Part Eleven

After a small nap and a shower, I headed out in a pair of jeans and a comfy t-shirt with my trustworthy pair of sneakers. Atiyyah was lights out so I left her a note. After exploring the hotel, I headed down to the construction site. I was given a hard hat by the site manager, and began poking around the almost finished building. I heard voices in one room so I peeked in. Naeem looked up as I entered. “Oh ..err.. John, this is Mr Vawdas daughter.” He seemed surprised to see me.
John greeted. “Why hello there Miss Vawda. Or is it Mrs Vawda?”
“Just Miss,” I said smiling. “But please, call me Zahraa. I feel quite uncomfortable when people are formal around me.”
“Well then, Zahraa it is. I’m John, and i’ll be supervising the interior work of the building.”
“Oh that’s great! I’m actually here to help with that.”
“Well then we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.” He stood up, shaking Naeems hand. “I’ll send you the figures by tomorrow. It was a pleasure meeting you Zahraa.” With that, he left.
I turned to Naeem who was leaning against the window. He folded his arms and looked at me. “I wasn’t expecting you to come down today.”
“No.. You weren’t expecting me to come here at all, right? Because you thought I’m just a rich spoilt brat who doesn’t care about anyone other than herself. Well I’m sorry if I’m not what you expected, but this is me.” I gestured at myself. “And you better get used to it, because you’re gonna be seeing a lot of me here.”
Naeem smiled. “Well yes you’re right.. I wasn’t expecting you to be so down to earth.. But you proved me wrong so I should be the one apologizing.”
“It’s chilled.”
He looked at me for a while before he spoke again. “How old are you?”
His eyebrows rose in surprise. “You’re quite mature for your age.”
I shrugged. “Yeah. Why? How old did you think I was?”
“I don’t know.. Twenty maybe?”
I laughed. “I only finished matric this year.”
“Have you seen the place?”
“Took a walk around just now. Everything looks good so far.”
He nodded. “Yeah everything is going smoothly. We’re on track thanks to the construction team. Hey, I’m going to grab some lunch, care to join me? Or I could bring back something for you.”
“I’ll come with. It’ll give me a chance to see a bit of the place.”
We bought burgers from a small café alongside the beach. “There aren’t many halaal places around here but I know the owners of this place, so it’s safe,” Naeem assured me.
We took a walk on the beach, talking about random stuff. Naeem was a lot more relaxed around me this time. “What’s your favourite movie?” He asked.
“Divergent. Watched it a million times.”
“That movie was so boring I literally fell asleep!”
“No it wasn’t! I loved it! Also.. I love Four.” I looked away.
“The dude is weird.”
“Atiyyah says you look like him.”
“And you? What do you think?”
I shrugged. “She’s usually right.”
He studied me for a while. He seemed to do that a lot, and I uncomfortably shifted from one foot to another.
“This was a bad idea.” He said suddenly. “We should head back.” He began a brisk walk back to the building site.
“What’s your story?” I followed him.
“You’re my boss’s daughter. Hell, YOU’RE my boss. I don’t want people to think that, you know..” He fumbled with his words.
“Oh geez. Calm your horses down. It’s not as if we’re gonna end up together, let alone run away! You’re old!”
He laughed. “Twenty three is not that old.”
“Well no, but you get what I’m trying to say.”
“Yeah, I suppose so.”
Once we entered the building, his cold, business-like demeanor was back. “I’ll get David to show you around properly so you can familiarize yourself with the layout.”
“Thanks.” Sheesh, what a weirdo. He was either super friendly or icy cold. Talk about being extreme!
I mentioned this to Atiyyah later that night. She laughed at me saying, “Well he sounds like your cup of tea then. You’re attracted to weirdos like him.”
“It ain’t funny.” I frowned at her.
“Actually it is. Just ignore him. Like he said, he’s working for your father. Don’t do something that will cost him his job.”
“My job.” I grumbled. “I’m going to take his place when I’m done studying.”
“Right now, Missy, it’s his job. So just shut it and carry on.”
I frowned, then sighed. “Yeah well.. Let’s just get the job done, then we can paaartaaay!”
“You did NOT just say ‘paaartaaay’ like that.”
“I did. So sue me.”
She started laughing. “If I do, you’ll have to check with your accountant how much you can afford to pay me. Aand the last time I checked, you want to have nothing to do with him.”
“You think you’re so funny.” I rolled my eyes at her. “Let’s go get some supper. I’m hungry. Mummy and Daddy are waiting downstairs in the hotel restaurant.”
“Mr Kadwa gonna be making an appearance?”
“Let’s go find out.”


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