"He's ready to see you now, ladies" the bright assistant beamed brightly at us, beckoning us to go through the large black doors. Almost everything around us was monochrome: the colour schemes, the work dress code, the building. Mono, but by no means dull. The floor was a jet black marble with a glass like feel that was soft under my heels, almost as if I was walking over thin ice.
The doors had a Ying-Yang pattern over it in a light black, the titanium feeling doors smooth to touch and surprisingly light to push. Skylar insisted that I go first, feeling that it was more my interview than it was hers. Seeing her formal red dress, falling perfectly over her curves made my lips twitch a little with envy as she stood out in the entire setting, I blended in, totally unnoticeable in comparison with her. At least I wore a crimson lipstick, gradient into a lighter wine red. Sighing slightly, I held the door open for her briefly on my way in and froze immediately as I turned around.
I could feel the rate of my heartbeat increase as I stepped closer inwards, allowing Skylar and I to stand side by side. My eyes were fully focused on the black tailored suit that was flawlessly sharp. Everything on point. His dark face was turned away from us, looking towards the rest of the small city, over the houses and business areas, down to the river that ran not too far from the large gallery.
His hair was immaculately trimmed, standing level in a soft quiff, not even a single strand curling onto his forehead. Normally, I would consider the gesture of talking to someone and not facing them as so abominably rude but, at this moment in time, I was too concerned in taking in every detail. If I had seen him on my road, I would have thought he could be my age but as he lifted his hand to his chin, his movements seemed so precise that he would have to be much more professionally older. Mature.
I felt a sharp tap on my shoulder. "Say something!" Skylar mouthed to me with urgency, how long had we been standing in silence? It couldn't be more than a couple of seconds. I knew what I could say but my mouth failed to air any of the possibilities, unsatisfied by each option. I shrugged my shoulders.
"Take a seat, Miss.Mathis, Smith" His voice carried through the room with a light weight and feel to it. Was this supposed to be an interview? It seemed more like an interrogation. As Skylar and I sat with synchronized movements, a smirk came from his lips.
"Well, you definitely stand out here" his lips were slightly pursed and his left eyebrow raised, the hairs on which strayed a little. The only thing that wasn't slick and smooth, unlike the rest of his attire and body. Skylar's cheeks flamed the colour of her dress and she let out a small, slightly embarrassed laugh.
"Actually, it's quite refreshing" his smirk turned into a somewhat more friendly and apologetic smile. His eyes caught mine for a split second, the rich hazel taking me captive for what may have been too long. My eyes dropped to my palms, which, by the second, were gathering small beads of sweat. I folded them instantly.
In spite of my resolve to keep my eyes strictly on him as a sign of strength, every thought slipped away when he looked at me.
The meeting went on for about half an hour, which was much shorter than anticipated. He referred to each of us as Madam and we called him Mr. Malik. Malik, I couldn't keep from thinking that I had heard the name before. In one stage of the interview, Mr. Malik ushered us into his 'small room of inspiration'.
"This, ladies, were many of the inspirations that lead to who I am now. Some of these photographs are extremely close to my heart, so please" he looked directly looked into my eyes "don't touch". My fingers retracted from a small photograph in the centre of the pure white room. I had the strangest Deja vu.
"Marie!" Skylar pinched the light layer of my jumpsuit, her nails still burning deep into the layers of my skin. I winced under her urgency. Her whisper was almost a hiss and as I raised my eyebrow at her, her gaping wide eyes averted mine to the other end of the wide room.
"Oh my..." My voice trailed off as I turned to see the largest photograph in the room. I traced the room for the face of Mr. Malik who was examining our strange behaviour with a confused look on his face.
Flashing Skylar a smile, I saw that she had began to work the whole situation out.
"Care to clarify your strange attitude ladies?" Mr. Malik questioned, his fingertips touching the prickly hair on his chin. "Certainly" my eyes glowed as I took a careful step towards him.
"You'll know me soon enough, beautiful" I uttered simply, the quote leaving my lips as if I had needed to say it in a long time. His eyes lit up after pacing the floor puzzled.
"Yes you will."