A bad day turned bright

Hand in Hand – Chapter 4:

image

It was Wednesday afternoon and I was sitting by the window, sipping my favourite coffee made in that old coffee maker that I inherited from my mother which she got from granny. It gives an authentic aroma to the coffee that pulls me back to my childhood memories when I used to come home running to my granny who was a coffee adherent, our home always smelled of coffee. This coffee maker is one of those things I can never relinquish. Today I was in my blues so I skipped work .It is one of those days I don’t wish to be with anyone but myself. I am a deep thinker and an asocial, and I enjoy the cocoon of my small apartment. It was almost a month in Paris and I was home sick. Except for the time I spent with Eugene outside the office, everything here was so not happening. And until yesterday I was fine, but yesterday while leaving from work, I caught a sight of a girl, pretty much beautiful, kissing Eugene. It was a short kiss, but I won’t kiss a guy unless he wants to. And I felt sick, and I was neither willing to meet Eugene, nor in a state to go to work and face him.
Amidst my thought process I heard the thumping on my door and my thoughts abruptly halted; left me a little lost. I put down my coffee and walked towards the door. The moment I opened it, I was startled to see Eugene at the door. It was a weekday and I didn’t expect him to be here. His hair was a bit dishevelled and he was out of breath as if he had been jogging for a while. As per my etiquettes, I should be inviting him inside but frankly I was in no mood to be even with a guy whom I have a little crush on, the guy who probably has a girlfriend. The guy I am running away from. I unceremoniously ask him “How come you are here? You should be at work”.
He replies in disgruntled tone “So do you?”
I quickly realise I should be polite and say in a low polite voice “I am unwell and I informed Christine”
But seems I’ve disappointed him and he replies in a guttural way “Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I am your superior and not Christine”. And I know I have hit him on the wrong spot at a wrong day. Instead of going on with the conversation and step aside and wave my left arm in air to invite him. He enters without any other argument. I ask him casually like nothing happened “Would you like a glass of water?” and he nods. I walk to my water cooler and fill a glass of water. But when I turn, I find him inhaling the aroma of my coffee. I hand him the glass of water and our fingers slightly touch before he pulls the glass from my hand. I ignore any eye contact from him and look out of the window. He moved closer and stands beside me and said “What kind of coffee is this? I have never smelled something so strong and so..soothing”
“it’s just another coffee from my old coffee maker” it wasn’t anything that common but I didn’t want to brag about it, at least today.
“Can I have a cup if you don’t mind making me one?” he asked innocently.
“Yeah sure, give me a moment” and I rushed towards the table on which the coffee maker is placed. I picked one of the plain mugs, I have 15 mugs placed on the TV unit, and I love collecting mugs. While I was making coffee, he picked one of the minions with a higgledy-piggledy expression and said “Is this you?” with a smirk. I smiled and said “Yeah! Christy says I resemble a minion as my face is very expressive”. He picks one of the mugs and says “These are gifted or you collect?”
“The one I was drinking in, was gifted and the one with a monkey’s face too. The others I’ve collected”
“Oh seems it’s your hobby?”
“Yeah one of the hobbies”
“Ah what else are your hobbies?” he asked like he is interrogating me.
Instead of answering, I simply offer him the mug of coffee, and he clutched it and I cannot pull my fingers. I can feel the heat of the mug, and the warmth of his skin. He isn’t letting go off the grip and I don’t know how to react. I say “It tastes better when hot” and he lets go off my fingers. My palm has turned red from the exposure to heat of the mug, and I feel the burning sensation. I excuse myself and place my palm under the tap. When I return he asks “Are you alright?” and I can see his concern. “Yeah I am alright” and I smile. He places his mug beside mine and pulls my arm and turns it to have a look at my palm. He exclaims horrified “It’s so red”
I try to pull my arm back but he doesn’t let go and continues “I am so sorry Amelie, I was just pissed and.. and I am sorry”
“Hey it’s okay”
“What happened today, why didn’t you come to work?”
“Ah, I was feeling homesick”
“Oh, you could have called me up”
“Ahh..nooo, not that big a deal, frankly I am a bit tired of hearing French, skipping my meals because this area is residential and I have to walk 2 blocks to get to a good restaurant. And I am tired of not able to talk to anyone because well, no one speaks English”
“I do”
“Yeah, you do, but I can’t bug you all the time, and also you have plenty other work and other people in your life too”
“Yeah I know, I probably cannot understand how you feel being in a totally different country. Hmph..you wanna watch some movie and grab some good food?”
“I would love to, but today I am not much in my being”, and frankly I cannot be with him and not get affected by his charm.
“So let’s eat something at least?” and he asks very sweetly.
“How come you are not at work?” I ask out of the blue to get rid of the eating plan.
“My work was done, and I was worried about you, I called you 5 times, you didn’t answer me” and suddenly I felt good and a little embarrassed to ignore his calls, the only thought of he being worried about me was enough to make me blush.
“So are we going out, or you need some more convincing?”
“Yes, let me get ready”
“You better do it quick”
“5 minutes” and we both grin foolishly.
I wear my denim, white and gray striped T-Shirt, and my denim jacket. I had to change in my shower area, because he was in my room. I wear my sneakers sitting on my bed, and the moment I am done, he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door. I surge with him as if we are late for a flight. But his touch feels great.

