Hazel eyes fly open as the screaming of the digital alarm clock filters through her dark brown locks and into her ears. Madge sits up straight and desperately try to establish where she is. She is not a morning person. Where else would she be anyway? She is forty-six and divorced, it’s not like she’ll end up in a stranger’s bed anytime soon. Unwillingly maybe, in a case of kidnapping but certainly not willingly. I wonder what photo they’ll use for my missing poster? Perhaps the one on my Facebook profile, or the one with the sun-hat. That might make it difficult for someone to find me. Or perhaps the one with the two schnauzers at Helena’s birthday party. Where is her mind, she will not get kidnapped.
She slides out of the white satin sheets and drag her feet to the modern all-white kitchen. Madge is doing very well for herself. She knows it. She’s been divorced for almost three years; her husband found himself a young blonde, old enough to call him daddy. Must have happened all those times he had to work ‘late’. The thought brings her back to bitter times; she shakes her head to get rid of the disturbing images in her head and flicks on the coffee machine.
She walks up the stairs and closes the door to her en-suite bathroom, fully tiled in black and white with a double shower. She told the architect and builders that she wanted to feel like Kris Jenner and they did her proud. She dries herself and steps into the walk-in closet and chooses a knee-length navy dress, a pair of navy Louis Vuitton heels and her signature look, a cherry red lipstick.
She strides over to the coffee machine and pours a cup of black magic into the takeaway cup on the kitchen counter.
Finally, she takes her bag, car keys, sunglasses, coffee and heads out the door. The drive to work is the usual; she stops at the bakery on the corner to get a blueberry muffin before heading over to the office. When did, her life become so boring and predictable?
Her twin sons William and Calvin are off to college and it seems that her life has become, well, meaningless. She stares at the green traffic light, clearly not realizing it turned green. An eighty-year-old, at least that’s what he looked like honks his horn at her. She throws a perfectly manicured hand in the air as a gesture to apologize and then turns into the parking bay in front of the office building.
She makes it to her desk just before nine, not that it matters, around here she is the one calling orders. Up until Mr Felix walks in with his ‘I own the place you will do as I say’ attitude and ruins her day. That does not happen very often but when it does, the aftermath stench lingers for a week.
She needs adventure, but hell she’s too afraid to buy a different brand of coffee, let alone go on an adventure. No. The kind of adventures she’s used to is more of a ‘run to the ship at the fuel station instead of the one closer to home’ and that’s well, kind of sad.
Madge opens her laptop and scan’s through her appointments of the day. Her secretary, Willow, walks in with a double espresso in a Starbucks cup and places it neatly on her desk. She sits opposite Madge with a huge grin on her face. Oh heaven, she hopes this girl is not pregnant, take it from her, it’s nothing to be smiling about.
“Good morning Willow, I believe you have something to tell me?” She tries to sound as interested as possible but she is trying to figure out if Mr Felix will ruin her day today or tomorrow, frantically scanning through her planner.
Willow opens her mouth and the most horrific words she’s ever heard leaves her mouth.
“Madge, I’m engaged”! Willow shrieks holding her pale, skinny hand out towards her boss. For a minute Madge feels like crying. She wants to shake this ring off Willow’s hand and strap her to the chair until she understands that marriage is evil, pure evil. She wants to tell Willow that her husband will only lover her until she’s forty and then it’s all downhill from here. But she doesn’t.
“Congratulations Willow”, she says, trying to remain as calm as possible and to sound happy for her. At that very moment Mr Felix walks into her office. “Out” he barks at Willow and with one jump she is out of the office and the door is closed. Mr Felix pulls out the black leather chair but does not sit down. Instead he stands and stares down at her. What the hell does he want today? He probably has another crazy idea that he wants her to run with, which will most likely end up in another disaster and for which she’ll be blamed for.
“Mr Felix, what can I do for you today”? She smiles at him with her best fake business like smile. He snorts and sits down. It takes all her will power not to roll her eyes, stick her fingers in her ears with her tongue out, but that will look silly.
“You’re fired”. The words hit Madge across the face and for a moment she is too stunned to react. She falls back in her chair.
After composing herself she pulls up enough courage to ask the question. “What is your reason for firing me? I don’t think I understand” she says in a slight panic.
“I need someone fresh to run this business, someone with a bit more spunk, someone young, blonde preferable, one of those millennials” he answers with smug grin on his face.
Madge tries to control herself but being booted for a skinny blonde, twice in three years is enough to make any woman go bonkers.
“Mr Felix, I have dedicated my life to this company. I have worked more after hours than all of your staff, including you I might add combined. The last few years were extremely hard on me and my two sons. After asking for a few days off to handle my divorce you were mean enough to deny me that and now you are telling me that you are prepared to fire a loyal, faithful, hardworking and honest employee”?
“Do you know that you have a little vain that pops up in your neck when you get angry”? he answers still smirking.
Madge feels that the volcano is about to erupt and for a moment she blanks out.
She jumps to her feet a bit too quickly and breaks her Louis Vuitton heel in the process. She grabs her bag and start shoving picture frames, books, a dirty cup and a few files documentation inside. She grabs her car keys and the black trench coat she was meaning to take home for two weeks now and pulls off the Louis Vuitton’s and step into the pumps she keeps in the cupboard at work.
“Mr Felix, good luck in running this joint without me” she yells and startled that she used the word ‘joint’. She slams the office door closed so hard that she can hear the BGM presentation tumble to the ground.
The office is staring wide-eye at her until she exists through the glass doors. Willow waits until she can hear the elevator before she gets up and hurries over to Madge’s office door and knocks softly.
Willow enters slowly and she can see that Mr Felix is still sitting in the chair opposite Madge’s which is now empty with a very messy desk.
Mr Felix gets up and looks at Willow with a grin. “I’m not sure why she got so upset, I was only kidding” he says and then walks out of the office. Willow is not sure what just happened but by the looks of things she can only guess that this visit did not go down well. She steps outside the office and into the hallway and see Mr Felix walking his signature penguin walk down the aisle of desks. He stops and turns around in his steps.
“Willow, please call Ms. Brown and ask her if she would like a promotion”. Willow can’t help but smile. She pulls the headset over her ears and dials Madge’s number.