Blacked Out

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Chapter 2

The rustling of leaves, mutters of the walking people and the singing birds made the environs peaceful and less petrified.

I walked out of my apartment and locked the door. As I was walking ahead, Indigo Junes, my neighbor ran out and shouted to someone standing at a far distance 'Hey! Venez ici! Je sais que tu es Astor Jeremy!’ ( English : Come here! I know you’re Astor Jeremy! )

She was a french lady and spoke good english as well. I didn’t notice her and walked on.

But as I paced towards the exit door, Indigo said my name twice and said

‘Hey, come here please’

I turned around to see if she’s really calling me and sure enough, she was.

The whole scenario was bizarre because Indigo never talked to me before and we’d surely been living there for 2 years.

Indigo asked ‘Are you heading to the coffee shop?’

I answered ‘Um.. yes, but I just need to grab it real quick.’

‘Oh then in that case I assume you could take an extra one for me too. If you don’t mind?’

I rushed to grab 2 coffee cups and was desperate to hand it over to Indigo as a victorious accomplishment to a very hard task.

When I reached the coffee shop, there was simply one person who was constantly watching me from a far angle. I wouldn’t even look at him because he was utterly suspicious. I gave my order and it hardly took me only ten minutes until the two coffee cups were in my hand.

I came outside and looked for Indigo and I saw her standing at the corner of the street. She signaled me to come towards her and I handed her the cup. She thanked me in french and I immediately ran off from her sight before she could say something else.

I took a cab and reached my workplace as quickly as possible.

To begin with, I was a manager of a very big department in an Artificial Intelligence company and had been going through Data Analytics recently. So, my presence was crucial.

Being Wednesday, it was the only day when I had to check on my juniors whether they were taking a good time processing or not. I was still feeling apprehensive due to the burden of work on me.

As I was taking a long time checking on Connor McCarthy, I got a text from an unknown number. I never took these messages in a serious way, so I thought this one would be pointless too.

As I was going through the text, Connor asked me ‘Ms. Cloe, I think it’s time for David to take my place now.’

I answered ‘Oh yes, he’ll surely be back in a moment.’ Connor left shortly after. I sat in my room, on my chair and then opened the text message which had been curiously driving me crazy for ten minutes. The text said :

May the best person win. I know you’re almost reaching your goal.
But you’re not faster than me. Good luck.

I was definitely shocked to see a message like that and I was constantly repeating the same words again and again. I felt aghast at the sight of the text.

I repeatedly told myself ‘You always receive messages like these but you never took them seriously.’

I was stunned by the negative side of my brain. Silence filled my body and an electric chill went through my spine.

Bruce Anderson, a man willing to join our company, was waiting for his interview. I walked outside, feeling proud, my body feeling confident and mettlesome.

Bruce Anderson stood up and said ‘Hi ma’am.’ I didn’t say a word and signaled Connor to bring Bruce to my room. Till then, I checked on some important files and then made my way to my room.

When I entered, Bruce was sitting nervously on the front chair right in front of mine. I sat too. Connor handed me a bunch of documents that Bruce had brought with him.

I examined the docs and asked Bruce ‘Your files tell me that you’ve just completed your studies.’

‘Yes, I have. This is the first time I’m experiencing a Job.’ He replied.

‘Then, let’s start with a proper interview.’ I answered.

Bruce corrected his tie and said ‘Sure.’

‘Mr. Bruce Anderson, Your documents tell me you’ve been certified in many degrees. But, for our company you need to have a good background relating to what you’re choosing. I hope you know what it takes to be a part of this department. I would now like to have some personal information from you.’

I stopped saying this and questioned Bruce about his family.

In short, he described that he was one of the three sons of his parents and apparently, he had 2 brothers. He proudly told me that his father was a retired professor at a famous university. He was happy with our company and also seemed to carry the qualities that were an integral part of the job he was going to do.

After the interview ended and Bruce was chosen, I felt distressed and closed my eyes for a moment.
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