Part Two of a series of sketches about the adventures of Stella Carmichael and Teressa Brighton
Teressa thought long and hard about how she would invite Stella for a drink after work. She also looked far and wide to make an informed decision about where to meet her. The establishment could not be too loud, it could not have too many screens, and the crowd could not be too quiet or serious, either. She stopped in at a few just to catch a glimpse of how a place would handle the typical crowd on a Friday close to 5p.m.
After about a month of a diligent search, she came to review her mental list of possibilities and came to rest on Captain’s, which was a sort of Irish pub, but truly by name only. They served what one might expect of an Irish pub in the States, with the expected dark beers and the occasional fruity alternative, but mostly what the crowd called for: safe bets. Teressa noticed this almost immediately about the place, and she thought it a good place to start when she would begin a conversation with Stella.
Having decided on details, Teressa came to work Monday, full of the so-called joys of spring. Cheri the secretary noticed it in the way she’d walked in and breezed past the front desk, how she’d carried her bag as if it had no weight to it (although it was full as Teressa had a prepared a review of the last major project assigned to her), and, most of all, with the light emanating from her eyes. To put it quite simply, Cheri found herself beyond annoyed. Teressa, however was oblivious to all of these indicators, except that she felt pleased, not with herself, but that she had found a place to start something new, if not for herself, for the ones with whom she spent most of her days.
Adjusting all of her things on her desk, she effortlessly had all of her props for the review in order within fifteen minutes. I could use a coffee right about now and it would also be possible to catch Stella there since she typically arrives at work between now and in the next half hour. To her surprise, Stella was not her usual self that morning and for most of that day. After having brewed her coffee, Teressa sat back at her desk and thought over her presentation that she was to give that afternoon, after lunch. Stella did not show up for another hour, looking distracted but not inattentive to her work. However, her desk was excessively full, piles of magazines and books, notes, and fabric samples in a confused mass. She must have been working over the weekend and the excess spilled over. But what for? Teressa thought better of interrupting her arduous typing and shuffling through her materials. I will say something before leaving for lunch.
So it went. Teressa closed her files and took one last look at the notes she had managed to memorize for her review. Taking a quick look in the mirror, she could not help but think, what really will come of this inviting and, if she accepts, the meeting at Captain’s?
Grabbing her clutch as she stood, Teressa took her leave and noticed Stella’s almost frantic appearance was quite the opposite now. Her eyes followed lines across her computer screen, a mug of hot ginger tea steaming at her elbow. Lips gently closed and attention fixated on what was in front of her. Teressa took her chance.
“Hello, Stella. Could I bother you for a moment?”
Turning to her, Stella said promptly, “Well, yes, of course. What is it that you need?”
Teressa continued, “To put it simply, I was curious to hear about what you have been working on. I do not mean to pry in any way, but I would honestly like to ask you a few things in regards to your time here at The Parrot and where you see the general project is going. Would you be interested at all in grabbing a drink on Friday after work? If you have other plans, no problem, I just thought to ask.”
Stella took a sip from her still-hot mug and turned it over in her mind. “Let me think. I had made arrangements with a friend about a ride to the airport but her plans have since changed. Has anything else come up, well,… I think I am, in fact, free. Were you supposing it would be before 7? I have an appointment with an architect on the North side at about 7:30. I can explain more about that later,” she explained.
“Absolutely,” Teressa responded. Could we meet at five, say, at Captain’s on the corner of Second Street and Olive?”
“That should be just fine.” Teressa, was more than pleased and she did not try to hide her smile and Stella, looking back to her open files asked, “Teressa, would you say you are happy?”
Teressa shifted her weight, caught a bit off guard. “Yes, yes, I think so.”
Not taking her eyes from her screen, Stella answered, “Very good. See you Friday.”