‘’Hurry up, will you?’’ Mr Hannover exclaimed with a shrill voice to his Limousine driver Hans McCormick.
Harry Hannover was a wealthy man who owned 11 big car companies all over the world. For a man with everything anyone could ever wish for, he still had one quite large piece left in order to finally become the most powerful man in the business world. His big desire had for a long time been to own a big part of Rodrigo Lorenzo’s big car company which was set in China. Rodrigo had since his youth been the most powerful man in the business world and everyone looked up to him. Rodrigo would soon retire and he was said to be a very wise man. After years of work and flummery towards Rodrigo’s colleges, Harry had finally managed to arrange a meeting with Mr Lorenzo in person, which was a very rare opportunity. Almost nobody outside Mr Lorenzo’s own company had ever received the chance to meet him in person. Mr Lorenzo had agreed to fly all the way to England so that Harry could show him around and if that went well, then maybe Rodrigo would sign a lease so that Harry can buy a part of Rodrigo’s company.
‘’ Seriously, if I am late to pick up Mr Lorenzo then you are so fired.’’ Harry burst out while shedding a stern glare towards Hans.
Hans increased the speed immediately while a shiver came across his body; if looks could kill he thought to himself while a sweat pearl came running down his forehead.
Hans parked the car as soon as he had reached the airport. Then he stepped outside and opened the door for Mr Hannover.
‘’ He better give me this deal,’’ Harry nagged with his strongly British accent. ‘’ Now where is he?’’
‘’ His private jet should be here any minute now sir. ’’ Hans responded with a shrug.
As soon as these words were pronounced a big black jet appeared in the sky and prepared to land. A few minutes later a man dressed in a black costume and with a rather muscles’ body appeared.
‘’ That is him I dare to say.’’ Harry whispered to Hans with a confident voice. ‘’ He looks exactly like how a successful businessman should look like!’’
‘’ I doubt that Mr Lorenzo would carry his own bags.’’ Hans replied while a frown was appearing on his forehead.
A tone of rage emerged from Harry, although he tried to keep his voice low.
‘’ Oh, don’t be silly Hans! I have been in this business for over 30 years, don’t you think that I know how…’’ Harry stopped as a rather heavy looking man came walking towards them.
The man was dressed in a red striped yellow tuxedo. He was wearing round glasses and big brown galoshes. The man had a long red beard, yes a red beard, a red moustache and a pink dotted white scarf around his neck. Just eying the man and his colourful facade made Harry’s head spin.
‘’ Who is this man, what does he want?’’ Harry thought with a disgusted qualm in his head.
‘’ Who are you? I am parked correctly and you can ask my driver Hans for his drivers licence, he is…’’ Harry began, but was then suddenly interrupted by Hans.
‘’ Ehm, sir I think that…’’
‘’ Are you deaf? Show him your licence Hans!’’ Harry interrupted promptly. ‘’I don’t want Mr. Lorenzo to think that this man is with us! Imagine how embarr…’’
‘’Hello, I am one of Rodrigo Lorenzo’s life guards, and me and my colleagues will be about while you show Mr Lorenzo around here in England.’’ The man in the black suite who Harry had thought to be Mr Lorenzo said in a hard voice. ‘’ This is Mr. Lorenzo he continued while pointing at the man wearing the colourful tuxedo, who’s hand was waiting for a shake.
Harry began to sweat instantly as he realised what he had done. He had insulted the most powerful business man right in front of him! This business deal would soon only be history, he thought with a sigh.
Harry shook Mr. Lorenzo’s hand while muttering apologies to him.
Not that Harry cared about Mr Lorenzo’s feelings, but because he had almost spoiled the ‘’business plan’’ completely.
Mr. Lorenzo just smiled while gently shaking Harry’s hand as they stepped into Harry’s limousine.
‘’ Hans, would you be so kind and drive us to Westminster Abbey?’’ Harry asked Hans in a soft voice.
‘’ Uhm, Yes of course Sir’’ Hans replied with an uncertain voice.
Harry had never, even once used kind words towards Hans, and never ever had he said anything nice to him in the soft voice which he was using now. This voice was often adhibited by Harry when he wanted to fawn to some business worker in order to get an important business deal.
