Tony hated this. The messiness. He preferred contracts, paper, clear delineations. That was what really made his world spin.
Now this prospect wanted to meet in a more casual setting – that’s “just how they do business”.
It weirded him out. Immensely.
He sighed a heavy sigh of trepidation as he moved out of the office, pulling his shoulders back to exude the confidence that would carry him through such a risky endeavor.
He caught his boss smiling in approval on his way out, well satisfied that Tony would pull this contract and help close the ever widening chasm between their debts and their assets.
His breath came in staccatos as he climbed on board the elevator. His hands began to perspire, and he wrung them clean.
He was weirding out. This is what he hated. She would see it all over him. It would be terrible. He convinced himself it would be. His confidence was flagging.
During the taxi ride over, he attempted to calm himself with deep breathing, but he only got caught in his own subconscious. It was terrible.
He told the taxi driver to pull over one block short of the restaurant, and he almost fell out of the curb side door trying to gather himself and his things. He dashed into the bookstore in the corner, hoping that his client hadn’t seen him. He wormed his way to the back – he had been here before, many times, on many a weekend where he kept his own company and not much else. He found the reading stool all the way at the back and sat, perspiring for no reason whatsoever.
He put his head down and breathed heavily, humming a song from his adolescence, feeling it reverberate throughout his abdomen and chest, calming his nerves. He breathed deeper and pushed the lyrics out of the bottom of the stomach, the vibrations spreading to his extremities. For some reason, he smiled to himself. He began to feel ready again. Confident. He stood up, smoothed his clothes, and strode out of the book shop.