John carried his papers and double espresso into the meeting room, arriving ten minutes earlier than Aditya whom was a stickler for timekeeping. The takeaway cup was just the correct size and the hotel caterers knew just which arabica beans John enjoyed most. These details made him happy and he felt positive as he watched the road leading up to the Town Hall. Two fans at opposing ends of the room miserably attempted to provide relief from the heat even though it was only the end of April. John’s pulse quickened slightly as he allowed himself the vision of Aditya’s sister, who had requested work experience from her brother during the winter months, and who had twice watched them talking, while taking notes and on one highly charged moment, had caught John’s eye and held it just a little too long.
The plans unfolded obligingly and sat exposed for inspection, as a truck crunched to a halt outside the window.
“Namaste!” Aditya’s neat hair just visible above the bottom of the window pane as he closed his driver’s door. No other sounds filtered through the open window; he was alone.
“Howde friend!” John held the door open as the owner of the town’s pumping station walked inside. The men shook hands and then hugged. They grinned and exchanged a few pleasantries before moving towards the table. Neither sat. Both wanted command of their respective angles and both had conviction as to why the direction of water into or out of the Radhanagari Dam should or should not be changed.
“We must have a site visit, tomorrow good for you?” Aditya’s eyes shone and his white teeth reassured John that no stone had been left unturned in the argument against any UK initiative improvements, however grand the paperwork made them sound.
“Would be delightful! This Ramash … your new site Manager? Will he be there?”
“Of course. Riya is working for him now, his PA!”
They talked a little longer, having agreed that the engineer’s input was essential at this stage of talks, about the earthquake and how it had affected the surrounding area.
John hoped the sudden missing a beat of his heart would not have been obvious to anyone except himself. His palm was a little sweaty as he shook Aditya’s hand. As the engine rumbled away back down the hill, and the plans slotted neatly back into the battered leather satchel, John smiled and wondered if Riya would seek a meeting of eyes again. Her previous effort had been repeated in his dreams more than once during the previous month and try as he might, the vision simply would not leave. His moral compass was questionable these days …
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(Fun with wordpress.com daily word prompt – compass – 27th Dec 2017)
Photo – google images