There was a definite buzz in the air inside the coliseum as the events team worked on setting up the place for the concert that night. The sound system were there since before dawn, and they were now doing their own sound check to get ready for the band’s own later on. Lights were tested, posters were set up, staff rooms were cleaned and arranged and if there was anyone who wasn’t doing anything, it didn’t last long because there was always something else to do.
It was Naomi’s job to make sure that everything was in place that afternoon, at least until Tom and Ellen arrive from the place that she had called office for the past two months. She never imagined she’d be a part of the corporate world after she swore it off after college, as corporate as Street Team Events was. If it weren’t for her current predicament and her sister’s intervention, she wouldn’t be there at all.
Strangely enough, she was kind of enjoying herself as she worked.
“Ian! The food for the band’s staff has arrived and I’ve set it up inside the green room, all ready for their arrival,” Naomi reported to her boss, checking it off the to-do list she carried around on a clipboard. She glanced at her watch and added, “Which will be in a half an hour.”
“Good, good,” Ian replied, looking up at her from his laptop. He sat with the tech people on the side of the stage, typing furiously on his laptop. He smiled at Naomi and then glanced quickly towards the audience area and then back to his laptop.
“What else do we need to do?” Ian asked.
Naomi looked back on her list. “Well, the merchandise should arrive soon together with the staff, plus the CDs from Sony, so the merchandise tables should be set up.”
“Alright, so do you need to call someone for the tables?” He glanced at the audience area again before opening his phone to look for a contact, but Naomi stopped him in mid-scroll.
“No, no need. The tables arrived this morning and they just need to be set up.”
“Get help in doing that okay? I don’t want you carrying anything heavy.” Naomi nodded, and Ian once again looked behind her shoulder. Naomi, now distracted, followed where he looked and saw her sister Ruth standing there, shouting directions to the people who were putting up the backdrop that was sent from the band’s management a few weeks back.
“Hey Ruth!” Naomi called. Ruth stopped in mid shout and her head spun around impatiently as she looked for the source of the call. Naomi smiled when Ruth’s eyes landed on her and instantly softened.
“Hey Naomi,” Ruth called back. “You doing okay?” Her face was concerned, which always seemed to be the expression she was giving Naomi.
Naomi nodded. “Yeah, I am.”
“Don’t tire yourself out, okay?” Ruth said sternly. She shot a look behind Naomi and added, “Don’t let Ian work you too much. If he does, tell me and I’ll kill him.”
Ian laughed. “I promise I’m not wearing her out. She’s actually too proactive for me.”
“Ruth, look I’m okay,” Naomi said, slightly exasperated. She instinctively rubbed her hand over her tummy, which was already protruding a bit. “And if it makes you happy, I’ll go sit down here before to rest.” She moved to the empty seat beside Ian and sat down, giving a pointed look at her sister.
“Yes that makes me happy,” Her sister flashed them a smile and then turned back to what she was doing earlier. Naomi watched her for a moment and found herself smiling too, as she watched her sister work.
“Your sister sure is something,” Ian said with a chuckle. He shook his head and then started typing on his computer again.
“She’s overly protective at times,” Naomi replied, putting her clipboard down the table before leaning back on her chair to get herself into a comfortable position. “Okay, most of the times.” She added after a while. Ian laughed again.
“Well, you are her sister. I see her like that over Mitchie and her team a lot of times.” Ian stopped typing and he cupped a hand under his chin while leaning on the table, watching Ruth thoughtfully from his seat.
“Sometimes I honestly think she worry too much,” Naomi said softly. “I get worried about her worrying.” She followed Ian’s gaze again and watched Ruth walk towards the stage and climb up, her hand waving wildly as she tried to explain how she wanted the backdrop to be hung.
The two of them fell quiet and the only sounds inside the coliseum were the various footsteps of the crew and Ruth’s voice. Naomi tore her eyes away from Ruth and looked back at her boss, who was still gazing thoughtfully at her sister. Ian had been totally nice to her ever since she got in, and she knows it was
As she looked at Ian more closely, she realized that there was something else in the way he looked at Ruth. It wasn’t just the thoughtful, observing kind of look, but one that carried much more meaning. If she wasn’t mistaken, there was a kind of tenderness to his gaze, like he was watching something that was fragile and beautiful at the same time.
And suddenly, Naomi understood.
“You like her, don’t you?”
Ian’s eyes darted from Ruth to Naomi a couple of times before settling on Naomi. “What?”
“You like my sister. As in, in a more than friends way.” Naomi repeated with a smile. She watched Ian’s reaction to her words, and was satisfied to see him duck his face and look away from Naomi. If it wasn’t so dim inside, she could have sworn that Ian was blushing.
“What makes you say that?” Ian asked, eyes focused on his laptop screen.
“I just kind of felt it,” Naomi said. “It’s…the way you look at her. And how you always seem to be present around her.”
“That’s really not too much evidence, Naomi.” But Ian once again glanced at Ruth before looking back at his computer. Naomi smirked.
“You know, I wouldn’t mind if you like her,” she said, leaning on the table so she could look at Ian closely. “In fact, I’m giving you my sisterly blessing now.”
“Just think about it, okay?” Naomi said, picking up her clipboard and standing up. Ian looked at her warily and she grinned at him. “Now I better go get those tables set up. Just call if you need me.”
Ian nodded and waved her away, but not before glancing one more time at the direction of Ruth. Naomi smirked again. She started to walk away but then turned back when she remembered something. She put her mouth near Ian’s ear and whispered, “But don’t stare at her too much, okay? She might turn into a puddle.”