I pour a tall mug full of coffee. There’s some more in the pot. I’ll need it for the long night ahead.

I’m on slide number two which besides the company logo is virtually blank.

I have the data I want to present but my creative juices simply aren’t flowing at the moment. This meeting wasn’t due for another week. But the CEO has been known to ambush guys. Apparently, he’s travelling out of the country next week and chose to have the meeting moved up the calendar. I’m the one bearing the brunt of the sudden rescheduling.

My phone vibrates and the screen lights up.

There are two missed calls from James. A text as well as and he seems concerned. I’d told myself that I would call him back and explain my walking out on him during lunch, but I just haven’t found the time. I feel sorry but convince myself he’s still just a stranger that I met not more than 24 hours ago. He can wait.

 There’s another message. It’s the boss: “Just checked my email, haven’t seen anything from you.”

“Finishing up on it, you’ll have it before you turn in,” I text back after giving it much thought.

“I sleep at 09:00 pm, it’s less than an hour to my bedtime.”

I think you’re eating up my precious time with this back-and-forth texting. I’d have been on slide 10 by now. But we can’t text him that, can we now? I ponder on the response again for a few minutes and start typing. I have WhatsApp GB, so, from his end, he can’t tell whether I’ve read his messages. That gives me time to collect my thoughts and craft a response.

“You’ll have it before then.”

He doesn’t respond. I can see the blue ticks though. He obviously has never heard of GB.

The pressure is all I needed to get going though. I ditch the coffee, get a bottle of white wine from the fridge and pour myself a glass. I gulp it all then pour some more into the empty glass, pick up the bottle and walk back to my desk, at the edge of my living room.

“Let’s do this girl!”

The alcohol works magic. I suddenly feel like Picasso working artistically on La Gommeuse. The more I sip the more ideas keep flowing.

I package the PowerPoint and craft a nicely worded email. I type, delete, tweak a word here and there and finally hit send. The time stamp on the outgoing mail is 09:05 pm. Five minutes late is not that bad. It’s not as if he was on life support and this was the much-awaited oxygen gas needed to keep him alive.

The alcohol is poking the rebel in me. What shall he do?

I sink into the couch, wine bottle in hand and switch on the TV. The YouTube algorithm already knows I’m dying for some Diana Bahati. I watch a couple of episodes back-to-back and down the whole bottle. At quarter past eleven, I pass out on the couch with the TV lights still flickering.

Keep your eyes peeled for the sequel…or better yet, just subscribe so that you don’t miss it.