Leftovers

Leftovers by Stella Newman Read Free Book Online

Book: Leftovers by Stella Newman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Newman
Tags: Fiction, General
realising that I’m about to pay the bill with my credit card, which clearly says Susie Rosen on it. ‘We’re both Susies.’
    ‘That’s funny,’ he says.
    ‘Isn’t it just,’ I say. ‘Ha! We’re like the Two Ronnies … you know, well actually she’s more a Sue-becka. Some people even call her … Becka … Subecka … her middle name’s Becka, that’s why … just to tell us apart …’
    ‘Subecka! Sounds Japanese! Well anyway, say hi from me.’
    ‘Will do, got to go!’ I say, heading back to Devron, who is arranging with the waiter for his two bottles of wine to be re-corked and put in a bag for him.
    ‘Bit young for you, wasn’t he?’ says Devron, as I sit back down. ‘It’s good ice cream, have some,’ he says, poking his spoon at my sundae glass.
    ‘I’m stuffed,’ I say.
    ‘Right: see Tom and Jeff end of the week and get scripts to me three weeks on Friday.’
    ‘That soon, Devron?’
    I’m pretty sure the Amish can erect a wooden house in twenty-four hours. Apparently God created the Universe in seven days. But it takes our creative teams one month to write a few piddly scripts.
    ‘That timing’s too tight, Devron.’
    ‘You said it was OK a minute ago!’
    I have zero recollection of agreeing to anything of the sort. And if I did it was only because I wasn’t listening to a word he was saying … OK, let me think: if I brief a team early next week I might manage it, if Robbie gives me one of the more amenable, mature creative teams. Maybe lovely old Andy Ashford.
    ‘Theoretically it’s possible …’ I say.
    ‘We’re good, right?’ he nods.
    ‘It does depend on the team’s availability and workload, I’ll do everything I can …’
    ‘You’re late on this project already.’
    ‘To be fair we haven’t had your brief yet. And we haven’t got a name for the range. And we haven’t seen the products either.’ So technically, Devron, I should be the one sitting across the table giving you a menacing look, not the other way round …
    ‘So that’s a yes then,’ he says nodding again. (Last year Devron spent a week on a ‘How to Influence People’ course. He spent five days glued to YouTube videos of Tony Blair and Obama. Now whenever he wants something unreasonable he nods like a plastic dog in a car. Horrifically, this technique seems to work.)
    I nod back at him. ‘Yes, Devron,’ I say, ‘yes, that’s totally fine.’
    I have a nasty feeling in my head, heart and guts, that I shouldn’t have just said that.
    The first thing I do when I’m back at my desk is fill out my expenses – two hundred and forty quid with that second bottle of wine! Just once before I quit I’d like to do what Steve Pearson, Board Director on pessaries, does regularly: take the person I’m having an affair with out for lunch and bill it as a client lunch. (Sam – premier source of intel, as per usual.) I’d never actually fake my expenses; more to the point, there’s no one here I’d have an affair with. What am I even talking about? I would never have an affair
full stop
. Why can’t anybody ever leave anybody without another body to go to?
    I wander down to the mail room to see if Sam’s around. I fancy a coffee and a gossip but he’s nowhere to be found. He’s probably in the pub with Jinesh from IT, swotting up on some dodgy new computer software that can read your emails from outer space.
    Finally (and this should have been first, but I’ve put it off because it’s the least fun) I take the lift up to the creative floor to visit Robbie Doggett’s secretary, Alexis. It’s impossible for me not to associate anyone called Alexis with Alexis Colby Carrington from
Dynasty
. So even if this Alexis wasn’t already a cold, manipulative bitch, I’d probably project that onto her anyway. She’s lying on the leather sofa outside Robbie’s office, wearing sequinned hot pants and her favourite Patti Smith t-shirt. Sam’s the only man in the building who doesn’t think she’s

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