Flash: Presentation

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Natalie paced. The cubicle wasn’t large enough to contain her energy and the tech desperately trying to return her computer to working order. The clock on the wall slowly counted the seconds as the boy with the cute butt crawled under her desk. Somehow, at the same time, the clock quickly ticked the minutes to her morning meeting.

She had completed her presentation. Stored it as required on Thursday. Now as Monday passed into Tuesday, she had no access. She had to have it .The presentation would ace her performance review. Her first one ever since getting her MBA. The one to move her from glorified data entry into the management fast track. She knew it. She could taste it.

“Maybe we should call one of the real computer guys in.”

“If you want to wait until morning, not a problem.” The tenor voice bounced off the underside of her desk. “They upgraded the system over the weekend, shoving in damn near 50 hours of rewiring and testing while everyone was off for the three-day holiday. Hell, they slept on the receptionist’s couch. Today they showed up at 6 am and stayed until 9 pm working out bugs. Unless you are the CEO, they ain’t answering the phone. And even that is questionable. Those dudes are comatose.”

“I know, I know.” She cursed her luck. Her sister had used the holiday to get married, so Natalie had flown across the country. Thunderstorms grounded her return plane on Sunday. Her rescheduling didn’t resolve until late on Monday. Hence arriving at the office close to midnight to discover her computer did not work. “Are you sure you can fix it?”

“I may not work on the helpdesk here, but I’ve done lots of computer trouble-shooting.” The guy scooted from under her desk. His longish brown hair could use a trim, and his blue jeans, now covered in dirt, screamed the casual attitude imbedded in the night-time call center operators.  “You’re just lucky someone knew to call me.”

“If you say so.”

“You of little faith.” The guy masterfully pushed the button to start her CPU before plopping in her chair. She would need to brush the dust and cobwebs off before sitting down. With the time rapidly closing on three am, she did not have time to go home for another business suit

The computer rebooted with its normal glacial speed. Not understanding what the screen messages meant, she stared at his face. It was very expressive, letting her know he thought everything was going well.

His face was also nice. Pleasant. Sharp cheekbones balanced a strong chin. His overlong bangs drooped over his brown eyes. His T-shirt declared he was a “100% Pure Jenius”. He had no idea how to dress for success, but his clothes had been in good repair until he went crawling through the grime on her behalf. His body was also a little past average attractiveness. Slim but muscular. The T-shirt hung loose enough she didn’t know if he had a six-pack or suffered the results of six packs. But his arms were sinewy, and the jeans left no doubt about his tight ass. Natalie always had a thing for good butts.

“And there we go.” The twenty-something male popped out her chair. “Applause and compliments accepted.”

“No, really?!?” She took the vacated seat, temporarily forgetting the dirt in her eagerness and relief. A few quick clicks sent twelve copies of her presentation to the printer. The shared printer’s hum echoed through the empty cubicle farm. “I can’t thank you enough.”

She turned in her chair to face the man braced in the opening of her not-quite wall. “Really, I owe you something. Have you had dinner, or lunch, or whatever meal break you guys have?”

He shook his head. “Nothing is open this late at night. We always pack, except Friday’s when we do a potluck thing.”

“Okay.” Natalie placed her hand gently on his arm. “Again, thank you. I really mean it.”

A considering look passed over the guys expressive face. “How about we meet somewhere after you get off work? You can tell me how the presentation went and buy me dinner.” His eyebrows wiggled. “You did say you owe me and I would love to know how this turns out.”

The guy was actually trying to score a date, a date where she paid. She laughed. “Dinner or breakfast?”

He shifted in the doorway to lean to one side. “My meals tend to be reversed. I grab breakfast on the way home and fall into bed. So how about it? Dinner? I can give you my phone number and you text me when and where to meet you. Or, if something else comes up, let me know I am on my own.”

“Why not? I do owe you something.” Natalie passed over a yellow Post-It pad and a pen.

(words 816 – first published 9/10/2013; republished new blog format 2/4/2018)