The story until now:
He met someone he did not expect to meet. And he was given a deadline. He knew there was no choice but to accept it. Which he did.The story continues.- - - - - -
He didn’t realise that he was standing.A few minutes must have passed, he thought to himself.He looked at his watch. Eleven thirty-five. Hmm, hardly a few minutes had passed. But he now knew what he had to do.
He stood up and walked out of the room.
The night was chilly. Only the foolhardy or the young could have dared to venture out.
He was neither. He was just a man bound to fate, following meekly in the footsteps of his destiny. And she had been a bitch. At least, that was what he thought.
He wrapped the trench coat tighter around himself and strode on.
He passed a tramp searcing for his dinner among the trash cans. And judging by the size of his loot, the exercise had not been fruitless. In fact it had been anything but fruitless. He stopped on the far side of the road for a few moments to savour the expression of delight on the tramp’s face.
Funny, he mused to himself, we give without realizing the joy of giving. And here I am, giving away something I would never dream of parting with…
He shook of the thoughts and some of the winter chill and strode on.
He tried to focus on the events of the day.
It had been a bizarre day, to say the least. Everything had gone perfectly well.
His office staff had been on time. His secretary had soprted all the letters correctly. The few calls he made to partners had gone suprisingly well and pleasant. Everything was surprisingly in tune, as if somebody was giving him a sign. Or may be it was his own cynicism, which he himself admitted, (in solitude, never in public) had grown unbearable of late.
By lunch time, things had settled to a fine smooth cruise, again, something he had not been accustomed to, of late. Bt he shrugged it off as a good day among the bad ones and concentrated on his tasks for the day.
And then things started to happen.
A precious Ming vase had fallen off the mantle-piece, apparently unaided. And yet, sa it fell, something (?) had miraculously swept a sheaf of papers underneath and it had landed softly.
The result: an unbroken vase and a messy office, with papers strewn around.
Then again, there was a note from his wife in his lunch box. There were two things about the lunch box that surprised him.
One was the note and the other was the Lunch box itself. In their twenty years of married life, he could never recall his wife sending him home-made lunch, much less, a note in his lunch.
Was it a coincidence? Or was it… He chose to shrug it off and opened the lunch box. The aroma that arose from the box was heavenly. And he began to wolf it down.
Once he had finished eating, he turned his attention towards the note. It bore the unmistakably simple, elegant writing of his wife. On the note were written four simple words, the fourth one being her signature.
Three words that they had uttered to each other countless time in the past and yet, in a way, left unspoken. Three words that had become a standard way of greeting farewell to each other – over the phone, while leaving for work…
And then suddenly, those three words had appeared as if out of nowhere, as if to remind him that she was there no matter what…
Wait a second, I am getting paranoid, he thought to himself. Nothing’s gonna happen to me.
And then he heard two simple words.
They were faint, as if in the distance. But they were there. Hanging in the silence, that had suddenly encompassed the entire of his being. Two simple words. Two words that defied his optimism and cynicism at the same time mocking him and showing him the truth behind his illusions of grandeur. Two words that brought the world down to its knees.
To be continued
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