Chapter 38: Fourth part / Chapter 8

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 26


The weird man who dropped his woollen glove with his phone number, and the no less weird Asian who picked up the phone, appeared when Nicole trusted only Christina and Oleg in the company. She considered Diane as the ‘so-so employee’ because she was finishing the reports tomorrow, but not today.

After the Asian, she clearly understood: no one would take her problems under their control. Only she can solve them. She could go to a psychologist or even a psychiatrist, but what would they advise her?

Call the police? She would scare if they call their home. A visit to the police can reduce Michael’s confidence in Nicole; Pierre can even try to kill her. He’ll always find the killer for her, and understand how to fabricate a murder that resembles an accident.

Once at the table, Diane mentioned a secondary topic. She always remembers songs that are played at some crisis time, even creates entire playlists of such ‘crisis music.’ Of course, she recalled German performers. Nicole supported her conversation. Gratte said that she was somehow abducted and an attempt had been made to sell her into slavery; the only way to save herself was to lie, to say that you allegedly go with a bundle of rubbish and take a taxi, didn’t get back.

She remembered that in the car on the radio two ‘crisis songs’ were played in French:

Dear mom, forgive your son
that leaves you so early, mom.
I got back to you in recent time,
forgive me and stop revile,
I understood that I wasn’t fine.

You know what I mean,
Twenty four months in prison, I earn.
Everyone thinks that I was lost,
as if I changed the city or the host,
but I sat in prison like a ghost.

Mom, don’t revile me for prison,
I didn’t know that it leads to abrasion.

I have never been in the church,
I stand on the stage before war-chief.
There’re candles and dark light from incense,
I still don’t believe me. Is there any sense?

I have no doubt, anyway:
I can’t return things that were gone away,
but I know, I shall, shall, shall do it.

Nicole covered her face with her hands. First, she drooped her face over the table, and then her head fell on the table. Diane tried to calm her down:

“Don’t cry, Nicole. Almost everyone gets into some kind of unpleasant situations,” Diane said in a comforting voice. And thus, she favourably differed from the Asian: he just listened, sniffed nostrils and was silent, and before he hung up. A helpline based on full anonymity, fuck you.

“The police didn’t want to listen to me, I had no evidence,” Nicole, of course, lied, but knowing the French police, she would not have been surprised by the refusal. “Therefore, for a long time, I wanted to leave the country, and now, finally, I succeeded.”

So who was this mysterious Asian? Anyone eating someone else’s negativity? He’s forever depressed, maybe he drinks or smokes; but when he hears about someone else’s tragedy, then immediately his life force appears as if wings are growing.

After that, Christina talked about the fact that her father raped her, and for the first time, offered to call her after dinner. The story told by Diane, along with some kind of ‘crisis song’ wasn’t very similar to her situation. It seems that she was in a hurry on some city train, she barely had time. The door that closed automatically almost crushed her; in her headphones played some song. Nicole remembered how the door of the old elevator had crushed her, and some drunk bus driver who had closed the door earlier than necessary.

The fact is that Margeaux, her mother, usually had a better opinion of China, not to mention Mao Zedong’s policy. Present China seemed very modern to her; a rebuilt one. Tours to Beijing confirmed this. Nicole felt that trips to China seemed very boring for her, and she didn’t know how to leave from there during those weeks, didn’t see anything interesting at all.

Gratte made some Chinese friends as if she allegedly needs people interested in China. The country didn’t interest her; she just wanted to find out something. To learn something about this Asian. Is he the only one so sick, or are they the same?

One Jew lived in China for several years and even spoke the language. He said that you would become their person if you speak Chinese. They often play games like ‘keep quiet’ if they have a bad accent or don’t speak your foreign language well.

If not Pierre, then who? Where did this redhead with a glove come from and what goals did the Asian pursue? It seems that the Chinese just learn German as a foreign language. The Sino-German teacher’s too expensive; he just didn’t want to pay the teacher.

Call a psychologically unstable person in a crisis period and that person will say to you a lot of new words; all kinds of derogatory words that don’t exist in textbooks with grammar, in particular on censorship and literary restrictions. And then just record the conversation on tape and look for them in large dictionaries.

Feeling angry at the caller, Nicole did cut and slash the glove, taking it to the rubbish can. The glove looked just like a piece of fabric.

