31 CH31: Blackout 1

    "If more of us valued food and cheer and

    song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

    - J. R. R. Tolkien


    The office was buzzing with keyboard tappings and small chatters when suddenly, the whole office went dark. A sudden shriek of fright and surprise soon came after with a bit of panicked questions of 'What's happening?' echoed around the office. Then thunder came in, followed by a huge sound of lightning. It sounded so near that nearly everyone panicked in the room.

    Delilah had just saved her work at that time when her computer suddenly shuts down, enclosing her into darkness. She blinked her eyes in surprise at the sudden absence of lightness. She rubbed her eyes, trying to adjust to the dark.

    She bit her lower lip, trying not to panic. 'Shoot. I hope I managed to save it in time,' she thought to herself. She looked up and heard many people were talking, still in a state of confusion. She stood up and looked over at Firah, who was sitting leisurely inside her cubicle, her phone in her hands.

    "Eh, eh!" Delilah asked softly. "What happened?"

    "As you can see," Firah said slowly, her eyes still on her phone and her hands pressing on it furiously, "We have no electricity and there's a blackout."

    "How can that be? The management did not pay the electric bill, is it?" Delilah asked, confused.

    Firah rolled her eyes. "Woi woi, how can that be ah?" she asked in disbelief. "The company is just stingy, not broke."

    Behind Delilah, Deegan also stood up and walked over to them. "I just saw on Instagram. There seems to be some viral video about one of the power plants being hit by lightning. That's probably one of the reasons why there's a blackout."

    Delilah cautiously walked to the windows of the office and looked out. Sure enough, the streets and the buildings nearby were also shrouded in darkness. There were no longer sounds of thunder but there was still little pitter-patter of rain. People were running on the streets, trying to find shelter from the rain. There were also traffic jams on the road where the cars do not seem to be moving.

    Firah stood beside her, her phone still in her hands, pressing the buttons. "Whoa," she said, pausing her game. "Its really dark out there!"

    Delilah nodded.

    Firah stretched her arms above her head and said, "So, what are we going to do next? I doubt we can do some work if the electricity is not on."

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    Delilah shrugged. "Lets ask Aubree."

    The two of them walked over to Aubree's cubicle. Inside, Aubree was texting on her phone, so engrossed in it that she did not realize the two of them were standing behind her.

    Delilah knocked softly on the wall of Aubree's cubicle. "Hey, Aubree. What's going to happen?" she asked, in concern.

    Aubree looked up and gave a small smile. "Oh hey you two," she greeted. She then waved her phone at them and said, "I'm currently texting Howard and Matt about this. Just give me a few minutes."

    The two of them nodded and went back to their own cubicles.

    Once they were inside their own cubicles, Deegan got up from his and looked over at Delilah. He stood up and rested his forearms on top of the cubicle wall. "I heard from Sofia that Sam told them to work from home instead."

    Delilah cocked an eyebrow. "From home? You sure they will work from home?" she scoffed.

    Deegan shrugged. "I'm not sure how they work. But she said that they will still need to submit their work. Regardless of where they are, I guess."

    Delilah nodded as she leaned back against her seat. "Well, makes sense, though. No use hanging around here when we can't even do our work. There hasn't been any update on when the electricity will be back on."

    Firah turned to Delilah. "Lets head near the window and have our hot chocolate and snacks."

    Delilah grinned. "Best idea ever!"

    Earlier this morning, Delilah and Firah managed to stop by at a small shop to buy some snacks and hot drinks. The shop was a mini mart that also provides hot drinks. It was rather convenient for Delilah and Firah since it was on their way to the office.

    The two of them grabbed a chair each and a small round table, placing them in front of the window. They both sipped their hot chocolate, while enjoying the raining scene in front of them.

    The hot chocolate tasted thick, rich and creamy. It really soothe Delilah as the feeling of the warm and sweet chocolate liquid filled her. She loved how the chocolate felt like ambrosia to the soul, making one more energized and cosy.

    Firah also brought some chocolate chip cookies, which she bought at the mini mart. She shared it with Delilah, who quickly snatched one before Firah could say, 'Help yourself'. Both of them were used to stealing each others' snacks, hence why Firah couldn't care less about Delilah doing it. She also does that to her.

    Delilah took a bite out of the cookie, ignoring the crumbs that fell onto her lap. The cookies that Firah had brought was chewy and nutty. It was not that sweet, which was perfect for her since the hot chocolate was already sweet. But as Delilah chewed, she could taste a hint of cinnamon in the cookie. It was no wonder that the cookie was aromatic, as well, with an inkling of woodsy scent. And it was kind of addicting, because the two of them could not stop eating as their hands keep wandering inside the cookie bag.

    Minutes later, Aubree walked over, with her phone in her hand. "Howard just texted me. He said that since we still got the afternoon work, those who lived near the second branch, can go there. But the others, you all can go home. Make sure to submit your reports today to the other branch before 5PM."