He turned my blues to pinks.

Advertisements

Shattering of a heart

I had always thought it would not be difficult to forget you, atleast for a week from the day you walked off. The door banged when it closed after you left sharply, and the pain smack-dabbed right at the core of my heart. I thought I would do fine, I thought I can pull it off easily. How wrong was I? with every passing day, the hollow in my heart grew wider and the pain penetrated deeper. The room smelled of you, I could feel you in the air. The day passed in grief, and I weeped. The nights I struggled to put myself to sleep. I clamped my pillow and hugged it tight to fill the emptiness of my soul and make it alright. As I drift to sleep, I was happy again, because there I had you. My dreams were peaceful, and I didn’t wish to wake up.

That day at supermarket, when I saw you with her, I could hear the shattering of my heart in countless pieces. I knew I could never fix them together, and my vision blurred. If only you could see my love for you, you would have never left.

Weirdest Proposal

She opened her car’s door, got in, ignited the engine, and drove towards the shopping mall. It was pretty late in the evening but it was still a very hot day because it was summer. This year the summer was extremely hot and most of the young crowd went for vacations, so the old crowds were indoors and the streets were empty. As she took the right turn, she felt some movements in her rearview mirror, so she tried looking behind but couldn’t look properly as she was driving, and since the road was dark and deadly, she kept driving. But before she could reach a safe zone, an arm grabbed her mouth from behind and she panicked. Her stirring wheel went out of control, so did the car. He whispered beside her ear “Let’s not kill ourselves” and she felt numb. Instead of slowing down, she dashed her car on a wall.

Her heartbeats quickened, and she felt suffocated, he said in a heavy voice “Lady you could have killed us! That’s why I hate lady drivers” and she got the urge to bite his arm in anger, the most she hated was someone pointing her driving skills. He said in a cold voice “I’ve got knife, so shut up, as no one can hear you. Now I would pull off my arm from your mouth” and he did, but she couldn’t word her feelings, she was shut. He came and sat beside her, and said “Lady what’s your name?” but she couldn’t answer him, he repeated “What’s your name lady? Speak up” and she stammered “Ch-chriss-ty”, and he introduced himself pointing the knife at her “I am Stephen Clarke, from your college, and I really like you, so would you agree to come on a date with me?”

