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In Anticipation of a Second Chance


This piece is written in response to a good friend and HP fellow writer, Brenda Arledge's prompt, "Chance" and also in response to prompt#8 of Hp fellow writer, Moe Wood's article, "100 Short Story (or Novel) Writing Prompts."

The Prompts

Together with Brenda’s week 51 prompt, “Chance” and Moe Wood’s prompt#8, I have weaved a response with as much effort as possible. I hope Brenda and the others who read it like it. Moe Wood's prompt is as follows:

"I had a conference call in five minutes. Marcy had my meeting papers laid out along with some fresh pens, Post-its, and a notepad all ready for me. At least until I walked in and spilled my Starbuck's down my white blouse and all over my desk, papers, and keyboard. Who would have thought a grenade covered so much horizontal space? This was my moment to shine and …"

Pic: Myself at Work

Pic: Myself at Work

In Anticipation of a Second Chance- The Response

This was my moment to shine and materialize a dream.

I would take my career one step higher, helping others as well as enjoying my job, and getting the mojo of life, full of satisfaction and true joy.

The conference call was with my manager who was now posted in Sweden and also his attendant, Peter, who would take notes and ask questions if he had any doubts. My manager had been there for a while when I stayed back in Germany. My work was applying new valid ideas to the company’s website and upgrading the intranet site.

In our last discussion, we talked about newsletters, forming an email list, and how the newsletters would be structured by offering free products at first and gradually paid products. I had also suggested an FAQ for the company's website and provided good sample questions and answers that would benefit the website’s new and old viewers and users. All of them were considered and incorporated into the site.

It was quite an achievement as Thomas, my manager started to believe in and trust me more.

Today’s conference call was about the intranet site regarding hardware and software asset management. Thomas wanted new ideas from me that could be implemented on the site as an upgrade.

I carried out various research over the web, and I had several fascinating ideas about incorporating them into the intranet site. But the fact that the mug of coffee would ruin my day like that completely baffled me. I had only five minutes before the conference call with Thomas and Peter.

I thought for a full minute, called Marcy, and asked her to make a direct call to Thomas that I had to cancel the conference call due to some urgent crisis. I would let him know everything later.

Marcy nodded, and in the next two minutes, the conference call was canceled.

I left my desk asking Marcy to clean everything. I hopped into my brand new Mercedes and drove carefully through the sparse traffic, reached my apartment, and was ready to take a shower when the doorbell rang.

I felt my temper rise but attended the door to see the mailman ushering in a box.

“What is it?” I asked

“It is a box of clothes!” exclaimed the mailman.

“Who sent it?” I asked.

It’s written on the box”, answered the innocent mailman.

I was intrigued. The mailman left. My sister from the US had sent me a box of western clothes. I went through some and chose a pair of jeans and a top to wear back to the office. I was smiling to myself at the chain of events starting from the morning until now.

Soon I was out of the shower, drying my hair. I wore the new outfit, combed my hair, and put on light makeup. I was soon on my way back to the office.

I was thinking of sending a decent email to Thomas, explaining everything honestly. Marcy had my table and the keyboard of my laptop cleaned. There were new sheets of paper, and the old were put to dry.

For five minutes I completely contemplated how to compose an email to my manager in the best way possible and be honest too.

And then I started writing:

Hi Thomas,

I am sorry to let you down moments before our conference call was due.

But a minor accident deterred everything. My mug of coffee fell all over me, and the desk also, drowning the laptop keyboard and important papers I would need on the table. So, although I was thoroughly prepared for the call, I am sorry I couldn’t make it.

You can call or email me and reschedule a new time for the call to take place. I am sure I will make it this time.

All the best,


It was Thomas, my manager who initially gave the job to me. It was I who designed the intranet site, and Polish employees took over and polished the site further. The intranet site was still up and running, but I had also a few pretty good ideas for upgrading it.

Thomas and I strangely had birthdays on the same day and month, 5th September, but somehow it made sense to me that the year was different because he was senior to me. I wonder why he was the only one to hire me when I needed a job in this country.

I wonder if a common birthday was enticing to him. Furthermore, it was a multinational company, stressing English, rather than German. So, that was how I, along with my good expertise, got the IT job.

Thomas would understand that I would be more careful next time. He knew I always learned from my mistakes. I knew he would give me another chance to share my ideas on upgrading the intranet site. He would forgive me. It was now all up to him. But I knew he would be understanding to give me a second chance. I was in complete anticipation of that.

© 2022 Rosina S Khan