ONE MONTH LATER
It’s been a month since I am back in Scarsdale, New York. I have constantly been in touch with Maddy, trying to find my dusky beauty.
“Well. Let me know if you find anything about her. Maybe you can try getting the security footage from hotel again.” I try to contain my calm. It’s been one fucking long month and Maddy was unable to find my dusky beauty.
“I will see what I can do. You know? They don’t just hand over the security footage to anyone.”
“Please. I need to find her”. I cannot believe it was my own voice. I sound so desperate. But I needed to know that she was okay.
“Didn’t know I’d see a day when the playboy Valor Lennox would be struck by some girl. You are whipped, my man”. I hear him laugh.
“Whatever. I just need to know if she’s okay.” It may not be entirely honest, but I did want to know if she was fine or not.
“Keep saying that to yourself”, he laughs again. And then his tone is all serious. “I am coming next month to New York. I got admission in NYFA, thanks to you.”
“I didn’t do anything, Maddy. Besides, you deserve it”. Maddy was a natural and he didn’t need any help from me.
“You helped me pay tuition. Thank you. I’ll be forever indebted to you”.
“Just help me find my girl.” I hadn’t realized what I had just said.
“Your girl, huh?”
“I will see you next month”. I end the call before he could comment about anything.
I have been slammed with office work. This is causing me to reschedule all my weekend photoshoots that’s been pre-booked months ago. I am behind schedule and I cannot seem to find any good personal assistant.
I had to fire the last one as she kept trying to seduce me. It would have worked in the past and I would have probably loved it. But right now, my mind keeps wandering to those eyes. Those eyes haunted every single moment of my life from the time I bumped into her. I would spend eternity just looking into those eyes.
I wish I could know what color those beautiful orbs are. They said many things without her saying anything. I wanted her to be my next muse, my creation in modelling world and at the same time, I wanted her all for myself and hide her from the entire world. Sadly, I couldn’t find her.
I did send a picture of both lockets to one of our company translators whom we usually use while negotiating business deals with other countries. I was still awaiting response from him, eagerly. Currently, I am wearing them along with her chain.
I toy with her chain, running my finger along the chain and both the lockets as I receive a call on Facetime from my translator.
“Mr. Lennox, The locket with the Arabic transcript is a verse from the Holy book, Quran and the other locket is a name of the person”.
“What’s the name?” I ask my translator, hoping that I could find my dusky beauty’s name.
“It says Sana”. He responds back.
“Sana”, I love the way her name rolls on my tongue.
“Well, if that’s all you need. Have a good day. Mr. Lennox”. I didn’t even bother to reply as I end the call.
“Sana”, I keep repeating the name like she’s my prayer and she would appear right in front of me. I immediately google the name trying to find what it means.
So many meanings come up. Sana Meaning: Light, Lovely; One who emanates light/Brilliance; Splendor; Praise; Prayer; Resplendence.
In Hebrew: Susanna, Lily;
‘Sana’ suits her personality. She was a radiance and a bright light that walked in my life, an answer to all my prayers. My thoughts are interrupted by my secretary, Mary Vasquez. Mary was in her late fifties and she’s been working here since my father was a boss here. I didn’t want her working so hard and she was not willing to retire yet. She’s basically family. I grew up around her.
“Mr. Lennox. I’m sorry to interrupt you but the candidates who applied for personal assistant position are here.” She says as she gets inside my office. I smile as she refers me as “Mr. Lennox”. I’ve told her multiple times to address me as “Valor”, but no. Mary was always professional and courteous.
“Thank you, Mary. What’d I do without you? Where’s Andrew?”
“He hasn’t come in yet”. she says, and one would hope that would be the end of conversation. But you didn’t know Mary as I did. I make a mental note to self that I need to speak with my younger brother, Andrew. I think it was kind of hard on Andrew when Dad decided to hand me over the reins when he stepped down.
“You’ve changed quite a bit. It’s good to see you act your age”. She continues. I know what she is talking about. I don’t flirt around office anymore. I haven’t been in any gossips lately.
“And what would that be, Mary?” I ask coyly at which she rolls her eyes.
“Boy, I ain’t falling for that. I’ve seen better in my time”.
“Now you’re exaggerating. Anyway, Send the candidates in”. I say as I look at the paperwork in my hand.
The first few candidates I interview seemed useless. It felt like they came to get the job out of seduction. Their attire was highly inappropriate and unprofessional. It wouldn’t have bothered me in the past. It’s just that my thoughts are currently consumed by my dusky beau- No. Sana.
I love the sound of her name on my tongue. No more referring to her as dusky beauty. Oh Jesus, What the fuck was happening to me? There were no women ever to consume every single fiber of my being. Not even the woman I ever loved, twelve years ago.