    Delilah slumped over the round table. "Oh shoot. Do I need to go to the other branch?" she asked. Her house was actually fifteen minutes away from the second branch, compared to the office where she was currently working in.

    Firah grinned as she began to stand up to pack her things. "Haha, good luck, Delilah."

    "Demmit," Delilah cursed softly. She then stood up and walked over at Deegan, who was playing with his phone inside his cubicle. "Deegan, you can go home now. Just send your report to me via email, okay?"

    Deegan looked up, surprised and then nodded. "Sure." He began to pack his things and went home.

    Delilah turned to Aubree, who was standing behind her. "What about you?" she asked.

    Aubree revealed a cheeky smile and said, "Me? I'm going home."

    Delilah cursed under her breath again.

    Aubree laughed at Delilah's unfortunate luck.


    An hour later.

    Delilah had just parked her car at the employee parking lot. She sighed in resignation as she grabbed her bags from her car and dragged herself to the office.

    The other branch was in another central business district. Compare to the headquarters, the office at the other branch was quite small as it was located on the first floor of a building. The branch itself occupies the first and second floor of the building. On the first floor, it has five rooms and a reception desk. And the second floor only has six rooms with a pantry room. Both floors have their own restrooms.

    What Delilah dislike about the office was that it has no sun. Meaning that the office was surrounded by buildings, hence, sunlight hardly grace their building. Sometimes, Delilah can feel suffocated in the office.

    Delilah climbed the stairs with heavy steps. As she opened the heavy wooden door with a soft, "Good morning!"

    Suddenly, there was an excited squeal from the reception desk. "Delilahhhh!!!"

    Delilah looked up and saw Amy standing up, behind the reception desk, all smiles. She was a beautiful dark hair young woman with a fair skin and rosy cheeks. She always wore makeup that was not too heavy but soft on her face. Not sexy as Bella but she was quite a good dresser as well. She worked as an admin in the other branch. The other branch does not have a receptionist, instead, it was usually the admin who worked in the front desk. Amy was also a friendly woman who smiles a lot and she loves batman... a lot! In fact, her phone's casing was a batman cover. And she likes to leave messages, ending with 'From Batman <3'.

    Delilah gave her a small smile. "Hey, Amy."

    Amy pouted. "Awww... What's with the small smile? Give me a huge smile!" she said out loud, spreading her arms wide.

    Delilah rolled her eyes and ignored her. She immediately went to Howard's office, still ignoring Amy's cries of 'Delilah, don't ignore meeee!'.

    She knocked on the door and only came in when she heard Howard's 'Come in'. She opened the door and peeked her head in. "Hey Howard, just want to inform you that I'm here."

    Howard looked up from his laptop and nodded. He was wearing a long red harem pants with a red plain t-shirt. For once, he was wearing something that was less loud but he looked too casual. "Ah, alright. Have you scan your fingerprint, just in case?"

    Delilah slapped on her forehead softly. "Ooof! I forgot. I will do it straight away." But she still peeked in, looking at his clothes.

    Howard, noticing that Delilah was staring at his clothes, laughed. "Haha, yeah. I was in a rush this morning."

    Delilah nodded as she squinted her eyes at him. "I see..." she said slowly. "I'm watching you..."

    Howard just laughed, thinking she was only joking. But then, Delilah was serious since it was her job to take note on the dress code, even if he was her supervisor.

    She walked to the fingerprint machine and scan her finger. Once done, she decided to join Amy at the receptionist area. Since she does not have an office there, she usually worked at the receptionist area. Delilah would only request for a room if she was working on confidential works.

    Claiming the extra computer at the receptionist area, she switched it on and began to sign in on her folders on the cloud. Luckily, she managed to save some of her files on the cloud, which made it easier for Delilah to work anywhere.

    Amy sighed loudly.

    Delilah turned to Amy, who was sitting beside her, just two seats away. "What's wrong with you?" she asked.

    Amy looked up and shook her head. "I've been receiving weird messages from Isaac."

    Delilah raised an eyebrow. "Oh? What kind of messages?"

    Delilah was kind of surprised. Because from what she knows about Isaac, he was a quiet person, who worked in the Finance department. He does not interact much with the people in the office. He sometimes joined the event held by the office. And when you talked with him, he has this awkward and stiff way of talking, that made you want to scream at him to just relax. Sometimes Delilah even wonder whether he does it on purpose. She once asked Meena, who coincidentally used to study with him. And she said that he was like that too. He was quite good looking too. Lean and tall. But not Delilah's type. And from what Delilah could remember, he was born from a rich family too.

    "Uhhh... Like invitations to dinner and what not..." Amy said slowly, as she looked down on her phone.

    Delilah suddenly smiled, a cheeky smile on her face. "I see... This seems interesting... Tell me more..." she coaxed.
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