A long hallway lead to the 7th floor open area apartment decorated with black leather furniture, bright coloured cushions, art from various countries and mobile art in the form of jostling cosmopolitan people chatting in their groups, drinking expensive red wine and eating sushi. A Kandinsky took pride of place on a wall and red-figured dancers of Matisse lined the other. Portrait photos filled the gaps…close-ups of just the person’s face telling a story to the stationary onlooker….

Natasha was impressed at the decorative taste as she walked briskly into the room, searching, wearing a purple blouse and jeans with a decorative belt buckle of turquoise that was supposed to protect her, heal her and energise her. She felt confident, energised and highly annoyed. She was on a mission. Never one to hold back, she was going to let the pompous duo know exactly what she thought of them. How dare they dismiss her, ridicule her ideas in a public forum…she was no shrinking violet and she was going to make them squirm!

Waves lashed the shore two blocks away from the 7th floor apartment, seagulls glided effortlessly in the wind, noises of other parties flooded the balconies. The accustomed chatter and clang of glasses filled the air. Cars made their way along the beach front, convertibles, sports cars and also the occasional beamer.

Natasha found the dynamic duo she was looking for and pushed aside one to enter the group and began her languishing with colourful and appropriate adjectives. She began tearing strips off the two individuals and true to her word began to make them squirm….Her words flowed like an uncontrollable diatribe as she targeted words full of substance toward the duo. It continued uncontrollably…..

Joshua, the host of the party moved across the room and stood beside Natasha who was pointing her finger at the guilty duo who began to quiver…they had underestimated her spirit and began to look for a rock to crawl under and regret their significant indiscretion at the meeting. Joshua was a little amused at the audacity of his gate crasher, but liked her fiery and spirited nature. He carefully placed a gentle hand on the back of her neck….she turned angry at first, then looked puzzled then surprised and then somewhat soothed and calmed. Joshua the diplomat looked toward the duo, and added in a calm and melodic voice “what she means is this….” “The department have just agreed to fund Natasha’s research as they see it as a top priority – leading edge and innovative were some of the words used”. “Other areas will need to submit to the competitive round and I would suggest that you consider this for your own work”.

Natasha was stunned, silenced, puzzled, unsure what to say….she was so used to fighting her own battles…Without pausing she gazed into Joshua’s eyes and whispered “I’ll have a red”…..