ALEXA STARED at the bright white of the computer screen. It seemed to be mocking her with its very emptiness. She sighed. If she did not start on her freelance work soon, she would never get done. With a groan, she stood up and went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. She decided to take a much-needed break before she started the workday. Alexa glanced at the clock. Already, it was approaching ten in the morning. Today was a waste. All she needed to do was look up the keywords needed for a client’s blog. That was it. Leaning back against the counter, she tried to refocus her mind on work. Nothing helped. Since her fling with William a month ago, she had been unable to focus on anything. It was amazing that one little date could change her entire outlook.
The ringing of the phone snapped her back to the present. Crossing the room, she picked it up and answered. The number was not familiar, but many of the clients she used called her on this line. It could be important or it could be a spammer. In her line of work, either option was equally likely.
“Hello?” she asked. “Alexandria Enterprise. How may I direct your call?”
A laugh was heard on the other end of the line and Alexa groaned. It was her mother. “Now don’t you Alexandria me, young lady. I gave birth to you and I know as well as anybody that you are no Alexandria.”
Alexa rolled her eyes. Vividly alive and slightly domineering, her mother was a veritable force of nature. Alexa had named her company Alexandria as a reference to the old libraries that burned in Alexandria. The metaphor was lost on her mother, however. “Yes, Mama, I know. Ten hours of labor and what did you get?”
“A daughter who puts on airs,” her mother finished.
Alexa sighed. “So what is it this time, Mama? You fixing me up with Sammy again? He’s gay, you know. Just because you and his mom don’t believe it…” she trailed off. It was useless arguing. Her mother had noticed Alexa’s lack of a love life and spent the last month trying to fix her up with men from the neighborhood. Alexa groaned inwardly. Men. No, the men of the neighborhood had been snatched up a long time ago. What was left was a mix of boys who could never compete. The only person she would have even considered dating was Sammy, but he had other interests that did not involve slender hips and voluptuous breasts.
“No, no, Alexa. I won’t be fixing you up with anyone this time. I just want to see you every once in a while. Dinner with me tonight? I’ll cook your favorite… fried chicken.”
Sighing, Alexa nodded. She instantly realized that her mother couldn’t see her nod, so she replied, “Sure, Mama. That’s fine. I’ll see you around six.”
Hanging up the phone, Alexa went back to her desk. She would have to complete a great deal of work before driving down to Tacoma. Even worse, she was going to be suckered into eating her mother’s extremely delicious and exceptionally fattening chicken. So much for giving up fried food.
After she sat down at the desk, the minutes quickly fled by. Alexa became engrossed in the project and barely noticed that the light was starting to dim from the sky. Glancing up, she realized that it was already 4 PM. Thankfully, she was done. Leaning back from the computer, she reached over and picked her phone on the first ring.
“Hello, Alexandria Enterprises.”
“Hey…Alexa? This is you, right?” The voice on the phone caused her to sit up straight. She recognized the deep, gravelly voice.
“William? What…What do you want?” She winced. Her attempt at playing it cool already failed.
“Nothing, Alexa, at least not in the way you’re thinking.” He paused as he tried to figure out how to word his question. “Well, I remember you talking about marketing and the internet at our…dinner.” Alexa did not say anything, so William continued. “Anyhow, I think I may want to utilize your services. When would you be available?”
Alexa picked up her schedule. Normally, she would tell him that she did not work with friends, but considering that they had only spent an evening together, she could ignore her normal rule. Not to mention that he would probably end up being one of her major clients. “Yes, yes, I could do that. How about we arrange for a consultation in…” She flipped through her schedule. “Two weeks?”
“Two weeks? Wow, business must be going well. Yes, we could do that. Let me put my secretary on the line and she will handle the scheduling aspect. I’ll tell you more about what I want in person.”