Copyright 2016 Abhay Adil
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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He said with an air of overconfidence “Do you trust me?”
“Of course I don’t” came the prompt reply
“Thank God, even I don’t” He backfired
He looked at her, still cold and heartless as the day he first met and fell in love with her.
They walked out from a parlor into the cold London air.
“I hate this cold”
“I am aware of that” She replied without a hint of any concern
“You a spoiled city boy who has lived all his life in Delhi, surely you are cold”
“You do know that Delhi gets cold during this time as well”
“Yes but here you can’t hide under your blanket all day to be served tea”
Irritated by her comments he distracted his attention and called for a cab
“Are we really going to take a taxi! Do you want to run out of money?” She scolded
“Just get in” He replied with dominance in his deep voice
Its 3rd of January, they have been in London for two weeks now. He Ajay Singh or as her companion Gurpreet Kaur described him as a spoiled Delhi boy is missing home. Sure he enjoyed London but now it was getting to him, the cold, lack of money, the omnipresent shades of gray.
They have been here on company business along with their colleagues at the Barclays. Current politics was getting out of hand, everyone was scrambling to take the new business to their department of the off-shore office.
Its college all over again for Ajay; how he hated that.
Soon they arrived at their hotel, Rose Hill’s a modest accommodation provided by the Barclays.
“You just wasted ten pounds we could have saved it” Gurpreet said in an irritated tone
He just rolled his eyes and thought ‘Small town girls’
Inside there was already a commotion going on, many of the Barclays employees were busy organizing today’s conference. Only the off-shore associates were at ease, most of them have already won the business in their heads. Everyone thinks that they know something that others don’t and that’s how the management wants it to be.
Ajay is a skeptic who is never to be content except when he is savoring small victories.
“Tonight is suppose to be the decision announcement and we didn’t find out anything at that parlor” She said to him as they walked into the elevator
He merely replied “Relax it wasn’t a complete loss”
As the doors closed he observed that she was worried, he knows what this mean to her. She wants to prove herself, she is already a team leader, now she wants to prove that she can bring in new business and not just manage existing ones.
‘God I really want to kiss her and to tell her that everything is alright, that he is besides her no matter what.’ Ajay thinks to himself as he stares at her with immense longing.
All of them were provided sharing rooms and since Cherry would be out they went to Gurpreet’s room.
He took off his coat and sat down on the bed, Gurpreet started phasing across the room deep in thought.
“If they have already made a decision then why they didn’t announce it before”
“Easy, they are still evaluating it” He told her
She gave him a glance and said “No that’s not it; perhaps they didn’t want to discourage others. So they waited till the last few days”
“But they could have just waited till we returned and then announce it”
“Could there be an agenda”
He just nod
“There is always an agenda”
She started to pace faster while murmuring
While he just gazed at her, admiring her curves and her sensual body. He wanted to touch her all over so badly, her long black hair drove him mad. He wants to runs his figures through them and dive deep into her eyes. Her red lips have slightly lost their color in the cold but are still enchanting, he felt a thirst a craving to feel her lips, taste them.
She looks at him distress was evident from her expression an tone “Ajay, I am worried”
“Don’t worry” He says as he gets up from the bed and touches her on the shoulder “We will get the business”
She looks away and hugs her in front of the window, her back towards him. Her figure dazzles him completely mystified by her beauty he just looks at her for a moment and started to leave. He doesn’t want to but he has to, he wants to stop time and spend the eternity with her. But he can’t so he goes off to do the thing he can.
She heard him leave and felt so alone, she knows some part of her wants him. She is well aware of his feelings and trusts him to be a good person, he never showed her contempt despite her being so distance towards his romantic advances and gestures.
‘Perhaps I should give him a chance’ she thinks to herself, but there is something stopping her she doesn’t know what.
Ajay heads towards the lobby walking casually trying to hide his eagerness. He is looking for Mr. Potter senior vice president of London office, whom he has been on friendly terms ever since he has arrived here.
A group of men possibly Barclays staff was chatting in the corner he presumed about the conference.
Among them was Karan Bajaj only one from Brokerage Department other then himself and Gurpreet.
“Karan” He cried out
Karan waved and excused himself from the group
“What happened?” he said “You found what you were looking for in East London?”
“I suppose, not sure”
“You know following executives to learn their decision isn’t good”
“Then what were you doing?”
“Just confirming something, did you do what I asked you?”
