This is the second chapter of my romance/crime novel.
|Mira woke to the sound of her alarm signalling the start of a new day. She reached across the bedside cabinet to turn it off and jumped out of bed feeling more awake than ever before. Getting ready for work she thought about the meeting she had that morning and prayed that Tracey had finished the report. After a cup of coffee and a slice of toast she checked herself in the mirror by the front door and set off towards her office.
The commute was nothing out of the ordinary. The usual hustle and bustle of people trying to get to work and school. Tubes and buses crammed full to the brim. School kids mucking about at the bus stop waiting for their friends or the bus to arrive. She remembered when she was at school. The teachers, the lessons, her friends, the bullies. Not the best time of her life by any means, but it shaped her future; a future at the top. “Look at me now!” She smiled to herself.
Arriving at her office a little after 9am to find a report on her desk was not what she expected to see. The plastic cover reflecting the sunlight coming through the window on to the wall behind her desk. Had Tracey listened to her for once and got the report ready on time? She sat down on her chair and dialled the reception desk.
"Hi Tracey. How are you?"
"I’m good thank you. You?"
"Very well thanks. Is this the finished Edison report?"
"Yes it is. I finished it this morning and had to printed up and ready for you when you came in."
"Thank you. What time is he due?"
"One moment I’ll just check for you … He’ll be here at 10:30."
"Ok. Are you able to take minutes for me?"
"Good. Show him to my office when he gets here."
"Will do. Do you want refreshments for that meeting?"
"Ok I’ll get Cindy to sort that out for you."
"Thank you Tracey."
"You’re welcome Mira."
She hung up and opened the report. Quickly reading through it and skimming through the supporting documents, she made an agenda of points to cover. They’d had an ongoing business transaction with Edison for months and were finalising it today. This had been a biggie for her as Edison had been someone she wanted to do business with for a long time and she had finally got close enough to clench the deal. You’ve been working on this for so long Mira, Don’t blow it now. She told herself as she fired up her pc and set about clearing out the junk mail from her inbox. 102 messages! “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” she exclaimed pressing the delete button and sending the whole lot to the trash folder. Where do these people get my address from? She wondered as there was a knock on the office door.
The door opened and Tracey entered the room, followed by a tall gentleman in a grey suit. Cindy scurried in after them and set the tray of cups, glasses and biscuits down in the middle of the table being careful not to knock them over.
“Hello Edison. How are you?” Mira approached him with a warm glow and shook his hand. “Please sit down. Tea? Coffee?”
“Coffee. Black. One sugar.” He removed his jacket and placed it on the back of his chair.
“Cindy do the honours.”
Cindy set about making everyone coffee, offered round the plate of freshly baked biscuits, then left, closing the door behind her.
An hour later Edison emerged from her office with a smile on his face. “I know you’re a busy Lady Mira. This must have taken you a lot of time and patience to prepare. I admire you for that. It will be a pleasure doing business with you.”
“Thank you Edison. Anytime you need us. You know where we are!”
Asking Tracey to see him to the door, Mira sat alone in her office feeling pleased it had gone so well. The contract was signed and the project was underway. Thank you Alekz she thought. Without him she would not have been able to pull that off. He had given her the powerful tools to create the opportunities and grow the business.
She retouched her make up and left the office a little after 12pm, heading towards the riverside club. When she arrived, she found Alekz sitting outside in the garden on a wooden chair with his hand positioned around a pint glass which sat on a plush wooden table. He stood up when he saw her arrive.
Alekzander, a European man in his 40s, with a caring nature and a talent for listening, had been Mira’s friend, mentor and life coach since they met at the Royal Festival Hall five months before. She had joined a personal development group through meetup and interested in the subject content of one of his talks there, attended and found it very thought provoking, inspirational and motivational. He gave her the tools to improve her confidence and empower her to change for the better. Mira liked to watch the daily videos he posted online as they covered a range of topics including: self worth, confidence, limiting beliefs, and things she could relate too. This was just another lunch meeting between two good friends.
They kissed on the cheeks and sat down at the table, opposite each other. The waiter, a short Spanish sounding man in his 50s, swiftly took their order and left them too it.
"So how are things then, Mira?"
"Yeah pretty good thank you. I sealed that deal with Edison this morning. Had him eating out the palm of my hand. Just like you said I would."
