It was a dull Thursday evening, the day had been one painfully long dull stretch, the weather was bleak, the trees were not swaying gracefully as always, the birds seemed to have gone on a chirping strike. It was basically one of those days when even the slightest of disappointments makes you want to kill yourself. And I told myself that if nothing exciting were to happen before I retired to bed that night, I would permanently erase this day from my calendar, my year would be 364 and a quarter days, and I would celebrate New Year on 31st of December in protest.
Little did I know that out of this dreary day, the best, yet most tragic love story of my life so far would emanate. It all started as an innocent phone call on my cell from an unfamiliar number. I picked, murmured a languid hello wondering which despicable creature would think of calling me after work hours.
“Hello, is this Lawrence?”
I have heard many female voices in my short life, but the one echoing through my head at this particular moment was possibly the sweetest of them all. Soft but firm, sweet yet alert, sexy and confident with a trace of shyness in a very sophisticated combination that I doubt I will ever encounter again. In a split second my mind was alert, my heart switched gears to the throbbing reverse equivalent, my eyes remained transfixed on the electric pole I had been pondering about and to make matters worse, my throat went dry.
‘Say something, stupid!!’ My ever alert inner self was at work again, thank God for that invincible idiot.
“Uhm, hi, yes this is Lawrence”
“My name is Yasmin, im calling you from XYZ Ltd, my boss, Mr. Alpha, says you can help us with the redesign of our corporate profile”
“Yes, I can”
“Well, we need this done ASAP, do you think you could come to our office first thing in the morning?”
“Uhm, that will be tricky, I have…”
“Lawrence, we are in the middle of a very critical partnership deal and I need to know if or not you can do this tomorrow, or I try someone else!”
“Ok, please relax…” Why do I have this annoying habit of telling people to relax??
“Excuse me!? Lawrence, please save us both some time. Can you do this tomorrow or not? Money is not an issue here”
The fact that she kept uttering my name in every sentence was not helping my situation at all. While she went on explaining things I vaguely remember, I had formed a perfect mental picture of what she looked like. Long flowing hair, a sweet and well kept face, lips that curved a little when she smiled, a perfect set of white teeth and a perfect figure with a fashion sense that kept all her assets well but decently pronounced. I had taken her on our first date and we were laughing at this first conversation which by now I had totally drifted away from…
“Oh, Sorry, uhm, I think I can make time tomorrow morning, how about…”
“Eight Sharp, please don’t be late. Nice evening” Beep.
Sweet shy voiced ladies, obviously short (I have a great gift of forming nearly accurate mental pictures of ladies based on voice alone, try me!), would not normally be giving me ultimatums, but rather laughing heartily at my jokes, and blushing helplessly at my master flattery. This was new, and I couldn’t wait to meet her.
Next morning I was 10 minutes early, a personal record. I had on my lucky shirt (lots of success stories with this shirt) and my favorite jeans trouser which is just tight enough but also loose enough to complete the mystery-man-you-wish-you-had look.
Mr. Alpha was there, early bird as always. He welcomed me and asked me to wait for Yasmin in her office.
They say you can judge a person by the nature of his/her office. The lady of my dreams was not about to disappoint me. A unique scent welcomed you into her well laid out office with a velvet carpet and perfectly organized mahogany desk. The sky blue curtains, still drawn, ushered in the morning sun’s rays, filtering in streaks of light that did magic to the already exquisite ambience of this office. The only
missing link was the lack of any personal item that would help me complete the picture in my head. No picture of mum, or child or a boyfriend on her desk. No flower vases, or wall hangings to tell a little about her personality. Her wall was lined with several cabinets bearing glass doors that gave a peak at the high profile client accounts she handled for Mr. Alpha. This was one powerful woman. I felt helplessly smitten by the lady I was yet to meet.
“She furnished this office herself” offered Mr. Alpha as he disappeared back to his office. Obviously he was also intrigued by her. I sat on one of her comfortable guest seats, wallowing in the rich and obviously expensive scent, enjoying the sun’s rays as they stroked my face and cherishing this one rare moment of being in a spotlessly clean environment. It was heaven.
Startled out of our romantic voyage to one of the islands of Seychelles, I nearly jerked to my feet and turned around in one simultaneous movement that hurt a muscle or two. Standing there, a radiant contrast to the voice on my cell the previous evening, coffee at hand ready to serve her non-deserving guest, was Yasmin, or at least I hoped so with all my heart. I swear it took every volt of energy in my veins to utter these next words.
“Morning Yasmin. You look Lovely”
…to be continued…
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Lawrence is the guy next door; A young, aspirational Kenyan gentleman; But most of all, a romantic soul in search of true love.