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Chapter Three: Breaking Barriers

By Ameen younisPublished 5 months ago 6 min read

******Chapter Three******

"Professor Salsabeel...

She came to a halt and turned to face me, her eyes steady and confident, as if all the noise and congestion around us had vanished. She smiled a grin I couldn't understand except in our last talk, a regretful smile, and said:

"I apologize if you're calling because you've chosen to sell the automobile. I'm returning a word to you for the first time. A girl with financial difficulties, twirling her hair about, has no fantasies that come true. With your approval..."

I was perplexed by what she was saying since the statement was vague and hurtful. "(She refused to be hired because she refused to accept a condition imposed by the general manager.)" I remembered the secretary's comment.

"Wasn't the reason for the rejection the headscarf?" I asked immediately.

She came to a halt again, retraced her steps, and glared fiercely at me. "Who are you to ask me these questions?" she said, her voice rising. "I don't get it."

"I'm the one who will be taking over after you," I said, smiling and looking at my watch. I have a meeting in a few minutes. I'm Tarek Hassan, the company's director of external relations, and I'd want to know what your issue is. If you give me a few minutes of your time, I'd like to have a cup of coffee in my office till I conclude the meeting and come to understand from you!"

She paused, and I noticed a tiny relaxation on her face as a result of my comments. But she had to be sensible and steady, and she had to accept gently, right? How could it fail?

"Thank you, but I don't want anyone's help." I'm not going down without a fight. I have two million dollars because of enterprises in Egypt and overseas. I have the energy and patience to keep going. Professor Tarek, thank you for your interest."

"The condition should have been giving up stubbornness, not the hijab," I informed her, extending my palms toward the company's entrance. Come on, Salsabeel, and let's get this party started upstairs. There isn't time."

We boarded the elevator, and I felt like a teenager seeing a gorgeous girl for the first time. However, her attractiveness was not the only thing on my thoughts. I had the impression that there was something more inside her, something prompting me to get to know her better. Maybe curiosity, because I was certain she was one-of-a-kind. I'm not sure. She seemed perplexed and hesitant, yet she always came into my office and asked for coffee. She quickly regained her calm and entered the conference room with her head held high. I didn't need to explain for my tardiness because time was running out and the manager and his partner were bickering in front of each other.I sat in my usual spot, waiting to see what would happen, only to be astonished by something unexpected. In a frenzy of rage, the manager:

"I'm a family member to respond to me, stand in front of me, and say it's not because she's wearing a hijab." The general manager lacks the ability to make the appropriate judgments that may salvage a contract like the one that is sliding away from him and let it go without keeping it?"

My role as Tarek is to deal with this situation, and the person assigned to it cannot stand in front of Professor Moataz and tell him that. I was astounded. How could she be so daring? Professor Saleh, his partner, replied to him with the same rage, and we all sat in quiet.

"Whether I agree with her appearance or not, the girl did nothing wrong if you can't make a decisive decision on the upcoming deal." She's from Germany, and if Tarek is involved, we'd best clinch the transaction. "Let's all look into it," he said.

"From his side and his role in this deal, each of them should be ready within 48 hours with a complete study and present proposals for a solution," he stated. And the case against this girl should be closed. I don't want to hear about it at work. You are free to proceed to your workplaces."

When I walked into my office, she was seated on the chair in front of the desk, holding a notepad and writing something. She swiftly closed it and placed it in her purse as soon as I walked in. I was intrigued by what was in the notebook and what she was writing. Her coffee cup was empty, and her eyes were wide with excitement. I couldn't stop smiling. I hurriedly shut the door and sat in my office chair, staring at her. We stayed silent, and her eyes were on me. "So, what's your story?" I inquired.

She was taken aback by my query and my smile, and she spontaneously said, "Ask me to change the veil to fit the company's image." I painstakingly trained and passed everything with the veiled women here. And the uncommon job offer came on the day I was going to be appointed... just like that."

"No, no, not that, Salsabeel," I said as I leaned on the desk. It's not her problem."

She glanced at me, puzzled, and asked, "What do you mean?"

"I mean, who exactly are you? And what is the source of your courage and dreams?"

"Do I really have to tell you my story, and you know my life?" she remarked after straightening up, taking off her suit jacket and putting it behind her.

"It's not a must. You have the option of saying or not saying anything. But I'm telling you, I'd want to hear it. Not for any other reason than I believe you deserve someone to listen to you without bias. And I honestly don't have a plan. Can I?"

She locked her gaze on mine for a long while. I had the impression that her glance spoke all I needed to hear, but I couldn't translate it. She stared at the paperwork in her hands before standing up, taking her bag without saying anything, walking to the door, and opening it to go.

For a brief time, I was overcome with sadness. I had pushed too hard, and she didn't even know who I was. I couldn't say anything else because I was so unhappy. She walked out of the office, and I shut the door behind her, taking a big breath of fury. The door crashing at that precise time would have been ideal. "Find her opening the door and entering, standing in front of my desk, handing me the file she was holding," I said angrily. Here you have it."

She smiled and sat down without saying anything in front of me. I opened the file without saying anything, as if she was determined to surprise me all the time. She was 25 years old and had significantly more experience, speaking languages equal to those I was hired for as a director in my thirties. She worked in numerous disciplines and excelled in all of them. When I viewed her CV, I was pleased, and my biggest surprise was that she was an average girl from a middle-class family. Her clothing was modest and tranquil, and her look suggested something other than reality—a conflicting yet unique and lovely mixture. "How?" I said, gleefully gazing at the file.

*********To be continued***********


About the Creator

Ameen younis

Versatile writer weaving magic and mystery, exploring life's nuances. Through evocative language, I aim to leave a contemplative mark by crafting resonant literary experiences.

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