The Locked Doors – Continued

Sam frequently finds different doors in his house locked from the inside, without any reason. When the mystery unfolds, will Sam be able to take all that? Read on to find out.

Previous post:

https://justhokumhere.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/the-locked-doors/

He was running through the forest, veering and dodging the dense branches and trunks on his way. It was moonlit midnight. He looked back and saw the lights getting closer behind him. He must run faster, he must not get caught, they will come for him… he thought.

He got hit by an approaching branch and he lay flat on the ground, hearing the footsteps getting closer. Darkness slowly covered his vision.

A distant screech disturbed him and he opened his eyes. He stood up and jumped a few steps back in terror. He was standing on the edge of a mountain cliff. A step ahead and he would’ve fallen into a steep gorge. ‘How did I get here!’ he thought. He felt dizzy due to all this confusion.

He turned around and found himself falling towards the ground. The clouds were quickly rushing past him. He shouted for help and it all turned into darkness. He was flying into nothingness. He moved and felt nothing. He extended his arms, but reached on to nothing. Suddenly, a hand pulled him, a very warm and tight grip…

He woke up, panting and sweating. His head was pounding as if he was hit with something heavy, yet when he examined his head, there was no sign of any head injury or concussion. He dragged himself out of his bed and looked at the clock. It was Monday morning, December 18th.

He stressed his memory and could only remember his last day at work, Friday it was, a hard day, he had failed in a presentation, and Jenny had rejected… Wait! Slept for straight two days!

He walked, stumbled towards his bathroom. He grabbed the lock, and a sudden pain started to torture his head. He shouted and the pain disappeared. May be he fell sick or something, he thought, and went in for a hot shower.

He closed his eyes and took deep breaths to relax. A series of images flashed before him. His birthday party, his family, his dad’s retirement party, an evening when his mother was caressing his head while he was sleeping in her lap, his girlfriend, their first kiss, her body, their breakup, a weird set of eyes… He opened his eyes. Those eyes, those green big Bright eyes, were haunting.

A week had passed since his last two days straight nap. And he still couldn’t remember anything that would explain his stretched slumber.

On the weekend, his house broker visited him. A locksmith accompanied him and he inquired about broken locks in the house. A sudden burst of memories filled his head. Ache after ache, his pounding head started filling the gaps in his memory. He now remembered his last week and his struggle with the locks in the house. He remembered how things got out of his hands and he was forced to put hindrances all around the house to stop the doors from locking themselves. He remembered the Friday night, and the next morning, the mess spread in the house and those set of eyes. Those quirky, big, bright green eyes, staring right into his eyes, before he had been knocked out.

The internet flooded him with information, pages after pages, about hallucinations, schizophrenia, occipital, split personalities and all weird sorts of brain damage he might have. After the locks were cleared by locksmith’s examination and there was nothing that explained his recent experiences and those broken memories, those green eyes; the only sane explanation was that something was wrong with him. Probably he was taking too much tension of his work, his life; probably he was drinking too much, or may be he should stop taking those sleeping pills with his dinner as a dessert.

There were many explanations for his frenzy but not one that was convincing. He felt mad from inside but not at his fault. His mind wasn’t accepting this theory and constantly pointed towards some external angle, some external force who messed up with his head.

He pushed the front door of his house from outside, but didn’t go inside. He stayed out for a while, expecting something to happen. Nothing did. He walked in and locked the door, while slowly scanning the darkness inside the house. He stretched his hand to switch on the light but hesitated for what he might see.

Snap.

The lights filled the room and darkness vanished into the light, rather slowly than he could scientifically expect. He walked towards his room. The door was closed. He saw the knob, will it be locked, he thought. What might be waiting for him inside the room. What if that thing attacks him? He felt the cold knob in his hands for a while, took a deep breath and pressed the knob. It didn’t bulge. It was locked from the inside.

His heart beats were raised alarmingly. He was frightened deep down his nerves and sweat dripping from his forehead was blurring his vision. But he didn’t run away. He has to fight his fear. He knew none of this was true. It was all his imagination. The door wasn’t locked actually and he knew it. This will all go away if he fights against his mind’s tricks. He knew this because he had discussed this with his doctor. He just has to try again, press that knob again. This time it will open, he is sure.

Click.

The door unlocked easily as if it wasn’t locked at all. Relief drained out of his body in the form of sweat and he went directly to his bed. Just a few more days now. His strong fight against his imagination and the medication will surely give positive results. He went to sleep almost instantly. The drugs started their work, whatever it was.

Just besides his bedside table, the curtains were swayed back and forth by the wind coming from the open window. Nothing was visible outside the window or inside the room. The opposite apartment’s lights went on and a dark shadow appeared behind the curtains. It was half the height of Sam, and a little wider. The curtains took yet another flight and Sam could have seen the Green, round eyes if he had been awake.

The lights went off in the opposite apartment and the windows of Sam’s room closed themselves with a thud. The hatch locked itself and the green eyes disappeared behind the curtains, while the darkness took over in the room. The eyes were happy that Sam was slowly forgetting his memory of the Saturday morning. Soon they will be irretrievable. And soon this mess will be fixed. Just a little more wait…

… …

To be continued…

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Good Night

A story of a man staying as a paying guest with one family and the series of unfortunate events that turn out to be direful.

A

bus came rushing towards the withered bus stand and stopped with a jerk. After years, someone was climbing down at the station Bholgadh, a place one can not even find on any map. Mehaar climbed down the bus with his two big trunks. There were no seats at the bus stand, just a wall with cracks spread all over it like a wallpaper, and a shade over it, which no longer gave any shade due to its broken shape.

