Life with you – Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

Stacey – Is it a start of new something?

Can you imagine how it feels when life becomes monotonous? When you have been working 5 days a week and even work brings no excitement? And the weekend is as lazy as it could get, staring blankly at the television screen, stuffing your mouth with all the junk left in your kitchen, because well, you don’t know what else to do? You wish to call your old friends, but end up discarding that very idea.
If you can imagine afore mentioned, you can relate to how I feel at the moment. I feel dull, mournful for no reason. If you ask someone else, they’ll say I should be more than happy, I’ve got pretty much everything I need, a job I always wanted, a well furnished apartment at New York city, my own new audi A8, that’s more than I probably could have ever thought I could have, but well, life is so monotonous these days, that I at times feel like I should just go on a vacation at the country side. I am almost as dull as I could ever be for the meeting I have with a delegate from our new client “Clintons & Masons”. I look at my own reflection in the full length mirror, and realise that I look as pale and lifeless as an old lady, I brush my cheeks with some more shade of pink, dab some more matt rose pink lipstick, and some frosted pink at the base of upper lip and top of lower lip, my trick to pump my lips. Apply some liquid eyeliner and mascara and stare at myself. My sea green eyes stand out on my face because of mascara, and I look more like a japanese anime with big eyes. My gray pencil cut skirt hugs my curves in a way that makes me smile, and the crisp white shirt looks just perfect and professional. I put on my 3″ black stilettos and hang my laptop bag on my right shoulder and leave my apartment. I get in my car and realise just how smooth this car is as compared to my old Bug that I drew for years where my legs were so cramped that this feels like freedom, and I just can’t help but appreciate every time I ride this car.

I get down and enter the Café Mocha on 23rd street. I scan the cafe to find a man in crisp white shirt, with hair still wet because of shower. His head is bowed and he is engrossed in his laptop screen. He has sharp nose, that holds the rimless spectacles in place, and he is rubbing his chin with his right hand’s index finger and thumb. He does look beautiful, probably the only beautiful client I have seen, as most of the clients or delegates I have met are of my Dad’s or Granddad’s age. As if he could feel my gaze, he pulls his face from his laptop’s screen and darts his dark blue eyes at me. And I don’t know how but I feel like I am a school girl, and have been caught staring at my crush. I feel my cheeks burn, and I gather all my courage and move ahead. I reach his table and I rub my palms on my skirt slowly to get rid of anxiety sweat on my palm, so he doesn’t notice what I am doing. I offer him my hand and introduce myself as “Stacy Maccow, on behalf of Charles Claim Adjusters”, he straightens himself, takes my hand, gives a lopsided smile and says “Chris FitzPatrick, pleased to meet you”. Even my pumps dont give me enough height and I have to angle my head upwards to look at him. I am 5.5″ and with pumps 5.8″, and he seems 6 foot at least.

He offers me to have a seat beside him so we can work on one laptop. The moment I sit, he shuts his laptop and I open my mine and start opening my PowerPoint presentation. He asks me if I need something and I say “Cappuccino please”. He walks toward the queue to order and I suppress my urge to stare at him and continue with running my presentation slides to make sure I don’t end up screwing up this meeting, which has a fat chance of happening if I keep up with this nonsense staring and drooling as if I haven’t seen a guy ever. It’s just that I have never worked with a client who is so young and charming and hot and sexy and.. urghhhh Stace, get a grip.

He comes back with our coffees and a complementary smile from him, and I melt there. Can I be any more stupid? I take a hot sip of my cappuccino and feel the tip of my tongue burn and go numb, and he stifles a laugh, My God! Give me strength to finish this meeting with no more embarrassment. I start with my presentation and when I am working I usually don’t get distracted. He nods a few times but stays straight faced the rest of the times. That’s unnerving but better than he smiling his dazzling smile. When I am done I give him a nod and say “Do you have any questions? ”
And there is that smirk, and he says “lots”. Lots? Lots in what context? Shut up Stace. Perhaps my confusion is visible on my face so he continues “I have few doubts and few questions myself but I would have to go through the details you just proposed and we can get back with this later?”
“Yes sure, let me and Mark know about when should we go through the next meeting, though I would be fine answering your questions through calls or emails”
“That would be great but I would prefer meeting. I would let you know of when I can get back to you. See you probably next week?”
“Sure thing”
We walk in silence to the door, give a nod since I am not sure how to make a friendly exit. I go straight to my office and my day is back to monotonous after that morning adventure. At least I am glad that it’s Friday today, else how am I to survive this whole week when I so want to meet him again? When would he call? Would he arrange a meeting on Monday? Or next Friday? Oh God! Help me.

