Life with you – Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

Stacey – Is it a start of new something?

Can you imagine how it feels when life becomes monotonous? When you have been working 5 days a week and even work brings no excitement? And the weekend is as lazy as it could get, staring blankly at the television screen, stuffing your mouth with all the junk left in your kitchen, because well, you don’t know what else to do? You wish to call your old friends, but end up discarding that very idea.
If you can imagine afore mentioned, you can relate to how I feel at the moment. I feel dull, mournful for no reason. If you ask someone else, they’ll say I should be more than happy, I’ve got pretty much everything I need, a job I always wanted, a well furnished apartment at New York city, my own new audi A8, that’s more than I probably could have ever thought I could have, but well, life is so monotonous these days, that I at times feel like I should just go on a vacation at the country side. I am almost as dull as I could ever be for the meeting I have with a delegate from our new client “Clintons & Masons”. I look at my own reflection in the full length mirror, and realise that I look as pale and lifeless as an old lady, I brush my cheeks with some more shade of pink, dab some more matt rose pink lipstick, and some frosted pink at the base of upper lip and top of lower lip, my trick to pump my lips. Apply some liquid eyeliner and mascara and stare at myself. My sea green eyes stand out on my face because of mascara, and I look more like a japanese anime with big eyes. My gray pencil cut skirt hugs my curves in a way that makes me smile, and the crisp white shirt looks just perfect and professional. I put on my 3″ black stilettos and hang my laptop bag on my right shoulder and leave my apartment. I get in my car and realise just how smooth this car is as compared to my old Bug that I drew for years where my legs were so cramped that this feels like freedom, and I just can’t help but appreciate every time I ride this car.

I get down and enter the Café Mocha on 23rd street. I scan the cafe to find a man in crisp white shirt, with hair still wet because of shower. His head is bowed and he is engrossed in his laptop screen. He has sharp nose, that holds the rimless spectacles in place, and he is rubbing his chin with his right hand’s index finger and thumb. He does look beautiful, probably the only beautiful client I have seen, as most of the clients or delegates I have met are of my Dad’s or Granddad’s age. As if he could feel my gaze, he pulls his face from his laptop’s screen and darts his dark blue eyes at me. And I don’t know how but I feel like I am a school girl, and have been caught staring at my crush. I feel my cheeks burn, and I gather all my courage and move ahead. I reach his table and I rub my palms on my skirt slowly to get rid of anxiety sweat on my palm, so he doesn’t notice what I am doing. I offer him my hand and introduce myself as “Stacy Maccow, on behalf of Charles Claim Adjusters”, he straightens himself, takes my hand, gives a lopsided smile and says “Chris FitzPatrick, pleased to meet you”. Even my pumps dont give me enough height and I have to angle my head upwards to look at him. I am 5.5″ and with pumps 5.8″, and he seems 6 foot at least.

He offers me to have a seat beside him so we can work on one laptop. The moment I sit, he shuts his laptop and I open my mine and start opening my PowerPoint presentation. He asks me if I need something and I say “Cappuccino please”. He walks toward the queue to order and I suppress my urge to stare at him and continue with running my presentation slides to make sure I don’t end up screwing up this meeting, which has a fat chance of happening if I keep up with this nonsense staring and drooling as if I haven’t seen a guy ever. It’s just that I have never worked with a client who is so young and charming and hot and sexy and.. urghhhh Stace, get a grip.

He comes back with our coffees and a complementary smile from him, and I melt there. Can I be any more stupid? I take a hot sip of my cappuccino and feel the tip of my tongue burn and go numb, and he stifles a laugh, My God! Give me strength to finish this meeting with no more embarrassment. I start with my presentation and when I am working I usually don’t get distracted. He nods a few times but stays straight faced the rest of the times. That’s unnerving but better than he smiling his dazzling smile. When I am done I give him a nod and say “Do you have any questions? ”
And there is that smirk, and he says “lots”. Lots? Lots in what context? Shut up Stace. Perhaps my confusion is visible on my face so he continues “I have few doubts and few questions myself but I would have to go through the details you just proposed and we can get back with this later?”
“Yes sure, let me and Mark know about when should we go through the next meeting, though I would be fine answering your questions through calls or emails”
“That would be great but I would prefer meeting. I would let you know of when I can get back to you. See you probably next week?”
“Sure thing”
We walk in silence to the door, give a nod since I am not sure how to make a friendly exit. I go straight to my office and my day is back to monotonous after that morning adventure. At least I am glad that it’s Friday today, else how am I to survive this whole week when I so want to meet him again? When would he call? Would he arrange a meeting on Monday? Or next Friday? Oh God! Help me.

