*Any entries from Hugh’s perspective are very fiction based some are also infused with conversations we have had and my interpretations*

After I arranged the meeting with Ava I reluctantly ended the call savouring the final words she spoke with such an enthusiasm that I knew I would hold onto until we met.

I leant back in my office chair and found myself reflecting on the conversation as I stared at the roof absentmindedly. There was something about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. She had an essence that I had never encountered in my life and something that I found quite captivating. I remember the first time I had met Hayley and the first conversation we had ever had. Whilst there was something in the air, I had never felt that “something special” that a voice on the end of the phone had me so captivated within less than 24 hours and without even meeting.

Letting time slip away from me I slowly packed up my desk before I realised that it was close to nine pm.

Picking up my coffee cup and walking to the kitchen in my office I realised that I was still thinking about Ava, I was starting to think I was going a little crazy after spending the last hour thinking about her while I stared at the roof and even now just walking towards the kitchen I found myself thinking about her again…but then it hit me. I wasn’t thinking about her in the simple sense, I was thinking about what it was going to be like to meet her. I had no idea what she looked like and had no idea if she would even be interested in me and suddenly I felt like a schoolboy with a crush, like a little boy on Christmas eve, too excited to wait but not wanting to spoil the present.

As I walked into the reception area on the ground floor and put my flight invoices in the finance tray I realised that I was actually a little famished. I knew that Hayley would either be asleep or wouldn’t be far off so decided to get something on the way home.

On the way down to the secure parking I called ahead at a local restaurant owned by a client and ordered ahead.

On the short drive home my phone began ringing through the Bluetooth in my car. I looked at the dashboard hoping that it was Ava calling me but felt my heart sink a little as I saw that it was another one of the women that I had previously been involved with…Amanda.

As the sudden rush of adrenaline began to subside and my mood began to plummet I decided against answering it and let it go to voicemail. For some reason these women who had momentarily caught my attention had all of a sudden lost any remaining appeal which made the thought of talking to them seem like an exhausting task.

Although I knew that my peaking interest in Ava was quite irrational, something about it made it feel kind of normal at the same time. I felt like a kid at Christmas…I couldn’t wait to get home, go to bed and rush through the day until I got the chance to see her, time wasn’t going quick enough and it was irritating me a little.

When I finally did get home I saw the light on out the front. It was obvious that Hayley had already gone to bed which was kind of a relief. I drove through the gates after putting in my code and parked my car in the garage, before heading into the office to finalise some important emails.

As I set foot inside the house and walked down the corridor the magnitude of my companies success hit me. My family had never and will never have to want for anything and yet money didn’t buy my happiness, Sure it made life easier however it didn’t fill the gaping hole that had developed over the years. As I walked through the dark and silent house barefoot I found myself realising just how lonely I felt, I may have everything material I will ever need, children I love and adore however I was still missing something.

Sitting down in my office, I turned on the cable television for a little white noise and opened my laptop to respond to the mountain of emails that had begun piling up throughout the last few days.

As promised I sent Ava the email we had discussed at 10:30 pm that night and by 11:00 pm I was beaten. I turned around in my chair, turned the television off and just as I went to turn my laptop off I heard the familiar “ping” of an email arriving in my inbox. I almost ignored it as I began closing my laptop until I saw her name.

I flung my chair back, flopped into it so hard I thought it might have broken and anxiously triple clicked open the email. It felt as though it had taken ten minutes for the email to open when in fact it had probably only taken about 10 seconds. I was so impatient and any inkling of being tired disappeared from my body.

“Hugh,

Thank you for your email, What a fantastic article. I can see a lot of potential in stories like this and would love to discuss this in further detail.

I look forward to meeting tomorrow and will await hearing from you for further confirmation of the place and time.

Best,
Ava Reilly
Senior VP of Public Relations”

The moment I finished reading her email I already had my finger hovering over the reply button and immediately clicked it.

“Hello Ava,

I agree. There is a lot of potential and I also look forward to exploring the opportunities for growth. As this is your domain I will be looking for guidance on the best way to handle these types of media enquiries for clients of these specifics moving forward. I am sure that you will have a better outlook on how to maximise this.

Thank you for agreeing to meet at such short notice, I look forward to being able to pick your brain.

Best Wishes,
Hugh Montgomery
Chief Executive Officer”

As I hit the send button I immediately wanted to recall the email. I wanted to call her and continue the conversation over the phone. It was odd, at that very moment in time she was awake in another state, sitting at her laptop just like I was and I was wondering what she looked like, what she was wearing and how much longer she would be awake for.

I sat staring at the screen like a deer stuck in headlights for the next thirty minutes. I was wishing and waiting to see if she would respond, hitting the refresh button but as the time passed I started falling asleep at the computer and decided it was time to take myself off to bed.

I didn’t get to sleep until well after 2:00 am and as I finally drifted off I was trying to picture the woman I was due to meet, I couldn’t see a face or even a body that would match all I could manage to imagine was being totally tranced by the feeling that had captivated me whenever I thought of Ava. I didn’t care what she looked like, I just had to be around her, to feel her energy and be in her presence…it was something that had never happened to me before and for the first time in a long time I was excited for the possibilities of what lay ahead the next day.