I shook my head as she shook my hand. I must have gotten a puzzled or confused look on my face.
“What seems to be the problem, Mr. Jensen?” she asked.
“Oh, there’s no problem,” I replied, “It’s just that you seem very familiar to me somehow. Are you sure this is the first time we’ve met?”
“I’m certain,” she responded, “Perhaps we knew one another in a previous life!” She smiled, then she laughed and her entourage laughed along with her. She was younger than I had expected and decidedly more beautiful.
I led them into the conference room where my team was gathered around the table waiting. This meeting could be the one that finally put Peter Jensen Advertising on the map.
Introductions were made all around, business cards were exchanged. I studied her card.
I knew everything there was to know about Ana Petroff. I had studied a long time for this meeting. She looked younger than the photos I had seen and I commented on it.
“You may have been looking at photos of my mother, we share the same name. I’m quite protective of my privacy so I’m pretty careful to keep my photos off the internet but my parents have not been so lucky. I’ve been told that I look a lot like her.” Her accent was quite slight, yet very musical. I thought I could listen to her speak forever.
Her father, I knew, had been Sasha Petroff, a popular Russian Cosmonaut. Always in the public eye as he traveled the world marketing and “ambassadoring” for the Soviet Space Program.
Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks. She was that girl from the West View.
The West View is a luxury apartment complex, situated directly across the river from my house. For years I had been spying on the residents of West View with the telescope I kept set up in my bedroom window.
Ana Petroff had moved into the West View about six months ago and had captivated my attention since I first noticed her. She had floor to ceiling bedroom windows that offered a spectacular river view. She liked to stand naked in her window to bathe in the morning sunlight, and watch the river traffic. I knew because I liked to stand in my window and watch her through my telescope.
I grinned and thought I suddenly know a whole lot more about Ana Petroff than I did just seconds ago.
What a perv, I am! I thought to myself. Then immediately, I thought, how much that sounded like something my mother would say. Something she would say right before she sent me to my room and grounded me for life. My smile broadened.
“Well, let’s get started, shall we?” I suggested, “There’s coffee and pastries on the sideboard. Please help yourselves.”
Step away from the keyboard. Your 25 minutes are up. – No editing other than to place the quotes around “ambassadoring”. I’m pretty sure I just made that word up.