Natalie was sitting at the hotel cafe enjoying a light breakfast when she saw the familiar broad shoulders clad in a fashionable bright jacket.
“Jacob,” she called out, “My favorite fellow expatriate,” and she looked at him from above her Audrey Hepburn shades. He turned around and flashed his whitened teeth in a joyful smile.
“Natalie, do you mind if I join you?”
“Not at all,” she said. She reflected upon her own posture and it was perfect so there was no need to sit up. Her mother would be proud. Nothing left but continue the conversation: “I haven’t seen you in a couple of days. How goes business?”
“Fine, I’ve had a lot of meetings all over this crazy town. Have one in just thirty minutes, in fact, so I only have time for a quick coffee.” He called the waiter and placed his order.
“A wonderful day,” she said, “I might take a trip to the country in the afternoon.”
“Good for you,” he said and she wondered whether he was being polite to her the same way he was to his customers. Whether he really liked anybody on this earth or just played the part all the time.
“There are some rather picturesque ruins nearby,” she continued, “And I am told they are quite inspiring.”
His coffee arrived. He took a sip and smiled without showing his teeth. How studied, she thought. He then made a few jokes about trips to the country, one of which she laughed at honestly, as for the rest she could appreciate the humor, so she laughed out of politeness.
“Well, my customer won’t wait, so if you excuse me,” he said, getting up, “Enjoy your road trip. And make sure you take some good photos.”
And he was off to conquer the world. She wondered at how a lowly pursuit like money could fill one’s life with meaning. But then she was faced with another bright summer’s day full of sunshine and laughter, and people just waiting to make a meaningful connection with.