Meaghan hung up her desk phone after leaving another message for Ivoire. She had been unable to reach her colleague in France all afternoon, so she left a final message. She really needed to get the final figures in order to complete the report; hopefully Ivoire would receive the messages and email them to Meaghan as soon as possible. She straightened out her desk in preparation for leaving, but decided to stop by Cynthia’s office and let her know of the problem with the distribution report.
When she arrived at her office, the door was slightly ajar, so she knocked but continued to walk in. Cynthia looked up from her desk and smiled.
Meaghan went right to the point. “I was unable to reach my contact in France, so I wasn’t able to finalise the report. I left a message for her, so we should have the figures emailed in tomorrow.”
Cynthia looked thoughtful for a moment, then nodded. “You’ve done your best with it; just make sure to follow up tomorrow and let me know what happens.” Meaghan thanked her and headed out the door.
On the way home she picked up some milk and cereal for breakfast tomorrow. The house seemed quiet without Tina there, but it gave Meaghan a chance to clean up the living room and kitchen before her sister came home from school. She was just starting the rice cooker when the teen skipped into the house.
“I’ve just started dinner, so go ahead and clean up, and you can help me set the table.” Tina nodded, swishing her long blonde ponytail.
After dinner, Meaghan helped her sister with her homework until 9pm, and then spent some time on the internet.
The Ahmad family had its roots going back generations in Malaysian society, back to the Sultanates of Borneo. Although only a few family members had entered the political arena, the properties and businesses owned by the family insured them a solid footing within the government.
The man that she met was one of two siblings; a younger sister was teaching English in Korea. They had oil holdings and palm plantations across Malaysia, along with distribution companies and trade agreements throughout Southeast Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea, and even the United States of America. It was an impressive lineage even for a society Prince.
So why was he interested in her?
She shut down the computer, showered, changed into her nightclothes, and attempted to sleep, but it was long in coming.
When she dragged herself out of bed the next morning, Tina was already in the kitchen, humming to herself as she poured cereal into a plastic bowl. Meaghan stopped and looked at her sister.
Tina had the fair colouring and delicate bone structure of their mother. Although she was fifteen, she had the look and manner of a much younger girl. Meaghan remembered a conversation she once had with her mother, when Tina first started middle school.
“She’s like a leaf, that one, flying back and forth wherever the wind takes her,” her mother had said, despairing of Tina ever becoming sensible enough to find friends in school. In fact, her nickname was “Leaf”, although it was never used outside the family circle.
As they sat down for breakfast, Meaghan looked at Tina’s fingernails, black nail polish chipping off on the edges.
“We need to redo your polish,” Meaghan said. Tina just shrugged and continued digging into her bowl. “Do you have any exams today?”
“Yeah, a stupid one in math class. Who cares about algebra?” Tina picked up her bowl and placed in the sink, then grabbed her backpack. “I gotta go.” She looked over at her older sister, then impishly gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head and ran for the door, giggling.
Meaghan shook her head, sighed, and headed for the bathroom to get ready for work.
Suddenly, there was chirp from her computer as she received an email. ‘Please let this be from Ivoire’, Meaghan thought. She was disappointed to see it was from someone she had never received mail from, Mystisith. The email address was from the company, though.