The Meeting

If she went there a second time she knew it would be risky. Maybe even dangerous. The first time was clearly a case of mistaken identify and she had enjoyed the mystery that surrounded the short encounter. She had played along with the group’s story and it had given her a glimpse into their minds. A second meeting would be wrong, but she knew that it was too late. She couldn’t resist and had to learn more. She needed to know what game they were involved in. And who they thought she was.

Seven days had passed since she had met the group. She had been at work and on her way to an appointment with Alan, her manager. His office was at the other side of the factory which meant that she needed to walk past the canteen, smoking area and meeting rooms. She wasn’t sure why he had asked to see her but she could make an educated guess. He was probably fed up with her timekeeping and she was worried that he wanted to talk to her about her attitude. Her face reddened as she thought about it. How embarrassing! She was nearly 30 and she was behaving like a schoolgirl. Why did she always do this? Sabotage the good things in her life? Jobs. Family. Relationships.

As she walked along one of that section of the factory’s bright corridors, a man spoke. True to type, the saboteur in her dismissed Alan’s meeting and she turned her attention to the man. He appeared to address her, and invited her to join him in what looked like a small meeting room.

The window which ran from the room’s floor up to its ceiling was secured with tightly closed blinds. Her manager’s office would have been set up in a similar arrangement.
“Amy. In here. Quickly please.”, he said with some urgency. She puzzled at his words - it was an order not a request.

She knew that he thought that she was someone else. She wasn’t called Amy and she didn’t know anyone with that name. Looking for an excuse to delay her meeting with Alan, she studied the man.

He was tall, with sandy hair and metal-rimmed glasses. He looked a few years older than her, and beneath the spectacles his eyes were bright and intense. His security pass hung around his neck. The name John was printed on it, his designation simply said contractor. The moment he opened his mouth she was gripped by curiosity.

“Where have you been, you’ve missed everything”, he hissed, impatiently pulling her into the meeting room and closing the door behind them. “Come in, come in. We’re all excited. It is really going to happen, and happen soon!” His enthusiasm was infectious.

Three other men and two women were in the room, pulling on their coats and gathering their bags and belongings. She thought that she should recognise them from mealtimes in the staff canteen but their faces were unfamiliar. They all looked to be in their twenties.

“Amy! You’re here!”. The women seemed delighted to see her; the men only grunted their acknowledgement of her presence. She started to say, “I’m not…”, but stopped. All six members of the group thought she was Amy and she thought that she’d play along. The mistaken identity, the secrecy of the group meeting behind closed doors and the excitement on their faces gripped her. Alan could wait.
John ignored the others and gripped her right arm tightly even though there was nowhere for her to go in the cramped meeting space. His voice lowered and what he said fuelled her interest further.

“We’ve discussed your plan. Although not everyone agrees with the nature of the event, we like the sound of what it can achieve. We’ve all agreed that it will take a few days to get everything ready. Let’s meet here this time next week to make sure everything is going to plan. In the meantime, use the new email addresses if you want to contact each other. He dropped her arm, opened the door and turned to her again, this time with a grin. “And Amy, don’t be late next week, it’s your bloody plan.”

So here she was. The week had passed quickly. Alan had eventually caught up with her and she now had nothing much to lose. Perhaps assuming the role of Amy would be the making of her?

The second meeting was about to start…

Lucy Robb
online creative writing school