Emma

6.50 a.m. Mike Holland had too much to drink the night before. It was a rough night. Today was a Monday.

His head ached with regret and fatigue. Emails and phone calls made the day drag on. Lunch came and went. The deadline was set for that afternoon and he wasn’t ready. This was his one chance for his promotion he had been wanting since he started the company. Today was the day. He would all but succumb to being a sycophant for this position.  Still more reports had to be done as well as the response to the girl he had met at the bar the night before.

He hadn’t seen her before that night. She was new in town. She didn’t stay long either. Enough time to pick up one of the regulars. People called her Emma. He called her gorgeous. In fact the moment he laid eyes on her, was the moment she captivated his very being.

She was elegant in a way the bar had never seen before with soft caramel curls tied to one side and jeans with a charcoal tank top that allowed her neckline to feature the white gold cross necklace that draped her collarbone. It was just enough modesty to send his heart racing.

He placed his hand on his right temple hoping to release the pressure due to his over indulgence. He prompted quietly, “Just a few more pages and this report will be finished.”

The cadence of his fingers met the keyboard with intention. He drove home each word, pounding the space bar with his thumb. His bloodshot chestnut eyes stared into his monitor as each key revealed each character. In his mind’s eye, her image appeared on the screen as the calendar notification chimed in his ear:

Promotion Meeting with Arthur Desantis. His heart raced as he skimmed the words on the lower right side of his screen.

3.48 p.m It was just before the meeting. Mike had cultivated his last page after days of hard research and development. The lights had fluttered faintly that morning but he didn’t think anything of it. In fact, he didn’t even notice. His mind was strained on the task at hand and the quarter filled glass of crushed ice that remained at the bar that had kissed her lips. He had to meet her again. But how? He typed on.

It was the last page and he had saved every couple of paragraphs and even printed the pages until the dreaded fate had finally caught up to the weary occupant. All lights in the office shut down.

The power had left the building.

There on the printer, lay the treasured report as well as mysterious extra back page containing a message and a secret phone number.

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