Story 22

She stood at the balcony, coffee mug in hand. It had just stopped raining and the smell of earth was still lingering in the air. She took a sip of hot coffee and took a deep breath, enjoying the cool air. She loved observing people walking on the street. The balcony railing was still wet because of the rains and her shirt was soaking wet at the elbows because she had rested them on the railing. The cold water seeping through the fabric of her shirt felt good. It was a good day overall. She was happy. It had rained after many days. She had ditched office and spent time alone at home doing absolutely nothing. It felt good for a change.

She took another sip of coffee as she saw a kid crying while his mother dragged him out of the toy store; the poor fellow had obviously not gotten what he had wanted. She saw a young girl walking along with her mother stealing glances at a guy across the street pretending to start his bike. She sensed a young love story.
She watched an old couple walking hand in hand, occasionally smiling at each other. She noticed seasoned love story.

Suddenly making up her mind, she rushed inside the house and came back with her iPod touch. She scrolled through the list of her favourite songs and played a specific one. As the words of “I Wanna Grow Old with You by Westlife” filled her senses she thought of him and that brought a smile to her lips. She took out her mobile from the jeans pocket and dialled his number. A frown appeared on her forehead as it went straight to voicemail.
“I miss you” she said after the beep and disconnected the call.
He was out of town for a conference and even though he made it a point to keep in touch with her; it had been two days she had not been able to get through. She pushed the disturbing thoughts aside and continued looking at the street. It had started to drizzle again, soon the view on the street would be blocked by umbrellas if it started to rain heavily. She finished her coffee and placed the mug on the nearby stool.

Her gaze fell on a couple riding a scooter; the woman holding on tightly to the man, too afraid to let the man go for either one of the two reasons - 1. The woman was scared for her dear life 2. The woman wanted to hold the man close.

She watched a few kids playing in the puddle recently formed on the side of the street. It started raining heavily. She rushed inside with the empty coffee mug and closed the balcony door but left the curtains open. She watched the rain through the glass. The first time he had brought her here he had opened the curtains and shown her the full length glass door opening on to a balcony. He knew she would love it. The look on her face explained everything. Then, she had rushed into his arms and kissed him.
She walked back to the bed and sat on it, running her hand over the pillow. His pillow. She remembered the first time they had made love in this house.
She checked her mobile, there was no response to her voicemail.

They had met at workplace. He worked at a sister company but he was sent by the parent company with a list. There were people who were going to get lucky and be promoted and there were people who were going to get unlucky and be asked to leave, the recession affect. Rumours were the sister companies were to be merged. She had hated him first. He was a monster who had just read out a few names, people who were meant to go and a few of them were her friends. She was one of the few who were promoted and that should have made her happy but it made her feel guilty and it was because of the monster who came bearing the news.
The merger brought them closer and they fell in love. She knew it was wrong but it was too late - she was already deeply in love with him. They could not work together if they disclosed that they were in a relationship so they decided to keep it a secret for a while until they figured out what to do. There was one more complication that needed taking care of.
She trusted him to take care of it.

The beep of her mobile brought her back to the present. He had texted her
“Hi. Conference was good. Attending to a personal matter. Will confirm our next meeting ASAP.”
She knew what the personal matter meant. She slid into bed and pulled up the covers.

She watched as the raindrops formed patterns on the glass door.
A single tear found its way out of the corner of her eye and got absorbed in the pillow and then many more followed and met with the same fate.
She hated having to wait. She visualized him attending to personal matter. She trusted him but she could not stop feeling lonely.
He was with his wife and she was alone staring at the patterns on the glass door of the balcony of the apartment he had bought for her.

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