Short Story – Come with me (Part 3)

After 15 minutes I received an email,

Dated: 1st March, 2014

Dear Miss Juliana DeThomas
Congratulations! We are pleased to confirm that you have been selected to work for Brown Constructions. We are delighted to make you the following job offer. The position we are offering is that of Assistant Architect at a salary of $12,000 per month. This position reports to the lead Architect and in few cases the Managing director. Your working hours will be based on the city you work in. This is a permanent position.  

Benefits Information is explained in detail in the attached file. We would like you to start work on 1st April, 2014 at 9.00 am. Please report to Mr. Michael Brooks, for documentation and orientation. If this date is not acceptable, please contact me immediately. Please sign the enclosed copy of this letter and return it to me by 5th March 2014, to indicate your acceptance of this offer. We are confident you will be able to make a significant contribution to the success of our Company and look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,
James McDonald
Human Resources
Brown Constructions

I immediately received a call from Stace, and she was again squeaking in her highest pitch, “Thank you so much Juel, you saved my job..I love you so damn much”
“Love you too Stace, tell me what happened? ”
“I received a call from Brown Brothers & Co. that my deal is finalized, and the deal which initially was meant to be of quarter of a million dollars, is now of 35 million dollars, and I am being promoted to be the lead Accountant of my firm. wooo hooooo” and she was screaming to the highest of decibels.
“Ok Stace, calm down, else you may pass out in mid of this call”
“Haha, not gonna happen”
I received a text and I checked, it was from Jonathan.
“Hey Stace, call you back in sometime, I need to text back”
“Aha..whose?”
“Jonathan’s, must be related to offer letter. Call you back”
“Sure thing, and I would come by noon tomorrow, so see you”
“See you, Bye”
“Buhbye”
And as I hung up, I read that text.

Dear Ms. Juliana,
I hope you received the offer letter, if you have any doubts or issues do feel free to ask. If you are content with everything, please sign it and email it back to all the recipients.

Jonathan.

********************************

Dear Mr. Jonathan,
Thank you so much for the offer letter and all the kindness, I am fully content with the offer letter and I would reply back by tomorrow, as I would need to print the letter and I do not own a printer.

Juliana.

********************************

I was expecting a reply, when I got his call, it was 5.30 pm and I was wondering wasn’t he supposed to be on his flight. I adjusted my voice, and answered.
“Hello Sir”
“Jonathan”
“Hi Jonathan”
“Hey Juel, I have few minutes before I need to rush to my flight, so I thought I better give you a call. You need not worry,  you can reply back to email for now, as of confirmation. Later, you can sign and send.”
“Oh, thank you”
“Also, we have sites in New York, and one in Australia, which I am inaugurating next weekend. Where would you like to work? ”
“Is it really my preference?”
“Ofcourse, but you may have to go to other places when required, but your primary location is your choice.”
“This decision would mainly depend upon the kind of work. If Australia has something extraordinary, I wouldn’t mind working there”
“That’s very pleasant response, I would let you know of the details of the site once you sign the letter, and I would expect you to include me in CC of your resignation letter. ”
“Yes Sure Sir, I definitely would”
“See you soon Juel, and talk to you later”
“See you, Have a safe journey”
“Thank you”
And we hung up, while his voice still lingering in my ears. He has this husky yet mellow voice, that makes me loose myself. I flushed at the thought of his eyes gazing at me. I immediately called Stace back to tell her what offer he gave me.
“Stace, Jonathan had let me choose my job location, isn’t it great,  I can even choose Australia”
“Juel, not that I want to distract you, but don’t you think he kind of likes you? ”
I flushed scarlet, and I was thanking God that Stace was not in front of me to see me blush this bad.
“Oh Shut up, don’t talk garbage”
“Yeah I may be talking shit, but come on, do you think he calls and texts his every employee? Thousands of employees? ”
“He does talks to you”
“No, only once he talked to me, rest I always communicated with his PA.”
“Hmph, I better not think this way, I would be joining for work, or should I not join? ”
“Hey babes, not changing your decision, I was just thinking in all directions, anyway maybe I am wrong, don’t think much”
“Yea Stace, I miss you, wish we could go out together, now that we both have such good news”
“I am coming tomorrow, we can party hard”
“Yeah see you, give my warm regards to Mrs. McCains”
“Sure will, bye love”
“bye”
And the rest of the day, I kept on thinking,  rereading the conversation. I still had doubts if I should join so I didn’t emailed back. It was a big day, and I went to bed early as I was exhausted with so much information processing.