“Yes, they haven’t left the hotel at all nor did they meet anyone else outside their group. Been drinking and laughing like they have already won.”
“That could be true.”
“What the hell are you saying?”
“I said ‘could’”
“What does that suppose to mean?”
Ajay opened his mouth but didn’t say anything; his attention went straight to Mr. Potter who was just arriving in from the front entrance.
He was alone so he wasted no time and went straight to him
“Hello Mr. Potter, how are you?
“Just a bit cold, you say champ how are you today?”
“Just fine sir”
He kept on walking right towards the executives lounge
“Actually I wanted to talk to you about something”
“Ajay you know we can’t talk before the results are announced”
“Yes but I really think you would want to know this”
“Can’t it wait?”
“Just a moment sir, I won’t take much time”
Later that evening the conference began as scheduled, everyone was seated on tables facing the executive panel in a forced attention as they talked about the future of the company and some good praises for the off-shore branch.
Brokerage of was the smallest group of the lot therefore their table was half vacant.
Ajay was eating grapes one after another in anticipation; Gurpreet didn’t touch anything on the table, while Karan was gulping down peg after peg of neat whisky.
“And now to announce the recipient of the new business” Mr. Potter said
Everybody holds their breathes
“After a long consideration we came to the conclusion that the department best suited for this business is; Brokerage”
After a short silence a lukewarm applause went off.
Gurpreet was smiling ear to ear she looked at Ajay and he smiled back at her.
After that no one was paying attention to the panel just half heartedly listening to them.
A few moments after the conference was over the executive panel called Brokerage team for an interview.
They were seated right in front of the panel in now empty conference room.
“As you know were till today debating between Brokerage and P&A department, but decided on you guys because of a single reason” Said one of the member
Both Karan and Gurpreet were confused
“For that very same reason we can’t have Ajay continue to work in Brokerage department”
“What!?” Gurpreet exclaimed
“Yes, it gives rise to conflict of interest” Mr. Potter said
“I don’t understand, what do you mean?” Gurpreet asked
“The kind of leverage he has goes against our policy of fair practice” Mr. Potter replied “I would ask Ali to transfer him to another noncompeting department at the same status”
“I understand” Ajay replied
Another member then said “Very good now congratulations, please complete all formalities in time to finalize the deal.
Later outside the conference room
“What the hell happened?” Karan asked
“You remember when I asked you to keep an eye on P&A, I and Gurpreet went to East London”
“But we didn’t find anything there” Gurpreet said “No one from Barclays was there”
“No, but we are not Barclays employee either, we work for Mind Works limited and Barclays is just a client”
Both of them were confused
“We know that, what does it have to do with all this?” Karan asked
“Today we didn’t go looking for Barclays executives but Mind Works”
He took a pause and explained
“Mind Works has an office here in London and I know a fellow who works closely with our CEO”
He continued “A few months ago our boss Ali by mistake slipped information the Mind Works in talks for takeover.
And I had through some independent research had a few guesses, but wasn’t sure. Today I went to make sure, the fellow who works close to the CEO he met with a high ranking executive of Acure Telecommunications and later went to the chamber of commerce.
Acure is in financial trouble and the amount of paperwork going between them, us and the chamber of commerce could only mean one thing.”
Both Karan and Gurpreet stared at him for more explaination
“Acure has manh great patented software, which Mind Works get for free if they takeover. One particular software is a better version of the one we use at Brokerage. If Mind Works gets it for free it will reduce the cost drastically.”
“And they choose us based on a speculation” Gurpreet asked in astonishment
Ajay just said “Yes” with a little smile
After a little pause he says “We and P&A were quite close they just said they have made a decision but they were still indifferent, so even a slight prospect of cost reduction tipped everything in our favor. All I had to do was make a convincing case”
“But why did you do it, they will transfer you.” Almost tears in her eyes she continues “This department means so much to you”
‘And here you are with me’
He replies “I did it for you, I knew what this means to you. Don’t worry, I’ll still be around”
He smiles weakly its unbearable to look at her right now, on the verge of tears.
He decides he doesn’t need the pity of his companions so he walks off.
As he walks out of the hotel and inhale the cold London air, to clear his mind he starts roaming outside in the breeze of the falling snow.
From the side of his eye he sees Gurpreet running towards him, he catches her as she crashes against his chest.
She looks at him with tear filled eyes and says
“I Love You”
“I know” he replies and they kiss for the first time.
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