I’m trying to understand the enigma that is Mr N. I remember the night he introduced me to Nabil. That was the same night he decided to kidnap me. But prior to that we were communicating and, I thought, connecting on a deeper level.
His words betrayed emotion when we were with Nabil. “You expect me to believe you have feelings for me when you’re about to screw my friend over there?”
I’m finding it difficult to reconcile that guy with the same man who maliciously drove me to the middle of nowhere and left me there with the belief that the worst imaginable things would happen to me.
“At what point did you decide to kidnap me?” I ask him. “When Nabil called you? Or when you were told I was shortchanging you?”
“I decided when you happily went along with Nabil,” he says. “No hesitation.”
“It’s what you wanted!” I protest.
“Is it?” he asks.
I hold my breath. What is he trying to say? Is it possible that Mr N has feelings for me?
“Tell me… What you want,” I say softly.
His phone rings at that point, breaking the mood. He answers it and after a minute covers the mouthpiece with his hand.
“This will take a while,” he says. “You can go.”
I have been dismissed. I stand up and walk out of his office, wondering what he would have said if his phone didn’t ring at that moment. Oh, what a curse to be in love with an indecisive man. I pause as that thought crosses my mind. In love? Is that how I feel about him? Is that how he feels about me? Is all this a test? Lining up his friends to see if I’ll go through all of them?
I get to my office and immediately I’m swamped with paperwork. I’m paying the price for not being here for the days I was held captive. I drown myself in work and don’t come up for air until 1am. I check my phone for messages. Nothing from Mr N. The next day is the same. Work, work, work. By the end of the day, still having not heard from him, I need to make a decision. Do I proceed with shaking down The Prude as per his previous instructions? I’ve already slept with the man so I might as well. I pick up my phone and give him a call. He answers after the first ring. He sounds cautious.
“Hey. Can you talk?” I ask.
“Yes,” he answers.
“Could we meet?” I ask.
“What about?” he asks.
“Whoa! Let me get my ego off the floor, I think you dropped it there,” I respond, forcing a laugh.
“I don’t mean to be rude but I’m not clear why we need to meet,” he says.
“I need to talk to you and not over the phone,” I say.
“Ok. Lunch tomorrow,” he says, picking a nondescript place to meet.
I hang up, wondering how this conversation will go tomorrow. If there’s one thing I’ve made in this past few weeks, it’s enemies of some of the most powerful men in this country. And that thought, strangely, makes me wet.