Short Story – Come with me (Part 2)

By the time I reached my apartment, I had already recalled my meeting with Jonathan over and over. Was this really happening? Should I accept his job proposal? Should I call him? I was not in my senses, and I couldn’t call Stacey. She has already asked me to join his company. I needed someone to convince me to not to, else there was no way I can refuse. I know even if I join his company I would hardly see him, so it is not a bad idea if I join the Brown Constructions. He had something magnetic in his gaze that I feared; scared that I would fall for someone out of my league. So to clear my head from these thoughts, I called mom.
“Hey mom”
“Hi sweetheart, all fine?” Why is my mom so telepathic. “Yes Mom I am great, how’s Dad?”
“He is stuck to his TV, what else does he do on weekends, but yes he is fine. You tell me you sound low” Oh come on, I am not low.
“No Mom, all good, I am just confused. ”
“Over what?”
“I’ve got a job opportunity, not sure if I should go for it?”
“Where is it?”
“Brown Constructions”
“That’s a big organisation. Why are you not sure? Are they offering low?”
“No Mom, they are offering me double”
“Whoa! So what’s the deal? Sending you some far off site?”
“No Mom, I would most likely be in New York”
“Wow that’s great, so what’s bothering you sweetheart? ”
“Nothing Mom, I just feel I don’t deserve it”
“Sweetheart don’t weigh yourself low, you are way too talented”
“Thanks Mom, you helped me clear my head. Love you”
“Love you too my baby. Take care”
“You too” And we hung up. I felt better after talking to Mom, she asked me questions I wouldn’t ask myself. So I checked the time, it was 4.05 pm and I knew he would be leaving New York by 6 pm, so I confidently dialed the number printed on his Business Card. He answered after two full rings.
“Hello” His voice sounded so stern, I almost lost the volume of my voice. After a moment I replied, “Hi Sir, this is Juliana DeThomas”
“Oh Hi Juliana, seems you have made up your mind” And his voice mellowed.
“Yes Sir, I am ready to take up your offer. Thank you.”
“Great, so when can you join?”
“I would need to serve one month notice period in my current firm.”
“Can’t you join earlier? I may offer some bonus.” Oh God, what do I say?
“I would try to negotiate my notice terms, though I can’t be so sure about it.”
“So when would you put down your papers in your current firm?”
“Monday, but I would need some assurance from your end, an offer letter?”
“Sure, when can you meet me? I can give you your offer letter and salary breakup in next 30 minutes”. My Goodness, I can’t meet him now.
“Today? Can’t you email me?”
“Sure I can” And I felt a bubble of relief in my heart.
“So text me your current monthly pay and your email address”
“Sure Sir, Thank you again for everything.”
He replied with a chuckle “The pleasure is all mine” And we hung up. His last words echoed in my head. Not to over think everything, I flush his thoughts and type the text:

Sir,
My current monthly pay is $6000. My email address is ‘juel1804@gmail.com’

Thank you.
Juliana DeThomas

and sent him. His reply was prompt.

Miss,
Juel is a sweet nickname. And your pay now would be $12000 per month. Is that your birth date?

Your Sir.

Now this is awkward, but I got to reply him.

Jonathan,
Thank you for the compliment and the big raise. And yes it is my birth date.

Juliana DeThomas

*************************************
Juel,
You are most welcome. So in a month it’s your birthday.

Jonathan
*************************************

Jonathan,
Yes it’s my birthday in a month. Not a big deal.