Short Story – Come with me

It was a warm sunny Saturday, a much awaited weekend. I wanted to be home, sink in my couch, watch romantic movie marathon, and munch all the junkies left in the apartment. My roommate was at her mother’s in North Carolina, and the apartment was to myself. I was in my pajamas, didn’t take shower, prepared an egg sandwich with some hot coffee with my Mom’s gifted coffee maker. This was my ideal weekend, and everything was pleasant. I played my all time favourite movie “Titanic”, jumped on the couch and took a big bite of the sandwich and was relishing the taste when my phone rang. It was Stacey, with my mouthful I answered only to hear her screaming and blabbering “Oh my God..Oh my God..how can this happen to me..no man no..no no nooo”
“Calm down Stace..shhhh..calm yourself and tell me what’s wrong?”
“Juel..Remember the client I have been working on, Browns Brothers?”
“Yeah I do..what happened? ”
“He was supposed to meet me next week, but he called just now and said he is in New York, and asked if I can meet him in an hour, as he would be off to Australia for a month..” and I could hear her swearing.
“So can’t it wait for a month?”
“Juel..are you kidding me? I need to complete this in 2 weeks, or I am so dead. My boss has already warned me, that I better get this deal done. I am sooo screwed”
“Relax Stace.. there’s gotta be some solution. Can’t he meet you tonight? You’ll be back here in 8 hours.”
“Nope, he is leaving from New York by 6 in the evening, God I am so screwed”
“So nothing can be done?”
“Actually there is one solution”
“What?”
“If maybe you go there”
“Staceeee.. Have you lost your noggin mind? I am an architect, how am I supposed to understand what you Accountants do?”
“I have my reports ready, I would tell him you are on my behalf. Also while you are on your way, I’ll explain you few things”
“Nooo man, I can’t do it”
“Yea Ofcourse you won’t do it, let my dream job go off my palms, let me be jobless, it’s ok Juel, Talk to you later”
Yeah I know her, she’ll not cut the call, and I have to do it.
“Alright,  don’t be melodramatic, I’ll do it”
“Yayyyy..love you sooo much Juliana DeThomas, You are the best”
“Yeah now let me get ready, till then I’ll keep the call on loudspeaker, you tell me where is what, and what all things I need to take”
“Yeah first, wear something formal, your pencil cut skirt will be awesome”
“Hmpph”
“Don’t forget to put on some makeup.. Love you”
“Yeah fine, but I first need to shower”
“Oh come on Juel, what were you doing till now?”
“Well it was my weekend, that you damned, and you know I don’t shower on weekends I stay home”
“Alright sorry, you get shower, till then I’ll think of what you need to know”
After I came out, and called her, she listed all the things I need to carry, and she said “Jonathan Brown, MD in Brown Brothers & Co., belongs to an affluent family, his time is precious, he will not wait for more than half an hour, so you need to convince him in that time.”
“Stacee..I can’t do this, you may lose this opportunity because of me”
“I am anyway losing,  no harm in trying. Also I have faith in you”
“Alright, I hope things go well”
I took a cab to Café Brewers, and while in cab Stace explains me things I can say in a time frame of 30 minutes. When I reach there, she wishes me luck and says “He would be on our favourite seat as I  instructed Jeff” Well Jeff was our favourite coffee boy.
I kept my phone on silent, and moved ahead while I straighten my shoulders, and try to compose myself to meet a billionaire or at least a millionaire, not sure though. The man was in black suit and appeared to be young from his back posture. I went ahead and stood in front of him and our eyes locked. He was a young fellow, with black hair, deep green eyes, that you can see through, straight nose, thin lips. A very attractive man who was checking me out. Possibly I seemed out of place. I offered my hand, while introducing myself “Juliana DeThomas, on behalf of Stacey McCains”
