The way the leaves swayed in today’s autumn atmosphere was random. So was the arrangement of the crusted leaves on the grey ground that made up most of Amsterdam. The little rain drops dripped and dropped into random parts of the ground, at random times, oh so very slowly. Everything in nature was so bizarre, and yet again, random. Click-clack, my heels clicked and clacked with each step I took. I was looking down at the ground when a thought came to my mind. Maybe what I always perceived as random was precisely planned and arranged.
Maybe the leaves, the crusted autumn leaves, were placed with some universal spiritual strength to make some kind of balance in life, or even symbols directing us towards the right path in life. When I looked closely at the leaf arrangement, I spotted a heart shape made up of the crusted autumn leaves on the ground. It was, let it be said, a very huge heart, but simply perfect and symmetrical. Although I might be superstitious now, and maybe even irrational, a man stood inside that heart shape made up of the crusted autumn leaves, and I was walking right up to him. He had hazel eyes, dark brown curly hair and a masculine figure.
The man was staring right ahead, with an expression of longing and impatience, as if waiting for someone to find him. Could it possibly be me? I was still walking towards the man. He winked at me knowingly and gave me a smashing smile. His eyes were mesmerizing, and I was hypnotized. I had no control over my movements and just continued clicking and clacking towards the man in the heart. I then saw a young lady walk next to me, and click and clack her way towards him. They hugged, and that’s when it hit me; he wasn’t winking or smiling at me, he was winking and smiling at the other lady.
My dreams were shattered, and that’s when something hit my head with a thud. I opened my eyes and realized I was in bed. What hit me was my twin sister, Susan, throwing a pillow at me. It was her way of telling me she would appreciate it if I woke up. Lovely? I kept telling myself that it was just a bad dream. Just a bad dream. After forcing myself out of bed, I walked towards the bathroom, giving Susan my dirtiest look. I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and knew I had a lot of presentational issues to take care of. I wasn’t a morning person. I took a shower and used my fruity conditioner.
It’s a special day, my first job interview ever. I was quite excited and feeling nervous but yet again self-confident. It was an interview for a position as a lawyer at a law firm called Heussen. I kept telling myself that there was no need to be nervous, and that I would definitely get accepted after I had enticed my interviewer. I am known for giving an excellent first impression although I can be very clumsy. I hoped nothing terribly wrong happens. What if I was writing with a pen, and then reached over to get something and poked my interviewer with a pen? Or maybe dropped my laptop the second I got in?
Stop stop, I have to picture success in order to achieve success. Isn’t that what they always say? Well… I really don’t know. I cleared my thoughts to avoid talking utter rubbish during the interview. Breathe in, breathe out. I pulled on my red high-waist pencil skirt and a white blouse and looked in the mirror. Not bad, I thought to myself and sat down on my dresser to apply make-up. Eyeshadow? I decided against wearing eyeshadow, to give me a sense of simplicity with a hint of sophistication. I decided to apply eyeliner, mascara, a bit of blush and lip-gloss.
Satisfied, I got up and headed towards the kitchen counter to eat breakfast. I’m never the one cooking or taking care of the house, no, Susan does that. ‘Claraaaa!! ‘ Uh-oh, trouble. Susan probably just noticed I was wearing her shoes and bag. ‘I love you Susan, I really do’ ‘I don’t. At least have the decency to ask first before taking my stuff! ‘ Huff. She always has fits. You’d think two twin girls knew how to share with each other. But you’re mistaken. Two twin girls who live in a studio apartment in Amsterdam, failed to share to save their lives. Well, false, I can share, she can’t.
My brain has once again gone off to a trip to idiot-land and needs to come back. I need to clear my thoughts. I munched my breakfast as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to arrive late and it was… 7:29. The interview was at 8:00 and it will take half an hour to get there. I grabbed my clutch and laptop bag (or Susan’s clutch and my laptop bag) and shouted at Susan that I was heading off to the interview. She wished me good luck, and gave me a lecture about not paying attention. At last, I escaped from her and ran to the elevator and then to the road to stop a taxi.
