The period that followed almost a month and half of continuous work and travel for both Nadim and Heidi, something he had to do and there was no avoiding because his business needed it, as a CEO he had to do these business meetings and because Heidi’s position as the marketing head she had to be right there next to him.
Their trips to Geneva, Nairobi and Hong Kong were so busy they just met over dinner to discuss business matters and to check on their schedule.. They were staying in the Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong and it was their last night.
Nadim was at a table at the spring moon restaurant which had a custom Cantonese arrangement, he always enjoyed exotic cuisine and the Far East was just a favorite of his. He looked at his watch and as he raised his head he found Heidi standing next to the table elegantly dressed in a sleeveless Qipao with its white color and pink silk peacock embroideries which just went along very well with her fiery red hair. For a moment he was taken as the beautiful scent of that was around her made her look so angelic in his eyes, for a moment he just sat there looking at her eyes.. Before he realized that he was sitting while she stood there.. He instantly rose up and pulled a chair for her to sit down as she sat down and smiled gently before adding “Thank you”
Nadim began to get back to his senses and tried to put on again his serious face.. Trying not to distract himself with her beauty which even though it’s been fifteen years she still has the same beauty that just captivates his eyes.. The mood, the restaurant, the music and Heidi just seemed to perfect for Nadim but that all made it even worse.. He can still feel the knife that she stuck in his soul that day she left without a single word, simply disappearing off the face of the planet..No phone call, letter or anything that would even slightly explain anything to hi,.
Nadim look around and caught the eyes of one of the waiters who came about instantly to take their order, Heidi looked at her menu and made her pick as, Nadim already had made up his mind and told the waiter instantly what he wants.
They both sat quietly after the waiter had taken the order and Nadim scoured with his eyes all across the room, there was barely anyone in the restaurant except the two of them and another couple way across the room.
“So how could you do it?” Nadim posed the question suddenly, taking Heidi off guard as she sat there quietly for a moment before responding “I told you before I had to do it because it was better for everyone..” she said “It’s not like you think! I didn’t want to.. But I had to!” she added and she began to feel frustrated.
Nadim sat back in his chair before adding “I was actually referring to the deal we won today , I wanted to know how you managed fish this deal out, it was very clear they weren’t interested in what we had or want to do. So could you do it ?”
Heidi felt embarrassed and her whole face flushed with redness..”Oh my God am so sorry I didn’t mean to act up all weird..” She said shyly as she regained her composure..
“That’s quite simple” She added and continued “He mentioned one word to his assistant and that meant to me that there’s another way around to win him, the word was Fu in Chinese which mean luck, they thought we were wasting our time coming all the way from Egypt to Honk Kong and that we had little luck. So I was determined to shift things around and as you saw throughout the presentation I changed our strategy and approach in order to show them that what we can do is because of the quality of service we have and it is not related to just luck.” Heidi said as she went on to more of the business details.
Nadim carefully listened and nodded “Interesting..Ok, let me ask you something else since it was you who brought that other subject up even though I didn’t do anything to bring it up so I am completely innocent on that matter.. You mentioned that this was better for both of us. “He took a deep breath then added “Shouldn’t I at least been part of this decision? I mean I am more than capable of making decisions for my own self don’t you think?”
Heidi observed him quietly reading his facial features as he asked his question and she then replied “Some things are just too difficult to explain Nadim, even to someone who’s understanding and broad-minded as yourself. There are these moments in life where you should just make that call even if you know it will cause you a lot of pain”
Nadim quietly listened and replied almost the moment she finished her sentence “I take it from what you are saying that you were hurt?”, Heidi calmly replied “If you think that I did this for my own personal pleasure, then the answer is yes, I was hurt but I will not go through this conversation and please let’s not get into it”
Nadim nodded and switched the topic and asked “So how do you find doing business within the company so far?”
Heidi shook her shoulders “Well I am still finding my way around, I do think you did quite a great job in building it up all the way from the bottom and you do have quite an energetic and dedicated team, something a lot of companies in Egypt miss. But you also have to admit you made the right choice of marketing manager! You really needed to change those strategies”
Nadim smiled and before he could reply the waiter came with their order and began the serving.
It took them almost an hour to dine when Heidi began to feel rather sleepy and decided to call it a day , she looked at Nadim “I know you probably won’t believe me but I never did want to hurt you, and I never had it planned out that way” Nadim tried to interrupt but she added “Let me finish and don’t talk about it..” she closed her eyes and took a deep breath “What ever happened back then , I want you to be sure that it was not your fault, but also it wasn’t mine..It’s something that had to happen, I do hope the day comes when I could explain this to you in a much clearer sense, I know that anything I say now will not make a difference, but I just had to say it” she said it and took one step backwards
“Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll have to get to bed since we have a flight at 7 am to catch back to Cairo, and don’t be late it won’t be great to miss the flight like in Nairobi!”
Nadim nodded and wished a good night..
The waiter brought the bill to Nadim who paid and then put his jacket on his shoulders and walked all the way to the elevator and made his way up to his room, he used the key and walked in only to find Ashraf sitting in the far corner of his room with a bottle of soda open next to him..
“Hi Nadim!” Ashraf said smiling
“Oh it’s you..” Nadim replied with a sense of disappointment, he was hoping to get to bed early for a change but only walked in to find Ashraf.
Ashraf added “You don’t sound too happy to see me! I couldn’t blame you, sitting with a hot redhead like Heidi is quite something I must admit with that body of hers.. You know..” before he could continue he was abruptly stopped by Nadim “Stop!”
“Keep your head on the job Nadim” Ashraf said firmly.. “She’s a snake and will play you like a violin just like she did fifteen years ago! You need to be the player not the instrument! You’re getting close to her, that’s good and what we need but I don’t need you to fall a prey to her!”
Nadim shook his head disagreeing “I am not a toy , a puppet or an instrument.. And I won’t be fooled! I agreed to help you because you said it is a matter of national security, so why don’t you let me know when you plan to meet me rather than sneaking up on me like you always do!”
Ashraf smiled “It’s part of the job specially with people like yourself we need to keep you ready for action!” he then laughed “no seriously the reason why we do that is because with someone as well-trained as Heidi, it’s very important to make sure that she doesn’t see us together or feel in any way that you might be up to something else..”
“But I can clearly say you are walking on the right path Nadim, a few more months and things should begin to work out and before you know it we will be out of y our hair and out of your life.. But it’s all up to you, if you do the job right!” Ashraf added
“I am focused and will get the job done..” Nadim responded
“Good, that’s what I’d like to hear.. That’s the key word.. FOCUS, Nadim.. Focus!” Ashraf said it and left the room quietly
Nadim went out after Ashraf and tried to look for him but couldn’t see him as if he had disappeared into thin air..
Nadim closed the door and let himself crash on his bed.. It has been a very long day.