The blinds pull themselves down as the sun approaches its zenith. The bustle of 11th Avenue 66 floors below can’t penetrate the floor to ceiling windows.
Dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, Rahim orders the transfer of six figures with a finger’s touch. He gathers his legs to sit cross-legged on his revolving chair and takes more of his Americano from his 16oz bamboo cup.
There is a tentative knock on his door. It’s Mark, his PA, peeking his head through the doorway.
“Rahim, sorry to disturb you but I wanted to introduce our fresh new hire, Aisha. She’ll be heading our cyber security unit. HR couldn’t praise her enough and I think you’re gonna love her. Oh, and Aisha says you went to the same high school so maybe you recognise her.”
Rahim uncrosses his legs into a slump. His eyes look through Aisha’s lightly made-up face framed by her dark thick hair that falls onto her pin-striped jacket.
“How are you Rahim? Amazing to meet each other after all these years.”
“Aisha hi, yes absolutely, how funny that we should meet like this.”
“I’ll let you two catch up a bit.” Mark ducks out the office.
“So how long’s it been? It must be nine years at least.”
“Feels like a lifetime ago… But anyway, let me welcome you to the team and it’s fantastic to have you on board.”
“Thanks I’m super excited to be here. A bit unexpected how life turns out heh? Though we all secretly kinda knew you’d make it big.”
“Oh is that right? Is that what you were talking about at the back of the class?” Rahim lets out a smirk.
Rahim invites Aisha out for a coffee with the excuse that he needs some air. He empties the rest of his cup in a plant pot supporting a yucca plant, swings a linen blazer onto his shoulders and heads for the elevator. Aisha glides behind in her one inch heels.
After paying for coffee, Rahim suggests that they drink their coffee on a walk through Hudson River Park. Aisha sips a decaf oat milk latte and Rahim cradles another Americano.
“Did you stay in touch with anybody from Dwight?” Aisha probes.
“Not really. I guess I was more concerned with learning code to make the effort.”
“I understand. I only really talk to three or four people on a semi-regular basis.”
“Let me guess: Suze, Parul, Ash and Logan?”
“Haha, so you did notice the other kids in the class! Well, actually, Suze got locked down with two kids in some nowhere town in Indiana and Logan… Well, things kinda got messy towards the end.”
“Ah, I’m sorry, that sucks,” Rahim has been making progress with attempting sympathy.
“It’s fine really. It’s been six years already. Life has definitely moved on. How about you? How colourful is your love life?”
“Um not really. I mean it’s fine, been married a couple of years now, so I can’t complain. Let’s sit down here, the view is always kinda nice.”
The water moves towards them, sometimes baring soft white peaks along the way. The sun has dimmed behind a thin veil of clouds. The wind whistles passed, drowns out Rahim’s sigh and catches Aisha’s hair. She pulls it out of her face and stands up.
“Well, I really ought to head off. It’s been quite a day and I feel I need to unwind.”
Rahim looks down between his feet at a crack in the board walk.
“Sure thing. I guess I’ll see you soon in any case.”
“Absolutely,” Aisha feigns enthusiasm, “I’m looking forward to it.”
Aisha vanishes into the distance as Rahim fixes on her silhouette’s curves.