29 May 2009

The Tuscan Trap: Part I

It was a blustery day in London, the rain was pouring continuously without pause, as Dawn did her best to avoid the puddles on the pavement. It was hard enough that she was already ten minutes late for her meeting but that her hair was starting to stand up on end in little fuzzy patches. 'Oh shit', she thought. She dreaded to think whether her make up was still in place or if she was sporting, 'wet t-shirt' at the front of her. She swung through the front door of the building she worked in and ran for the nearest available lift and pressed the fourteenth floor. Looking in the lift mirror, her face was indeed etched with mascara trailing down her cheeks and making her face look like the day after a drunken night. She smudged away at the make-up, she didn't have time to get to the ladies and spruce up, she simply had to go to the meeting, it was a life and death situation. She dumped her bag at her desk and literally sped into the conference room to a room full of smartly dressed senior people.

"Dawn, glad you could join us, we were just discussing your role," voiced Terrence Hiller, the VP for Finance.

Dawn gulped as she took an empty on the big oval mahogany table, "My position?"

"Yes of course, we would like to transfer you to Italy," Terrence said flicking through what looked like a holiday brochure.

"Italy? But why?" gasped Dawn.

"We are happy with your progress here Dawn, but we'd like you to oversee a project over in Tuscany, Italy. This would be a perfect opportunity for you to prove yourself as a leader and a valuable necessity to the company. Would you be willing to take it, that would be my question?" Terrence said glaring at her.

"When would you like me to start?" Dawn asked.

"Monday morning," Terrrence said, "Of course, we will take care of your expenses and accommodation so you needn't worry about that. You will oversee the infrastructure of our new property, you will need assess and divulge ideas on commercially as well as trying to understand whether it is a safe investment for the future of this company, do you think you are most capable of doing this?"

Dawn wide eyes gave her away and she paused to think.

"Time is money Dawn, if you do not think you are capable of doing it, I will simply pass this offer onto someone else," Terrence said shooting her a glance.

"No... no... I will take it," Dawn said, her lips suddenly dry.

"Good, well you better start packing your bags then," Terrence said and then started shooting off directions and commands left, right and centre.
A few hours later, Dawn left her office in a daze. They would Fed-Ex her plane tickets to her flat the following day, Saturday and she'd need to start assessing what she would bring with her and what she didn't need. She was a spectacular hoarder, so everything was a must and she didn't quite know how to explain to baggage control at the airport on how she desperately needed all ten or so boxes full of crap. She didn't even know where she would be staying, let alone whether there would be enough space to accommodate her and her junk, but she wasn't going to risk it.

So on Monday morning when she checked in with British Airways, she discovered that she'd be lounging in complete luxury in first class. When she got seated, she had the glory of the window seat. Fantastic, she thought, just how I liked it. She was going through the cocktail menu, only to have her eyes transfixed on a heavenly bod. She couldn't see the face of this heavenly bod, as he was shoving something in the overhead compartment and when he finally sat down next to her, he smiled briefly and continued to read his paper. Dawn had caught a glimpse of this man seated next to her and she gushed to herself. He was gorgeous. From the corner of her eyes, she noticed his scruffy tousled brown hair and his deep penetrative brown eyes scouring the contents of the paper. She held her breathe, releasing it slowly. He was the most gorgeous man, she had ever seen and in such close proximity.

"I've never ridden in first class before... there's so much leg room," Dawn instigated at conversation. The man made no move to reciprocate conversation, she peered forward and the man put down his newspaper and exhaled.

"Ridden is used when you ride a horse, not when you fly by plane," he said matter of fact.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know this was a master class in the English language!" Dawn said back, taken by his unfriendliness.

"And if you want to make conversation, you better look elsewhere," he said.

"Gee, what a friendly person you are... obviously gentleman isn't found in your vocabulary," Dawn huffed and looked outside the window.

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