"Way to go! This calls for a celebration. You are storming ahead with these clients now. I am so happy for you. A few months back you were lost and now you have focus, energy, clarity and brilliance."
"Its all thanks to you Alekz. I couldn’t of done it without you."
"No Mira, it was you who did the work. I didn’t do anything.
“Oh Alekz you did more than you know.” She stroked his hand in a friendly gesture.
“I love helping people to reach their full potential. Helping businesses get better. Helping people live their dreams and change their mindset to be the best they can be. I get a real buzz from it. The other day. I did this talk on crushing your limiting beliefs. It was so inspiring. This lady asked me a very powerful question. I loved the question she asked me. She asked what is to stop people falling back into their old patterns? It was a powerful question. One which I answered with this…
It’s about the strategy and the power of actually wanting to change. People have to want to change in order for change to happen and that is when the magic happens. It’s hard work and dedication that gets you there.
"How did she take it?"
“She took it well. She smiled and nodded her head. Then made some notes in her notebook. She could have been writing arsehole for all I know, but I like to think it was helpful to her.” He laughed.
“Another lady I was talking too at the end of the meeting had lost weight and felt really good about herself, but like you Mira, hadn’t celebrated her achievements. So I advised her to go out and celebrate. So many people achieve things everyday, but don’t acknowledge them. People are always jumping from one thing to the next without actually taking a step back to appreciate what they have actually achieved. I asked her what her limiting beliefs were and she said that’s a good question. One she would have to think about. This is a response I love to provoke in people, as it gets them to become aware of the things they fear in life that stem from childhood. So many people don’t realise that their fears hold them back and stop them achieving.”
“Alekz with that much passion you put in to your work, I"m sure she will have got something out of it. You are so great at what you do. I mean you helped me and look where I was.”
‘Mira you weren’t actually anywhere bad. You thought you were, but actually you weren’t. Its all about the mindset and how you see yourself. Everyone is different. With different goals. It’s what keeps me going. You know I have a coach myself?”
“No I didn’t know that. Why?”
“For my own self improvement. Without my coach I could not keep doing the things I am doing.”
“Is that not a limiting belief?”
“No its not. A limiting belief is a belief that holds you back and is not true. I’m not being held back from achieving my goals. I’m seeking help to achieve them. Their is a difference Mira. If you limit yourself in life you close down and don’t open up to the possibilities life has to offer you. Take for instance someone who thinks they are ugly wont seek out a relationship. There beliefs hold them back. Another example is someone who doesn’t think they are smart enough to gain an education or better grades to get further in their careers. This belief stops them enrolling in collage or university. That is limiting beliefs.”
“So when someone stops learning they stop themselves from progressing?”
“Exactly and they limit themselves to a life of less valve. Hurt and pain also come into play.”
“Food for thought Alekz.”
“Talking of food. Where’s our lunch? I’m starving. And where’s that waiter with our bubbly?”
Looking around and not seeing any sign of food he turned his attention back at Mira and asked, “You mentioned you met someone?”
“Yes.” She smiles coyly. “His name is Kras. He was playing cricket in the park yesterday, where I went to read my book. We noticed each other, but I didn’t really think much of it at the time. I watched him play then went home. Then later I went to the shop and he was outside. We spoke for a while and I gave him my number. He seemed really nice. I guess I’ll just wait to see if he calls me.”
“Great. I'm pleased for you Mira. Onwards and upwards.”
“So how is your love life then, Alekz?”
“Oh I’m quite happy on my own Mira. I have a lot of work on at the moment. I’m working 7 days a week and it wouldn’t be fair to have someone in my life and not be able to spend time with them.”
“If you found the right woman would you not make time for her?”
“Of course I would, however right now in my life I just want to help other people achieve their life goals, be positive and change for the better. I’m not going to date until I meet someone who is a perfect 10.”
She laughed at his response.
“A couple came to me the other day.” He continued ignoring her laugh. “They had a baby. He was a painter and decorator. She a full time mother. They wanted a better life. His business was failing and she was so tired and miserable. They live in a 1 bed flat on a council estate. Not the usual people I work with, but I felt sorry for them. I sat with them for a couple of hours discussing where they were and where they wanted to be. They left with lots of things to think about. He called me this morning and I’m meeting him tomorrow. I didn’t expect him to call me as most people won’t act on things. However to my surprise he did. Now I know he wants to change things.”
