Root was jumpy as she stood by the side way waiting to cross the road. The traffic was heavy this morning. She didn’t know if it was the uncomfortable heels she wore or the fact that for the past few days her alarm couldn’t wake her up that made her moody this morning. She kept panicking “why can’t these drivers just stop and let me cross the god damn road”. She muttered to her self through clenched teeth and wet hands.
She had less than seven minutes to make it to the office and if she came late by any chance her boss would give her an ear full; he had a kind heart but a fowl mouth, which she had no tolerance for. Finally the red sign appeared, the cars stopped.
“Thank God”. She whispered.
She looked inside her bag quickly to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. She was glad she wasn’t so she braced up and took the first step to cross the road when her phone rang. She stopped to check who was calling, it was Ann. Why the hell would she be calling me so early in the morning, she thought to herself and was about answering the call when she noticed the cars were about to move again.
“Shit!”. She said bluntly, threw back the phone inside her bag and crossed the road running while the cars kept hurling at her to leave the road. She hailed a taxi immediately and hopped in.
* * *
Five minutes later, she was in front of her office building. She paid the driver and ran in without collecting her balance. That was the least of her problems. She eventually reached the conference room door and gently opened the door. All eyes turned to her as she walked in, she knew they could hear her breath and see the sweat on her face because it was evident that she had been running but she didn’t mind. She glanced at the clock almost immediately and gave a wry smile. She was right on time.
The meeting kicked off at exactly eight o’clock. She listened carefully as the meeting went on when she jumped a little abruptly; her phone was vibrating. She grabbed it immediately and checked. It was Ann again. ‘Why in Gods name is she still calling me? This girl would land me in big trouble one day’. She thought angrily and put the phone on silent mode. She kept back her phone and looked up at everyone, hoping no one saw her; when she caught Mr Thomas staring at her mischievously. She stared right back at him frowning without blinking. They were always at war with each other and it was no secret that they hated each other. He gave her a fake smile and finally turned his head away. “Annoying brat” she hissed in disgust.
* * *
The meeting ended two hours later. She was walking back to her office when she pulled out her phone “jeez, thirteen missed calls”. She exclaimed. Ten was from Ann while three was from Rocky. What the hell was going on with Ann? She wondered. She instantly became worried. It was strange for Ann to be calling her continuously. She got a text message from Rocky saying hi to her and asking her if she had heard from Ann after going to see her severely sick mother. He also proposed they all have a drink together when she was free and asked her to call him back later on. She had mixed feelings after reading his message. She was happy he called, he had always been a good friend and at the same time she became scared for Ann. She was sure something bad had happened for her to be calling her repeatedly for the past three hours.
“Oh my God!” She whispered with a weak voice. “What if something went wrong with her mother?”. She asked herself. Ann’s mother had been battling diabetes and this time it hit her hard. “What if she’s…what if she’s…” She couldn’t say the word. “No! No!”, nothing would happen to her…nothing would…” She kept convincing her self as her hands began shaking, she quickly leaned on the wall to keep her balance. She couldn’t jump to conclusions now, not until she spoke with Ann, she thought. She picked up her phone and began dialing her number when she heard her name.
“Root” He called. She didn’t answer because she knew whose voice that was.
“Root”, he walked towards her “why are you not on your desk?” He asked.
Root just stared at him. Thinking of why he couldn’t find someone else to rattle. Can’t he see that I’ve got no time for his nonsense.
“And what are you doing here when you’re supposed to be on your desk Thomas”. She threw back the question at him.
“I was searching for you Root”, he gave a small smile, “You came into the meeting running again. Its become a habit”. He said enjoying his sarcasm and trying to annoy her. Insulting her always gave him pleasure.
“It doesn’t matter if i come in walking or running. I always make it on time, unlike someone”. She replied him with her eyes shooting daggers. He became flustered and she knew he was getting angry which made her smile.”One more thing Mr Thomas”, she continued enjoying it, “Next time, don’t talk to me unless its work related and before you insult me take a good look at yourself in the mirror first”. She warned.