As the car stopped in front of Westminster Abbey, Harry had finally stopped talking as he had talked non stop with Mr. Lorenzo about his own big companies and how he wanted to expand them. Mr. Lorenzo hadn’t once interrupted him which Harry (self cantered as he was) had received as a gesture of interest.
As they had all went out from the limousine Harry started to realise that maybe he had came out as too self centred, so he began to ask Mr. Lorenzo about his company and about his family. Somehow Harry didn’t receive any responses to his questions; all Mr. Lorenzo did was smiling. Harry thought that Mr. Lorenzo might still feel offended by Harry’s earlier comment, but he decided not to give up.
‘’ So, Mr. Lorenzo have you ever eaten at ‘’ Gazette’s? I can assure you that they serve the best 10 pound lobster that you will ever eat!’’ Harry went on with a big smile forming on his face.
‘’ Hans, get back to the Limo. We are going to grab some food now!’’ Harry exclaimed with a cheerful grin on his quite round face.
‘’Already? But sir we just came here, don’t you want to show Mr Lorenzo around some mo…’’ Hans said with an eager voice but stopped as he realised that saying against Mr. Hannover equalled playing with fire.’’
‘’ Gazette’s sir? ’’ Hans asked with a lovingly voice, as if he was trying to dim his previous statement.
‘’Yes, precisely Hans’’ Harry replied, while directing a smile towards Mr. Lorenzo as they went into the vehicle which once again started to move towards another destination. Harry continued to ask questions to Mr. Lorenzo but with no luck. At one point a thought hit Harry; Do Mr. Lorenzo understand English? He had lived in China during his entire life, and he didn’t speak nor respond to the language and every time somebody wanted to schedule and appointment with him or just speak to Mr. Lorenzo, they were only allowed speak with his colleagues. Harry decided to test his theory by being straight forward.
‘’ Mr Lorenzo do you understand English?’’ He asked in an uncertain voice.
Mr Lorenzo’s face expression stayed the same as it had done during the entire trip and he kept smiling.
‘’So he doesn’t understand English!’’ Harry thought with a wave of relief swarming over his nerves. So that is why he hasn’t responded to me.
After this discovery Harry ended his act of flummery and trying to look nice in front of Mr. Lorenzo, instead he had begun to show his true colours by snorting to Hans and being rude to the people around him; those who weren’t any use for him even Mr Lorenzo.
As the men had reached ‘’Gazette’s’’ Harry stopped Hans who was about to walk into the over class restaurant as well.
‘’ where do you think you are going? Harry asked Hans in a stern voice. He was starting to become himself now that he had realised that Mr Lorenzo wouldn’t understand anything he said.
‘’ Don’t think that I am paying for you as well! Go over to that chicken chips place across the street if you can afford it’’. Harry blurted out in a hard voice, while slamming the door in front of Hans.
As soon as Harry and Mr. Lorenzo had sat down by a table, Mr Lorenzo immediately stood up and started to point across the street where Hans was stuffing his face with fries outside the limousine.
‘’ Oh, don’t mind him he is just eating junk food’’ Harry muttered absentmindedly, while thumbing in the menu.
Mr Lorenzo stood up straight and started to walk towards the door, when a waiter came walking towards him. Harry stood up immediately and started to walk towards Mr Lorenzo and the waiter. The waiter shot a questioning look towards Harry who sighed.
‘’ I take this dummy to a five star restaurant and he wants to eat at a fast food place, well I should have figured! He doesn’t exactly look like a member of the weight watchers. I might as well have bought him a happy meal at McDonalds and entertained him by hiring a clown’’ Harry muttered in a loud voice.
The people at the tables near him (all rich snobs wearing Chanel and Dior) started to laugh loudly. Harry who had always enjoyed being in the spotlight couldn’t stop himself from going on, Mr Lorenzo didn’t even understand English which meant that making fun of him wouldn’t really hurt him. Mr Lorenzo might even think that Harry is making everybody laugh by telling jokes, which would be to Harry own advantage as he would be seen as a (according to Harry) good business man who can make his clients laugh.