“Jonathan Brown, from Brown Brothers & Co.” He had a crooked smile, with a firm grip. He kept looking at me, as if he could read my face and that made me more self conscious. He didn’t leave my hand and I was standing there, waiting for him to ungrip my arm. Finally he broke his grip and waved to have a seat and asked if I need something. I sat there uncomfortably trying to hide myself from his penetrating gaze and said I don’t need anything. I checked my watch to keep track of my time. it was 1.30 pm and I knew he would not bear me more than 15mins.
I started explaining him about the deal Stacey means to propose. He seemed amused by my blabbering, and I sounded funny to myself too. So ignoring his smirks, his glistening green eyes, his pretty face, his strong jaw; I kept on with what Stace had explained me. He didn’t ask me a thing, I wonder if it was good or bad, mayhap I was entertaining to him. Now I was done with whatever Stace explained me, but how do I end this? It was 2.15 pm now and he was still sitting there watching me.
“Thank you Sir for being kind enough to listen what I meant to convey, you can ask me anything you want, and I would try and explain to the best of my capabilities”
And I had zero capability in Accounts.
“Julian DeThomas, what do you do?”
“I am an Architect Sir”
“Really that’s good, how much experience you have?”
“I have 2 years of experience Sir”
“Can you show me any of your work?”
Is this my interview? If so I am not interested.
“Sure Sir”
And I type the URL of the website of the site under construction. I move my chair so I am beside him and show him the floorplans. He pulled the phone from my hands and our fingers brushed briefly. He zoomed the images and studied it for sometime. Then eyed me suspiciously.
“You really have made this?”
“Yes, not alone though. Sir”
“Stop suffixing your statements with ‘Sir'”
“Sorry Sir.. I mean Sorry”
“Alright, so would you like to work for my company? I would pay you double”
I was short of words, my throat went dry. I don’t know what to say. Frankly I know my work isn’t this great that I would be offered double, and my heart started beating unevenly and my words fell out of my mouth before I could hold them
“So Stacey’s Proposal is accepted? ”
“Yes only if you accept to work at my company”
What kind of frigging deal is that. I am not such great a resource. “Where is your company located? What am I gonna do there?”
“It’s in many states in US, and in England,  Australia, India, Japan. And you would construct buildings like what you do now. Not sure if you know but ours has Construction too. Brown Constructions? Have you heard of us?”
“No way.. It’s one of the top Construction companies in States”
“Thank you, So would you? ”
“Alright, mostly yes but I need to think, Please? ”
“Sure take your time, call me when you have made your decision” And he placed his Business card on the table. I took it and fanged it tight like my life is depended on it. I stood up, unable to control my flatter. He offered his hand and I took it, he gave me a light squeeze and I felt light headed, lost in the depth of his eyes, his lopsided smile.
And I left and walked as fast as I can to get away from his gaze. When I checked my watch it was 3 pm. I checked my phone, and there was 20 missed calls from Stace. I called her and told her everything. And she said “Juel accept the offer, you’ll get double and into this big a company. ” And yes I thought why not.
“Juel you there? if yes then should I inform him?”
“He gave me his number”
“Whoa! that’s a leap, is he into you Juel?”
“Oh come on! do not day dream, I need a lunch for this favour I did on you.”
“Anytime sweetheart”
We hung up..and I was lost in my thoughts.

