Trouble is my middle name

[Not sure whether this shall become the beginning of a series of chapters, but for now, you could assume what you will]

“So glad you could join us,”

she said, gazing at me sternly from across the mahogany table. It was unnaturally tidy, as if she’d measured out the domain of every single item of stationery.

Her chestnut brown hair was up in a bun, making her look more severe. The lack of humour in her bearing was further highlighted by the white shirt and light grey blazer she wore; she clearly meant business. Her frame was petite and almost delicate in nature, but she radiated with a certain tense dynamism from behind the desk. As I could only see the upper part of her torso, I was left to imagine the rest. Green eyes observed me as I approached the leather chair that groaned too much for my own liking.

The natural morning light streaming through the window blinded me momentarily, giving her a peculiar halo as I sank into the seat. It was too early… My eyes!

I tried to smile.

Not even an eyelash was batted; she was not impressed.

To my left sat my glorious ‘partner in crime’, Lisa; fierce red hair, bright green eyes, and an expression that reflected mine. We were both trying hard not to laugh, because, well… we were trying to be adults about this, but it was just too funny.

The label at the front of the desk informed me that this woman was Tania Brown, with a bunch of letters after her name. Did they mean anything? Probably not. Would it be wise to point this out? No.

Her hostile manner was perfectly justifiable; I was late and my choice of garments was not particularly appropriate for a serious meeting. I wore a grubby, faded out, black t-shirt and shabby jeans – the kind that people would assume I’d worn for days on end. Admittedly, I had woken up behind schedule already, and in the rush, just put on whatever was within reach.

“Do you know why you two have been sent for?”

Brown – opposite me – glanced at the piece of paper in her hands, panic flashing across her eyes momentarily. From where I sat, the piece of paper was made almost transparent due to the natural light in the window behind her, and hence I could read it. It was just too funny.

I shook my head, trying not to look over at my accomplice. I knew if I turned my head to face her, I would not be able to contain myself, and that would not help our case at all. I bit my lip, holding my breath, doing my utmost to keep a straight face.

“No…”

My voice was high-pitched and forced; it took all my energy not to start laughing.

“No…” echoed Lisa in a similar tone. Clearly, we were both struggling to be ‘mature’.

“Pray tell us, what we have done?” Unfortunately, I tried to sound serious, but Lisa started giggling midway, and I followed suit.

“This is a serious matter!” exclaimed the small woman from behind the desk. She slammed the paper on the desktop and stood up. As I had imagined, she wore a pencil skirt, matching the blazer. Evidently, she was a woman of all things proper; including proper business style. She paced back and forth, and then stopped to gaze at something outside the window.

“I do hope you understand the gravity of the situation. This would be on your permanent record.”

And this was just the beginning.

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