25 CH25: Who has time for fake people?

    "Life is too short for fake butter,

    or fake people."

    - Julia Child


    One Tuesday morning, there were two women sitting at the corner of a small room at the lobby area. Both were in deep discussion, with rapid hand gestures and bobbing of heads, as they talked. Sometimes, one would be writing on a notebook while the other kept talking. And sometimes, one would stand up and waved her hands around, as if she was trying to show how big or wide the thing she was trying to describe.

    The two women were so engrossed in their discussion that they did not realized that there were two men walking towards them. One was walking in a slow and lazy pace while another was walking in an excited and fast pace.

    The two women looked up at the same time when a shadow fell on their table. "Hey there, Fawkes," Delilah and Firah greeted, waving a hand.

    Fawkes grabbed another chair from another table and sat down with them. "What are you guys doing?" he asked. "And why here?"

    Here was a small room, at the lobby area. It was actually a waiting room, with a couple of chairs and tables. There were also a couple of sofas and a flat screen television on the wall. Most employees used this room as a place where they can discuss with their customers or clients. Currently, both Firah and Delilah were in the room, discussing about their next project together. It was more quiet here, compare to the cafeteria. And the cafeteria was still closed, anyway. And also, it was easier to discuss face-to-face, rather than in their cubicle. They could have booked a room with the General Affairs department but they were too lazy.

    "Nothing. Just doing some work," Firah answered, turning back to the paper on the table. She continued discussing with Delilah about her opinions for the project. The two of them ignored Fawkes who was sitting next to them.

    Fawkes pouted, sad that he was being ignored. Thus, he kept poking Delilah on the arm with a pencil. "Woi woi. Talk to me. Talk to me, bish!"

    Delilah turned to look at him, frowning. She then slapped his pencil away. "What's with you? Go talk with Travis," she said, gesturing at Travis, who was standing behind Fawkes. Travis frowned when he heard her talked about him.

    Fawkes looked up and saw Travis still standing. He then said to Travis, "What are you doing still standing there? Go and grab a chair!"

    Travis rolled his eyes but took a chair from another table. He then sat down with them.

    Delilah looked at Fawkes, who took out a notebook and placed it on his lap. It looked like he will be having a discussion with Travis. What puzzled Delilah was that, why do a discussion at their table? Delilah looked around her and saw there were many empty tables and chairs in the room. Yet, they were here.

    So Delilah asked him, why.

    "Nothing. I just want to," Fawkes replied simply.

    "Are you two working together on a project or something?" Delilah further asked, curious.

    Before Fawkes could answer, Travis piped in. "Yes, we are. We're working on a proposal where we have to make a new marketing strategy and whatnot. Its for the next new services that the company will be introducing soon. We'll be presenting this proposal to every heads of the department who are involved," he said, looking smug. He loved the idea of having some tasks that were more important than Delilah's.

    Firah frowned, looking all confused. "But what's that got to do with Fawkes? He's from HR department."

    "I was told to cooperate with Travis here because they also need someone from the HR. I'd help out with the marketing too, helping out with the presentations and so forth if needed," Fawkes replied.

    The four people continued with their own discussions for a couple of hours. With each of them asking for opinions and feedback from one another. Though, except for Travis, who only kept quiet and asked Fawkes. He does not believe that he would need any opinions from the two women, especially Delilah. He was a bit stubborn but luckily, Fawkes was a patient person. He would not let someone like Travis to ruin his day.

    While they were working, Travis suddenly looked up and asked Delilah, "Eh, I just remembered. Isn't there a new intern in the company?"

    Delilah looked at him with a strange look and nodded. "Yeah, why?"

    "Who is in-charge of him? I know one of you are in-charge of him," he asked, narrowing his eyes. Travis knew that all interns were usually supervised by the Human Resource department. Despite them going to different departments, their head supervisor will always be from the Human Resource department.

    "I am," Delilah answered. "Though, it was supposed to be Aubree."

    "So, will he be working in the marketing department?"

    Delilah thought for a moment before nodding. "Yes, he will. If I'm not mistaken, he will probably be in the marketing department in the next two months. He will need to finish his work here before moving on to the next department."

    "Eh, eh! Why not next month? Let him work at the marketing department next month!" Travis pressed on, grinning.

    Delilah furrowed her eyebrows. "Why next month? Is there something happening next month?" she asked, looking confused.

    Travis leaned back against his chair, his arms and legs crossed with a smirk on his face. "Well, since Fawkes and I are working on a project, we can also get his help. From this, that intern may be able to learn what it is about and how it is like in the marketing department," he said. His brain was already gearing with thoughts of giving tasks to Deegan.

    "I'll need to discuss with the head of HR and also Aubree. I can't agree on this thing without their approvals," Delilah said, cutting through his thoughts.

    Travis nodded.

    Soon after, they continued working again.

    When it was time for lunch, Delilah began to pack her things, shoving them into her handbag and stood up. "Want to join us for lunch at the cafeteria?" Delilah asked the two men.

    The two of them nodded. They then walked together to the cafeteria, which was not far from where they were.

    When they walked in the cafeteria, the place was already noisy with people talking and laughing. More and more people were entering the cafeteria so Delilah told Fawkes and Travis to book them a table while she and Firah ordered their foods.

    After they were done ordering their foods, the four of them fell into a comfortable conversation. Even Travis joined in, telling them about a joke that he heard a few days ago.

    When their foods finally arrived, Delilah took a good sniff of her food. She had ordered a laksa. Laksa is a spicy noodle soup, which has thick wheat noodles with chicken or prawns. It is usually served in spicy soup, which was based from coconut milk or sour asam.

    Delilah had chosen a prawn laksa. She could get a whiff of the rich and briny smell of laksa. It looked delicious, with toppings such as spongy deep-fried tofu, thinly-sliced steamed fish cakes, sliced onions and beansprouts over the rich and creamy spicy coconut milk curry and fresh rice noodles.

    Delilah scooped some of the broth into her soup spoon and took a sip. The broth has that heavy taste of slightly sweet and strongly spiced coconut gravy. The broth tasted thick and creamy as sweet warmth spread all over her body. She used her chopsticks to eat the noodles. The noodles tasted fresh, less chewy and less starchy. It blended well with the broth as the noodles soaked in more broth. She could also taste the meatier prawn that was in the laksa, as well.

    Overall, the prawn laksa tasted DEE-licious, perfect for a cold day or any day.

    While they were eating, they also talked with one another, talking about things that had happened in the office and in personal lives.

    Soon after, Travis was done with his lunch. And he excused himself from the group and left the cafeteria, dumping his dirty utensils at its respective places.

    The three of them fell into a complete silence after Travis left. Then Fawkes quickly turned to Delilah, "Woi woi, are you sure that you're going to let the intern go to the marketing department next month?"

    Delilah sipped her ice lemon tea drink and said, "Of course not."

    Fawkes frowned. "B-b-but... you just said..."

    "I know what I've just said," Delilah replied. "But it doesn't mean I will do it. You think I don't know what he is up to?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow.

    "Besides, his monthly schedule is already fixed. I can't change it, even if I want to," she added. "It will be tedious for me."

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    Fake people with fake intentions? Who has time for them, right?
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