Conspire Against the Odds

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"You're kidding," I spit out as my jaw hangs inches from the floor. I have to fully process the words that were just spoken to me.

You'll be meeting some band for a single cover tomorrow. Something! At The Disco.

"Panic, Are you talking about Panic! At The Disco?" I can't help but lean forward and wriggle with excitement, hoping I'm correct in my assumption.

"That's the one! They liked your portfolio the most so you'll be meeting with their production manager and the band to hear the single and design cover art for it."

"Oh my gosh I- I can't believe- This is a dream come true!" I try to catch my breath because I know that if I don't the job will be handed to somebody else. I clasp my hands together to hide that I'm shaking with excitement.

"So be ready and in here by eight in the morning. Congratulations on your first big gig." My manager speaks nonchalantly as though this is no big deal at all.

"Thank you so much for the opportunity and getting my portfolio in for viewing it means the world to me." I hold a hand out to shake his and he gives it a quick grasp and nods for me to leave his office. I hop off of the seat and spin on my heel toward the door.

"Oh, one more thing, Asteria." I stop in my tracks as I pick up his heavy tone and look past my shoulder.

"Please, for the sake of your career, do something more professional to your hair." I freeze for a moment and then give a small nod, glad that I wore an outfit that covered the few tattoos that I have.

I turn again and step out of his office, pulling at one of my silver and lavender strands of hair. I feel my face turn to a small frown, wondering how it is that I'm going to fix what I just dyed into something more "professional".

I try to go about the rest of my work day but my excitement gets the best of me and I set aside the logo designs that I had been working on and begin looking for wig shops. I let out an irritated sigh after finding one located near my apartment. It's been a struggle since I got this job. I had asked initially if my appearance was an issue and was assured that they were searching only for my skill with graphic software but I was hired into the department with the most nit-picky and conservative manager. He's hardly respected me and treated me like crap since I got here, sending me to get his coffee and do his personal errands for him instead of letting me do what I'm good at doing. I know the only reason he put my portfolio through is because another manager got a glimpse of what I was working on when he popped in last week. I should just be thankful...Incredibly thankful.

The day goes by slow and once it's time for me to clock out I head to the nearest wig shop, scoop up a mousy brown wig, and head home to get ready for my big day. As I lay in bed and drift off to sleep my thoughts are filled with ideas of what tomorrow will be like...

I practically jump out of bed the next morning and race to the bathroom to shower and get ready. I choose to take Brian's advice and be as professional in appearance as possible. I put on some tight black slacks, grey stilettos, a loose grey top, and black blazer. I decide to throw on a little bit of silver jewelry as well and I'm pretty pleased with my appearance. That is, until I remember that I need to wear the wig...

I huff as I place it on my head and try not to grimace at the mid-length brown locks that have replaced my long strands of silver, lavender, and navy blue. My tantrum is very short lived and I scurry to the kitchen to make my coffee before finally meeting my first big client. I debate on whether or not my black studded mug is unprofessional and decide they probably couldn't give two shits about what I'm drinking my coffee from and head over to FueledByRamen.

When I arrive to the meeting room, only Dallon is inside with who I'm assuming is their production manager. I double check my wig and lipstick before stepping inside. Dallon peeks up at me from the paperwork he's reading and the manager gives me a quick glance.

"Hi, I'm-"

"You're early. This meeting hasn't started yet." I try to bite my tongue and hide my irritated expression at the manager. I still haven't gotten used to the whole 'she's just an intern' attitude that I get from everyone. I look over at Dallon, not sure of what I'm hoping for.

"We're waiting for the others," he mutters and I give a small nod and take a seat to prepare my sketchbook, laptop, and notepad to discuss the concept. I decide to warm up and do a few quick gestures of Dallon and the rude manager and when I turn back to the door, Kenneth and Daniel are approaching. My stomach tenses because I know who is soon to follow.

Sure enough, he turns the corner and I have to fight to keep my composure. I can't hide the sharp breath I suddenly take in but do my best not to stare as he pushes his hair back. I stand again, ready to introduce myself and somehow I still feel small, even in my heels. I swallow hard and hold out a hand.



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