Juliana
*************************************

Juel,
You’ll get your offer letter in like 20 minutes.

Jonathan
*************************************

Thank you.
Juliana.

And so I didn’t get any replies. I know there was nothing he can reply to my last message, nor did he mean anything, but I have already read our conversation zillionth time.

There was something wrong with me, but I was excited to work with such big a company,  and also with him.

Short Story – Come with me

It was a warm sunny Saturday, a much awaited weekend. I wanted to be home, sink in my couch, watch romantic movie marathon, and munch all the junkies left in the apartment. My roommate was at her mother’s in North Carolina, and the apartment was to myself. I was in my pajamas, didn’t take shower, prepared an egg sandwich with some hot coffee with my Mom’s gifted coffee maker. This was my ideal weekend, and everything was pleasant. I played my all time favourite movie “Titanic”, jumped on the couch and took a big bite of the sandwich and was relishing the taste when my phone rang. It was Stacey, with my mouthful I answered only to hear her screaming and blabbering “Oh my God..Oh my God..how can this happen to me..no man no..no no nooo”
“Calm down Stace..shhhh..calm yourself and tell me what’s wrong?”
“Juel..Remember the client I have been working on, Browns Brothers?”
“Yeah I do..what happened? ”
“He was supposed to meet me next week, but he called just now and said he is in New York, and asked if I can meet him in an hour, as he would be off to Australia for a month..” and I could hear her swearing.
“So can’t it wait for a month?”
“Juel..are you kidding me? I need to complete this in 2 weeks, or I am so dead. My boss has already warned me, that I better get this deal done. I am sooo screwed”
“Relax Stace.. there’s gotta be some solution. Can’t he meet you tonight? You’ll be back here in 8 hours.”
“Nope, he is leaving from New York by 6 in the evening, God I am so screwed”
“So nothing can be done?”
“Actually there is one solution”
“What?”
“If maybe you go there”
“Staceeee.. Have you lost your noggin mind? I am an architect, how am I supposed to understand what you Accountants do?”
“I have my reports ready, I would tell him you are on my behalf. Also while you are on your way, I’ll explain you few things”
“Nooo man, I can’t do it”
“Yea Ofcourse you won’t do it, let my dream job go off my palms, let me be jobless, it’s ok Juel, Talk to you later”
Yeah I know her, she’ll not cut the call, and I have to do it.
“Alright,  don’t be melodramatic, I’ll do it”
“Yayyyy..love you sooo much Juliana DeThomas, You are the best”
“Yeah now let me get ready, till then I’ll keep the call on loudspeaker, you tell me where is what, and what all things I need to take”
“Yeah first, wear something formal, your pencil cut skirt will be awesome”
“Hmpph”
“Don’t forget to put on some makeup.. Love you”
“Yeah fine, but I first need to shower”
“Oh come on Juel, what were you doing till now?”
“Well it was my weekend, that you damned, and you know I don’t shower on weekends I stay home”
“Alright sorry, you get shower, till then I’ll think of what you need to know”
After I came out, and called her, she listed all the things I need to carry, and she said “Jonathan Brown, MD in Brown Brothers & Co., belongs to an affluent family, his time is precious, he will not wait for more than half an hour, so you need to convince him in that time.”
“Stacee..I can’t do this, you may lose this opportunity because of me”
“I am anyway losing,  no harm in trying. Also I have faith in you”
“Alright, I hope things go well”
I took a cab to Café Brewers, and while in cab Stace explains me things I can say in a time frame of 30 minutes. When I reach there, she wishes me luck and says “He would be on our favourite seat as I  instructed Jeff” Well Jeff was our favourite coffee boy.
