Part 2: The Work-in-Progress

     The changing numbers flashed rapidly at the top of the elevator.


     I turned and saw Martin Lam. His lips curled like a bow.

     He was in a dark grey suit, white shirt and a lemon-yellow tie. He ran his hand through his gray hair and rubbed the back of his neck.  

     “Thanks for tip this morning. I was worried I had to give the ramen egg a miss,” he said, smiling sheepishly.  

     “No worries. I couldn’t wait any longer. I was hungry.” I gushed.

     The elevator doors opened and we stepped right to the back. Four ladies in pareos and fancy straw hats followed, sweaty and with a can of beer in their hands.

     Then, one of the ladies started singing “Tell me when will you be mine. Tell me quando quando quando. We can share a love divine. Please don’t make me wait again…”.

     I glanced sideways at Martin. His eyes were closed. He was standing perfectly erect and seemed to be controlling his breathing. He had side-burns.

     Side-burns!  Like a carefully trimmed strip of lawn running down the side of his face, stopping abruptly in a line at right angles to the lobe of his ear.

     The elevator door opened and the four sweaty ladies stumbled out, still singing drunkenly.

     I stifled a chuckle. He opened his eyes.

     “Oops, sorry for being rude. I’m Aubergina,” I squeaked.

     He raised his eyebrows and chuckled. “Martin. Pleased to meet you.” 

     I felt an exhilaration run down my spine as he shook my hand.

     “Are you here for business?” I asked, fighting the urge to straighten my shirt collar.

     He nodded and closed his eyes; his head thrown back slightly.

     “My stop here. Have a good evening.”  I tittered in an unnaturally high-pitched voice.

     “Join me for breakfast tomorrow?” He looked at me expectantly, running his fingers through his hair.

     I hesitated.

     And what, Aubergina? Lead him on all the way to the Bank’s claws? He is Tier One priority target, remember?

     “That would be nice” I heard myself say.

     “See you at the lobby at 7AM?”

     I nodded. My heart was pounding.


… be continued


Published by

Andrea Boult

Blogs Malaysian short stories at Occasionally I blog in Manglish.

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