Thomas and His Miracles


Sam jammed the smoking fag-end in the ashtray. He played excessively to put it down. Then rubbed eyes and moved his shoulders. During the last days he had the feeling that he carried the whole cement enterprise on them. Holcim Bulgaria was sinking in the moving sands of the crisis and so was his carrier. His imagination painted dark colors of the new days coming in Bulgaria the age of 56 was deemed as 80 by employers. Nobody would take him even for an accountant. He had to refund so many loans that his grandchildren would still be paying them. Sam knew he would need to live on the street

He went out and approached a heap of cement. Then bowed and painted a little man in the cement powder, sighed and got up. His head was ringing like a bell. Sam was dying to get a sleep because tomorrow was the hardest day in his life. He had to tell his employees the bad news which they smelled from quite a time. There was no living person in the enterprise who hadnt send CVs here and there.

Coming back home his scold wife tried to shout about something, but he passed by her and threw himself on the bedroom.

*

The enterprise was deserted. In the clear night heaps of sand and rubble were gleaming. Through the crystal silence intense talking could be heard. Somebody was irritably arguing.

I was just going to pull him and you showed!

Bullshit! I was there from the very beginning!

You wanted a promotion, thats why you stole him from me!

Shame on you! I was the one to propose for you before the Council and you did this to me!

I dont need you anymore!

You!, shouted one of the semi-transparent creatures and swung the gleaming magic wand at random.

A ray flashed out of it and poured over the heap of rubble which turned into a pigeon. The other fairy knitted her brows, turned her magic wand to the cement powder and made as if to strike. At that moment her fellow fairy also raised her wand and both rays met exactly at Sams drawing. It sank into a white cloud and after the powder settled down, a naked man covered with white powder showed. The fairies looked at each other in total amazement and burst out. While accusing each other, the man looked around, listened to their talk and finally approached them. Both the fairies fell silent.

I need a shower and clean clothes. Except if, of course, you dont like me that way., smiled the man.

After they dressed him and put him in the Directors chair, they tried to go out noiselessly.

How much time do you give me?

Four years, replied guiltily one of the fairies. Its then that the spell can be broken.

The man who was now neatly dressed instead of getting embarrassed or furious, laughed as though he had just found out that hed won a fortune.

In the next morning the sun shined in early morning as though preparing for a parade. Sam turned off his alarm reluctantly and got up to prepare for work. He gazed at himself before the mirror. Swollen eyes, wrinkled forehead and bloated mouth was it so obvious that he was sorry?

He arrived into the enterprise one hour late. Sam nodded to the secretary smelling the well known coffee aroma and went into his office. By opening the door he felt something wasnt right. His chair was turned with its back to the desk. Sam approached and at that moment the chair turned. A smiling curly and neatly dressed man sat in it.

Thomas, you can call me that way.

What the hell?!

Id like to try your local meals, drink a hundred bottles of wine... and if it isnt too much let you go for a year or so.

Why dont you get out of my office! Today is really not my day!, grumbled Sam obviously not joking.

Two men are walking while one of them says to the other: I think the nice lady smiled at me.The other replied: Really, because I used to laugh when I saw you for the first time.

Hey, you!, Sam tried to get him by the collar, his face red all over. But Thomas grabbed his hand and winded it very quickly. Sam cried in pain and fell on the ground.

I forgot to warn you that I am as strong as cement.

Who the fuck are you?

If I tell you the truth, you wont believe me. If I lie, you wont too. So why dont you just leave me in Holcim, come back after a year and see it prospering.

Sam made as if to strike him, but then dropped his hand. Everything was going to hell. He went out of his office and the enterprise not knowing where to go. At the same time Thomas told the secretary that from now on he was substituting for the Executive Director for an indefinite period of time. During the first weeks the new Executive Director was deemed strange by everybody in the office, but after some time they liked him because of his jokes and a little chaotic working manner. He was often organizing his meetings at one and the same time or was arriving the very last minute at the airport, but behind this intensity lay the hidden tranquility of his cement self. There was no conversation which he would end as a defeated man; no presentation which he wouldnt show brilliantly. He behaved as a friend to friend towards the employees in the company and although the managers didnt approve of his methods, they didnt dare say anything against him, because he was not only achieving results, but also had cast his charm upon them. The employees competed to spend more time with him. Someone led him to Plovdiv, Bansko, Perperikon. Another person, being gastronome didnt let him alone till he didnt try out all traditional Bulgarian meals. Turshia and Lutenitsa became his favorites and they learned his menu in the local restaurants.