A day when I wanted to watch movies and be home, I got a handsome job offer. What next?

P.S: Life is full of surprises, you never know when your life takes a different turn.

A bad day turned bright

Hand in Hand – Chapter 4:

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It was Wednesday afternoon and I was sitting by the window, sipping my favourite coffee made in that old coffee maker that I inherited from my mother which she got from granny. It gives an authentic aroma to the coffee that pulls me back to my childhood memories when I used to come home running to my granny who was a coffee adherent, our home always smelled of coffee. This coffee maker is one of those things I can never relinquish. Today I was in my blues so I skipped work .It is one of those days I don’t wish to be with anyone but myself. I am a deep thinker and an asocial, and I enjoy the cocoon of my small apartment. It was almost a month in Paris and I was home sick. Except for the time I spent with Eugene outside the office, everything here was so not happening. And until yesterday I was fine, but yesterday while leaving from work, I caught a sight of a girl, pretty much beautiful, kissing Eugene. It was a short kiss, but I won’t kiss a guy unless he wants to. And I felt sick, and I was neither willing to meet Eugene, nor in a state to go to work and face him.
Amidst my thought process I heard the thumping on my door and my thoughts abruptly halted; left me a little lost. I put down my coffee and walked towards the door. The moment I opened it, I was startled to see Eugene at the door. It was a weekday and I didn’t expect him to be here. His hair was a bit dishevelled and he was out of breath as if he had been jogging for a while. As per my etiquettes, I should be inviting him inside but frankly I was in no mood to be even with a guy whom I have a little crush on, the guy who probably has a girlfriend. The guy I am running away from. I unceremoniously ask him “How come you are here? You should be at work”.
He replies in disgruntled tone “So do you?”
I quickly realise I should be polite and say in a low polite voice “I am unwell and I informed Christine”
But seems I’ve disappointed him and he replies in a guttural way “Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I am your superior and not Christine”. And I know I have hit him on the wrong spot at a wrong day. Instead of going on with the conversation and step aside and wave my left arm in air to invite him. He enters without any other argument. I ask him casually like nothing happened “Would you like a glass of water?” and he nods. I walk to my water cooler and fill a glass of water. But when I turn, I find him inhaling the aroma of my coffee. I hand him the glass of water and our fingers slightly touch before he pulls the glass from my hand. I ignore any eye contact from him and look out of the window. He moved closer and stands beside me and said “What kind of coffee is this? I have never smelled something so strong and so..soothing”
“it’s just another coffee from my old coffee maker” it wasn’t anything that common but I didn’t want to brag about it, at least today.
“Can I have a cup if you don’t mind making me one?” he asked innocently.
“Yeah sure, give me a moment” and I rushed towards the table on which the coffee maker is placed. I picked one of the plain mugs, I have 15 mugs placed on the TV unit, and I love collecting mugs. While I was making coffee, he picked one of the minions with a higgledy-piggledy expression and said “Is this you?” with a smirk. I smiled and said “Yeah! Christy says I resemble a minion as my face is very expressive”. He picks one of the mugs and says “These are gifted or you collect?”
“The one I was drinking in, was gifted and the one with a monkey’s face too. The others I’ve collected”
“Oh seems it’s your hobby?”
“Yeah one of the hobbies”
“Ah what else are your hobbies?” he asked like he is interrogating me.
Instead of answering, I simply offer him the mug of coffee, and he clutched it and I cannot pull my fingers. I can feel the heat of the mug, and the warmth of his skin. He isn’t letting go off the grip and I don’t know how to react. I say “It tastes better when hot” and he lets go off my fingers. My palm has turned red from the exposure to heat of the mug, and I feel the burning sensation. I excuse myself and place my palm under the tap. When I return he asks “Are you alright?” and I can see his concern. “Yeah I am alright” and I smile. He places his mug beside mine and pulls my arm and turns it to have a look at my palm. He exclaims horrified “It’s so red”
I try to pull my arm back but he doesn’t let go and continues “I am so sorry Amelie, I was just pissed and.. and I am sorry”
“Hey it’s okay”
“What happened today, why didn’t you come to work?”
“Ah, I was feeling homesick”
“Oh, you could have called me up”
“Ahh..nooo, not that big a deal, frankly I am a bit tired of hearing French, skipping my meals because this area is residential and I have to walk 2 blocks to get to a good restaurant. And I am tired of not able to talk to anyone because well, no one speaks English”
“I do”
“Yeah, you do, but I can’t bug you all the time, and also you have plenty other work and other people in your life too”
“Yeah I know, I probably cannot understand how you feel being in a totally different country. Hmph..you wanna watch some movie and grab some good food?”
“I would love to, but today I am not much in my being”, and frankly I cannot be with him and not get affected by his charm.
“So let’s eat something at least?” and he asks very sweetly.
“How come you are not at work?” I ask out of the blue to get rid of the eating plan.
“My work was done, and I was worried about you, I called you 5 times, you didn’t answer me” and suddenly I felt good and a little embarrassed to ignore his calls, the only thought of he being worried about me was enough to make me blush.
“So are we going out, or you need some more convincing?”
“Yes, let me get ready”
“You better do it quick”
“5 minutes” and we both grin foolishly.
I wear my denim, white and gray striped T-Shirt, and my denim jacket. I had to change in my shower area, because he was in my room. I wear my sneakers sitting on my bed, and the moment I am done, he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door. I surge with him as if we are late for a flight. But his touch feels great.

He turned my blues to pinks.