Chapter 5 - Will he ever learn?

"Wow Dominique you seem to have been spending time with this machine!” Marsha replied.

He remained silent as he knew that any response would lead to further questions and there was no way he was going to set up himself to fail later by giving away too much information. He was relieved when she changed the subject as the recently constructed; six lane North Coast highways gave way to the three lanes of Mandela Highway.     

"Dominique wasn't this project three months overdue and the end seems to be nowhere in sight."

“I see your project management experience is coming to the fore Marsha, somehow I wished if your company had won the bid to be the project managers on the expansion of Mandela Highway. With your input and drive I am sure it would have been finished within time and budget."

"Are you trying to sweet talk me, Mr Martin, for the craziness you said earlier?” Marsha asked

"I am sorry Marsha I said things I should not have and I really hope to make it up to you later at dinner at your favourite Chinese restaurant."

Dominique’s tone was almost apologetic. But he knew that he had made his point, even thougheven he could admit that it was cruel to have done it in that manner.

"In that case Dominique drop me by the Boulevard Super Centre, I need to do my hair and nails for later, and you can go and meet your friends by the bar and pick me up in about three or four hours. And oh I need some cash."

Dominique looked at his watch, it was 2:30 p.m. and four hours would mean 6:30 p.m., perfect timing. He could link with the boys and then take a look at the places on Red Hills Road, so that he could put a cohesive plan together and present that to Marsha later tonight.

"Ok sweetheart I feel very optimistic about later." Then he reached for his wallet, but paused as he was about to take it from his back pocket. "Don't you have an envelope full of money?"

"Don't even think it Dominique, it is your responsibility to spend money on me to have me looking my best and worse you are paying back for your comments earlier."

"Oh shoot, I thought we were already over that."

"Not that easily, Mr Martin," she replied.

Dominique sighed and gave her his wallet and said, "Take out what you need just leave something for lunch and a few drinks."

He saw Marsha's face light up as she opened his wallet and knew instantly that he had made a costly mistake to have given her his wallet.

"Ok Dominique you had $15,500.00 in here and I left you with enough to buy a patty and a soda and I took out your credit card as well, I don’t want you to be treating anybody at the bar and run up our debt."

His heart sank, but as he was about to open his mouth in protest good sense prevailed and he said,"Ok dear."

The Supercentre was in sight and a sense of nervousness overcame Dominique, he was not sure what mood Marsha was really in and if he was not on point with his thoughts about the business and his plans to expand it in a systematic way she would not support it. The income expenditure statement needed to be compiled along with the market survey that he had commissioned along with the log of the number of potential clients that he had been turning down over the past three months as least. He had also negotiated a contract with the newest hotel in New Kingston on Renfrew Avenue. The nerves subsided as he ran through the items mentally and even though he knew that Marsha was a tough customer. The only loose end would be the driver that he had not yet identified.

He needed all drivers to be able to talk about Jantique's tourism product and be able to converse fluently in Standard English and they must be familiar with the various attractions and how to get to them.  The traffic to get into the Super Centre was at a standstill it was mid-afternoonand the cars were almost at a standstill in bumper to bumpertraffic. It took them almost 15 minutes to move 6 metres and Dominique started to tap the steering wheel again.

"Be patient, Dominique. I thought you loved to spend time with your wife?"

"Yes I do, but you know that I get impatient when I have things to do, plus I have to transfer the money to your account as you requested and unfortunately I don't have online banking like some people that shall remain nameless."

"Dominique there should be no secrets between us and where is this money coming from?”

."Why this traffic can’t move any faster?" Dominique asked.

"Are you trying to avoid answering my question Dominique?" Marsha asked. Her tone had now changed sharply.

“No Marsha, it was a partner draw. The guys and I have been pooling our money together; it is my turn to get my hand. There is nothing mysterious or underhanded about it.”

"If you say so I just have to believe you, don't I?”

He could her sarcasm in her voice and knew instantly that tonight's talk would not be as easy as he thought earlier. The security barrier was a pleasant sight, and it meant that Marsha would be out of his hair for the next four hours and it would allow his brain to think clearly and in peace. The security lazily lifted the barrier and Dominique floored the petal and the SUV leapt forward and had already passed the guard holding out the plastic ticket.

Marsha shouted, “Dominique! What are you doing, where is your mind?”

"Sorry it's at dinner tonight, making the pitch to you.”

"Wow that is the impact I have on you or is it that I intimidate you that much? We have been together far too long for you to be intimidation."

"It’s not that I have so much riding on your approval. My life versus your expectations?."

"Why do I seem like I am such an ogre?”

"We are here.”

He stopped at the salon door and it could not have happened at a more opportune time.

"Don’t forget your answer I want to hear the response tonight.”

As he watched Marsha close the door and walked towards the salon, his phone rang and he looked at the display he sighed and said, “Perfect timing, hi Yanique I will see you shortly to discuss our future relationship.”

“Relationship? Dominique that sounds like music to my ears.”

“Yanique, you know what I am talking about, it’s about work not a personal relationship,” he replied. 

“A girl can still dream and there may be a day when I become lucky and I get what I have always wanted to do to you Dominique Martin.”

“One thing I have learned in life Yanique is to say never, but the likelihood of us being together is very slim, I am committed to my wife and despite my moments of flirting with you. I know that you are not really seriously thinking about being my side chick.”

“Anyway Dominique, you are spoiling my day so I will see you when you get here,” she said then she abruptly hung up the phone.

As he replaced in the phone in his shirt pocket he muttered, “What the hell is it with these women and me? I try to be diplomatic and nice in order to avoid hurting their feelings and all they seem to do is want to control my life.”

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