Sherri admired the beautiful heavy drapes that adorned her boss’s living room windows. It was a Saturday morning, sunlight streamed into the room as she lifted the drapes. Her boss, Mrs Adams, was scrolling through a tablet clutched between her palms.

“Leave that for a second and come over here, please.” Her boss patted the sofa, indicating that she should sit.

“Yes ma’am,” Sherri sat next to her.

“I want you to plan my annual Christmas party.” she said, “Some of my friends and relatives don’t celebrate Christmas. That is why I hold the party in November so it doesn’t feel like a Christmas party but it actually is. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I do.” Sherri grabbed a notebook from her purse with a pen.

“If this goes well, you and Adenike can plan the office Christmas party. We couldn’t hold the office party last year because of the Covid pandemic.” 

“What date are you proposing for the party?”

“The 10th of November, so you have two weeks to plan it. I have a large family and many friends, but I’ve come up with a list of the people I want at the party, and you have to ensure they’re not more than fifty, we have to adhere to Covid protocols.”

“Okay, ma, may I suggest we make it a hybrid party, so more people can participate virtually. How about the food menu and side attractions?”

“Hmm… good thinking about the hybrid idea, I never thought of that. That’s good. You can plan the menu; have something for adult and kids, cocktails, chocolate fountain and other things that kids enjoy. Remember the physical guest list shouldn’t be more than fifty, the invite should indicate that the party is strictly by invitation, dress code is white or red.”

Sherri worked tirelessly in the coming days to ensure the party was a success. The invitation cards were delivered with a box of chocolate and she had gotten the RSVPs from guests. She coordinated the vendors; a decorator to create a festive atmosphere in her boss’s yard, a high end caterer for the menu and table arrangements, an MC who would come with an assistant to help with games for the kids, a drinks service company to provide refreshments, the DJ, a live band and a digital marketing company to take care of streaming for virtual guests.

The party was scheduled to start at 4pm and by 2pm, everywhere was pretty much set. Though her boss had given her a nod of approval when she came down from her room to check how things were going, Sherri still had this gnawing feeling she had forgotten something.

It was showtime and guests were beginning to arrive, a few hitches here and there, some guests had come with someone, and the DJ came late but those were not the causes of Sherri’s major worry as it appears she’d forgotten to book the family’s favourite photographer, Mr. David. Oh dear, even though she had noticed this before her boss did, she was still apprehensive that her boss would find out before she was able to do something. She had to think fast and then she remembered her sister had just started dating someone who happened to be a professional photographer.

Quickly she buzzed her sister on Whatsapp, “Hi Bisola, is Niyi in town? I forgot to book Mr. David for Mrs Adam’s gig and I am at my wits end right now, I need a photographer, please.”

“Damn, he’s here with me, but he’s getting ready for a photoshoot. Let me ask him if he can recommend someone else.”

Sherri could hear Bisola and Niyi’s conversation at the other end of the phone.

“Sherri darling, this is Niyi, I hear you need a photographer, my partner is not busy now and fortunately, he stays 5mins away from your boss’s house. I have sent him a message and he should be with you in 30mins.”

Sherri heaved a sigh of relief and thanked him while checking her watch to predict the time the substitute photographer would arrive.

Paul, Niyi’s partner called her to let her know he was at the gate and would need security access, she sorted him out and like The Flash, he was ready in what seemed like less than a minute to take pictures. By the end of the party, everyone had a great time, including her boss who didn’t seem to notice that Mr. David, her trusted photographer was missing.

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