Written by Alaa (aka Lols)
During the elevator’s descent, Sarah’s thoughts were rolling back and forth, visiting every possible nook and cranny in her memories in the hopes of remembering the identity of this Mr. Adam Wagdy who came to see her. She didn’t know anyone in London: She didn’t have any friends and her family resided in Egypt ever since she could remember. Even her business connections didn’t expand to the furthest reaches of Europe; Sarah mostly operated within the Middle East and Africa. She also had a sharp memory when it came to names and people’s faces so why couldn’t she remember the name? He apparently knew her well enough to know where she stayed.
Sarah reached the reception, went and asked for Mr. Adam Wagdy who was sitting a few feet away from where she stood. The receptionist indicated where Mr. Wagdy was sitting and Sarah was taken aback in a good way. Having felt that he was the subject of a conversation, Mr. Wagdy stood up, tall, broad shouldered and quite the charmer. His face looked like it was sculpted by an artist, with a brownish tan to it topped off by a black curly mane. He wore glasses that covered almond shaped eyes whose color was of deep brown. His face was a bit rugged but didn’t decrease the charm that vibrated from it. He smiled as Sarah hypnotically approached him, trying so hard not to gap at him.
“Good Afternoon, Ms. Al Tomoom”, said Mr. Wagdy in a flawless British accent that sent waves of chill running through Sarah’s spine, “I apologize for such an inconvenience”, and he continued as he gently took her hand and shook it.
“No trouble at all…no trouble at all” Sarah’s voice came out a bit hoarse as if she hadn’t talked for a long while. She cleared her throat and resumed, “To what do I owe the pleasure, Mr. Wagdy?”
“Ah, cutting straight to the chase I see” he smiled, “well, I won’t take too much of your time. I am here on unofficial business matter that is related to your business quite frankly”
“Well, I don’t think you took notice but I was present during all of your meetings with the board of “Stilettos” and I found everything you said and the way you presented your company quite impressive”
Sarah couldn’t help but roll her eyes; she had had enough of hearing just the word “impressive” without a definite answer from the company. She began to think expanding in Europe especially in the UK was not worth the hassle.
“You don’t agree with me?” added Adam, still keeping his charming smile on his face. How did you become so handsome? A thought that was running in parallel with Sarah’s other thoughts.
“It’s not like that at all. I’m just tired of hearing praise about how my work was presented and how well I talked and all I get is hesitancy from the members. It’s either a yes or no offer” answered Sarah, tapping her fingers on the arms of the chair.
“I totally understand and I am not here to offer more praise with nothing on the side. I’m telling you that the board will take your offer of expansion fully”
“And what makes you sure of that?”
“Because I’m the CFO of “Stilettos” and from the feasibility study that your company conducted, we’ll be actually saving a lot more than we could have hoped for with your costs of labor and material than if we would pair up with any other European country”, he mentioned, “and besides, the quality of the shoes you’re selling is quite exquisite”
Sarah beamed. So her work actually reached that far!
“May I ask how you became acquainted with my shoes?” she asked.
“In Turkey. I was on a business trip and I came across your shop and went inside, kind of like testing your rival’s worth and seeing what my company is dealing with. I was really impressed”
“Well, I can’t say that I’m not flattered Mr. Wagdy but like I said, praise is not what I’m looking for. I know my company’s worth and how my designs are, as you put it, exquisite” said Sarah proudly.
“Of course, I completely understand Mrs. Al Tomoom. I will personally see to it that your offer of expansion is carefully studied and a decision is made” he answered, standing up, buttoning his dark blazer and smiling charmingly.
Stop being so charming!
“I will be waiting for your call then. You know where I live” smiled Sarah, her heart pumping.
“Have a good afternoon, Mrs. Al Tomoom” Adam shook her hand gently yet again and left, adorning his shades and leaving behind a stunned looking Sarah who finally let go of her business posture and persona.
As soon as she went inside her room, Sarah started dancing. Finally, some help presented itself in the form of a reincarnated Greek God: There’s still a chance after all for this expansion. Unconsciously, she reached for her cellphone and wanted to dial Nevine’s number or even Samir’s but suddenly remembered that she wasn’t talking to them. A heavy cloud covered her short lived summer sun. She dropped on her bed, bouncing a bit. As much as she didn’t appreciate their way of living, of invoking her in times of mostly hardship and drama, Sarah missed her friends deeply.
She missed their voices, their laughs, their pathetic excuses, the way they talked, lived their lives, their flaws, and their strength. She missed talking to them whenever something major happened to her. She missed the way they saw things differently, their advice, their care. It seemed only yesterday when Sarah told Nevine that her company was opening a branch in Lebanon. The way Nevine celebrated that news was priceless. Even Samir, who was in Montreal at that time, made sure his celebration and happiness reached the other side of the world to his “chère amie”. With memories and random thoughts running through her head, Sarah took out Samir’s email and read it over and over again, a decision feebly taking shape in the back of her head.