Roberta woke up sweating. How long had she been asleep? She looked around her office. Luckily her blinds were shut; the staff would think she was hard at work.Pulling out her mirror to check her make-up, she noticed the left side of her mouth was drooping.
Pulling out her mirror to check her makeup, she noticed the left side of her mouth was drooping.
It’s probably nothing.
She had been busy. She set herself a ruthless schedule. A call from the leadership team earlier in the week confirmed that they were impressed with progress at The Grand. News of staff discontent hadn’t reached them, yet.
It was seven at night. She hadn’t been home before eight the whole week. Am I going about this the right way? she thought. Roberta’s aim since those early days had been to build a base so she would never be in the financial situation of her childhood. Balance, she recognised, would not work.
But once she had built up a buffer, once she felt safe, then she could ease off. Her family would become the most important thing in her life. Health would slide up the scale too.
Arriving at her car she pulled the passenger door open with her left hand to dump the documents she’d work on at home. But it didn’t budge. Placing the files and folders down she opened the door with her right.
The drive home was a challenge. Fatigue grew stronger with each minute and she breathed a sigh of relief when she parked in the driveway.
Unlocking the door, she was greeted by Sophie. ‘Hi, Mum,’ Sophie said, wrapping her arms around her mum’s waist.
‘Hi, Soph,’ Roberta replied. She kissed her daughter then continued down the hallway.
‘Your face looks funny, Mum,’ said Sophie, who had yet to let go of her mother’s waist.
‘That’s not very nice, Soph,’ Roberta said, making her way to Tom’s office. ‘Hi love, do you mind grabbing the files in the passenger seat?’
Tom sat behind two monitors, his eyes shifting from one to the other. He looked up immediately.
‘Not at all, dear,’ he said, standing up. He gave Roberta a peck on the cheek, then stepped back and looked at his wife with a raised eyebrow. ‘Your face looks funny.’
Roberta rolled her eyes and moved to her bedroom.
Her phone beeped. It was a reminder: she was supposed to meet up with the girls tonight at the yacht club. They were executives or wives of executives; ladies of prestige and influence. It was a group she yearned to be associated with. She wasn’t quite there yet.
She rushed off to the bathroom to shower, then got changed into a new red dress with black heels. The dress was a little too tight. Though she hadn’t weighed herself in months, her weight gain was undeniable. Her wardrobe was full of new purchases to compensate.
Looking at herself in the mirror, she arranged her hair over the left side of her face. Sophie’s head bobbed up in the reflection.
‘Where are we going, Mum?’ she asked, head angled to one side.
‘Mum’s got to meet up with some important people. You make sure you take care of Dad,’ she said.‘But, Mum, you promised to play with me.’
‘But, Mum, you promised to play with me.’
She squatted down next to her daughter. ‘Sorry, dear. Tomorrow, I promise OK? Roberta replied. The girl looked unconvinced.
Tom was making his way back into the house with the stack of files when Roberta met him at the front door.‘I forgot about a meeting, Tom. I’m so sorry. Tomorrow, we can talk,’ she said.
‘I forgot about a meeting, Tom. I’m so sorry. Tomorrow, we can talk,’ she said.
‘I understand,’ he said and kissed her on the forehead.
Keep pushing just a little bit longer, she told herself as she pulled out of the driveway.