“Don’t you dare or you’ll see the worst of me”. He glared angrily.
“No Thomas”, i laughed, “I’m doing you a Favour. Look at your shirt. You couldn’t even button it properly”, He looked down and when he noticed it was true his eyes grew wide with embarrassment, “What were you thinking of Thomas, that you couldn’t even spare your mirror two seconds?. I guess you were thinking of why a forty years old man like yourself is still leading a lonely and miserable life and have had not a single friend in his lifetime”. Root smiled knowing she had gotten him. “The next time you try to tease me, take a long-hard look at yourself first”. She said finally. Gave him an evil grin and walked away leaving him fuming with anger and sweating from perspiration.
* * *
Root unlocked her door and walked in, she threw the bag on the chair and sat on the bed, then eventually laid the upper part of her body on the bed. She was too tired. She didn’t even have the strength to walk to the bathroom. She checked her phone and saw another eight missed calls from Ann.
“Yes Ann!” She screamed and jumped to her feet. She dialed the number. Ann answered immediately.
“Oh my God Ann, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I was so worried about you. I couldn’t concentrate on work at all. I feel so guilty for not picking your call. Please don’t be angry i didn’t call you back”, she was almost near tears and felt so guilty, “i tried calling you but something kept interrupting, first it was when i needed to cross the highway, then it was the conference meeting, followed by old and short Thomas who irritated me all day. I’m so sorry. God i hope everything is fine”. She kept talking nonstop till Ann couldn’t take it any longer.
“Jesus! Stop it Root! Enough!” There was silence on Root’s end. “Take a break. You’ve been talking on and on. I’m fine. I’m okay”. She assured Root.
“Good. And your mom?” Root asked”Mummy is fine. In fact she’s almost as new and has resumed shouting at everyone as usual”. Ann replied.
“Wow! That’s great news. Jesus! I was scared that something went wrong and that’s why you called me more than a hundred times. Thank God”. Root sighed in relief and finally relaxed.
“Wait a minute Ann. If your mom is fine and you’re also fine then why have you been calling since early this morning?” She asked utterly confused.
“Oh my friend, why didn’t you answer the phone”, Root was sure she was giggling and happy and she wondered why. Ann continued “I wanted to tell you that Max finally asked me out on a date”. She screamed in joy.
“What?” Still confused “Who is Max?” Root asked.
“Handsome Max with the sexy body I’ve been crushing on for the past three months”. Ann answered.
“Oh Max” She remembered him.”Yes. I wanted to ask you to give me your sleek short black gown, that was why i kept calling to tell you about it and confirm that the gown was neat and ironed. I want our first date to be perfect”. She said dreaming and obviously blushing by the way she sounded.
“Just wait”, Root said trying to understand her clearly, “you’ve been calling me continuously throughout the whole day. I was worried thinking it was something important or that something bad had happened. I even blamed myself for not picking up and giving you the attention you so desperately needed. Only for you to tell me now that you called just to collect my gown and wear for your stupid date”. She said in anger. A lone tear rolled down from her eyes. She couldn’t believe what she just heard from Ann. It was totally annoying.
“Yes, that’s what i wanted to tell you. J didn’t know it would get you angry “. Ann replied sadly.
“You’re mad”, Root screamed at Ann, “in fact you’re crazy. How could you do something so outrageous? Why would you call me over and over again just to tell me such nonsense? Couldn’t you just send a simple text message. Why do you always blow things out of proportion?” She shouted into the phone, her face red with anger, “You know what”, she continued “continue to be a kid okay. Don’t call me again until you decide to grow up”. She said sternly.
“Root please i didn’t mean to…” Root hung up the phone before Ann could say anything and threw the phone on the bed.
Is Ann alright upstairs? Root wondered. She always exaggerates little things and make big things seem little. I wouldn’t have bothered calling her back, that would have saved me from all this drama. I’ll have to teach her a serious lesson for causing me a serious panic attack.