CHAPTER 2 – The Meeting
The pitter-patter of the rain on the glass windows felt so soothing – like music to the ears. While gazing at the shiny water droplets on the glass , Amanda called out to the server and ordered a soda. She peeked at her watch to see the time. It’s almost 15 minutes now and the client has not yet arrived. She went through the contract papers, checking for errors , at least a couple of times and kept waiting and waiting and waiting…Her client was the owner of a small advertising agency. Yes, that’s what he said in the telephonic conversation. They were in need of her writing skills and she was waiting since a month now, for a new opportunity.
She was feeling little anxious, as she did not receive any call about the delay, from her client. Moreover, on calling him, she heard his voicemail. So, will he be coming for the meeting at all ?
Amanda looked keenly at the restaurant entrance. There were people coming in, occasionally. This time a group of persons walked into the restaurant. Now, could her client be someone amongst them ? She kept on looking, but, they walked towards another table- eliminating any chance of him being present there. It’s hard for Amanda to spot her client though , as she did not see a picture of him, anywhere. She was referred to this small ad agency by a previous client of hers, who loved her work. Feeling downhearted , she looked away from the entrance , wild thoughts coming into her mind. ‘The client must have met someone better, and made up his mind about giving the project to the concerned person. He must be calling her anytime now to say that the meeting was no longer required .’ She was so worried, she called on her client’s number from her cell phone again.
At the same time, she could hear somebody clearing his throat, “Ahem, ahem”. The sound was quite loud, it felt like , the person was standing nearby, may be right next to her table . Before she could turn, to see who it was, she heard a voice, saying, “Hello there ! Is this Amanda Smith?” She put her phone down on the table promptly and turned around with a frown on her face . A man, wearing a grey suit with a navy blue shirt and red tie, was standing near her table and was all wet. He looked in his mid-forties. She replied, “Yes, but, do I know you?” . Then she paused a bit , and added quickly, “Errr…ahhh…Are you Mr. Ross?”
He nodded his head in approval. She heaved a sigh of relief, “Thanks for coming. So, we finally get to meet! I called you a number of times, but, the calls went to your voicemail.”
Ross said, “ Yes, the battery died and there was so much traffic. I thought I would rather walk and reach faster, than be stranded for several minutes at the signal. Am sorry for the delay.”
“Oh no! That’s quite understandable, given the weather conditions. So….. do you want to use the restroom and freshen up little bit, before we start our conversation ?”, Amanda asked him politely.
“Oh yeah, that would be great! Thank you”, saying this, he grinned and headed towards the restroom.
Amanda sat down pulling her fingers, something she usually does when nervousness strikes. This was a much awaited work that was coming her way. She has worked on a few freelancing assignments before. Hope Mr. Ross will be impressed by her work, and give her the job.It was tough to live one whole month without any project coming her way. Thankfully, a client she has previously worked for, referred her to Mr. Ross, who then went through her website and , got in touch with her.
As she was waiting for Mr. Ross to return, she could feel something was very weird — like somebody was gazing at her since a long time. Yes she was sure of it . Who could it be ? She turned her head towards the table on her side. A man sat there , looking at her . When her eyes met his gaze , he smiled . And this man looked so familiar. Where could she have met him or was he any random person she meets every other day when she walks out of her apartment? He was dressed in a neatly ironed purple shirt and dress pants. He looked like a corporate person. But, why was he sitting idly on that table, gazing at her? Who was he ? She was feeling very uncomfortable now. She kept looking towards the restroom, to check if Mr. Ross was done . But, that man sitting on the table next to her, was in her head now. Once in a while, she turned around to look at him, and Gosh ! He is still gazing . She was getting little irritated but, at the same time was confused , since he looked familiar, very familiar. Who could he be ?