[The Project][Part 11]


It’s raining again. I can’t remember the last time it rained so much in a single eek. Hopefully the water plant can keep up with all the runoff .” I turned the mug of coffee clockwise on the safe table. I looked up at Marta who as digging into a large piece of strawberry pie. I never get to see her enough; I need to see her more.

Marta cleared her throat. “It’s been a little difficult making sure the overflow doesn’t reach a critical point, but all the workers are thankful for the overtime. If we end up having another drought like last summer, we’ll be covered at least. Ebb and flow, right? A little extra now means more for later. But, hopefully, it eases up a bit the next few days anymore and then yes, we may have more problems than we can handle.”

“Well, if you are as good at your job as you are tucking into that pie, I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it all just fine. I’m glad things are working out for you. It’s good to see the water purification sector is finally putting some younger minds at the lead.”

“My thoughts exactly. Did you know that the guy who had my position before me was 87? They had to force him to retire; gave him quite the package to leave, I’ve heard.” She was using the side of her fork to scrape the remaining pie filling off her plate. “I mean, I can understand loving your job, but come on, you need to realize when to step down. I certainly don’t plan on staying in the same position until I’m 87, but I’m going to do a damn fine job while I’m doing it.” Licking the back of her fork, Marta then sipped her own coffee. She eyes her empty plate and looked back at the café counter where all their baked goods were displayed.

I smiled as I watched her movements. “You know, you can get another piece. Or, we can go somewhere else for an actual lunch if you’re that hungry.”

“Na, we’re already here. Another piece of pie sounds like an excellent plan. Would you like anything this time around? My treat since, you know, my promotion has gone through and, after a few pay cheques, I’ll be as good as wealthy.”

“You’re ridiculous, you know that right? Sure, why not? I’ll have a piece of what you’re having. You’re treat, Miss Head-Honcho.”

“Good. I’ll be right back.” Marta leaned over and grabbed her purse, then rushed to the counter to place our new orders.

Marta was a good friend to me, good enough to trust with knowledge of my condition. Well, she was a good enough friend at the time to try getting me employment at the water company. I had to politely decline and when she pushed to know why… I had to tell her there was too much noise for me to concentrate on anything other than the colours before my eyes. It had taken some time to convince her I wasn’t just trying to get out of working with her. She became very understanding and even offered to help find a cure, whatever it took but… I asked her to just be my friend. She had laughed when I said that. She never mentioned it again, and never once treated me any different than before she knew.

A plate with a piece of pie was placed in front of me on the table. “One slice of strawberry pie for you, and once slice of apple for me.” Marta resumed her seat and began digging in with her fork.

“Marta, remember to breath please. I don’t fancy a trip to the hospital and having to think of a less funny way of having to explain why my friend has pie lodged in her throat and windpipe.”

Marta laughed and began coughing.

“See? Slow down there pie-warrior.”

“Yeah, yeah, I see what you mean.” She wiped her mouth with her napkin. “So when is your interview? If you need me to put in a good word for you, I can. Technically, I work for the company that’s a branch of the government that is out-sourced to Hosp. It wouldn’t be a problem.”

Wonderful Marta. “Let me see how the interview goes first. If I think I’m tanking, I’ll drop your name, and give you a heads up afterwards. How does that sound?”

“Great idea. Better to keep me in reserve, just in case.”