It turned out that wine was his favorite drink and this weakness won him two thirds of the office. If he only wanted, he could make people work for him without receiving paying for a certain period of time. This was unachievable in Holcim till he came.

But his real character showed in his work. His ideas always looked a little awkward in the beginning. But unnoticeably he managed to convince everybody in their effectiveness and success. Once they stopped for coffee at a little restaurant on their way back from river Ottawa where they made rafting as a team building activity. He bravely ordered a piece of cake and everybody warned him that the dessert might be two weeks old because here cakes were simply not to be ordered. But he wouldnt listen. Anyway their suspicions justified as he tried his fork on the solid cake. Instead of complaining he stood up and kissed the waiter before the amazed looks of everybody including the waiter himself. Thomas asked for the cooker to come, paid her a substantial amount of money and asked about the recipe. Blushing all over, the poor woman dictated it, he wrote it down on a piece of paper and gave her another sum of money. Rono, his best friend asked:

Why did you spend so much of the green stuff on a recipe and a piece of old cake?

Because with this recipe we will make a revolution in the cement industry, pal!, replied Thomas with shining eyes.

At first everybody thought this being a joke, but Thomas wasnt joking. It didnt get clear for anyone what in the recipe of the cake helped him make the innovations in the cements substance, but after an advertising and PR campaign of the new formula, orders piled up. It was patented and Thomas marketed it around the world. A few months later Holcim Ltd. was one of the leading companies on the European cement market thanks to Thomass negotiation skills. He quickly convinced ten European magnates in the field to pay to Holcim twenty percent of their annual profit only for the credit to use the new formula for cement production.

Sam looked at the success of his substitute and as much as he felt pleased about it, he also secretly envied his inheritor. Nevertheless his envy was nothing more than an old masters wink to the smart guy looking so much like himself, although throwing doubt at his own professional qualities. Thus four years of steady companys growth passed. Now the technologies and buildings were totally renovated, the employees received twice better remuneration packages and all went so sugary that it was hard to remember how it all started a few years ago.

Thomas couldnt stop at one place. He had no free weekend in his agenda. During the winter he went skiing in Val DIsere, during the summer he went rafting in Corsica. But one Friday evening he was not in his usual great mood. Nice looking Lili, his secretary searched for excuses to get into his office and tried to suit him in her own way proposing to order him seafood for dinner, which she knew he loved very much. But Thomas declined. Instead he asked her:

How do you think, did Merilyn drink Merlot?

I dont know, Lili laughed.

Lets go and ask in the bar., he said.

They arrived a quarter to 8. The bar was full. The two of them made themselves comfortable at the stools and Thomas asked Lili to translate to the approaching barman:

How much for a drop of wine?

Nothing, replied the barman in Bulgarian looking like a sheep.

Then give me a glass of drops, please, Lili translated and then Thomas patted the barmans shoulder giving him a tip.

You are about to be perfect, did you know that?, said Lili when the barman turned.

I dont hear you very well. Please repeat., smiled he back.

Hey, you!, she threatened jokingly.

Lili, I am leaving tomorrow.

This time perhaps parachuting?, she laughed.

Could be.

What if the parachute doesnt open?!

Would mean this sport is not for me., said Thomas.

Now both of them laughed but Thomass face frowned shortly after.

You wanna hear the whole story?

Sure., whispered Lili.

They went out at three in the morning Thomas calling for Lilis taxi. He waved goodbye like old friends do and then Thomas took a walk around the sleeping city coming back to the enterprise. Dawn welcomed him in the companys yard.

Are you ready?, he heard the voice of one of the fairies.

Of course not. How do you think?, now his voice like a dogs snarling after his bone had been taken.

Now, if we dont turn you into cement powder again, were lost. The Fairys Council will take our magic skills away., said guiltily one of the fairies.

Come on, do it. I just wonder how you go on making wonders only with magic wands. Its greater fun doing without them.

You dont mean your activity on the enterprise, are you?, the other fairy crooked her face.

- In fact I do.

Both fairies changed looks. This guy, Thomas, had convinced ten European magnates in cement production to pay twenty percent from their annual profit. He definitely was good at negotiations.

*

The next day Thomas was gone. His belongings still stayed at the office. Lili found a note on his desk which she read half smiling, half crying in front of her colleagues. It said:

My friends dont need an explanation and my enemies wont believe it. Therefore its pointless. I won from my time with you nearly as much as you did with me.? The music was sweeter, the wine thicker and the laughter louder, because I shared them with you. Thank you.





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