Sesame Seed: Chapter Seven.

by | Aug 31, 2023 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

The Emir’s representative is coming on Thursday

“Why do you constantly get it wrong?” Andreas Lindgaard stood over the young woman cowering below him. He was dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and mauve and white tie the colours of the country’s Flag.

“Is this not what you wanted?” Her words were tangled in her struggle with the language and the stress of her helplessness. She wore the formal uniform of Qatar’s premier hotel. Crisp white blouse, grey waistcoat and skirt and a cravat the colour of her superior’s tie. Her blond hair was pulled tight in a plait which touched the ground as she sat, exposing her perfectly round face.

“How many times do I have to explain to you?” The big Norwegian’s face was as red as raw flesh and spotted with tiny globes of sweat. It matched the gel that had been generously applied to his black curls as if he’d just come in from the rain. Fifteen hundred years ago, his ancestors were leaping off a longboat onto a beach in North East England. Today, he was here in this god-forsaken oven of a place, three thousand miles from Tromsø.

“I am doing my best sir. This version of Excel is very old. Some of the functionality is not available for what you want,” she responded trying to avoid his spittle shower.

“It is what it is, we all have to work with what we have.” Andreas’ expression mellowed as if someone had massaged his huge shoulders. Nevertheless, the woman’s respite was temporary as his aggression returned. “Just do it and have it to me by tomorrow, 9 am.”

“But you said Tuesday, close of business,” she breathed, shrinking further into her chair. Her large brown eyes seemed to light up and expand. She resembled a kitten about to go into a bag and the monster towering above her was holding the rock.

“Listen, I call the shots around here. The Emir’s representative is coming on Thursday. I want it before then.” Andreas leaned in close to the young woman. She detected the burnt smell of his morning coffee. His Nordic features softened again to that approaching granite and he smiled. She turned her head away, stifling a gag. “Remind me, my dear, when is your probation interview?”

“Wednesday morning sir,” she quivered, avoiding his steely blue stare.

“Then I suggest you get on with it or you know how that’s going to go.” His voice rose in volume and pitch toward the end of the sentence.

The young woman slowly turned to him as he moved away and noticed the saliva gathering in the corner of his mouth. He caught her eye and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Tomorrow, nine,” he said as he turned and left the room. The young woman jumped as the door slammed.

She slowly placed her forehead on the desk and allowed the tears to fall, dripping onto her skirt. The dark circle grew larger with each droplet.

The task was a hopeless one, she might as well go back to her apartment and pack now. ‘This time next week I’ll be in Tehran,’ she thought, wiping her face on a paper handkerchief. She opened the screen on her iPhone and selected the app. Scrolling to the group she began to read the posts. Today was 12th January, 2019,Haruki Murakami’s seventieth birthday and the group was going mad. She forgot her problems and continued to immerse herself in her hero’s celebrations.

Amongst the congratulations, in every language possible, one stood out. It said simply, ‘Happy Birthday Maestro,’ followed by a quote. She recognised the words from Kafka on the Shore.

“If you remember me, I don’t care if everyone else forgets”

The post continued with a personal line. “My darling Marie, taken from me too soon. I miss you more every day.”

She selected the avatar next to the post to reveal a middle-aged man. American or British, she pondered. Without thinking she selected Add Friend. Returning to the post, she replied, “I’m so sorry.” Putting down the phone she refreshed the screen of the ancient computer and began to type.

1 Comment

  1. kenchildse3dc1bd91f

    Wonderfully descriptive but I’m somewhat lost now.


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