 

300 Words Story – For Daily Post – Flash Fiction writing

Poem – Losing a friend

My dear friend, don’t be afraid
I am here, you won’t be betrayed

With every beat, of my heart
I would always be at every start

Aware that friends, you have many
I am just another, for you not worth a penny

Walk away, from me you do
I can’t choose a path, different from you

For my love, you may not value
I can’t seem to find a way to beguile you

Precarious I am, on your wish
I cannot stand this anguish

One day, you may find me a necessity
I may not be disposed, you may be undesirable.

Hand in Hand – Chapter 3

LOST IN THE CITY

hands-of-couple-reaching-for-each-other-resize

I and Eugène Lapierre had been working on the same project since last 2 years. We chatted almost every weekday, via text/voice/video chats, I am the lead developer of this project and he is the IT head of LPA Systèmes which is our client. It was a work relation but we were always on friendly terms. It was the critical time as the Project deployment was appearing close, and I had to leave for France. It was only 20 days earlier to my departure when I was informed that I had to be in France for approximately 6months – 2 years for pre and post deployment support. I was in a rush, buying new clothes, shoes, and a new laptop because my laptop is an oldie and I don’t trust it. I have never been away from my home except for my vacations. I love my mom, and I am so used to the cocoon of her love that in like a week away I would feel homesick. Being pessimistic, I would assume I have to stay there for 2years, and I’ve no idea if I would get an opportunity to come home for Christmas. Or I would end up celebrating it in my room alone? **sighh**

So many questions, and I don’t see anything good in going there except for my experience of clientele. As of what I could remember what Eugène once told me, he is the only American (half American) in LPA Systèmes. And others hardly speak English, probably this is the reason only Eugène converses with us. And I’ve been informed I would reach France on 23rd October, and Eugène would be on a vacation, and would come back by first week of November. **OMG! What am I gonna say to the Parisian’s?? C’est? Oui? Je m’appalle Amelie? What if I need to go to the powder-room on first day and I don’t know where it is? Should I learn some sign language?? Yikes! This is so terrible. Why wasn’t I sent to England? Or New Zealand? Come on any English speaking country? Even India would have been fine since major people there speak in English. Like Sujata came to USA from India, I would have filled her place. God! I was never good at foreign languages. Probably carrying a piece of paper with basic French words would do, but I may end up making a fool of myself by pronouncing something bad or funnily **Oh-God-Why-is-French-not-pronounced-as-it’s-written? **. What about food? I would get burgers, wouldn’t I? Burgers are all over the world I am sure. Sujata said you can find burgers in India in almost all cities. So why wouldn’t France have. I was trying my best to convince myself, I had expected my mother to be all sad and disheartened but she was on the cloud nine. She says I am lucky to go Paris, it’s a city of love and lights. And I am like “Momm.. I am nont going on a vacation!!”

My US Airways Non-stop flight was at 4.45 PM (22nd October) from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Concourse B, it is an 8 hour journey but because of the time difference I should be in Paris by 7.00 AM. Mom, Dad and Christy came to drop me. I have stocked myself with my favorite chocolates and cookies as if they would last forever. Chris gifted me a minion collection with different expressions saying “One for every mood of yours” (Aww I loved them, she knows me so well). Mom gifted me a hand-made Photo collage book with pictures from the day I was born till date (oh I love them and I almost had tears in my eyes, she is a Do-It-Yourselfer and she did a very good job) and I embraced her tight in my arms. Dad sponsored my shopping what else do I expect? I purchased some branded outfits, bags, footwear, it has cost his pocket heavily. But I was surprised that he gifted me a “Living and Working in France” a Survival Handbook, by David Hampshire and I threw myself on him and wrapped him in a big tight hug and I was crying like a kid. ** Oh-I-so-love-my-Dad **