I hailed a taxi effortlessly, and told him to head downtown to Heussen. I kept looking at my watch, and looking into the mirror. At last, we got to the wanted destination and I hopped out of the taxi and walked as fast as I could to the building. I could feel my heart skip a beat. Even though that’s very clichi??, it was the only way to describe my racing heart. It felt like something deep within me was pushing it outside my chest, but I was resisting and not allowing it to jump right out of my thorax.
I reached the receptionist and told her I was coming to an interview with Mr. Ferdinand and she led me to the office. I took a deep breath and walked into his office. He had his back to me, seated on his chair and was talking on the phone. He told the person on the other line that he would call later and hung up. He turned around and smiled at me. I was shocked and lost my calm, so I kept staring at his hazel eyes and his brown curls. He gestured to me to have a seat but I couldn’t move. After a few awkward seconds I got a grip of myself and sat down on the chair he indicated to. I then introduced myself and brushed through the interview with more ease than I expected.
He asked me easy questions and I answered intelligently. My confidence grew with each question he asked and I answered even more boldly with each boost of confidence I got. The questions he asked were all legal but in between each one he asked me a personal question. While I waited for the next question to come he said to me: ‘I’m curious to know, if you don’t mind, if you are in a relationship or not’ And I answered with a no and urged him to continue with the formality of the interview. I couldn’t date now, and not my boss. The last time I was with a guy, I ended up with a broken heart and no one to lean on but Susan.
I also knew how awkward office life would be if people knew I was dating my boss and they would start accusing me of seducing him to get the job. I didn’t want that, nor did I have the energy to cope with such social problems. I had more important things to handle, like what I am wearing to work tomorrow, and what I’ll need to take with me. I needed to be presentable but not over dressed and I had to look professional, I was going to be a lawyer for god’s sake! Throughout the rest of the interview my focus was to answer to the best of my ability and try to avert him from any personal questions.
The problem was the connection and the familiarity I felt towards him. He seemed like a long lost friend. I knew this was fate, but I was willing to fight fate for the sake of my hopefully bright future. I had seen this man before, but I just simply pushed that thought aside and ignored it for a while. After the interview, he grinned at me from ear to ear and told me I had definitely got the job and that he was impressed with my charisma and intellectuality. I walked out of his office, with a smile and a job. What else could I possibly want?
If Susan was to be asked this question, she would say a boyfriend, but as for me, a job and independency are far more than I need. Commitment brings with it restrictions and dependency, and that’s just not who I am. When my brain finally took a break from the thoughts it had ever since I walked into Mr. Ferdinand’s office, I realized that I was starving. I spotted a McDonald’s sign and walked towards it with my heels clicking just like in my dream. It was also autumn. I got a sense of deja vu. Once I reached McDonald’s I ordered my meal and walked towards an empty table for two.
I sat and ate my food quietly and kept to myself. I know Susan told me to call her as soon as I finished, but I wanted to pretend I didn’t get the job. She was the most gullible person I knew. As I sat there, eating my burger, I felt someone come closer and knew I had to deal with another flirt or another dare but when I looked up I didn’t see a stranger. I saw someone so familiar it was scary.
I saw Mr. Ferdinand. Mr. Ferdinand looked at me with a longing and yearning look that I couldn’t reject and politely asked: ‘Hey, may I join you or is there…? ‘ No one is sitting here, you can sit’ He apologized and said there were no more chairs but when I looked around I spotted two unoccupied tables and knew he sat with me because he wanted to sit with me in particular. Although it should have been awkward and I should have been both worried and nervous, everything was very easy going and our conversations were very normal. Talking to each other seemed natural. Our stay prolonged and a strange relationship, a strong connection developed between me and my new boss. It seemed strange and it felt like I was replaying a tape over and over again.
