Hello there Armoury! Welcome to Crowds: Rachael Part One! Rachael’s story will run over the next couple of weeks on my blog, and starting from next week I will be unveiling the illustrations that Vanessa from Big Picture Stuff did for my story My Eternal Daydream that I published earlier this year. So much is happening, I’m so excited and I cannot wait to hear what you have to say about this first part to Rachael’s story, so read on, share, subscribe and please love and like!
Rachael: Part One
Rachael ran into Berwick station. Fuelled off only three and a half hours sleep, adrenaline buzzed through her like a vibrating mobile on full blast as the train rolled speedily into the station. She quickly tapped on her Myki and made it into the carriage just as the doors closed. She immediately walked down the aisle between the chairs and spaced her legs out on the floor so that she was balanced. As the carriage began to speed away, she sighed and an honest wave of relief washed through her. She got here without falling asleep – fantastic. She then looked around, and even though there were many seats available she for some odd reason never liked to sit down. She preferred to stand and look busy and seem important.
She caught a glance of herself in the dull train window. She was white; her family was ‘complete Aussie,’ as her Nan would like to say, even though their ancestors had migrated here from Ireland – or somewhere around there – some time ago. She was twenty seven, her twenty eighth birthday was two months away. She had a serious face, it was boxy and long, like a white folded piece of paper. It seemed as if the later half of her twenties, and the stressful lifestyle that came with it, made her seem like permanent frantic hot mess – like a bubble pot of caffeine with a ticking time bomb inside. Rachael had green-y blue eyes, like a tropical ocean on a clear day. But they looked weary, like pressure and strain had vacuumed the life out of them. They were a simple shape, with thick mascara coating her eyes and heavy concealer under her eyes to make her appear more awake than what she actually was. Her under-eyes were also always permanently puffy from the lack of hydration, sleep and general wellbeing; she had waved goodbye to her good looks and health the day she got a ‘real corporate job.’ It was as if the moment she had signed the deal she felt the bags under her eyes practically inflate with the promise that no cream or potion could ever evict them. Her hair was straight and simple, packet dyed the colour of red wine and left to naturally dry, the ends dripping onto her black Target cardigan from the shower that made her almost late. Her nose was petite and her large pores where covered with translucent power. Her skin was flushed at the cheeks, with a flaky bit of skin around the side of her nose, and an upcoming hormonal pimple was looming. She was taller than most, with wide hips and thick legs. She wore a plain white business blouse, a black pencil skirt and a tiffany bracelet on her wrist that her boyfriend had gotten her for their first year anniversary.
As Berwick station almost became a distant memory, Rachael sipped her homemade coffee out of her canister mug and tugged her fingertips up under eyes. She was on her second coffee already and her brain still playing catch up. With a regretful moan she plucked her iPhone out of her bag and turned it on. She had turned it off at 3am that morning, knowing that if she didn’t she wouldn’t have gotten off it and to sleep. As notifications sprouted in the corner of icons like tiny infectious monsters, she checked her personal emails first and swiped away the junk. She hovered over an email from The Body Shop, T2, Nike, she briefly read a post from a blogger she liked, and then opened her business emails. Twenty eight emails had spawned since 3am and with a moan she glimpsed through them before opening her social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Tumblr, Pinterest. Her fingers swiped and tapped through everything until the train began to fill.
Rachael drank the last dregs of her coffee as a call popped up on her phone.
“Rachael, it’s Gavin, where are you?”
“Just pasting Richmond?” Rachael questioned, glancing at her Guess watch and looking out at the busy station. Several more people entered and she brushed up against a throng blur of business suits.
“Well we discussed last night that you needed to be here by 8, not 9 this morning.”
“What?” she spat too loud. She choked on the last drips of her cold coffee. “No, no, there has to be a mistake.”
“There’s not, Rachael. We had a meeting with the Arman account at 8:15, it was all in the overnight email I sent you.”
Rachael darted her eyes from left to right, “I didn’t get the email, I don’t even remember discussing with you that I was coming in at 8.”
“Maybe you should consider moving closer,” Gavin began. “You do live a bit too far out for a constant city commute, especially if you want to made head business associate.”
Rachael hummed down the phone and then took a big breath, “Well, what ended up happening?”
“Well they didn’t want to meet with me, did they,” he said, his voice congealing with frustration. “They wanted to meet with you, besides, you had the portfolio to show them. So we’ve rescheduled to Wednesday night at seven.”
“But I can’t do Wednesday night!” she immediately began to pledge. “I have my brother’s wedding rehearsal, I can’t miss that.”
“Well you’re going to have to,” Gavin spoke, his temper as soft as a slab of concrete. “I don’t want to take this up to Mark, but I will if I have to.”
She wasn’t sure if it was the four scoops of instant coffee she’d ingested that had finally decided to kick in, but Rachael felt her heart race quicker, “I’ll see what I can do.”
“You better. Mr. Arman has a flight to Dubai Wednesday night at 11pm. He would have been prepared to meet the week when he returns, but you’re in Fiji, right?”
“Yes,” she said, her patience thinning, “for my brother’s wedding.”
“Yeah, that,” Gavin huffed. “Who has a wedding in Fiji? Anyway, just get to the office as soon as possible.”
The phone then went dead and Rachael looked out of the carriage window and began to breathe in and out. Seconds later her phone lit up with an email notification and then another. She sighed and swiped her phone open.
* Rachael’s story [Part Two] continues on [MON/AUG/24].
* This narrative was edited by my wonderful editor: Kayla Marie Murphy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
* Creative Credit for Racheal’s image goes to the wonderful and supremely talented Jinny Park, whose Instagram feed you can check out at: http://www.instagram.com/somethingpeach. Thank you so much Jinny for this wonderful collaboration!
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