I kept my phone on silent, and moved ahead while I straighten my shoulders, and try to compose myself to meet a billionaire or at least a millionaire, not sure though. The man was in black suit and appeared to be young from his back posture. I went ahead and stood in front of him and our eyes locked. He was a young fellow, with black hair, deep green eyes, that you can see through, straight nose, thin lips. A very attractive man who was checking me out. Possibly I seemed out of place. I offered my hand, while introducing myself “Juliana DeThomas, on behalf of Stacey McCains”
“Jonathan Brown, from Brown Brothers & Co.” He had a crooked smile, with a firm grip. He kept looking at me, as if he could read my face and that made me more self conscious. He didn’t leave my hand and I was standing there, waiting for him to ungrip my arm. Finally he broke his grip and waved to have a seat and asked if I need something. I sat there uncomfortably trying to hide myself from his penetrating gaze and said I don’t need anything. I checked my watch to keep track of my time. it was 1.30 pm and I knew he would not bear me more than 15mins.
I started explaining him about the deal Stacey means to propose. He seemed amused by my blabbering, and I sounded funny to myself too. So ignoring his smirks, his glistening green eyes, his pretty face, his strong jaw; I kept on with what Stace had explained me. He didn’t ask me a thing, I wonder if it was good or bad, mayhap I was entertaining to him. Now I was done with whatever Stace explained me, but how do I end this? It was 2.15 pm now and he was still sitting there watching me.
“Thank you Sir for being kind enough to listen what I meant to convey, you can ask me anything you want, and I would try and explain to the best of my capabilities”
And I had zero capability in Accounts.
“Julian DeThomas, what do you do?”
“I am an Architect Sir”
“Really that’s good, how much experience you have?”
“I have 2 years of experience Sir”
“Can you show me any of your work?”
Is this my interview? If so I am not interested.
“Sure Sir”
And I type the URL of the website of the site under construction. I move my chair so I am beside him and show him the floorplans. He pulled the phone from my hands and our fingers brushed briefly. He zoomed the images and studied it for sometime. Then eyed me suspiciously.
“You really have made this?”
“Yes, not alone though. Sir”
“Stop suffixing your statements with ‘Sir'”
“Sorry Sir.. I mean Sorry”
“Alright, so would you like to work for my company? I would pay you double”
I was short of words, my throat went dry. I don’t know what to say. Frankly I know my work isn’t this great that I would be offered double, and my heart started beating unevenly and my words fell out of my mouth before I could hold them
“So Stacey’s Proposal is accepted? ”
“Yes only if you accept to work at my company”
What kind of frigging deal is that. I am not such great a resource. “Where is your company located? What am I gonna do there?”
“It’s in many states in US, and in England,  Australia, India, Japan. And you would construct buildings like what you do now. Not sure if you know but ours has Construction too. Brown Constructions? Have you heard of us?”
“No way.. It’s one of the top Construction companies in States”
“Thank you, So would you? ”
“Alright, mostly yes but I need to think, Please? ”
“Sure take your time, call me when you have made your decision” And he placed his Business card on the table. I took it and fanged it tight like my life is depended on it. I stood up, unable to control my flatter. He offered his hand and I took it, he gave me a light squeeze and I felt light headed, lost in the depth of his eyes, his lopsided smile.
And I left and walked as fast as I can to get away from his gaze. When I checked my watch it was 3 pm. I checked my phone, and there was 20 missed calls from Stace. I called her and told her everything. And she said “Juel accept the offer, you’ll get double and into this big a company. ” And yes I thought why not.
“Juel you there? if yes then should I inform him?”
“He gave me his number”
“Whoa! that’s a leap, is he into you Juel?”
“Oh come on! do not day dream, I need a lunch for this favour I did on you.”
“Anytime sweetheart”
We hung up..and I was lost in my thoughts.

