[Based on true events.]
"Can I selve you something sil?" Said the tiny Asian waitress trying futilely to phase out the obvious mispronunciations.
"Can I have a menu please?" I asked, fiddling with the ID badge strung around my neck.
The waitress scampered off quickly to fetch a menu. She'll be gone for awhile, I know.
Nobody noticed the brief lapse as the pianist quickly flipped the page, then fleeted her long fingers along the grand keyboard to continue playing the mesmerizing tunes of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The atmosphere was dampened by the monotonous murmurs broken by an occasional rise and fall of laughter of guests. Glasses clinked against each other, juices were poured lavishly. Arabs wearing head cloths, and dishdashes clear as the finest wine huddled in fours and fives as Indians across from them, listened tentatively, staring away, while suited assistants laughed nervously, or glanced furtively at their master's faces.
I looked back at the newspaper. Where is the damn Appointments section? What is taking them so long?
"May I have a seat?" said a gruff voice
I looked up. A large, black man wearing a similarly black suit, with sunglasses studded with jewels hanging from his unbuttoned shirt stood in front of me. The monotone of blackness was only broken by the glimmering golden watch on his wrist, and a shimmering diamond ring on his pinky and a rare cleavage of sparkling teeth.
"Sure, go ahead" I said.
After a short silence, mounted by the pianist folding her book, standing up, and drifting away with her night dress crawling on the floor..
"How are you?" he asked
"What?" It took me a while to grasp the heavy accent.
"I said how are you?"
"I'm great what about you?" I lied
"Where are you from?" I asked
"Oh I see. Interesting"
"You know Sierra Leone?"
"Yes I heard about it. There are peace-keeping forces there. And I know that Sierra Leone is a main exporter of diamonds". I owe that piece of information to Kanye West.
"Yes that is why all the wars are going on. They have diamonds as big as melons." He said balling his fist "It is peaceful now. Sierra Leone is the number one exporter of diamonds in Africa". He said.
"Yes it is. What about you? Where are you from?"
"Why don't you guess where I'm from?" I said. "I'll give you 3 guesses"
He was taken aback. His penetrating eyes fixated on mine, then darted around the lobby, then looked straight back at me.
It was my turn to be taken aback. My eyes rounded. No one gets it right from the first time. ever.
"You are correct." I said "No one gets it right from the first time." This time, I wasn't lying.
The man boomed a big, hearty laugh, and tapped my extended hand.
"I am good in reading people and understanding their psychology. Jordan, you tell me. I want to visit Jordan"
"You should it's a beautiful country. It has a city carved in stone that was voted recently as a World Wonder."
"That's interesting. I sure will visit soon. What do you do?"
"I'm a consultant here. What about you?" I asked
"I'm a business man" he stuttered. "I'm the son of an ex-leader. How long you been here?"
"Well I've been here for six months. Still pretty new. Fresh off the boat as they say. You live here?"
"No I live in London. Actually I lived in lots of places. London, Africa, Paris. I'm here for a visit. I got a 3-month visa and I only spent a month here. So I can come and leave anytime I want."
"You've been to Cityscape?" I asked
"Yeah actually. " He stuttered again. "Lots of interesting opportunities"
"Yes, it seems the real-estate market is booming. Everyone wants to have a piece of the pie. People say it will slow down but I doubt it."
"Yes, it is interesting"
There were a lot of things that were interesting about this conversation.
"Do they pay you well?"
"I'm okay actually"
"Do you have cars?"
"Yes I do have a car."
"Can I have one?"
I paused. Why would he want my car? Oh I get it. Cards damnit!
I reached to my jacket pocket quickly enough for him not to notice the momentary black out. I fingered the business cards around I took for my meetings.
"Here you go"
He glanced at it, then put it in his jacket pocket.
"I will call you"
"Sure you can call me anytime."
"My name is Momo." he said getting up and shaking my hand.
"And I am Sami. " I said, shaking his.
"Nice to meet you"
"Nice to meet you too, Momo."
PS If found appealing there will be a chapter 2 in which readers might participate in the shaping of fictional events.
PPS I realize this is a scam. Thank you for your concern. However, I can't help but indulge my overactive imagination, if any of it resembled the truth. I know my life will become something like Tom Cruise in The Firm.
[Based on true events.]