Sophie sat down on her office chair; a wide, happy smile was plastered across her face. Last week she thought she was about to lose her sanity. Poor was never in her dictionary. As far as she was concerned, she didn’t even know what being broke meant. Just because her parents had lost all their money, it didn’t mean that she was going to compromise on her fashion sense and passion for gourmet delectable.
Yes, her trust fund was all dried out. Her car fund could not even get her a bicycle and it turned out a few weeks ago that her college fund had vanished years before she enrolled into college. She was all pumped up and excited to check on her exam results online when she found out that she could not login to her college website since that her parents had never paid for her tuition fees.
Now she was a college drop-out, eager to start on her new job at the gas station near to her house. She was lucky that nobody in her housing area knew who she was since that she was too snobby before to make friends with anyone around. Nobody was going to know that she was that poor-college-drop-out whose parents had gone entirely bankrupt.
Her job was supposed to be simple. All she had to do was make sure that mart was constantly well stocked, key in some numbers into the computer and do some simple accounts. Well, at least that was what she had thought.
“Hi, you’re Sony, right?” asked a guy in a black fitted t-shirt and checkered boxers who came out of no where. His hair was long, jet black and everywhere. On his head, his forehead, in his eyes. The guy was a mess and he was calling her Sony.
Sophie simply bored her eyes into his, wondering who he was. She was in such shock, she couldn’t even shake her head no.
“Nice to meet you too. I’m Zarul and I own this place,” mr-just-rolled-out-of-bed introduced himself.
“I’m Sophie and I work here,” Sophie answered curtly.
Zarul almost laughed but his jaw was too tight and sore from all the shouting he had to do last night with his ex-girlfriend. They had broken up for two weeks and yet they were still arguing all the time. With or without her, his life was still a big hell of a fiasco.
“Sony, Sophie, whatever,” he murmured to himself, as he played with phone, trying to look for his to-do list. “I’m going to need you to…increase the variety of our soft drinks. Order something new. Make a reservation for two at The Westin for tonight at eight and I’m going to need a grande skinny latte with cinnamon. I’ll be back by eleven and I expect the coffee to be here and hot.”
“Where am I supposed to get the coffee?”
Zarul cocked up an eyebrow in disbelieve. What kind of question was that? Why on earth did his sister hire this alien from Mars to be his assistant? “Is that supposed to be a joke? Have you ever heard of San Francissco? Starbucks?”
Now Sophie’s blood was starting to boil up. Yes, she was broke but no, she was not stupid. She wasn’t raised on a different planet and that look on Zarul’s face, telling her that he thought that she was some kind of out-of-place freakshow was starting to mess with her temper.
“Of course I know about those places. The problem is that there is none of them around here. None of them in a walking distance, Mr. Zarul.”
“I can’t drive.”
“How did you get here then?”
“Well then, you can go on foot, get a bus, call a cab. I don’t care. I just want my coffee by eleven,” Zarul said, placing RM20 on Sophie’s working desk before he walked out of the miniscule cupboard. The place was too small, he wouldn’t even call it an office.
Sophie gathered her will and strength. She forced herself to stay on the blue spinning chair instead of racing towards her boss from hell and throttle him to death. Taking in a deep breath, she tried her best to find a loophole in his orders.
The nearest coffee shop was a Starbucks at the mall. She didn’t know how to take the bus, didn’t have a car to drive and she sure as hell was not going to spend her last savings on a cab fare. She thought hard and long until she remembered of her brother and quickly picked up the phone receiver.
“Dean, wake up!” she yelled to her brother.
“What do you want from me?”
“I need a grande sized caramel latte, with cinnamon.”
“Miss Sophie, I’m sorry but I don’t think we can afford anymore Starbucks.”
“It’s not for me. It’s for the devil-wears-pajamas. He wants it by eleven, by hook or by crook.”
“Devil wears what? Who?” Dean asked, alarmed and suddenly fully awake.
“It’s my boss. He’s like a male version of the Devil Wears Prada, only his case, he wears pajamas to work,” Sophie had to explain in detail.
Dean let out a small sigh. “I though you’re working at a gas station? I didn’t know you’re at a fashion magazine.”
“I am working at a gas station. Now, would you help me or not? He left me RM20 for the coffee and I know that barista you flirt with always gives you staff price. You’re going to go home with RM10 for this, Dean.”
There was a big yawn at the end of the line before Dean agreed with Sophie.
She ended the call happily, glad to get her first task over with. Also glad that she didn’t tell Dean to order the latte with low fat milk as requested by Zarul. She was sure that he wouldn’t notice the difference and she was more than excited to see her boss gain a few extra pounds.