The alarm clock clanked into Tina’s ear. A typical old-fashioned alarm clock that would wake one up with a jolt. A complete spoiler to the early morning dreams and the soundest of all sleep. Tina wanted to yank the clock on the floor and go back to sleep, but like they say, “No rest for the wicked.” She had an early morning presentation at the office. Those muscle flexing clients had chosen to make an appearance at their agency, just one last time. And the onus of salvaging the account lay on Tina’s dainty shoulders.
After all the agency knew she was the best. She had a reputation of flooring the clients with her impeccable work, along with her grace and charm that was the icing on the cake. Tina was in her mid 30s. Single by choice. And happy to stay that way. Her petite frame and baby like face was a complete contrast to her otherwise fiery, assertive and utterly confident attitude. She was the subject of a lot of gossip both at work and in the neighbourhood. Not many could handle her straightforward and street smart attitude. She had a thing for men as well. Tina’s boyfriends would change like her seasonal wardrobes.
Today Tina had to prove her mettle at work and she was more than determined to. After all she had to bag the Leader of the Year award. She knew no one deserved it more than her, and even if they did it was their problem. She would walk away with it irrespective.
She put the coffee percolator on and went about getting dressed. She needed to look her best today. Ajay Bajaj was one client she had eyed for a while now, and if she could work her charm with him, life would be sorted both personally and professionally. She pulled out her best pair of trousers, teeming it with a floral peach top. The pearl necklace added to her glamour quotient, as did her Tag Hueur watch. She threw her jacket over her shoulder, and walked out of the door with her usual confident stride. Mr Sharma who was sitting in the balcony, reading the mornings newspaper, couldn’t stop ogling at her. Tina gave him a sensuous look and then suddenly stuck her middle finger up. Mr. Sharma was far from embarrassed.
Tina arrived at office only to realise that in the midst of the morning rush, she had forgotten her laptop. She was already running late and the client would be there any moment. There was no way she could go back. Tina decided to use her astute memory instead. After all she had made many inroads with it and this time would not be an exception either. When Ajay Bajaj and his team arrived, the office staff got busy making them comfortable in the conference room. Bajaj in his crisp white, cotton shirt, black trousers and tuxedo looked his usual dapper self. Every time Tina saw him, she went weak in the knees. This time was no exception. But she brought her focus back to the task at hand. After all this was a deal or no deal situation for her agency. Tina started her presentation eloquently. Ajay Bajaj looked at her quizzically and asked, ” Tina, where are the slides?”
“Oh! I thought I’d do something out of the box.”
“Ok, then go on please.” said Bajaj looking slightly apprehensive.
As Tina started to make the presentation, the words just flowed. She threw questions at the client, and after they had replied, she came up with her own come backs. It seemed as though there had been a role reversal. Everyone was floored including her boss, Rahul. The client was all smiles. They were giving a heads up to the deal. Tina was moe than sure that the Leader of the Year Award was hers.
She sashayed up to Bajaj and looked straight into his eyes with a naughty smile, “Ajay, now that calls for a drink together right?” Tina’s boss Rahul looked away; embarrassed. Despite the years, he had still not made peace with her over-powering and sometimes provocative demeanour.
Bajaj grinned and replied, ” Ok sounds good. Lets all celebrate with drinks and dinner. This ones on us.”
“Our faith in your work gets reaffirmed today, thanks to your fire-brand employee, Tina.” he said looking at Rahul.
It was an early wrap up at work afterwards. Tina wanted to go back home and change. She really needed to floor Bajaj for sure. He was a good catch. Though she was slightly apprehensive whether it was a good idea to mix her professional life with her personal.
“But then what the heck!” she thought to herself.
As Tina walked into Soi 7 in her stunning off shoulder dress, heads turned. But that of course never bothered her. She was used to those prying eyes. The gang was seated on the table outside. Bajaj was already sitting there sipping his drink, surrounded by two of her other colleagues, Sonia and Amita.
“Bitches!” Tina muttered to herself.
As she made her way towards the table, a pair of sturdy hands swung her around. Tina was looking straight into Aneesh’s eyes.
“How goes babes? Long time no see. You never fail to look like a million bucks, do you?” The last thing Tina wanted, was to bump into an ex-flame and that to Aneesh who she had recently dumped. The DJ was blasting “Cheap Thrills” by Sia and Aneesh who seemed slightly inebriated dragged Tina to the dance floor. Tina tried to push him away, but he leaned further on to her, his arms entwined around her waist. His breath smelt of alcohol.
“Aneesh, let me go.” , Tina spat out.
“No, Tina, not this time. It’s pay back time today. One last dance with me please”, he looked at her pleadingly.
Tina felt a bit sorry for Aneesh. After all it wasn’t his fault. She was the one who had dumped him. So she began to sway to the music. She was hoping Bajaj wouldn’t see her.
But that very moment Bajaj trooped into the dance floor with the two other girls. The girls started gyrating around him. Bajaj seemed to enjoy all the attention and danced along with much enthusiasm. He pretended not to glance at Tina, though he had spotted her on the sly.
Tina drew Aneesh closer, wrapping her arms around his neck, planting a passionate kiss on his lips. She continued to play along, as the music blared Cheap Thrills.