‘’ Or I could have taken him shopping in an ‘’oversize masquerade store’’ I bet he would find something to wear immediately! Harry continued with a louder voice than before, while shooting a look of contempt towards Mr. Lorenzo’s outfit.
Every body was laughing so loudly that people outside stopped walking, only to stare at the restaurant. Even Mr Lorenzo had started to laugh loudly, which caught Harry’s attention.
‘’ Look at the idiot! He doesn’t even understand what is so funny!’’ Harry almost yelled of laugher to everybody’s excitement.
Harry started to point towards Mr. Lorenzo.
‘’Why are you laughing dummy? Why? ‘’ Harry yelled while he laughing even louder than before.
Suddenly Mr Lorenzo started to clear his voice loudly.
‘’ Well actually…’’ Mr Lorenzo began in clear English, which caused everybody to gasp, especially Harry who almost choked. ‘’
‘’ My English is quite all right I must say, although I do admit that your British accent can be a little hard to understand sometimes.’’ Mr. Lorenzo continued in a calm voice.
‘’ Why didn’t you tell me that you can speak English? ‘’ Harry yelled in fury and embarrassed.
‘’ Well, I was considering to add you to my team by selling you 10 % of my biggest company; I recon that you already know how it would affect your place in the business world. I understand that you run 11 companies by yourself, so I came here to see if you are a loyal person who treats your fellow human beings and surroundings with respect. As it turns out you don’t, and I only need loyal people in my team. But if you had been a good human being then I might have given you a big role in my company and in the future it might have all been yours as I am growing older. In order to see people’s true colours I have to hide my own, as a businessman you can never be really sure can you? It is like this saying that you English people have, now what was it, ‘’ what goes around comes around’’ isn’t that it? ‘’ Mr Lorenzo finished calmly, as if the man was filled with inner piece and wisdom. ‘’
The people in the restaurant began to melt everything that had been said by the wise man in front of them and they all started to laugh loudly at Harry while shooting accusing glares towards him. At the same time they shoot admiring looks towards Mr Lorenzo.
Harry looked humiliated and at the same time it looked as if he was about to cry. He could’ve become the most powerful man in the business world but instead he had been insulted and to ashamed to ever enter his favourite restaurant ever again.
‘’ I guess the only dummy in here is you and not him!’’ a small boy who was sitting with his parents exclaimed in a British accent, which caused the entire ‘’audience’’ including the waiters to haul with laughter.
‘’ Lets go’’ Mr Lorenzo said directing a warm look towards Harry.
They walked out the door in silence, towards Hans who was standing outside the limousine. He had clearly watched the entire restaurant scene from outside the window as his face blushed when seeing Harry and Mr. Lorenzo walking towards him.
‘’ Mr Hannover, I did not mean to offend you, although I do hope that you have learned something due to this experience and maybe when you have grown older and become wiser we will meet again. Who knows? Maybe you will have become a more loyal person by then. ‘’ Mr Lorenzo said softly while smiling warmly towards Harry.
Before Harry had received a chance respond, Mr Lorenzo laid his hand on Hans’s shoulder.
‘’ I didn’t get to see Westminster Abbey, would you care to join me in my own limo and show around including to one of these chicken chips places that I have heard so much about? You don’t mind do you? He said in a soft voice raising his left eyebrow towards Harry.
‘’No, not at all, go ahead you two’’ Harry said tiredly.
His servant was going to show Rodrigo Lorenzo around in England, this caused Harry a headache.
‘’ I would have invited you also, but I recall you don’t like fast food nor Westminster abbey as we only spent a few seconds there.’’ Mr Lorenzo said in his usual soft voice.
Before Harry had been given the chance to respond to this, Mr Lorenzo took out his phone and started to dial a number, apparently to one of his colleagues who would pick him and Hans up in his Limousine. Mr. Lorenzo began to speak in another language.
‘’ No, he wasn’t as we thought he would be. Come here with the limo, yes but I told him that I wanted to see his true colours. And, no he does not know that he did not get to see mine.
By: Zala Sidiqi
© Copyright 2016 ZSCDK. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Commercial Fiction
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