So this man walks into the business lounge where I work at, and I notice his Army designed backpack and then, the tears in his eyes. Moments later, he asks me for a glass of Chardonnay, and walks away immediately after I’m done pouring it without saying a word. 5 minutes later, I can hear him talking on the phone with a bad italian accent.
“Non piangere amore, everything will be fine, be strong for Olivia!” and I can see that he won’t be able to stop those tears from pouring down his cheeks for long..
The room is empty. He asks for another glass of red wine and I try to make some conversation.
“What brings you in Italy, Sir?”
“Well, few days ago, la mia ragazza, gave birth to our daughter, and I’m “celebrating” the birth of my first baby, by flying back to London, isn’t that nice?”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Sir, but I would also like to wish you all the best for your little daughter. I guess her name is Olivia, am I right?”
“Yes, how on Earth could you know that?”
“Excuse me, Sir, but I’ve noticed you at the entrance, because of the tears in your eyes, and then I heard you speaking on the phone and mentioned her name.”
“Oh, I see.”
“So, tell me, how does it feel?” I ask, burning to know how it feels.
“Honestly, I’m both scariest and happiest man on Earth, at the same time. Terribile!” he murmurs in italian, trying to hide that british accent.
“I can see that in your eyes, Sir!” I say, trying to bring a smile on his face.
“Please, call me Reese.”
“Victor!” and we shake hands.
“Your english is very good, Victor!”
“Thank you, Sir!”
“Reese!” he corrects me instantly.
“Reese it is, then!” rolling my eyes.
“C’mon, Victor, pour yourself a glass of wine and drink with me, there’s no one left in here and I guess your shift will be over soon!”
I open a bottle of prosecco and pour myself a bit into a glass.
“Well then, for your little daughter, Olivia!”
“Thank you, cheers!” says to me, with a big smile on his face.
“So what’s with the backpack? Are you in the Army or something?”
“Yes, I am, actually. And unfortunately I must go back ASAP. My girlfriend gave birth to our daughter two days ago, and now I must turn back.” His face changes. “Lovely!” he adds, with a sarcastic smile on his face, taking another sip of wine.
“I’m sorry to hear that. I can only imagine how that feels.”
“Yeah well, you know, they don’t care if you’re commited, they don’t care nothing at all. They just want you there. I must admit, it’s the best job one man can have, but I’m telling you, it’s the toughest there is! And once you’ve finished it, you feel… Accomplished! Yes, that’s the word. Accomplished!”
*background voice* “Signor Reese? Il suo volo sta imbarcando!“
“Do you have a pen and some paper, Victor?”
“Sure do!” I answer, handing him a piece of paper and the closest pen I find.
“There you go, here is my phone number, if you’ll ever need something, here in Italy, or back in England, don’t hesitate to call me and we’ll see what we can do about it!” says, handing me the paper.
“Thank you, Sir! I’ll keep that in mind!”
“Oh, it’s Reese, for Christ’s sake! We have about the same age, I think. How old are you?”
“And I’m 25!” pauses a bit, “with a 3 days-old daughter!” he adds, and a smile brightens up his face.
“Take care, Reese!” I say, while shaking his hand.
“So do you, Victor!” says, while he grabs me and gives me a friendly hug, like the ones you give to an old friend, knowing that you might never see him again.
“Cheers!” I murmur.
Now this is what I call “a good day at work”.