She was unhappy with China; moreover, she began to hate the PRC, although she didn’t even understand its criticism before. Blacklists of Thai nationals whose entry into the PRC’s was prohibited. How does this one differ from blacklists in banks? Should moral prohibitions be such that they need to be remembered all their lives and not give a person a second chance?

We’ll leave aside the history, including the recent one. Okay, this is the patient who just didn’t want to pay a professional teacher for studying German as a foreign language. Nicole hoped that China was more honest in politics and didn’t try to deceive France, Germany or the European Union as a whole.

In addition to studying reports, the nature of her work included negotiating with businessmen, the corporate loan applicants. In the morning, she went to the bank to get information about who, at what time and where exactly made an appointment. Then she met with one kind of businessmen, then with others. Sometimes in offices, and sometimes in restaurants, if they wanted to make the meeting informal one like in Pierre’s case.

In the German branch of Banque de Morales, she was now the same employee who didn’t allow ‘low-quality’ businessmen to the Economic Risk Assessment Department or to the Settlement Department (Oh, God, if they went there). It was assumed that this work requires much more knowledge than negotiations to determine the ultimate goals of the loan.

Nicole remembers those who tried to deceive her.

Two businessmen made a semi-formal appointment in one of the German restaurants. It seemed that they weren’t only partners but also friends. Businessmen seemed not very tall, almost the same in height. (Were they classmates?) One spoke as a tenor with a slight lisp. The other made a bass sound, it’s like an actor from a French television commercial, calling to buy the best perfumes in the world.

They introduced themselves: bass—Alaric; tenor—Wagner. The first one sounds like a name, and the second one sounds like an old second name. Nicole noticed that the face of the bassman was prettier. They often whispered and talked, as if their topic of the report wasn’t even ready. Nicole began:

“Tell me about your company.”

Wagner turned back to Alaric and whispered something. She heard the latter answer: “No, I won’t deceive her.” It’s always difficult for the owner of such a voice to be quiet. Alaric answered:

“We made a travel company. We understand that we cannot demonstrate the airport’s half-empty hall, now there’s no season with massive holidays.”

“Why do you cooperate with our bank?” Nicole asked a trick question, all dubious businessmen who were already on the blacklists of other banks, as a rule, went to them, and the management demanded to make them full throttle from their bank.

Wagner replied:

“We are a solid and reliable company that makes a profit even in times of crisis. We believe that your bank suits our company.”

“Wagner, do not exaggerate that... sorry, Nicole, we did not mean that at all.”

“I see,” Nicole said, raising her eyebrows. “Can you provide any evidence? How exactly your company conducts your business?”

“Naturally, there are some documents indicating companies that are our official partners,” Alaric said.

It was a business card with an address and phone number, photocopies of cooperation stories with the airline and some kind of web design studio engaged in creating corporate websites. The airline wasn’t the one Nicole herself used, but there was no doubt that it could be a fake company. The web design studio also didn’t tell her anything bad.

Nicole understood very quickly these entrepreneurial businessmen, who was who. Wagner exaggerates the performance of his company, seeks to put it in the best light. Alaric wants to solve everything through honest negotiations, not embellishing reality.

Alaric’s approach was more sympathetic to her. As for Wagner, she never wanted to meet such people.

They whispered again. Here some idiotic tasks, such as listening to phrases in the background of some sirens came in handy. Nicole understood any whisper in any familiar language unless it had a volume of ants and no one would hear it at all.

“Well, you know, Wagner, I cannot...”

“Let me talk to each of you individually,” Nicole said. “Alaric, you can go out,” it would be logical to drive him away from the most intelligent, the most stupid would just not want to leave.

Alaric got up and left without any questions. Wagner was nervous, looking from side to side.

“He just sat down at the next table, you see,” Nicole said, trying to cheer him up. “Tell me. Do you constantly reside in Berlin?”

“We are from Munich, we founded the first travel agency office there, then expanded our business and reached Berlin,” Wagner turned on the ‘logistic mode’? Surprisingly, there was no obvious exaggeration at least in these words. “We still live there, and in Berlin, we are swooping. We hired a CEO and a manager, and we participate in business only if it requires our exact decisions.”

“Something can prove that you worked in Munich? There is only one city on your business card.”

“Why do you need this?”

