Next day, at the office, Phil came and he said - "Aron, the guy we met yesterday, Dean, wants to have a meeting with us tomorrow. Can we accommodate him or is your schedule packed?"
Thinking about the chance to bridging the gap with Clara, I replied - "Schedule it, Phil; I will squeeze some time out for this meeting."
Just then Cherry and Alice came in, Cherry chuckled - "Someone is squeezing time to meet someone...special??"
I narrowed my eyes and resumed my work. Phil winked saying - "Looks like that."
Alice was silent, just observing our banter.
After my run in the morning, I quickly showered, got ready in a grey Armani suit and left early for the office. I entered my cabin and ordered a cup of coffee from the pantry. I was looking forward to meeting Dean as I wanted to know more about Clara, where were the rest, etc. However, I can't directly ask Clara after our ugly fallout. I raked my hands through my hair and just in time, Alice stepped in, bringing a few reports.
Alice gave me a warm smile and sensed my state of mind - "You seem to be anxious and uneasy!"
I sighed - "Hmm... Just thinking about the meeting with Dean."
Alice said - "And...?"
"And what, and nothing." - I replied.
"Oh, come on Aron. I could see the sombre look on your face. Is there anything I should know about?" - Alice never leaves anyone without getting her answers.
I shrugged and said - "Ever since you mentioned that its Clara, I am jolted into the memories. I want to know about Erica's friends, how are they doing and where are they?"
"But why Aron? I don't think they will be interested in us anymore." - Alice retorted.
"Alice, we can't forget our golden times, can we? Don't forget that we shared such a good camaraderie with all of them. Of course, there are cracks but am sure we can try sealing it. Let's give it a try if it doesn't work out, we have nothing to lose; but what if it works. I have not forgotten anything, if that's your next question." - I asked her.
Alice raised a brow and my intercom buzzed informing me about our client's arrival.
Alice said - "Let's go."
We entered the board room. Phil, Cherry and Simon were already present there along with Dean, his partner and Clara. I gestured them to take their seats.
Dean started the discussion. My gang exchanged glances between themselves and passed a look at me and then Clara. They all recognized her quite well now and Clara too had a far-fetched look on her face. She was a pretty strong-headed woman and her profile commands leadership and authority. I was impressed with their quality of work. Although I was listening to the men, my eyes were on Clara and I couldn't resist observing her discomfort. She was fidgeting with her fingers and waiting for this thing to end asap. She didn't bother to look at us, not even once; her eyes constantly fixed on the presentation. Our discussion was over but before I could ask Clara to stop back to have a private word with her; she turned on her heel and walked away.
The drive to the hospital was silent. Clara didn't dare to speak to me. I was submerged into my pool of thoughts and emotions. I was angry, sad, happy, all at a time and my eyes were glossy. I remembered the first time I met Aron at his home, his mansion 'The Layton's Den'. He was pissed with us; I could tell from that look on his face. Then, that movie night, which only I enjoyed and he was there taking care of my brother and his sister. And then, we never realized how we became friends as one thing led to another. It was like 'birds of a feather flock together', as my granny named us.
Aron was a perfect best friend one could ever have. I could call him anytime and he would be there for me without making a fuss, even if he knew I was being silly. He used to get me whatever I want, give me company when I am bored and would save me from those cultural functions, well save each other from those functions, at times.
We both grew up to be friends to close friends and then BFF, just like our parents. We both knew each other inside out. I was his confidante, his first female friend (his words, not mine), and his PA as I would end up doing most things for him. We were like two peas in a pod. I had a joyful, peaceful life then.
I was so absorbed in those happy times that I didn't realize when the car was pulled into the hospital driveway and it stopped with a jerk breaking my chain of thoughts. A nurse came running towards me. She informed me that there was a gas leak in the nearby town due to which many people have got breathing trouble and a few are admitted due to sudden heart attack. The hospital was overloaded with so many patients coming in. We are going to have a long night. Just then, I saw someone's shadow, I walked ahead to get a clear picture - that was Cecelia!
Thanks for reading.
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