Nadim sat in his office that very next he looked out of the window silently sitting in his chair, it was five minutes to 7 am, the cleaning staff walked into his room to do their routine and they were surprised to find him sitting and he even didn’t notice any of them come in. So they silently walked out of the room and went about their business elsewhere.
Nadim had so many thoughts running through his mind and he looked down on his desk towards the resume that belonged to Heidi and his cell phone. He closed his eyes and leaned back against his chair. He hadn’t slept since the last night.
An hour passed and his assistant walked in to find him almost asleep in his chair she made a sound to identify that she is in the room.. Nadim opened his eyes and sat upright in the chair, “Hey Good morning Nour! I didn’t see you walk in!” Nadim said..
Nour was pretty much surprised to find him in the office this early in the morning “Good morning to you to, the cleaning staff told me you’ve been here since over an hour! You never came to the office that early! I usually chase you to come! Are you sick? Is everything ok?” she replied.
Nadim tried to joke his way out of it “No am not sick Nour or is anything wrong, I just woke up early today! Shouldn’t you be happy I saved you the trouble of calling me and chasing me every 10 minutes just to get me awake and to the office!” he smiled as he said
Nour shook her head a bit as if she’s not totally convinced “Ok, I’ll try to buy that but if there’s anything going on just let me know, I’ll get going to fix your appointments for today” and turned to leave and as she reached the door she remembered something and added “Oh by the way did you make up your mind about that marketing manager vacancy yet? Are any of the last ones you met any good?”
Nadim took a deep breath “You don’t forget anything do you, Nour!” he exclaimed.. And she giggled “Well you forget so I should remind you!”
Nadim shook his head and smiled “What would I do without you! Well as for the marketing manager they all seem to be great candidates but I am more inclined to pick Heidi, she has not just the experience but the fact that she has been working abroad and the names on her resume, I believe she would make an excellent addition and bring new ideas to the company”
Nour nodded and added “I agree with that point, so I’ll setup a call and let her know she’s been accepted to come and sign the contracts”
Nadim thought for a second then said “Let me do that call because I have some meetings out today and I want to discuss with her the strategy for the end of the year, it’s important to keep her aligned on where we are, despite that she can get this info from the marketing team, but I want to study her insight on what will she do new .. After am done I will let her pass by you to have the contracts signed”
Nour noted it down in her diary and said “Just let me know when she will be coming so as to not be engaged in anything else”
Nadim nodded and Nour left the room..
A few hours later, Nadim was trying to get himself engaged into his regular day-to-day activities but still couldn’t get himself to be in sync with his regular life, it’s like a cornerstone of his being has been removed or misplaced. His mind now doesn’t do anything but keep on thinking till he is barely able to open his eyes.
He keeps hearing Ashraf’s last word “You are to keep everything secret, Heidi should not know or sense you were in contact with us! You are to continue acting normally”
Nadim took a long stare at his cell phone and the resume mumbling to himself “All of this was a lie??”
Nadim shook his head to snap out of it, his landline rang and it was Nour his assistant, he picked up and answered “Yes, Nour?”,Nour came from the other end “Have you made that phone call yet?” he then replied calmly “No, not yet”, Nour responded “Ok, just reminding you”. Nadim thanked her and hung up.
He now picked up the cell phone and looked at the number on Heidi’s resume and dialed the number, it took a few seconds and then Heidi responded “Hello?”
Nadim replied “Hi Heidi, it’s me Nadim, am I calling you in a good time?”, Heidi replied “Yeah sure, I assume you got my message yesterday”
Nadim answered back “Yes, I did, I am also calling you to tell you you’ve been accepted for the job and that we need to meet for lunch to discuss business”
Nadim felt uncomfortable with the entire situation and as if a knife was driven through his very soul..
Heidi replied calmly and confidently “Sure what time?”
“4 pm at Carino’s in the Nile City boat” Nadim responded.
“Ok that sounds great, I’ll meet you there then” she added, her voice was as vibrant as always Nadim kept on remembering bits and pieces of those moments they’ve had together..
Nadim went silent for a minute until Heidi interrupted him “Nadim are you there?”
Nadim then replied “Yeah, yeah, I’ll see you there then..”
They both ended the call and Nadim got out of his chair and looked at the scenery outside “What sort of crap am I mixed up in now?” he thought to himself.
It was almost close to 4 pm and Nadim was sitting in the restaurant in the open air area, there was a slight breeze that had a touch of chill to it. That view over the river Nile, where he could see some sail boats with young people singing and dancing as well as all the fancy restaurant tour boats passing by in that old yet elegant neighborhood Zamalek.
Nadim sat quietly preparing himself as to how to deal with that situation, he wasn’t quite sure he could do it but he kept convincing himself until her reached that sort of resolve that he has to do it no matter what it takes as he sunk in these thoughts..A shadow appeared over him, it was Heidi,
He looked up at her and the sun was just behind her, her red hair like a wild-fire dancing under the sun and her light brown eyes ever so piercing into his soul..
Nadim instantly got up and invited her to sit down..
Heidi sat down followed by Nadim, and the waiter came and passed on the menu quickly to both of them and retreated to let them take their time to make their decisions.
“Still into Italian food I see” Heidi smiled as she said it.. “Well some things do change, some just don’t I guess” Nadim replied.
And they both went silent for a few minutes
Nadim struggled internally to keep himself composed he wanted to blast her away with a thousand questions..
“Listen Nadim..” Heidi broke the silence “I need the job, but also I need to give you an explanation about what happened before”
Nadim gave a smirk “So why would I want to know about it now? It’s all part of the past right?”
Heidi nodded “But I need to get it off my chest”
Nadim couldn’t help himself but smile “So after fifteen years you want to get it off your chest? What about the burning fire that you left lit inside of me? You don’t see me wanting to just..”
Heidi interrupted him “I know how you feel and you have every right to feel it and I will not object to that.. But I still have to tell you what went on”
Nadim took a deep breath and sat quietly to listen..
Heidi continued “I had to leave the country because I faced a lot of problems back at home and work, and on top of this I had an issue of commitment, I couldn’t commit, it was going to be very difficult for you and me, what I am trying to say is that I am sorry, it wasn’t your fault but entirely mine, I put you in this situation and I just want to tell you that I am really sorry and throughout those years I have never forgot the pain I put you through and I do not expect any sort of forgiveness but it was important to me to sit with you face to face and tell you I am sorry”
Nadim could sense remorse and regret in her voice and something about it felt it was really an apology but at that time he wasn’t ready or wanting to forgive he just had too much on his mind to let him do anything.
Nadim replied “that’s all part of the past what and we will have from now on is strictly business, and just for your information the Nadim you know is nothing like the Nadim you will see at the office. So prepare yourself that our my working environment is a demanding one”
Heidi smiled and nodded, she knew Nadim was never a man of too many words or a very expressive person but for some reason she felt he might have believed her..