Knight


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6. A Crisis

 

 

I decide to go to work early. I didn’t even get to breakfast with father. I go out the elevator on the 23rd floor and go directly to my office. The other employees greet me as I pass by. I smile a little back to them. I enter my office. Then I see a plastic bag on my table. I walk closer to it to see what’s in it. It’s really kind of hard to see what’s inside, it’s wrapped thickly. There’s a card placed on top of it. I pick it up and read it. Lumina Travel and Tours. I read to myself. Larra Vega. And then it struck me. Could it be...This is her dress.

I call Gary to come to my office right away. I put the card down where it was a while ago and sit on my couch as I wait. Could it be the same Larra that I met three days ago? Maybe that’s why she’s been distant from me. I accidentally poured coffee all over her dress. And she seemed really pissed. I don’t think I even apologized to her. Stupid, Kyle, so stupid. The door opens and Gary appears.

“Sir, we have a problem.” He says before I get to say anything.

“What?”

“The sales in Lou Amore branch seven have dropped. We need to get to promote it or something to have people visit there. It’s kind of far from the city. Maybe it’s one of the reasons.”

I wasn’t totally listening to him. I ask a far off question.

“When will that girl claim this?” I refer to the dress.

“Uh…today. This morning sir. Why?” Gary seems puzzled.

 “Was she pissed? When…you know…the coffee?” I ask.

“The truth sir? Yes she was. She’s very pissed. She even called you mean. And her mood wasn’t good after that incident.”

I exhale heavily. “That was a bad night. And I took it out on her. I didn’t mean it.”

“I know sir. I tried explaining it to her. But she wasn’t much convinced.”

Why do I feel so guilty? It’s not like I’ve stolen something from her or something. I try to calm my mind and forget that clumsy and stupid incident last week that caused me someone to despise me. The door opens. She’s here. She looks at me with shock and then she blinks quickly a few times and now looks at Gary.

“Uhm…I’m here for the dress? They said it was delivered here.” She said in a low voice. She walks inside and closes the door behind her. She’s wearing a combat boots with a white dress.

“Ah. Yes. Here it is.” Gary grabs the plastic from my table and is about to hand it to her but I grab it quickly and taps Gary’s shoulder.

“I’ll do that. You can now go, Gary.” I look at him with meaningful eyes and he picks it up and leaves.

“Goodbye Miss Vega.” He says. Larra smiles at him.

She now looks at me with her palm in front of her facing upwards, waiting for me to hand her dress.

“Look, I’m sorry.” I start. Her other hand is on her hip. “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry I didn’t apologize right away. It was a bad night for me and…”

“It was for me too.” She says.

“I didn’t mean to make that night bad for you….”

“No. It was already bad before your coffee landed on my dress. You made it worse.”

I look at her. I don’t know what to say. Was I that mean? I can’t believe myself. I can’t stand someone disliking me.

“How can I possibly make up for you?” I finally say.

“I’m hungry. You could buy me breakfast.” She says.

“Okay then.” I agree right away.

She walks ahead of me and I follow behind her. She’s still stern and doesn’t say a word. We go out the hotel and now walking down the street.

“We’re just walking? We can use my car if you want.” I call to her. She does not even turn back. I continue to follow her. And in the fourth block she turns.

“Here.” She stops by the door of a noodle house. She goes inside. I follow. We sit on the table beside the window. She calls a waitress then she approaches us. She now orders.

“Two spicy noodles with lots of beef and veggies.” She says. The waitress was about to go but Larra stops her. “My friend here didn’t order yet.” She grins. The waitress giggles silently as she faces me. My eyes widen as I look at Larra.

“I said I’m hungry.” She reasons.

“I’ll have the same.” I say to the waitress.

“Three orders of spicy noodles with lots of beef and veggies coming up.” She smiles and walks away.

We’re silent in the first five minutes of waiting and it’s becoming really awkward so I decide to start a conversation.

“So…you own a travel agency?” I ask an obvious question. How brilliant.

“Uh-huh.” She says. She now puts her elbow on the table and rests her chin on her palm.

“For how long now?”

“Three years. It’ll be four years this coming December.”

“Oh. I’ve heard of it before. Some of your clients check in our hotel.”

“Yes. I recommend Lou Amore most of the time.”

“Wow. Thanks.”

“It’s nothing really. I want them to experience prime accommodation while staying in our city.” I lean slightly forward. “It’s a way to make them come back here, right?”

I nod. “Right.”

“Here are the three orders of spicy noodles.” The waitress appears. She puts the bowls one by one on the table. Larra slides two bowls in front of her. She grabs the fork and mixes the first bowl. I look at her. She’s whimsical. It seems like it’s just her and that bowl of noodles in this world right now. I laugh silently. She pauses and looks up to me.

“What?” she says with her brows raise.

“Nothing.” I say as I try to stop myself from laughing. I start to mix my noodles and I look down intently until she stops staring at. Then she continues mixing her noodles.

We’re silent as we eat.  I finish my bowl of noodles and she’s not finish with her first yet. So I wait for her. She twists her fork into the noodles and puts a whole bunch of noodles in her mouth. Surprisingly, she doesn’t look repugnant with those beef stains on the sides of her mouth and with her bloated cheeks. She actually looks…rather charming. She puts a hand in front of her to somehow cover her mouth while she’s chewing. I hand her tissue. Thanks. She says. She wipes it around her mouth. She’s now done with her first bowl. She starts mixing the second one. I hear my phone ring. I get it from the pocket of my jacket. It’s a text message from Gary. Your father was furious when he saw the sale report in the Lou Amore 7. I exhale heavily. I put my phone on the table rashly. I’m sure I’ll be hearing scolding when I get back to the office. Larra looks at me.  

“Is…there a problem?” she asks. Her eyes widen. I look at her. My brows cross in anger then it relax as I quickly find a solution to this problem.

“Can I offer you a deal? Or something?”

“What deal?” she asks.

“You see, this would benefit both of us. It would help both our business.”

“Get to the point.” She demands.

“We have a problem with one of our Lou Amore branches, it’s new, it’s an hour and half from the city, and our sales went down. It’s only been two years since it opened and it was very successful at first, but now….We need to get back on track quickly because if not it would be closed down. It would be a big loss for us.”

“And how would that benefit me?”She puts down her fork and locks her attention on me.

“I would like you to include it in your tour package, or something, whatever. Just have people go there.”

“What if my clients don’t like it there?”

“They wouldn’t, it’s bigger and more grand than the Lou Amore here in the city. There’d be a lot of things that tourists can do there, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, scuba diving, even camping if they want to, and a lot more. Our facilities there are as luxurious.” I try to convince her. I’m starting to sound desperate, because I actually am. She looks at me, perhaps thinking of what to say.

“Before we…recommend or include a place in our tour, we must check it first and to know about the place and….”

“You can go there. I’ll come with you. You can bring some of your people if you want to. We’ll have our own tour there.”

“That would be nice. This weekend?” she asks.

“Let’s see…” I check my calendar in my phone. I have a meeting on Friday afternoon but think I can reschedule that. “Okay. This weekend it is.” I smile.

My problem now will be to have father approve this mini tour I’ll be conducting and to even consider this solution that I have. Every time our company encounters problems, he just tends to blame it all to me then would rather solve it by himself. He doesn’t accept my suggestions. But now I’m determined that I could solve this.

 

 

 

 

 

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