1. New Beginnings
"Yes Mom, I'm fine. I literally just got to my...empty apartment." I say into phone as I look about the empty rooms. A large bay window grabs my attention as I gravitate towards the HD view.
"Ok. Mom." I groan as she continues on through the receiver. "I will call you later, I'm going to get settled in. Ok. Yes. Ok, love you." I end our call and decide to the explore the square footage.
I venture down a hallway that opens into a large master bedroom with more breathtaking views from the glass sliding doors.
"I have a balcony." I gasp stepping through the door. "Wow."
I step back into the room, which indeed has a bed and for that I'm thankful. I fall back onto the bed, letting out a sigh of relief. "Welcome to your new life." I say to myself before my eyelids pull into a jet lagged sleep.
I awake hours later surrounded by darkness and the specks of city lights around me.
"Shit." I grumble to myself, looking about.
I decide to order some pizza and head out to the balcony to enjoy it. I snap some photos and send them off to my family who are all very worried it seems by the mass of text messages. After my very serene dinner, I decide to pick out my 'first day at a new job outfit' and go with a grey pencil skirt and light pink blouse. Seems appropriate. Sleep takes awhile to catch up to me but finally I fall asleep dreaming of a fresh new start.
Morning comes all too soon as I hurry through my morning routine. Nerves flutter about my stomach as walk a few blocks to a bus terminal. A 20 minute bus ride later and I'm finally walking into my place of employment. I'm greeted by a very bubbly receptionist who introduces herself as, Anne.
"Hi Anne, my name is Samantha Smith. I'm the new hire." I inform shaking her hand.
"Oh yes!" She beams. "Jessica is waiting for you. Please follow me."
I follow Anne down a long hallway passing many offices on the way. We stop at a very brightly painted room which a very petite young woman sits at a desk.
"Excuse me, Jessica." Anne knocks. "Ms. Smith has arrived."
"Ah yes! My international new baby." She laughs.
Anne shows me into the room as I gather towards Jessica. She brings me in for a hug, very enthused to have me.
"I can't thank you enough for this opportunity. It is literally a dream come true." She smiles. "Oh, it was a no brainer to hire you. I hope the trip wasn't too awful."
I shake my head. "No it wasn't but jet lag is some serious business."
"It is." She laughs before clapping her hands. "Well I hope you like this office, because it's yours!"
I look about at the bright colors and know this job is a dream.
"I absolutely love it!"
"Great!" She smiles. "On your desk is all new supplies. Sketch pad, Bristol pad, prisma color markers, pencils. It's all there!" She continues. "I'll let you get settled and I'll be back to chat some more, ok?"
"Yes." I say a little too loudly. "Thank you so much."
As soon as Jessica leaves the room, I immediately go to my desk checking over the expensive new supplies. An all too audible squeak escapes my mouth as I cover my mouth in embarrassment. I start sorting my desk, placing pictures of family back home, and relocating my essentials. A knock at the door interrupts my process as I look up from my pile of empty wrappers and plastic.
"Oh, hello." I say, standing to straighten my shirt and skirt.
"Hi!" The young man smiles. "Just wanted to say hello to my new office buddy. I'm Harry."
I approach him finding a distinct difference in his accent. "Sam."
"Whoa, all the way from the U.S. and not just visiting. Ace."
I smile not knowing what to say. His appearance is a bit nerdy with his suspenders showing prominently above his shirt. His hair is slick and parted very business casual like and his thick black rimmed glasses just top off the 'nerd' look. A refreshing difference than all the suited meatheads back home.
"Well, I'll let you get back to your business. If you need any help I'm just next door." He smiles before heading towards the door.
"Thank you, Harry." He nods and leaves the room promptly.
I waltz back to my desk within seconds of hearing Jessica's voice again. We spend the rest of the afternoon going over work protocol, and the list of major clients the agency and firm has. I'm given my first task and am able to start the project tomorrow.
"Hey Sam, you should come out tonight. A few of us are going to meet at a local pub for a few drinks. It would be a lovely way meet some of the people around here." Jessica suggests. "Yeah, that sounds great."
"Great." She smiles. "Meet you in the lobby at quitting time!"
I decide to start my first project to get a head start and before I know it, I'm lost in my work interrupted by a knock on the door.
"Are you coming along tonight?" Harry appears.
"Oh shit, yea! I didn't even realize the time."
He laughs. "Shall I accompany you down to the lobby?"
"That would be nice. Thanks for being so kind." I smile grabbing my things.
Harry just smiles as I meet him before we make our way down to the lobby. A small group has gathered and I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll make some friends.
"Alright. We have arrived, let's go." Harry announces. The group says nothing except moves out the door and down the sidewalk to a small strip. We enter into a small establishment met with a very diverse crowd.
"So, guys! This is our new hire, Sam! All the way from the states."
"Wow nice." Another fancy haired boy chimes but he unlike Harry, was very sharp and fashion savvy. "Louis." He sticks his hand out.
"Nice to meet you." I smile shaking his hand.
The girl to his left also offers her hand, introducing herself as Tris. Tris and I hit it off quite well, keeping a constant chatter between the two of us. The two others accompanying the group are a bit older. I come to find that they are a married couple and have been with the firm for almost ten years. "And what are their names?" I ask Harry.
"Oh, that's Ben and Winny. They sort of keep to themselves but they like Jessica a lot." He continues. "They are good kin."
A few drinks turns into a few more as I watch the time pass by me. Tris makes a disgusted sound with her mouth before motioning to Harry and Louis to look at the door.
"Great." Louis mumbles.
"What?" I pipe in. "Who is that?" I ask looking back at 4 rather rough looking boys.
"Just a bunch of punks." Louis continues. "I think it is time for us to go anyway."
I keep my eye on the one boy particular. His red hair makes his stand out and his amount of tattoos is rather rebellious. We make awkward eye contact as I'm quick to turn my head.
"Ah yes, let's go." I agree as we all stand. I walk up to the bar to pay my tab but am not left alone long.
"Well, hello." A very strong Australian accent speaks.