By Design (2)


“How’s the Leister Cultural Arts Center coming along?”

“It’s practically finished.”

Connor Fletcher is an architect with at least twenty years of experience under his belt. His friend and CEO Tolbert Shaw of Shaw and Fletcher Architecture hailed from different places. Tolbert was from Britain and Connor, Ireland, but the had common interests when they’d settled in Iowa. They were like fish out of water until by happenstance they bumped into one another. Neither had been out of their homeland and they used that opportunity to build a life, a company from scratch with their hard earned money they pooled together from odd jobs they’d worked.

The art of building was in his blood. His father Rueben Fletcher was a mason. When Connor was a boy, his mother Stacey often took him his fathers worksites. For a boy to watch his father work diligently sparked a fire in his soul. He remembered he wanted to be just like him when he grew up. When Connor thought of his mother, she was quite artistic herself. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was always a surprise. Fruit was cut in funny shapes, moulds of jello were stuffed with exotic fruits, roasts looked exactly like the chefs’ on television. Stacey was the mother every child would’ve wanted. Conner distinctly remembered the blokes in his neighborhood being severely jealous of him. Having a home chef for a mother definitely had its advantages! Not only was Stacey a marvelous cook, she taught every one of his siblings to cook, citing it was a good skill to have once they began leaving the nest. Connor took to the art of food more than his siblings, of course, he was the oldest and was expected to set an example for the rest.

“Where are we with meeting Cooling Design?”

“We’re scheduled to meet with them today, noon.”

Nodding, Shaw coasted off to his office leaving Connor to review his plans for the next project that would quickly get under way. Being an architect didn’t appeal to those who didn’t have a clue on what he actually did. Honestly, he thought, the grunt work was a pain but when the buildings gave form, its beauty was something to behold. Creating beauty was the best part of his job. After pouring over the layout and design of the Performance Arts building that’ll be located in the downtown Iowa City area, he rolled away from his polished Oak desk to gather documents for this meeting with Cooling Design.

When browsing through the company website, his eyes fell on the CEO, Amanda Cooling’s picture. She was a wisp of a woman, tall, redheaded with green eyes. Her suit was fire engine red and her arms were crossed over her breasts. His first thoughts of her disposition was that she was a fraud. She looked sneaky with her tight eyes and blood tinted lips. He didn’t trust her, not one bit. There was a video welcoming potential customers, so he clicked the play button. Everything she said made her sound aloof and cold, as if she were reading from cue cards. Cooling Design wasn’t his first choice or choice at all, but Tolbert talked him into setting up a meeting despite his eloquent protests.

Refreshing himself with the names and faces of those who’d be attending this meeting, he paused when a thumbnail of a curly headed woman appeared at the end of the slideshow. That picture wasn’t here the last time he’d checked. Taiwo Yona, a strange name he thought. She’s a Building Designer, thirty-seven years old and has been with Cooling for three years. Trying to scan through her specs proved useless. His eyes was brought back to her smooth cinnamon colored skin, almond hazel eyes, Rosewood tinted lips and that mound of midnight curly hair that looked as if it was struggling to stay tied up with that onyx cotton scarf. By the look in her eyes, she radiated glorious rebellion. She had pride, a lot of it, he suspected. Taiwo looked like she knew something the rest hadn’t. He was quite certain he would walk away with nothing from this meeting, but hopefully he’d a chance to meet Ms. Yona. Something good just had to come from this day.

*The next chapter can be found here, By Design (3)



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