
“Are you still nervous?” he asks, and I scratch the back of my neck.
“Of course I am. I’ve never done this before in my entire life,” I sigh and arrange my files at the front of the large conference table. I hand Dylan my flash drive and he tests if everything is working.
“You’ll be fine,” he genuinely smiles at me and I look away from him.
“Thanks,” I say tucking my hair behind my ear. Seconds later, Mr. Lawrence pops up on the screen and it startles me for a moment.
“Good to see you two,” he says, a wide grin plastered on his face. Dylan nods and I smile.
“Miss Kline, I hope you are ready. You better not disappoint me, you know I am a very busy man and I cannot afford to have my time wasted,” he says. His words sound so serious but his face tells otherwise.
“I will not let you down, sir,” I say just as everyone else walks in followed by Topper.
I begin my presentation immediately and everyone is keen and taking down notes. I try not to look at Topper so as to maintain my sanity in here. I can feel his eyes boring holes into my skin already.
“The S&S beauty products have a lot of competitors and I would advise that a re-branding be done as soon as possible, give free samples to customers at supermarkets and all that I had mentioned earlier. I am sure a new look, fragrance and an improved formula will definitely be our breakthrough in this industry and our sales will rise higher. Thank you,” I say as I conclude and to my surprise, I get a standing ovation from everyone, including Mr. Lawrence himself! Topper doesn’t even bother clapping, but he’s smirking when my eyes meet his.
“Thank you so much. I just hope that everyone will be dedicated fully to make our dream come true,” I say.
“Well, Miss Kline, I didn’t expect that from you, it was indeed a great pitch and I loved it. A thought came to my mind as you were talking about the beauty products. As you know, Mr. Lexington hasn’t been working there for that long, so, what do you think about being co-CEO’s?” says Mr. Lawrence.
My jaw drops and for a moment I forget how to breathe.
“What?” I ask in shock.
Written By: Anthea Kioko