The Savant

The Savant

A Story by Rachid Amrani

The Savant, as his entourage of friends liked to call him, descended Bus No. 22, halted his steps as the other commuters walked past him, and looked about him. For no obvious reason other than a forced habit, he fidgeted with the pocket of his pants. When he was certain that the meager sum of his cash was still there, he let out a sigh of relief, run his fingers through his hair, which he had spent a great deal of time greasing that morning, smoothed the collar of his long-sleeved shirt, and looked down at his black polished shoes. In spite of the tension and the strain that surged up in him every time he was to embark on a new experience in his life, he felt zestful and lively that morning.

As he crossed the street that buzzed with traffic and human movement at that time of the day, he kept mumbling to himself, “Why worry, the worst thing that can happen is I don’t get the job. It’s happened before and I got over it.”

With the folder containing his documents tucked under his arm, the Savant reached the other side of the street and walked to the office building with decisive stride as if he had come to this side of town a dozen times. He paused at the entrance and glanced at the signs carved on the marble frames outside and looked for The Language Institute. Among other offices that the building housed, as the Savant noticed, was a notary, an attorney, a catering business, and a typing service. Except for a dim light that glowed from a bulb that protruded from the ceiling, the stairs were dark. He ascended the steps slowly and cautiously, groping the wall with his hand. He got to the second floor and glanced about him for an instant as to make certain he was in fact in the right building. The Language Institute as the sign on its door revealed was on the right side of the hall. Taped to the door was a typed sheet of paper that showed the working hours, the telephone numbers, and the classes the institute offered. The Savant adjusted his shirt, rang the bell, stood erect, and waited. After the lapse of what seemed like an eternity, he heard a voice coming from the inside asking him to come in. He turned the door knob, pushed the door open, and went inside. Behind the desk sat a petite, skinny, short-haired woman. She had that fresh smell of lush perfume and heavy make-up on her that made the Savant think about fleeing the premises instantly. She motioned for him to sit on the chair opposite hers, and when he was seated, he introduced himself in the most possible courteous and professional way he could muster. She nodded her head as she toyed with the pen she held between her fingers, then sprang to her feet and started toward a small room, and after a moment returned with a grave look on her face and announced that her boss, the administrator, was not in his office at the moment. Where he was and what time he would arrive, the secretary did not know.

“I’ll let him know you stopped by when he arrives,” She said.

He handed her a copy of his resume, thanked her, and walked out the door into the openness and loneliness of the city.

“It’s happened before,” he heard himself say as he lazily and aimlessly walk along the pavement, oblivious to the mayhem of the blaring horns of the traffic, the shouts of the street vendors, and the smell of the thick and oppressive air around him.

© 2019 Rachid Amrani

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Added on February 12, 2019
Last Updated on February 12, 2019


Rachid Amrani
Rachid Amrani

Aspiring writer with a passion for storytelling and reading good books. Writing has been a slow process for me. I lament the fact English wasn't taught to us until high school. I try to read a lot.. more..