A day when I wanted to watch movies and be home, I got a handsome job offer. What next?

P.S: Life is full of surprises, you never know when your life takes a different turn.

Short Story – Stella’s Dream Job

image

Stella have always been a great fan of thriller or suspense movies. As a kid, she always enacted those scenes where she would be a detective, solving some cryptic message, or following the Crime suspect or resolving some murder mystery. Her dream job was to be a CIA Agent, or some laid back private detective. Though what she was doing was being a cashier at a general store named Danville’s Cart. She hated her job, when her friends moved on with their further studies, she was stuck scanning bar codes, counting cash, swiping cards. She is a very happy and cheerful girl, but at this store she was always grumpy. She has already been ousted from 3 different jobs in a year. She always be in some whimsical world of her own. She is more interested in the mysteries, like according to her the old lady walking stick has diamonds, she is smuggling,  and no one but Stella can catch her. The fat lady and her skinny husband, they aren’t really couples, they are pretending to be one, to disguise, and they smuggle drugs in Cereal packs. For a 21 year old, her imaginations were fictitious, but it’s Stella, not an ordinary girl, she smells crime.

She was amidst her fantasy, when hubbub  spread over the store. She couldn’t really understand at first, but she saw a man running out of the story with a knife and some bag. Without a second thought she paced toward him, and while she was running she asked a fella “What’s the tumult about?”
“Her stole her purse, and injured her arm with knife”
“Call 911..” and she was off behind that theif. That theif ran off in his car, and she stopped a cab, commanded the driver “Follow that Car” (Oh that sounds so tantalising)
She was on the edge of her seat, and she had this wide smile on her face. She had never been so excited, it was her dream come true. She felt like a Cop, and she wanted to try her practiced karate moves on this theif.
She bribed the driver to speed up the cab, and he did. The universe was with her in fulfilling her dreams. It was her day. (I’ll refer to the theif as suspect) That’s what Stella mentally told herself. The suspect reached the end of the lane, and tried getting inside some frail building that probably is empty. Stella was scared but determined. It was her time to shine, to prove herself that she can accomplish her dreams. She handed the driver some extra cash, got down and rushed towards the building. She didn’t know where he went, and she tried to sense him. She was cautious but she was confident that she can handle the situation. She has watched plenty of thriller movies in English, Japanese,  French. She calmed herself down and breathed in to hear the voices. She heard some footsteps on the floor above. She carefully climbed the staircase to not make any sound. She heard some loud breathing and she knew, she can tackle this. She reached that empty floor, and he was there at the far end, pointing knife in her direction. He is a clumsy guy, with skinny body, messy hair, stubble on his jaw, sweaty forehead, and loud breathing. She casually and bravely walked closer to him.
“Lady! Closer you get to me, closer you are to death”
“Alright! I am not afraid”
“Don’t come closer or..or..I may kill you”
“Kill me I say”
He was now quivering. She was at a distance of 3 metres from him when she swirled around twice and in a nanosecond her foot was on his jaw, and the kick was so hard, that his mouth started bleeding a bit. He was on the floor by the jolt of her kick. His knife slided to a distance of 10 metres from him, and he struggled getting up when she kicked him on his nose with her knee. He dropped unconscious. She proudly picked the old lady’s purse, called 911 to inform them of the incidence. She was a hero now, and yes! this led to her admission in the New York Police department.

P.S. Life is too short to fear about failure, live your dreams, you would love your life more.