Has she caught another liar by the nose? They are listed on some blacklist in Munich, then changed the city to clear their credit history, and started all over again?

Honestly, Nicole wasn’t interested at all. But the management required to clarify these aspects, and they would unhappy if she didn’t learn about any black spots of the companies. She would be glad to build a business based on businessmen’s help; real help, not humiliation. She couldn’t allow it for now.

“Maybe this is not necessary,” she seemed to have retreated in chess as if she didn’t want to take the king, misleading her interlocutor. “Just tell me. How do you want to continue the conversation? I will find out what I need or you will brush me up. Why do you need a loan at the moment? You admit that time is not profitable; they do not buy tickets.”

“We want to earn on our website. We will make a whole guide to the countries; will talk about different show-places. We will attract people with tourist guides, and people will go for tickets.”

“What does it mean to make a guide? Do you know that you cannot just take it and make it? You need authors with travel experience for this.”

“We want to invite them.”

“What about programmers? Will you write the HTML yourself? Or maybe with our money teach the authors with travel experience to take HTML lessons?”

“Several full-time programmers will solve this problem.” When Alaric was at the next table, the conversation would become more logic than with the two businessmen who were constantly whispering. As if they didn’t have a single plan for common business. The time passed, and Nicole asked Wagner to invite Alaric and go to another table. For such a self-confident person, the demand to leave would sound weird.

Nicole wanted to clarify with Alaric several questions that Wagner didn’t answer. Suddenly, Alaric spoke up:

“Please, pretend that you only agree to cooperate with Wagner. Do not cooperate.”

“Why? Are you betraying your partner?” Nicole knew the answer to this question but tried to portray surprise.

Alaric tried to keep his bass voice quiet. “He is a liar. Wagner is lying from beginning to end. He told me to participate in this one.”

“And you agreed? Did you know that you will deceive me, but came here with him to see how it ends?”

“He offered me 500 euros for this one. He bought my actual presence but did not buy my emotion. And he was very intrusive in his proposal.”

“Where is the truth?”

“We did not live in Munich at all. He invented this to increase the weight of his company. We recently opened an office, concluded agreements with an airline and a web studio, but have not yet reached self-sufficiency. He wants a loan for this one and comes up with all sorts of idiotic explanations, about a guide, about making money on a site.”

“Our bank makes a preference for the established business, rather than startups. We are sceptical about start-ups. If you earned enough fund—please come anytime.”

Nicole told Alaric about Austin back in France, and she ended up like this:

“My boss does not like it when you make his nerves angry. A few years ago I spoke with Austin, who was trying to make a description of his butcher shop at the bus stop almost as the main meat base. A week later, he called me and said that some Asian migrants tried to beat him. Calling the boss, I found out that he hired them.

However, you have no evidence. This conversation about an alternative way to solve the problems of my boss in France was not heard. In Germany, he conducts business legally, at least on paper, but who knows. If he does not like you, then he can send someone after you.”

“Fucking Wagner. These Asians beating businessmen. Are they here? Are they in this restaurant?” He began to look around.

“They may not be Asians; my boss does not like to repeat himself. Maybe they are here, or maybe not.” Nicole knew that the truth was in the end, but she made a panic. Liars have to pay.

“How can we leave the restaurant?”

“You will give me 500 euros from your friend Wagner.”

“He did not pay me yet. He should transfer it on my card in the evening. If it is necessary, I will say, and he will pay in two hours. Cash-out this money, and leave us alone.”

“Yes, push him with your perseverance, you have it, but you just like to obey. Business loves pushy people. And I help you, I, so to speak, a good witch in an evil coven.”

Alaric left the table and went to Wagner. Nicole immediately heard him ask: “She must agree. Was she agreed?” Alaric replied: “She will think and call back, and now pay my fucking money for my participation. Remember, if she agrees, it is only because of me. Your methods have a bad effect on her.”

The last thing Alaric said: “And generally, I saw a dog somewhere in front of the exit, and you know, I am afraid of them, so let’s quietly, quietly and silently get out of here, okay?”

Nicole had to register a company and responsible persons in a business log: either that the meeting conducts or it postpones. Gratte wrote down that the meeting was cancelled by the asking company; the bank didn’t ask her.

Submitted: July 16, 2020

© Copyright 2020 RomanBoukreev. All rights reserved.


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