I get a window seat but I really am not excited. An old lady is seated beside me, and on a usual day I would have started a conversation with her but today I am controlling hard not to burst into tears because if I start I may cry forever. Somehow I manage to sleep through my journey by trying to think what all places I would visit in Paris. I reached at 6.55 AM (23rd October) on Paris Charles de Gaulle Apt on Terminal One and there is a mid-aged half bald man about 5.5″ (shorter than me) who later introduced himself as François Moreau, holding a sign bored with my name and DAMN IT! A spelling mistake in my last name? I mean really is it that difficult? It spelled “Amelie Sylvie” and it’s originally “Amelie Sylvia” and I don’t wish to change my name. *urghh*

I heave my baggages from cab to the lift (obviously Mr. Moreau didn’t bother to help). The room they provided me was on the second floor of the building named Devanley Résidence located at Les Pavillons Sous Bois (I am pretty sure if I am lost somewhere in Paris, I could never pronounce and reach back to my dorm), and by Public Transport it would take an hour for me to reach LPA Systèmes office (I so miss my old beetle). The room is small about 12×14, but pleasant and cozy with plain white walls. A queen sized bed with comfortable white bedding, small old wooden side table with a chest of drawers, a TV unit made of oak wood in the opposite wall of the bed that looks like that is some 1.5 feet tall, a wall mounted 14″ LCD with what? French channels, what would I understand? Later I would scan through and I am sure I can find few American channels. Small shower area with lavatory, it’s clean and I am relieved, because when I see dirty washrooms or lavatories, the first thing I do is throw up, and I have no intentions to spoil my first impression with this man. He greets me and speaks in broken English “Mademoiselle, youu resst n’ eet n’ sleeep, youu can eet at de restron on de ground flooor, I would peeck you tomoroo moorning at 7.00 AM, n’ I would teeke youu to de offeece, Au revoir ” (Fingers crossed. If not burgers or pizzas I at least want a pan cake).

Yeah after freshening up a bit, I was able to search few American TV channels like Fox, ABC, The CW, etc. I was hungry to the pit of my stomach and I start munching one of the chocolates I have got. I so wish I could get my Mom’s hand cooked bacon and a Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich. But in a worst case scenario, No mom’s food for 2 long years(Oh I hate it) I wear my jeans and my favorite tee that Chris and Me had purchased when we had participated in Twins Day at our office. Chris and I had been best of friends since our high school. We were selected in the same organization “Charles Brothers and Co.” after graduating from University of North Carolina in Charlotte. And I miss her, we are totally opposite, she is blond, I am brunette, she is all long legs, curves, sultry blue eyes and right complexion and I am big green eyes, pale skin, tall but not so beautifully curved, I can never manage growing long nails. But I love her, I can share all my stupid secrets with her and I am sure she won’t judge me, she is all girly and has helped me with the shopping. I started placing all my gifts on the TV unit below the LCD and tears clouded my vision and I go flat on bed, hug my Huggy-Bear (teddy bear that Mom had gifted me 4 years back), and cry till I dehydrate myself.

Because I am a girl who needs a hand to hold on to, and I feel I am lost in a new city.

Hand in Hand – Chapter 2

Hand in Hand – Chapter 2

images

After my first stroll on the streets of Paris, Eugène and I had our lunch at Brasserie de l’Isle Saint Louis, while we reach there I am starving since I had a granola bar in breakfast from the vending machine on my floor. Eugène says this restaurant is owned by a family since 1953, and they brew their own beer. It is a beautiful small restaurant, nary exceptional, but gives me a pleasant feeling. This is a kind of restaurant where the menu is written with chalk on a black writing board, where the lights are yellow colored. There are outdoor seating’s with small round table for two and wooden chairs with red seats and red rain/sun shelter, and indoor are those long tables, where I would love to come with my family or a bunch of friends, and laugh out loud, and have a good time. Now that it’s just the two of us, we sit in those outdoor chairs. This place has a warm ambience filled with the din of people bustling in, chattering and clinging glasses. A place I often enjoy my meals because I would not want to go in some elegant Parisian restaurant in this outfit. The sky is clear, the climate is cool and the temperature is 8°C, I could feel the chills deep in my hair follicles so I take my beige cardigan out of my bag and clad myself. Eugène seems to be comfortable in his long sleeved tee. The wind blows and dishevels our hair, there Eugène’s hair is mussed up and yet he looks like a beautiful boy, and my hair are all over my face. Eugène laughs with that boyish charm, and tells me, “Your hairr is all ruffled” and places his arms above his head and points his fingers in different directions like antlers. He has this peculiar accent where he stretches few words like those that have ‘r’ in them or gives the sound of ‘ah’ for ‘a’.