As flirty as they all were and as revealing as their clothes were, I didn’t feel any appeal. It was just not working for me anymore. I guess it’s high time I go to doctor. My dick seems broken.
I’m fucking tired of all the work and interviews. I don’t think there’s anyone who would walk through that door and get hired right now if this is how they all are dressed.
I call Mary to cancel the rest of the appointment for today and reschedule the rest for Monday. It’s Friday after all. I just want to go home and chill for the weekend. No photoshoots or office work until Monday.
“Mr. Lennox, there’s only one more candidate left for the interview”. Mary replies and I curse under my breath.
“Well then, Send her in”.
There is a light knock on my office door. Well, that’s new. Last few candidates were just barging in without knocking first.
“Come in”. I don’t lift my head to see who it is. I have been going through some contracts that I need to sign before the end of the day.
“Please be seated”.
“Hello, Mr. Lennox. My name is Sana Khan”. My head jerks up at the mention of that name, hoping to see my Sana and there she was, sitting right across from me. I have been searching for her in India and she’s here. Must be fate.
I couldn’t help but notice her attire. She was simple, elegant and yet professional. And those eyes. They were brown. I feel like I can finally breathe knowing that she was safe and most importantly, knowing the color of her eyes.
She sees me and the realization dawns in her eyes. She remembers me. Those eyes really can’t hide anything.
“I… Hello, Mr. Lennox”. She doesn’t sound confident anymore.
“It’s Val. Ms. Khan”.I say as I don’t want her to feel nervous and how much I wanted to call her by her first name. But I also wanted to maintain professionalism in this interview. She doesn’t seem like a girl who will flirt to get a job.
“You can call me Sana”, she says in that beautiful voice.
“Alright then, Sana”.
She hands me her resume while fidgeting with her fingers. She’s nervous. But she has put on a brave face and she’s trying to hide her anxiety.
“So, Sana, why do you want this job?” I ask her as I notice and try to memorize every feature of her.
“To establish my own identity. I come from very strict religious background and being a girl, this is a great opportunity for me to be independent and be an example to every woman in my community that they can achieve their dreams too.” She replies to me.
“Impressive. But I notice that you are too young. Just 23-year-old. And no experience at all. This will be your first job. Am I right?”
I notice her eyes are blurry and she is trying so hard to hold back the tears. All I want to do is reach out to her and hold her in my arms, comforting her and making all her fears go away.
She straightens herself with new challenge in her eyes. I can tell that she’s a fighter and may I add, very stubborn person.
“Well. That’s true. But everyone’s got to start somewhere. Right? You yourself may not have reached here without some struggle. Am I right?”
She’s smart and intelligent. She counter-questioned me instead of giving me an answer and at the same time, she didn’t judge me like others did.
“That’s true”. I tell her as I smile.
That was true. Everyone just assumed that I get to work here because it’s family business and I am taking over because I am the heir. It’s part true, but that doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of running the business. Since I was 18, my father was grooming me alongside Kevin Cooper, my best friend for this job. I completed MBA from Harvard and worked here for eight years before I quit my job to pursue career in photography. This was seven years ago, and I am well established photographer now. She was the first person I came across, who didn’t assume things about me and was genuine and honest.
“I am going to give you a shot. This job is very demanding and anytime I need you, you should be there to help me out. Is that something you could do?” I ask in all seriousness.
“Yes, Sure. I will work hard and give my hundred percent on this job. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Mr. Lennox. So, when do I start?” I like her enthusiasm.
“How about coming Monday?”
I then remember that she was running away from someone last time I saw her. I wanted to ask her about it. But she just started here, and I didn’t want to scare her off. Moreover, I want to ask if she’s injured as I keep remembering the blood stains on my t-shirt.
“Do you have a place to stay?” I ask her.
“I am staying with my friend right now. I will use the weekend to search for an apartment closer to office”.
I wave my hand dismissing her notion. “My Company provides a place and car for personal assistant as you are required to be available anytime I need you”.
She just nods at me. She looks worried and I watch as she bites her lower lip from quivering.
“I…. I don’t drive”. It barely comes as whisper.
“What?” I ask again as I am quite unsure if I heard her right.
“I don’t know to drive”.
“it’s alright”. I’m surprised at my own response. It was one of the job requirements. Being a personal assistant, she must know how to drive. Everyone learned to drive by the age of fifteen or sixteen. Isn’t it?
“Take the apartment address from Mary when you leave. She will also help you complete all the other paperwork with HR team.”
“Oh, thank you Mr. Lennox. I will not let you down for giving me this opportunity”.
“Call me Val. And you’re welcome”.
And right there, her face breaks into a 400-voltage smile before she moves her hand forward for a hand shake. And I feel the same surge of electricity pass through me again. She just walks out of the door leaving me frozen to the place, making me wonder what it is about her that makes me feel so much alive and gives me that adrenaline rush.