No Valentine’s | 2

The next morning, Lawrence woke up late for work. He had a ten o’clock meeting at one of his client’s office to present a marketing strategy for a new product launch. He didn’t get to brew his coffee before he left like he always did every morning.

It was a quick shower followed by rapid dressing skills, and out of the house, he left. At the basement parking, he roared his Hyundai motorbike, his laptop bag clinging to his back. The bike’s indicator showed low fuel and he had to stop at the Total petrol station.

On making the bend towards the main road, he felt his phone ring but didn’t pick up. It was one of his rules, never to distract himself as he rode. A minute later, he was at the petrol station.

“Please fill the tank, Tom,’ he said to the attendant with a shirt labelled his name.

“Sawa,’ the lanky dark skinned attendant responded.

He checked his watch to see the time. It was fourteen minutes to the start of his meeting. He only needed ten if he rode faster enough and wasn’t stopped by a traffic cop.

“Done.” Tom the attendant said.

He drew his phone out to pay the bill. Then checked the missed call. It was the client. He called back.

“Hello.” Answered Susan, the brand manager at Tasty Foods limited.

“Sorry I missed your call.” Lawrence started, “I’m on my way over to your office. The meeting is still on, right?” he checked his watch again.

“Yes, but unfortunately, we might have to reschedule this one. One of the directors won’t be able to attend and we really need him present for the presentation. Sorry.” Susan said in her bold confident voice.

“Well, I was actually on my way.”

“It was a flight delay, but I’m trying to fix another meeting this week. That’s okay?” Susan asked.

“Sure. No problem.”

“Okay, I’ll keep in touch. Thanks.”

Susan hanged up. The news wasn’t necessarily bad for Lawrence. Now he had more time on his hands to work on another client’s marketing strategy. He turned his motorbike towards his apartment. One of the perks that came with being a strategy consultant was the fact that he could work easily and comfortably from his home office.

As he rode back, he had another idea. To stop at Crave Kitchen for breakfast. He secretly hoped to meet her there.

Seated at the corner munching on his bacon, he saw Neema walking towards his table. He sat up, then rose to hug her.

‘Hi, Neema.”

“Hi, Lawrence.” They hugged and sat down, almost simultaneously.

“I’ve missed you,” Neema said. “I heard you came over yesterday.”

“Yes. I’m loyal you know! There’s no other place like this as far as meals go.” They both chuckled. “I miss you too Neema.”

“You look nicely dressed.” She said.

“Even in this jacket?” He asked her. He hadn’t removed his riding jacket yet. He stared her in the eyes teasingly.

“Well, without the jacket. More coffee?” Neema asked.

‘Yes please.”

She signalled at one of the waiters, pointed at Lawrence’s cup and gestured two with her fingers. Moments later, the waiter brought two cups.

“So, how is the GYM coming along?” Lawrence asked.

“It’s hell. I hate waking up these days.” She said in a whiny tone. They both chuckled again.

“It’s always harder the first few weeks until your body gets used to it,” Lawrence said, sipping his coffee.

“If you say so.” Neema turned towards the open kitchen and said to Lawrence, “Excuse me for a second. Don’t leave just yet.” She walked to the kitchen and gave what seemed like instructions to one of the chefs before walking back to Lawrence’s table.

All the while, Lawrence was thinking about Stacy. His dissatisfaction with the state of their relationship, wondering what to do. Neema knew about Stacy and who she was to Lawrence.

When Neema sat down, she looked at Lawrence with such admiration before she moved her glossed lips to speak.

“You look sad. What’s up?” She asked with a particular tone Lawrence had now gotten used to.

For a moment, he was silent. She allowed him time to construct his words.

“I don’t know where to start.” He said.

“Start from any angle, I’m listening.”

Lawrence looked at her loving eyes then said, “It’s Stacy. I think we are falling out.”

 

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