Maybe it was just di??ja vu. I tried preoccupying myself with other thoughts and ignored the growing feeling of warmth and chemistry between us. Of course by now he told me to call him Ferdinand and drop the formality. When I reminded him that we were now colleagues in the same work place he said he would only expect me to call him Mr. Ferdinand at work but that it would upset him if I continued the formality outside work too. Our rendezvous extended until 4 pm and by then I received about 5 calls from Susan which I ignored completely, I was enjoying his company far too much.
It developed from general conversation to personal conversation and diverted to flirting. His face got closer to mine with each line he used and I would try to move away but something seemed to be drawing me to him. One word kept popping into my head. Familiarity. I decided I should answer Susan’s calls and comfort her, so I politely excused myself and called her back. Susan was freaking out, as usual, and she was scolding me like a mother would a child. She shouted through her mobile: ‘Where have you been? Why haven’t you answered me? Does it really hurt for you to pick up and tell me where you are!? ‘.
She kept on and on and didn’t allow me to explain my situation. Neither did I have the words to explain what was going on. What should I tell her? I was sitting in McDonald’s flirting with my interviewer who had accepted me in his law firm? I told her I was in McDonald’s with my job interviewer and told her that I wasn’t accepted but I did make a new friend. I caught Ferdinand throwing glances my way every now and then from where I was standing talking to her. He smiled every time my eyes caught his and this distracted me from my sister’s scoldings. She said I was irresponsible and told me to come home.
Instead of arguing like I always would have, I agreed because I knew it was the sensible thing to do. I had a feeling that I could talk to Ferdinand forever and not get bored of his company. When I told him I had to go, he tried to convince me to stay longer. When I refused he offered to give me a ride home and after much begging I agreed. On the way, in his car, our flirting was even more intense and it could be almost felt in the air we were sharing. When we finally reached my residential building he held my hand and told me he had fun with me and would like to go out with me one day.
I replied, ‘Thanks. I really had fun too. See you tomorrow’, and hopped out of the car. When I almost reached the door to the building he called my name and walked towards me. Nervous was an understatement to the way I felt. He reached over with his arm and held my hand to his and informed me in a matter-of-fact tone that he still didn’t have my cell number. I quickly gave him my number and ran into the building and into the elevator. When I went into the apartment and shot Susan one glance I knew I had a lot of explaining to do.
I gave into my sister’s urging words to hear my story and explained everything carefully excluding the fact that I was accepted and started work tomorrow morning. Susan could be annoying, but when it comes to advice, she really is the best there is. She ‘advised’ me to avoid Ferdinand, in an ordering fashion, and I knew she was right but I didn’t think I had the strength to stay away from him. He was the man who made me happiest and most comfortable. I could feel bursts of joy whenever he hops into my thoughts like a beautiful white rabbit. How could I? I even mentioned his familiarity and she laughed and called me superstitious.
I was going to have to see a dream reader during my lunch break tomorrow and ask about that dream of mine. It now seemed important although it was negligible before my job interview, before Ferdinand. As I was getting ready to go to bed I pretended to be crying for not getting the job so Susan felt sorry for me and came to give me a hug. As we were hugging I screamed ‘I GOT THE JOB’ and jumped from the excitement the thought bought to me. She was probably more thrilled than I was because she hugged me even tighter and kept telling me how excited she was for me.
After the excitement faded away, a realization seeped into my sister’s thoughts. If I accepted the job, I had to face Ferdinand everyday as long as me and him were working for the same firm. She told me what she thought immediately, that I should decline the acceptance. As for me, I made myself more options. I was either going to ignore my boss at work, do the wrong thing and talk to him or not accept the job. She told me I got a job in my first job interview, probably because the interviewer was attracted to me, but that means I can get a job in my second interview.
I knew she was right, but I didn’t want to avoid Ferdinand, or decline the job at Heussen. To escape her meaningful glares and her lecturing I told my twin I was exhausted and had to go sleep and went to my room, turned off the lights, tucked into my snuggly bed and fell asleep thinking of him. I woke up, straining to open my eyes, and angry that my dream was interrupted and went to the bathroom to shower brush my teeth and dress up. After coming out of the shower in a black and white high waist dress I went to my separate shoes wardrobe, got out my black heels and wore them.
