Yasmin wasn’t short as I had imagined, but surprisingly her height lingered just shy of being top model material. I mean, if she took two steps closer, pressed her body close to mine, and tilted her head slightly upwards, we would undoubtedly engage in the most passionate of French kisses without either of us straining to maintain contact. As I eased forward for a handshake, my gentleman character feeblyhanging in the balance, her face lit up to pave way for a playful girlish chuckle. The fact that her lower lip curved just enough to give a glimpse of her snowy white teeth was more than I could bear. And her hair, oh her hair (it wasn’t a weave; I verified this many times thereafter), long, rich, and dark enough to complement her fair spotless chocolate skin. Did I mention that she wore a tight fitting trouser suit whose coat left sufficient room for subtle flirtation with her perfectly held together bosom? Thank God for bras! I couldn’t help but wonder how many client accounts she had won by merely bending to pick a pen she had ‘accidentally’ dropped.
“Yasmin? I wish!” She sighed, obviously amused, as she walked past me, an inviting perfume scent trailing her, and placed my coffee on the table. Even in this eerie moment, the man in me noticed that she looked just as amazing from behind.
“Uhm, excuse me?” I asked, barely choking on my words.
If she had poured the hot coffee on me, stepped on my toes with her high heels and drove a sharp knife right through my chest, the surge of pain that had just shot through me would still have carried the day.
“My name is Anne, Yasmin’s PA. Enjoy your coffee.”
True to her word, her voice was nowhere close to the one I had heard the previous evening, and explicitly devoid of the confidence and authority that had caught my attention. I stood transfixed to the spot, my mind utterly blank, lips instantly dried up and awfully disoriented.
‘Well, not to worry’, I told myself. So she wasn’t Yasmin, damn it!
‘This is the preview’, I thought to myself in faint hope. This was certainly the curtain raiser for the breathtaking show that was to follow. For Yasmin to allow such a gorgeous work of divine art to be her personal assistant, she had to be way too comfortable with her own incredible beauty, right? I mean, the voice I heard the previous night…
“Morning Lawrence! Anne, the brief, in my office, now! Please take a seat Lawrence.”
I made a zombie-like ‘u’ turn to face the object of all my fantasies in the past 16 hours as I eased back into my seat.
“Anne! I don’t have all morning! Now Lawrence, we are about to get into a critical partnership with Zen Consulting, the regional media giant. Its going to be…”
As she launched into her brief, my professional registers captured each word while all my other registers collided dangerously into each other trying to get back into focus.
“Your job is to help us re-create our corporate image…”
Anne rushed into the office with the printed brief, her radiant beauty vaguely masked by the fright of almost disappointing her boss. Even in a circumstance such as this I couldn’t help but steal a quick glance and thank God for all his blessings.
“Here you go”, said Yasmin as she handed me a copy of the brief.
“That brief summarizes everything I have told you so you can refer any time. Now time is of essence here Lawrence…”
Ten minutes later I still hadn’t regained my complete composure, but I had enough blood rushing through my system again to process the recent turn of events and come to terms with it.
I quickly managed to piece together three facts:
Fact 1: The Woman sitting on other side of the desk, oozing with authority and speaking nothing but business, was Yasmin.
Fact 2: Hers was obviously the voice I had heard the previous night, and fallen in love with. And as I listened to it now, accompanied by the personality of its owner, I still marveled at it.
Fact 3: Anne was not Yasmin, but she was an almost perfect replica of the woman whom I went to bed fantasizing about the previous night.
For the first time in my romantic life, my voice recognition faculties had failed me. Yet not completely, because just as I expected, I had seen my perfect woman, almost as I had pictured her. The only complication was that she was two different people, and not one. A two-in-one if you may.
In a perfect world, this would have been an easy choice for me. Simply acknowledge that my powers of voice picturisation were not perfect and proceed to try my luck with Anne.
Unfortunately, this in no perfect world, and Yasmin was no ordinary woman.
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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.