5 – Moving Forward, A Tree Arrives
Eight years later
Avenue Advertising was celebrating five years of business with style. The company now boasted spacious offices in Westlands, with a workforce of over fifty employees. A young woman, in her early twenties walked with purpose along the main corridor. She carried a fresh mug of coffee in one hand, with the other a black folder, her high heels silent on the blue-carpeted floor. She reached the end of the corridor, and pushed the glass doors open. She let the pressure doors close and headed past the secretary’s desk to a solid wooden door.
She knocked once, and walked into the neat office with a nervous smile. She loved this office, wanted one of her own in the future. She loved every thing in it, from the neat navy blue carpet on the floor, to the large glass desk set by the tall windows. A computer screen was set off to the right side, the keyboard hidden in a clever shelf under the table. Comfortable armchairs and a two-sitter couch made up a cozy visiting area, with a glass coffee table between them. She’d placed a blue vase filled with colorful daisies this morning on the coffee table. She paused to arrange the Avenue Advertising brochures beside the vase of flowers, then took a sisal coaster from under the coffee table.
Her gaze shifted to the swiveling chair behind the glass desk. It moved from side to side.
The young woman placed the coaster on the desk, putting the mug on it. She placed the folder she held in the in-tray and took a step back. The chair behind the desk swiveled still, side to side.
Her gaze moved to the pictures that lined the walls. They were photos of past clients, employee parties, a painting of the ocean and a picture of Koya Kalahari. This was the most interesting one; it was large, but not enough to stick out in the collection. Koya was smiling into the camera; she seemed in a relaxed mood, and quite at ease.
The swiveling chair stopped and turned, drawing the young woman’s attention. She reached into her pocket and got a small notebook. Her gaze on the woman sitting in the leather armchair staring at her cell phone.
This Koya Kalahari was not in a relaxed mood. She looked frustrated and ready to tear the head off someone.
Koya looked at her.
“The graphic designer is having trouble seeing the big picture. Our new client has issues with his work and he’s not fixing it. This client could sign a five-year contract with Ave Ad. We need to do this right. Damn it, I have to go over to their offices before my lunch with Kim.”
“Anything I can do?”
Koya picked up the mug of coffee and took a sip. She gave a sigh of bliss and smiled.
“You’re doing great, Linda. Any calls?”
Linda returned the smile because it was impossible not to. She read her trusty notebook.
“Anthony from the club called, the accountant is going to stop by, and he wanted you there. Your dentist’s secretary says your appointment is on Friday morning. Also, an Ashi Mwende called. She said to call her back.”
“Any calls from Ashi come straight through,” Koya advised, “no matter what.”
“Yes Madam,” Linda said noting it in her book. She was a week old on the job.
“Anything else?” Koya asked.
“Ms. Adele from PW says that your advice is needed on the posters for the gala. There’s also a package out there for you.”
“Any project Adele is on is purely for show,” Koya said under breath. “But don’t listen to me, Linda. It’s all for a good cause.”
Koya picked up a handful of folders from the out-tray and held them out to Linda.
“Give this to Creative. They will know what to do with them. Get Adele’s assistant on the line for me. Not Adele, Linda, her assistant, got it?”
“Got it,” Linda replied. “What would you like me to do with the package out there?”
“Bring it in,” Koya said with a frown.
Linda was sure Koya thought she was being ludicrous.
“But Madam, the package—,” Linda broke off. “Well, it’s really large. You’d have to see it.”
Koya studied her for a moment, then took her coffee mug and got up. She led the way out of the office to go check out the package. In a tan pair of straight trousers, a matching j-crew blouse, her feet in tan wedges, and her hair always in long beautiful braids, Koya looked polished.
Linda envied Koya her confidence. The woman commanded respect and loyalty with a single glance.
Out in the secretary’s office, Koya stared at the large box filling one corner of the reception area. The brown box was wrapped with green tape, with a flower shop business stamp on the side.
“How did they get that in here?” Koya asked. She sipped her coffee and placed the mug on Linda’s desk. She placed her hands on her hips as she took in the massive box.
“Two men came in carrying it. They looked pretty strong, and didn’t have a problem with it.”
“I bet,” Koya said. “What do you think it is? Have we ordered anything from a flower shop?”
“No,” Linda said. “Unless it’s personal?”
She glanced at Koya.
Koya scoffed and shook her head. “What if it’s a bomb?”
“Who’d want to bomb an advertising agency?”
“The competition,” Koya said. “Business is stiff out there, you know. Hell, it might be Adele. That woman hates me.”
Linda laughed. “It could be a gift. Maybe you won something.”
Koya wrinkled her nose in doubt. “Well, we won’t find out until it’s open. Pass me those scissors.”
Linda grabbed a pink pair from her desk and helped Koya open the mysterious package. They worked together for two minutes, and when they finished, they both stood back from the package staring at it again.
Koya looked dumbstruck. The day was getting heavy with surprises.
“A tree,” Linda said, amazed. “Someone send you a tree. Who sends a tree to an office? What happened to good old flowers?”
“The pot alone sure set the sender back cash wise,” Koya noted.
“It’s a freaking tree. What’s up with men these days?” Linda asked.
Koya burst out laughing. It was too good. The tree was a Japanese Cider. She had two growing at her home. They made for great shade.
“What?” Linda asked when she stopped laughing.
“How do you know it’s a man?”
“It’s a tree in the middle of an office. Only a man would think of that,” Linda said.
Koya smiled. “It could be one of our clients thanking us with a tree. The whole Wangari Maathai thing is going around. Or, maybe the florist made a mistake.”
“We’re on the sixth floor. I doubt a florist would make such a mistake.”
Koya grinned. “I don’t know what to say, Linda. Why don’t you call the number on the stamp? Figure it out for me. Whoever it is must be very interesting.”
Linda took out her notebook to jot down the numbers.
“I’m on it,” she said, her new job was going to be interesting, that was what.
Koya reclaimed her mug of coffee with a smile and went back to her office. She sat down behind her desk and a picture frame on the edge of her desk caught her attention. Three women smiled into the camera. Picking up her office phone, she punched a number from memory and waited a few minutes as it rang.
“Oasis Bookstore, how may I help you?” a cheerful voice answered.
“You’ll never guess what came in a package.”
“A man,” Ashi Mwende guessed.
“Wrong,” Koya said, still smiling, “But I do have a tree, a tall tree in an expensive pot. Can you imagine that?”
“I suppose that is thinking outside the box,” Ashi said with a laugh. “Flowers are so overrated.”
“Only you would say that. Anyway, forget the forestry in my office. What did you want to say to me?”
“I was hoping we could have lunch,” Ashi said, her tone hesitant.
“I’m having lunch with Kim. You could crash,” Koya said.
“You’re seeing Kim today?” Ashi asked. She was now happy, almost hopeful.
“Yes.” Koya frowned. “Is there something going on?”
“No. Nothing is wrong,” Ashi said. “You know what, how about we meet tonight at the club. Bring Hana with you; we can have a girl’s night out.”
“Sounds good,” Koya said, wondering what Ashi so out of sorts. Her cell phone buzzed on her desk and she sighed.
“The business is calling. Can I talk to you later?”
“Sure, don’t forget tonight,” Ashi said.
“I won’t,” Koya said, wondering what Ashi wanted to tell her that she was leaving up to Kim.
To be Continued….Thank you for Reading ^_^