After fixing up my hair and wearing some make-up I headed towards our studio kitchen and made myself some cereal. Clara came walking slowly towards the kitchen and asked if I wanted pancakes or eggs and I had absolutely no time so I said neither and said, ‘I have to go, don’t wanna be late! Bye’ and stormed out of the apartment. Just like yesterday, I hailed a taxi and went to Huessen downtown. I was a bit early so Ferdinand was the only one there. He greeted me with a warm hug and told me he was glad to see me again. He told me he’d go to court today and that I was to come with him.
He informed me about the case and gave me the file to read. He told me to prepare because I might get some time, for the first time, to be a lawyer and defend the defendant’s case. I gladly took the case file and walked to my desk with the legal file in my hand. As soon as I sat, he asked me to come because he had something important to tell me before people came. Nervously, I walked to his office and sat on the chair I sat on the day before when I was being interviewed by him. He told me that he felt strange about me and that he’d like to go out with me on a date.
I apologized and told him that that kind of relationship will not only make everyone suspicious as to my sudden acceptance, but also make my office life less professional. He said he expected that kind of response and that he understood. I thanked him, stood up slowly and walked out. The time came when I had to go to court with him. It passed smoothly with a little bit of awkward moments. I waited patiently for my lunch break, anticipating what lay ahead. I can go to either a fortune teller or dream reader. My wait prolonged because Mr. Ferdinand wanted to have lunch with me.
I ate quickly and excused myself. He asked me several times what my emergency was, but how was I supposed to tell him such a thing? I just shook my head and responded with a ‘Nothing’ every time he asked. I knew it wasn’t just nothing, but what could I possible say in response to his eager questions? I simply couldn’t say anything. After he had realized that my lips were pursed, my cheeks flushed, and my eyes worried, he apologized and let go of his firm grip on my hand. I walked quickly to the end of the road, then back. I thought I glimpsed a psychic’s parlour and went back to check.
It was what I thought it was. I stood outside, looking at everything, trying to waste the time so that I wouldn’t have to go through with my own plan. After a few long seconds, I took a deep breath and walked in, with my head held high. A woman of about 45 years met my gaze and in a dash sat me down on the black leather couch that covered one of the small walls of her place. It seemed, from that moment, that she knew exactly what she was doing, and I was frightened at the thought of trusting a psychic. She started fiddling with her own items and stroking her star necklace.
Every time the words wanted to spill out of my mouth rushing her to tell me what it is she knew, she would lift her hand in an ignoring gesture, hinting at me not to speak. I knew she was a psychic, but even though she wasn’t even looking at me, she knew I wanted to speak. This frightened me… After those long tense moments of loud silence, she spared me the anxiety and finally spoke to me. Her exact words were ‘Follow your heart, it will lead you’ and every time I urged her for an explanation she would find something to distract her. After a couple more attempts, I gave into confusion and asked her how much the session cost.
She shrugged the question of, smiled at me and told me I could leave now. I thanked her, but she was in her own little daze, her auburn wavy hair covering most of her flushed face. I got up slowly, seemingly also in a daze and walked out of the parlour. Follow my heart? As I was contemplating this thought, Ferdinand walked up to me and asked me what I was doing inside a psychic’s parlour. I shrugged and told him I don’t know. He then took my hand and asked me again if I would go out with him. The words of the psychic kept replaying in my head. Follow your heart… follow your heart…
And I knew one should always think before one acted and not let emotions lead one’s actions and decisions. But I also knew this wasn’t the advise the psychic had given me. The time passed as I was still thinking of a way to tell Ferdinand the truth. My heart was telling me to just tell him everything, from the dream onwards, so I did. I told Ferdinand I saw him in my dream the night before I met him and he was in a heart shape. He laughed at me and gave me a peck in the cheek and told me this time it was real. Sometimes in life, dreams come true and we relive our blind fantasy.