Me: “I know I look like a goon, I hate my hair”.

Eugène: “Naahh, rather you look cute like this”, while I am adjusting my hair he says “I like yourr hair, the waves, their colorr. I like brrunettes.” And I lower my face so my chin touches my throat and try to cover my cheeks with my hair, in a failed attempt to furtive my blushing.

Eugène: “You know this place has that good classic tastes in their meal, and I lurrvvee its Choucroute”

(I am oblivion to French food, as I never had much of French cuisine because I am a kind of person who doesn’t like to experiment with the food. I have my few favorites and I always stick to them.)

Me: “Alright, hope it’s not a sea food”. I feel stupid asking everything to him, but I don’t want to end up being served a fish head or octopus, and I would have to eat it to maintain my equilibrium.

Eugène: “Noo Choucroute garnie has sausages and other salted meats and charcuterie, and Potatoes.”

And I heave a sigh, because I was aww-Induced by his description of Choucroute and finally I would have a proper meal after 2 long weeks of feeding myself with croissants, baguettes, fruits, chocolates, cakes, granola which is not a very healthy diet and left me sweet tongued, and I have been craving for a proper meal with spices. In last 2 weeks countless are the times when I had wished if I were shifted to Thailand than France (unbeknownst of French cuisine, I am well aware of Thai cuisine and it is my favorite), until today morning when Eugène took me out for a tour.

We order 2 Choucroute garnies, 2 beers from their Brasserie, and the meal priced 50€ for two, cheap enough. While we were waiting for our meal, Eugène told me about the eateries near my dorm that is located at Les Pavillons Sous Bois and the type of meals I should order. A servile French lad comes in with our lunch and I hog on my meal as if not eaten well in weeks (that part is true). It really is delicious, for the kind of restaurant I am amazed that the food is sumptuous, the meat is in galore and is tender with a flavor of wine and tanginess of sauerkraut, and potatoes melt in my mouth with a flavor of parsley, bacon has its crispiness and I am in love with the food. I feel it’s only me and Choucroute and the surrounding is devoid and for a moment I forget that a beautiful French boy, Eugène is in front of me (probably staring at me). My meal dwindles while I eat when my stomach is happy I gradually come back to the reality, and finally give Eugène a glance and catch him staring at me and he has this lopsided grin on his face and he says, “I like it that you are not pretentious”, Wow.. Reeeaally! what a choice of words to say you are hogging and I suddenly feel self-conscious and cringe-worthy. He waves his hands in air as if to discard these feelings and I quickly flush them and give him my reviews on Choucroute. I can see the proud smile on his face. And not to forget the beer, mighty taste, although the balance is a little tilted toward sweetness (Which I prefer). Coconut, vanilla, rich caramel malt, long sweet bourbon barrel finish with lots of lingering coconut makes me feel fresh. There is a bare hint of bitterness at the end which for some reasons I liked, probably the food effect. While we were eating, we didn’t talk much, and once I happily obliterated Choucroute from my plate, I tried to pay but he didn’t let me, saying “Allow me maah lady” with a slight bow. I know he was being funny but I felt burning of my cheeks.

We head towards the Quai de Bourbon, assuming we are going to my dorm, while we are walking straight he again offered me his hand, and I take it without hesitation, without a question where we are going, like I am the putty in his hands, and I surmise that this journey has just began.

 

We walk to the Beginning of this journey of my life, Hand in Hand.