A story of Insecurity after betrayal, hope after reassurance and ... Love after tears
Continued from HereI was sitting alone in the cafeteria, having my lunch. The company gave us a voluntary break time and it worked in my favor. I would sneak in for lunch when the rest of them would get back into their cubicles. The cubicles made me feel secure. It was where I felt most comfortable these days. They were impressed with my work and thankfully did not make me go on field. Maybe they realised I excel at my work when I don't have to interact with people. What a contradiction to my previous life!
I had just started on my coffee when I saw him enter the cafeteria and frolic with the girl at the counter. I silently prayed that he doesn't see me. That guy was persistent. I had rebuked him enough times and yet he didn't get tired of starting a conversation. I began to realise that he isn't that irritating when he isn't around girls who drool over him, like in that metro the other day. He looked so lost that I almost thought of talking to him. The way he was trying to wipe his shoes clean reminded me of the school assembly, when first grade boys did the same thing before the inspection! I couldn't believe I actually smiled looking at him. How long was it since I smiled anyway? He caught me smiling at him and gave me that idiotic grin. Ok, I didn't feel the same way about it then. It was something different as if we were sharing a private joke which only we understood. The walls built around me threatened to collapse and I immediately looked away. Gratefully the station arrived soon and its been awkward with him since then.
Oh no ! he was coming towards my table and without even asking he settled himself across me. He smiled and got busy with his burger. It was strange to see him so quiet. I looked at him closely for the first time. His dark eyebrows in a perfect arch above his dark brown eyes (I m not sure if he wears lens). His thick hair as usual flopping and covering his forehead which he tried to pull back again and again. His sharp nose and his perfect jawline. If one sees him in the way he was right in front me, one would think of him as a mature and reliable guy. One look at his slender fingers carefully picking out the vegetables in the burger and placing it at the side of his plate, you know what you are dealing with! He looked up at me and once again smiled (does he think the whole clan of girls would fall for his smile?? I admit he was cute though!)
"Why do they call it chicken burger if half of it is stuffed with these ghaas phoos?" he said gesturing childishly at the dressings as if accusing them of coming on the burger and making it less delicious. I do the most unexpected thing! I laugh out aloud at his action.
"OMG OMG!! You laugh as well!!" He got hyper with his reactions.
I nod silently and listen to his blabbering. I notice that for the first time he was talking more about work than about me and him and unknowingly I join in the conversation. My phone beeped and I see that it is already 2! For last one hour I have been talking to him and my cheeks hurt due to all the smiling and laughing I had done. IT had to, considering the long period of rest it had got. He noticed my phone and remarked, "Hey I have the same model."
I just said, "Congrats" and even though I didn't think it was a great joke it set him rolling with laughter.
I finished my second cup of coffee and we returned to work. I noticed that for the first time he was wearing formals ( read proper formals with tie and all) to office.
I started my work and after sometime out of habit went into the gallery of my mobile. The image folder looked strange and the contents left me breathless. I get an anxiety attack of sorts (It hasn't happened for long) and I close my eyes and sit still till the turbulence has passed. I opened my eyes to see him smiling upon me
'Hey payal I think thats my cellphone you brought by mistake. Here is yours!"
I got up in a fit of rage and thrust his phone into his hands and grabbed my own phone.
I picked up my bag and rushed out of the office. Tears poured out of my eyes and I took in a quick smoke. My thoughts before hailing a cab were of resigning from this office..
Maithili & Pulkit
(to be continued next Wednesday)