“Do you think you can help them?”
“I can help them. It’s whether they choose to act on my information is the thing. I will meet him and see what happens.”
The waiter arrives with 2 oval shaped plates. He places them on the table and pops open the bottle of bubbly he had tucked under his arm. He fills their glasses and puts the rest of the bottle in the centre of the table. “Celebrating are we?”
“Yes Mira here” waving his hand in her direction “won a business deal this morning.”
“Very good.” The waiter smiled and scurried off back inside.
“Funny little man.” She giggled. “Are you playing golf anytime soon?”
“I’ll be going on Thursday. I have another meet up group in the evening that day too. You should come along.”
“What’s it about this time?”
“I’ll be giving the 5 steps to succeed at the highest level. I will be talking about the things the most wealthy and successful people do to achieve.” He smiles.
“I’ll see if I can make it.”
“It would be good to see you there.”
Mira smiles at him and takes a sip of her drink. “Do you like art?” She asks changing the subject.
“Yes I do Mira. Why?”
“There is an exhibition at Tate Modern I would like to go to and was wondering if you’d go with me?”
“Sure. When are you thinking of going?”
“It starts the middle of next month. So sometime then?”
“Okay, well remind me nearer the time and we’ll go.”
“Brilliant! I look forward to it.” She smiles a big wide smile.
After lunch they walked along the river towards the train station. The waves in the river were choppy today and the clouds above looked more sinister than this morning. The walk was pleasant and a lot of people were out today despite the dullness of the weather. They reached the train station and said their goodbyes. They hugged and kissed each other on the cheeks like they had done earlier and Alekz went into the station. Mira walked back to her office.
Armed with Alekz in mind her afternoon meeting went well. The art of persuasion came in to play a lot. She was glad she brought and read a book to teach and help her with that. If nothing else it confirmed a lot of what she already knew which made her feel more confident in her own abilities. She was a powerful lady amongst the man’s world she worked in. Her meeting was with a very arrogant man called David. He thought everyone was below him, even his own boss. He thought woman should be in the kitchen and not in an office. She had, had many meetings with this man before, only this time she left it feeling like a winner rather than below a loser. He was the one that came off worse for wear this time with plenty to mull over and discuss with his boss. She had made sure of it. This time she was the one persuading them to rethink their marketing ideas and to use theirs instead. He had looked very flustered and agreed to get back to her after he had discussed it with his boss. Way to go Mira. She congratulated herself.
“What are you smiling about?” Tracey asked her as she entered Mira’s office with the post.
“I had a very successful meeting with that David from Castell. You know that arrogant tall one who thinks everyone is below him. I think I have finally got a breakthrough and persuaded him to see things from our perspective.”
“Wow Mira. That’s great. That man is a womaniser you know. Last time he was here he was chatting up Suzy from accounts, then Lucie from the front desk. He accosted Roni on his way out too. Then he saw me walking across the courtyard and I went on different path as I didn’t want to see him. I saw him try to change course, but Steve saw him and showed him the way out. Thinks he’s gods gift that one.” She shudders at the thought.
“Don"t worry Tracey. He wont be bothering us for a while. I’m going to work with his boss from now on in. Going straight above, as I am not even sure his boss has a handle on the situation. He needs to know what his sub team are doing and how they are portraying the business. I’ll email him and arrange a telephone meeting that way I can hear what he has to say rather than see him.”
Tracey returned to her desk and started riffling through some paperwork. Mira could see her creating piles of contracts for the next days meeting and was pleased she had someone working for her that was so organised and proficient.
Mira left the office around 5pm and got a taxi to the spa. She had a massage then sat in the hydro pool for half an hour. She entered the sauna and sat on the bench for 15 minutes until she was dripping with sweat. In the steam room, the smell of eucalyptus entered her nostrils. She lay on the bench breathing in and out. After 10 minutes she had a shower and got dried and dressed. She felt very relaxed and invigorated. Always did after a good spa session. She needed this in her life and was so grateful for the opportunity she had to visit on a weekly basis.
She took a cab home and cooked herself some Salmon. She added spinach and peppers to the mixed salad she had brought in the shop earlier. She tore off a piece of focaccia bread and added that to her plate. She ate her dinner and after flicking through the television channels and not finding anything of interest, she decided to go to bed early and read some more of her book until she fell asleep.