That day I was woken early in the morning by my boss’s call, hardly the roosters started crowing. The phone was ringing off the hook.
‘The driver is downstairs. Wash you face and get your ass to the office, the meeting is in 15 minutes, you have to be there’.
‘Okay’, I said, almost moaning, absolutely reluctant to make any moves.
In 5 minutes I was already sitting in the car with my seatbelt fastened, still feeling in the sack but joking with the driver. 5 more minutes later, fresh and sound, I was devoured by the office daily routine of multitasking, like a wedding horse, lathering but wearing a floral crown.
A life of a personal assistant, eh?
It was really a busy day of the field hands shift change, so I needed to locate a couple of dozen of expats in town, check their documents, tickets, visas, stamps and other bureaucratic balderdash to make sure one team travels safely to their home countries, when the other one do their job legally in the country.
With my brain overheated, I was dreaming of this day to be over. The only thought that kept me going was dinner, shower and bed.
‘You go out to dinner with all of us’ I heard.
‘What? Honestly?’ Hating everybody and everything at that moment, I rushed to take a seat in the car, make a deep breath in and out with nobody nearby.
My office mates and I arrived at the restaurant I really couldn’t stand and, of course, smoking section. Paradise, isn’t it?…
I was introduced to our new tool pusher, who was sitting quietly and watching the bubbles rising in his icy cold mug of beer.
‘Craig. Nice to meet you’.
‘Svetlana. Nice to see one of the faces from the passports I’ve been dealing with the whole day.’. I giggled. ‘Are you leaving tomorrow?’
‘Yes, the flight is in the morning’. The hint of the sadness in his voice was noticeable.
There followed irritating talks about rigs, operations, equipment and other technical details, my mind refused to be the part of. In the chaos of the lingering smells coming from the kitchen and cigarette smoke, sounds of music on TV and crowd talking and laughing I was on my own channel, while trying to catch to what was being said at the table. I kept looking uneasily at everybody with wide-open eyes, letting my glance dwelling on a new person in the company.
He was plump but extremely charming, with strawberry blond messed up hair. On his face, despite the fatigue, was a smile. I saw a big hole in his turquoise t-shirt, thinking
‘Definitely, he’s not a white collar, a typical field hand. Not a knight in shining armour’.
His strong hands and a weird tattoo on his right wrist stole the limelight. An unfinished chain.
‘What would it mean?’ I never dared asking.
There was the food serviced, and everybody raised their mugs to make a toast.
He glanced at me, stretched his hand with the cold mug of foamy beer to pass me a drink, his fingers slipped, and the nectar of Gods jumped into the air. I watched that voyage of the liquid towards me landing right on my chest. No chance to escape the blow. A second later, I was all wet, unadorned and bursting with laughter.
‘My new shirt! My new pants…Shit! So, dinner, shower are in my pocket, hm…bed is left, how is this going to be played around?!’
An avalanche of apologies – and I spent the rest of the evening glued to the table waiting for the clothes to dry out. I left home late, on my own, leaving the tribe enjoying their smoking room talks.
The next morning, there was a short text message on my phone: ‘I’m boarding now, I’ll be back soon. Stay in touch! Craig’.