Ryan finished the call and hit her with his puppy eyes again. She gave him the simplified version of Circe’s adventures, ending with Hercules’s fury with the cleaning crew.
He was an attentive listener, Calypso couldn’t remember ever having someone hang on her every word like that. It was a little disconcerting.
He sighed. “It’s so much more interesting there than here.”
Calypso snorted. “Interesting is overrated. When you can’t get your work done for all the drama around you, it gets very old, very quickly.”
Ryan looked unconvinced but let it drop. The rest of the work day was delightfully uneventful.
As Calypso got off the train that evening, her phone rang, Amy. She answered, worried, it was 2am in Singapore.
“Is everything alright?”
Amy’s voice sounded tired but happy enough. “Fine, but your little brother has a feeding pattern that includes silly-o’clock in the morning and I have no one to talk to. I was sort of hoping you had a few minutes to chat.”
Calypso detoured towards the park and a convenient bench. “Of course. I’d love to hear how you are, and how Joshua is. I haven’t got that outfit yet, I’ll need to do some investigating.”
Amy laughed. “Oh, don’t be in too much of a rush. He’s being spoiled rotten by all his aunties and uncles and has more clothes than he can wear before he grows out of them.”
“That actually sounds rather exhausting.”
“To be honest, the most exhausting thing is hearing and talking nothing but baby. I know it’s been no time at all, and everyone’s saying Joshua’s looking to settle into being a super-easy bubba, but I’m low on sleep and even lower on normal, adult conversation.”
Calypso blew out a breath. “Well I can fill you in on life here. I’m not sure how interesting you’ll find it, given you don’t know any of the people, but it’s not baby.”
Amy’s voice bubbled with excitement. “Oh DO!”
“Actually, I do have one that’s sort of semi-baby-related but I think you’ll enjoy it anyway.”
Calypso launched into an account of Circe’s excitement, including her friend’s comments and commentary on both pregnancy and the mysterious man. Much more than she shared with Ryan.
By the end of it, Amy was near breathless with laughter. “I’m so glad she’s alright but honestly, only at Z Corp.”
“Yes, so now I think half the Europe support staff is on some sort of unofficial hunky man hunt and the other half are probably working out the logistics of a covert floor-skating competition.”
Amy sobered. “Do you miss it?”
Calypso sighed. “I don’t miss the drama. I do miss some of the people and I miss the project I’d been working on. I found out yesterday that the person it had been handed to is cancelling the whole thing and it hurts.”
Amy asked. “What was it? If it’s cancelled I guess it’s not any sort of secret any more.”
“Oh dear, I hadn’t thought of that. But it’s not like other people haven’t been talking about it. It was a homewares range for renters. You know, people who want to make a place their own but don’t have much of a budget and can’t do anything structural because they’re renting.”
“And they cancelled it? Are they nuts!?”
Calypso giggled. “I think they are, but that’s their decision.”
Amy replied. “Well I think Joshua’s dropped off and I’m afraid I’m going to have to abandon you for sleep, but I’d love to catch up again and hear more about that project and where you’re working now.”
“That sounds wonderful, I’ll look forward to it.”
They hung up and, smiling, Calypso tucked her phone away and finished the walk home.
As she entered the apartment, she realised she’d yet to speak with Circe that day. She typed a guilty message.
Hey, hoping you’re okay today and making progress on elasticated waists and sexy men. Hercules is ropable about the floor.
The reply came as Calypso moved into what already felt like her usual after-work routine of preparing dinner.
I had the most massive bunch of flowers from the cleaning crew, they’re grovelling madly. Not sure what difference they think I’m going to make. No progress on Mr Sexy sadly but have discovered a GORGEOUS maternity range online, my fashion soul is saved. For now, at least.
Calypso grinned, her friend didn’t stay down for long.
Send photos and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help with the hunt for your grumpy hero.
As she hit ‘send’, the other two walked through the door. No updates on either Milan or Psyche and Calypso filled them in on Ryan’s burning ambition to meet the Z Corp crew. She somehow forgot to mention Amy’s call, they wouldn’t have been interested anyway, babies weren’t their thing.
The following day, Circe sent links to her newly-found clothing site, Adonis announced the need for a pub catch-up on Friday and Calypso decided to include Ryan in the invitation.
Herne’s photo that day was deliberately awful. Calypso laughed and booked train tickets. She was going to have an early start on Saturday, but it would be worth it.
Can you meet me at the station at 10? Don’t want to miss the light for your photography lesson.
He replied. I’ll be there.
Amy rang as Calypso made her way through the park.
Greetings complete, Amy asked. “Where are you working now?”
“I’m on a two-week temp assignment with Lir Shipping. After that? I’ve got a couple of interviews this week, so hopefully one of them will turn out well.”
Amy hummed thoughtfully. “We use Lir, they’re a good operation. You should make sure to keep in touch with them, the group’s very well connected.”
This side of Amy had probably drawn Calypso’s father to her as much as her beauty and clear intelligence. She’d spent most of her life being lectured on the importance of selectively growing and nurturing her network.
She replied. “I’ll certainly try, but I’m not really dealing with the core of the business. Well, there’s Bridgid, but she’s not exactly a people person.”
Amy laughed. “So what about these interviews? Who are they with? Maybe I can dig up something helpful.”
Calypso doubted it, but filled her in anyway. “One’s a permanent role with a bank, the other’s a six month to possible permanent at a start-up accelerator.”
“Woah, one extreme to the other.”
“I know, and I keep flipping between which one I’d prefer, if I had a choice.”
Calypso arrived at her building’s entrance and perched on one of the chairs in the foyer, she’d lose the call in the lift and she wanted to keep chatting.
Amy had no doubts on her preference. “Definitely the accelerator. The temp to perm thing’s a safety valve for a poor hire, you’ll be fine. It’ll be really dynamic and varied with all those new businesses coming through and if you wanted to start something, I’m sure you’d be well supported.”
Calypso frowned. “What do you mean?”
“If you wanted to start your own business, take that project Z Corp ditched and run with it…” Amy trailed off suggestively.
“I’m not sure I’d be allowed.”
Amy’s laugh this time was evil. “I’ll find a way. You just let me know if you want to do it.”
She sighed before Calypso could respond, and went on. “And this is what you get when you keep a Quin Luong away from business deals for any length of time. Between Atlas and my parents, I haven’t had my teeth into a decent negotiation in six months.”
Calypso said. “I’m sure they’ll get you back into things soon.”
“Maybe. Joshua fell asleep a while ago so I shouldn’t keep nattering on at you.” Amy sounded strangely subdued.
Calypso hurried to say. “You’ll call tomorrow though? Circe’s on the hunt for stylish maternity clothes and I’d love to pass on any advice.”
“I will.” Amy’s voice brightened again and they hung up.