Short Story – The Unexpected

It was late evening, when I was rushing from my hotel to the Bus stand, for returning home. It was a 5 day business trip and I was totally exhausted. I reached the bus stand on time but the bus was an hour late. I passed my time by munching some snacks, sipping some coffee, and loitering around. I had some unusual conversations about politics (The hot topic) with total strangers at the Café. The bus arrived by 10 in the night. I needed some sleep as the next day I was expected to reach in the second half of the day, I had some good pending work and I would get no time to rest. I boarded the bus, and got the window semi-sleeper seat and had the next seat empty. I quickly dozed off, and the next moment at around 12 am I woke up by some elbow shoved on my arm. I woke up, brushed my eyes with my fingers and looked at that dark face. The lights were off and I couldn’t see much of that man’s face. He apologised in a husky voice for the accidental push and I just said it’s alright in a bugged manner and slept off. After some short while I was again pulled from my sleep by some tapping on my arm. I looked at him and I could see his face, he had this square jaw with dimpled chin, full lips, big brown eyes, thick eyebrows, and straight nose. He was standing and looking at me as if he was studying me. I quickly came to my senses and realised my hair would be a mess. I pulled my hair in a ponytail and raised an eyebrow questioning the reason for waking me up?
He understood and said “The bus has halted for some early morning breakfast and..”
I understood what he meant and I realised I need to pee. I thanked him and got down the bus behind him. I went to the washroom and came back to see him sipping coffee. I never liked travelling alone and I didn’t mind talking to my co-seater. I took some coffee, and grabbed a pack of potato chips. I stood beside him and smiled. He smiled back but didn’t say a word. It was 4.30 am and it was pretty dark out there, I finished my coffee and was about to get on the bus when he said from behind “Seems you get good sleep in bus”
and I was a bit embarrassed.
I turned and nodded, he smiled and continued “I can’t sleep in those seats”
I smiled and replied, “I know but I have had travelled a lot to get used to those seats.”
And without waiting for him to reply I got into the bus and sat on my seat. Soon he joined me and offered some cookies. I took one and offered him chips. He took few and we started feeding ourselves silently. I initiated the conversation saying “So you going back home or for some work?”
“Home, I was here for some work, you? ”
“Same here”
“What do you do?”
“I am a Sales Manager, and was here for some quotation work”
“Same here. Wow, so much common between us” and he now was smiling.
I now turned to rest my back on the glass window, and pulled my left leg on seat and was now facing him, watching intently. I now wondered if he is of some rival firm? I asked, “What sort of products do you deal with?”
“Furnishings, you?”
Thank god, he isn’t of my rival and I replied “Plastic, as raw material” and he smiled, as if he too felt some relief. We ate some and talked some more. I didn’t realise when we both dozed off, and when I woke up, he was gone, but there was a newspaper on the neighbouring seat with a name and contact number on it. I was now smiling for unknown reasons. His name is Josh, and I now realised we didn’t introduce ourselves. My stop was arriving, I grabbed my belongings and that newspaper, got down off the bus, took a cab and without a second thought dialed that number. A guy answered the call with the familiar sound, yes it’s him and I was grinning now. And after a second I said “Hey Josh” and he replied “I knew you would call” and then I said “Katherine it is, and see you at Town Café, on fourth block at 5?”
and he agreed. I was smiling all the while in that cab, I didn’t bother about my pending work, but I wanted to see him. I don’t know what’s in the future but I want to be his friend at the least and this journey gave me something unexpected.

Life is full of surprises, live it without expectations and life would give plenty of reasons to smile.

500 word story – A doll changed my Life

Image

 

One evening I was working on the fifth chapter of my book, when the doorbell rang. I hate being interrupted between my stories. I walk to the door, and find a delivery boy, holding a huge box. He hands me a Nextel device to sign, and I ask him to keep the box inside. I close the door and gaze at the box for several heartbeats. I look for some tag or a gift card on the box but found none. I take a deep steadying breath before heaving the box, only to realize it’s not as heavy as it appears. I place it on the study table beside the door, above the table on the wall is an antique vintage gold gilt wooden carved mirror made in 1684, which I purchased from Italy last year not only because the mirror was beautiful, but also there was something unfathomable about it. I notice that the box is fastened with a lot of tape. I get the knife from the kitchen and start snipping the box from the edges. Now I am intrigued to see what’s inside. When I open the box, I gasp and hop backward. There is a filthy old china doll, in dirty white gown with frills on the sleeves, and sky-blue under-gown. She has those dark eyes with mascara flowing down her cheeks, as if she had been weeping. Her hair is mussed up and she looks ghostly. Hoping it’s a poor prank by my friends, I gather all my courage and walk towards the doll, to search for some card or message, but couldn’t find any.

 


My eyes were pinned to that doll, maybe because I wanted to see if she animates. I was never good with dolls, and when I was a kid I always preferred cars over dolls. Dolls and clowns frightened me. People used to dub me as “Tomboy”, but seriously is it mandatory for a girl to be fond of dolls? As my thoughts started drifting to my childhood, I felt as if the doll was leering at me. I quickly discard this thought and studied the doll, and wondered if such dolls are made intentionally or if with years they become so appalling. Her eyes were scaring me off. I wonder why anyone would want to buy such a creepy object. I feel as if the distance between us is slowing diminishing, and I quickly verify if the table is stuck to the wall and I realize I am just hallucinating. But suddenly her left eye pops out and the lights go off. I hear a blast in the room and it goes pitch-black for a minute and I am completely lost. When I gain consciousness I see the doll in the mirror and the box has vanished. I see a note on the wall behind the doll, probably from the sender. I try to turn to read it, but I cannot move. Then I realize it’s me in the mirror.