I sat on the solid rock finally, sweaty and breathing hard. I lit a cigarette and opened the the can of drink I brought with me. I sitting at the end of a formation of rocks stretching out into the ocean which stopped half way as if the rocks were scared of being submerged. The warm wind caressed my face, touching me gently, as if singing a lullaby for me to sleep. I leaned back, rested my elbows on other rocks behind me. Looking out at the ocean. Clear, beautiful, so far ahead of me that in the horizon i saw the sky and the ocean finally becoming one.
It had been 3 weeks now since I quit my job, and came to work here. This shabby-old-family-run chalet with 4 rooms. It appealed to me. It wasnt what I have come to be familiar with. Corporate greed has a tendency to overlook homeliness. I took another sip from my drink. From the corner of my eye, I realized someone was walking towards me. I turned left to get a better view. Then I saw him. Tall, esteemed, proud, Hamdan. I smiled as I saw him walk towards me. Hand in his pocket, sandals, black spectacles, long cargo pants and white collared shirt. I smiled again this time ironically. It was funny for me to look at Hamdan, the corporate boss, conforming to the cliche of how a tourist on vacation was supposed to look.
He sat beside me as I turned my attention back to the sea.
"You're a difficult person to find..." he said with his voice trailing.
"You were supposed to give up.." I replied and sipped my drink.
"You werent THAT difficult to find.." he said pulling out a box of cigarettes from his pocket.
The waves crashed gently on the rocks in front of us, just enough to cool the warm rocks but not strong enough to get us. I gazed ahead, focused on the horizon.
"How long do you plan to stay here?" He finally asked.
"What makes you think I have a plan?"
"If you dont, we might need someone to take over your job for awhile."
"I quit remember? Im sure they already have someone else working on it."
"We've had some who have tried, none have done it as well as you have."
I remained quiet. The silence was scary. My head flashed back to the moment when it all happened. The phone call, the rushing to the 23rd floor. The gasping look on my bosses face. Hamdan beside me head held high, but you could see it in his face, his ego had been scratched. The screaming, paper thrown in our faces. We had lost, information was leaked and before we could start with damage control, we were to be reprimanded. From the corner of my eye, I saw the highlighted figures that wrote "ESTIMATED LOST 1.2Billion"
Thus began the longest 4 months of our lives. Me and Hamdan. Everyday working to control the damage which had been done. Slowly gaining public support again and finally after 4 months of longer than usual office hours, sleeping in the office, eating take out food, having a pair of clean clothes in the office for tomorrow, heads resting on piles and piles of reports after report after report. We succeeded. We had regained the trust of the company. Not only were we able to avoid the 1.2 Billion lost, we had actually generated half a million in profit. After that, we both came here.
This very same place we are sitting at now. Only at that time, once we got back to the office, Hamdan was promoted and I rejected my promotion and quit my job.
"I never thought, of all the places, youd come here." He said after awhile
"It was fun the last time we were here."
"Yeah but we never worked here before."
"Haha its even more fun when you do you know." I said to him laughing out loud.
He laughed with me and then stopped.
"You're really not coming back?"
"Nope" I quipped with a smile.
"Not yet at least..." I suddenly said as my smile faded.
"Youre wasting your time here Huzir... I dont mean to demean what youre doing but youre wasting your life. Do you know how many people would give their right arm to do what we do? How many people would die to have your abilities? And youre wasting it all on this?" His voice firm with disappointment.
I let the question sink in as i thought of an answer.
"You have the gift of process. Where others see objective you see the way to get there. The best way to get there. But here.... youre going nowhere." he said, disgust was evident in his voice.
"Whats bothering you Hamdan?" I finally said, he remained quiet.
"Is it the fact that Im throwing all my life away, or is there something else?" Hamdan looked in the other direction, turning his face away from my view.
"Some people spend their whole lives being able to live their lives in a way that theyre not truly happy. Its not because they want to, they just lack the courage to take a chance to be happy. Family, friendship, competition, its been so much a part of our lives, that we're afraid of what might happen if we lost all of it. If you lost all of it."
His face remained static, in silence he cried, tears streaming down his face, trying hard to suppress the sounds.
"I think you know as much as I do.... that we belong here..."
I looked at the horizon again, as I saw from the corner of my eye Hamdan wiping the tears of my face. As the sun began sinking into the water, putting the fire out, I stood up and walked with Hamdan back to the chalet. Thats when I realize he was gonna stay, and this was the beginning of something new.