It was 9 o'clock as I sat in the conference room alone. Fidgety, I looked at my watch. 15 minutes late. I stood up walked out of the balcony. The 15th floor meeting room with a balcony. I don't know whose idea that was, but i think it was genius. I pulled out the box of cigarette from my coat pocket and placed the tip on my lips. A lot has happened in the last few weeks. I left. Lost friends. Lost enemies. I placed my elbows on the rails. Gently huffing smoke into the winds and watch it get blown away and slowly dissipating to nothingness.
"Hello sir, may I ask what youre doing here?"
I turned around to see a young man pushing his head between the doors. He was well built, fair, he looked younger than I was. There was a sense of brilliance in his eyes coupled with a bit of naivety. I threw the cigarette butt on the floor and stepped on it to make sure the fire was out.
"Im suppose to be sitting in on a development meeting. Scheduled at 9." I said as my voice trailed indicating the fact that I don't know why at 9.30 the meeting have yet to start.
"Oh you must be Huzir then." He said smiling stepping out to the balcony with me. He extended his right hand. He had a sixth finger on his right thumb. Dominant character. I remembered i read that somewhere. His handshake firm, radiating strength and personality.
"I'm Hassdy. Creative manager and marketing team leader." He said asserting authority. I smiled.
"Huzir, newbie." I said as I smiled cynically. He laughed. He took out his cigarettes and offered me one. I shook my head. Wasn't my brand. I took out my own cigarette and lit up another one.
"So where else did you work before this?" He asked out of the blue. I finished my huff and answered him.
"A few places, editorials, marketing, writing, social services." I said as nonchalantly as possible.
"Thats quite a lot of places to be working at 26."
He knew how old I was. He knew who I was. In that instant I saw flashes of him reading my profile, my CV. I smiled. Brushed away the fact that my privacy had been breached and that it annoyed me immensely.
"You plan on working here long?" he continued his interrogation.
"As long as I am needed I guess." I answered again uninterested.
Just then a young chinese girl opened the balcony door.
"The meetings about to start." Said the 23 year old Jessica. I smiled and threw my cigarette away and walked into the conference room as Hassdy followed suit. I sat at the place I had left my day planner.
"Welcome to the first Paint development meeting." Said Shamsul, the 43 year old Human Resource officer that head-hunted me.
"As you all know realizing the rapid growth the company has gone through over the duration of the first two years, we are looking to expand the the brand of Paint. The management has agreed that in order to that we will need to bring in new blood to inject some new fresh out of the box ideas." I heard Hassdy scoff at the statement. I detected a bit of arrogance. Then I saw him.
Across the table from me. A tall dark young man around my age. Quietly sitting down, his eyes lacked emotion. his long dark hair covering a small portion of his face. I analyzed his face. His body language. his hand movements and he sat leaning forward, elbows rested firmly on the table to indicate a strong interest. Then he looked at me. Our eyes met for the first time. I felt a connection. In my head the room went dark with no one else but me and him. He averted his eyes from our little staring competition and placed his attention on Mr. Shamsul.
"This is Hamdan. A new recruit highly talented and winner of the Paint Apprentice grant last year. Everyone knows Huzir, prodigal writer and head of the Persona Think Tank for the past 3 years. And everyone else, is well everyone else. Dont worry you two, you'll get to know all of them soon enough."
It wasnt a meeting. At least I wouldnt have called it one. A meeting for me is where you find solutions or ideas to implement. This was an ice-breaking. A way to announce Hamdan and I were now part of this group. This Development group. As everyone began leaving, I saw Hamdan slowly getting out of his chair and moved towards the door.
"Im looking forward to working with you Huzir..." he gently said
"Yeah me too..." I replied.
He resonated, he shone, he was different. Somehow, I thought to myself, that I was going to enjoy working with him. As I was thinking to myself, Hassdy came and patted me on the back.
"Good job for your first meet." It sounded like fake encouragement, but to me he was insignificant, I felt the fact that he was going to be an annoyance, but right now, for me, he's just not important enough. Right now, I'm more interested in Hamdan.