Mehaar was broke and had finally accepted his friend’s offer of staying at his place for some time till he gets back on track. So, he waited at that desolated place, away from the city, for his friend to come pick him up.

A rusty car came rushing out of the woods, and came to a halt, making a thud by slightly hitting the road sign-board. Mehaar greeted his friend, Kiaan, and got in to the car. The car moved along the narrow dirt track while wobbling along the bumps and potholes on the road, which kept Mehaar holding on to the dashboard. Mehaar looked sideways with dubiety on his face, to which Kiaan replied with a laughter. The bumpy ride gave them enough time to recall their past memories and laugh at them.

Kiaan’s house was a century old mansion, two-storeyed, damaged, but with a grand appearance. The front yard was filled with mud and dirt due to last night’s rain. There was no other building nearby the house. It was surrounded by tall trees, which had grown in a slipshod fashion. One could not extend the gaze past a few meters as the trees blocked the sight.

The car slipped a few meters in the mud before coming to a halt. Kiaan got down energetically, while Mehaar was cautious about his shoes and the mud. Kiaan got Mehaar’s luggage out of the car and welcomed him to see his family.

Kiaan’s mother greeted them as they entered the house. She was an old lady, who loved to read all day while sitting in her rocking chair. Kiaan’s wife, Sana, came out of her room and was disturbed to see Mehaar in her house. But she didn’t show her agitation and welcomed Mehaar to their house nonetheless. But she must talk about this with Kiaan afterwards, she thought.

Mehaar entered the house, looking in every direction, as if searching for someone. The house was as grand on the inside as was from the ourside. The entrance hall was huge and led way to the staircase going to the top floor, lined with several bedrooms and guest rooms. From the hall, separate corners led to the kitchen, the dining area and the backyard. Only dining area was within one’s visibility from the stairs.

Kiaan showed Mehaar to his room and left Mehaar to take some rest. All the while, Mehaar was thinking about whether it was a right decision to come to his friend’s house; after what had happened the last time he was here…

Sana was worried about Mehaar staying with them as she always found Mehaar eerie. She placed her clothes in the wrong direction while arranging her drawer, and should have gotten very upset about it. She had places and directions for all of her things and wanted them to be exactly the same. But this time, there were more pressing issues in her mind.

Kiaan lifted her from the behind and gave her his kind of romantic spin. She screamed in shock, which gave him a self-assuring pleasure. Kiaan threw her on bed and started unbuttoning her shirt, while slowly kissing her. Sana tried to take control of the situation, but Kiaan’s love was deluging her. Kiaan had just reached under her bra, when she got up with a serious face.

Sana shared her fears to Kiaan, who was listening to her quite keenly after being dropped from the action. Kiaan explained to her that he wished to help his friend in his difficult times. And he assured Sana that nothing could possibly go wrong.

Kiaan’s assurance was not assuring enough for Sana, as he didn’t know about the last time… They lapsed back to loving each other, but she anyway was not going to catch a wink that night.

The night was shiny; the stars twinkled more compared to the city nights. It reminded Mehaar of something from the past. He jerked his head to let go of those thoughts and started unpacking his trunks.

While Mehaar was busy, the door to his room opened slowly. Mehaar was unaware of this and was lost in his thoughts. Someone came in, closing the door behind. Those arms started making way towards Mehaar, ready to take the better of him. Mehaar, suspicious, turned in instinct, and grabbed those arms. But soon was balled over to find out who it was.

The past that he had moved on from, the memories that he had buried; it all came up again right in front of him.

To be continued…

An Unexpected Call

He approached a dead link, or so did he think; with no expectations in return. And he had almost forgotten about it, till he got that unexpected call…

… …

While swiping through the photos, either left or right, sometimes without even looking at the pics for more than a second, he tried hard to keep his eyes open. His vision was getting blurry due to the tears accumulating in his eyes. He had yawned for almost the same number as many profiles he had visited.

He had almost swiped the profile left, when his half-opened eyes were stretched fully open. His mouth was open and he couldn’t lift off the thumb from the touch screen. He slowly, carefully moved his thumb back to the centre and the profile was almost saved from being rejected.

He skimmed through the pictures in the profile and found them very interesting. It was a profile of a person from outside this country. In the bio, she had mentioned that she was here on a holiday. And except that the profile was ordinary. There wasn’t something exceptional, a beautiful display picture or a clever bio, just a plain simple profile. But he felt some different sort of pull towards her. As if he already knew her. Or maybe something else. But he wanted to talk to her.

She had mentioned profile ID from another social website where one could find her. He promptly opened the app and found her. Quickly, he sent her a message welcoming her to this country and inviting a casual chat.

And as soon as he had pressed the send button, he felt awkward. He shouldn’t have sent the message. She doesn’t even know him. She’s not even from this country. And she’s definitely gonna swipe him left. And the message! Such a loser… It doesn’t even sound right.

He had already imagined several scenes in his mind of her rejecting him, some very insulting. And with that depressing movie in his head, he went to sleep.

Next morning he woke up with the embarrassing incident flushed down his memory. He casually went to work and sank in to the huge pile of unreasonable deadlines and undervalued appreciation. The best he had expected for the day was to find a decent place to sit alone at lunch, beside a pillar so that no one can see him existing in this world.

His colleagues never gave a damn about his presence in the office. He was a shy, weird and truthful person, who didn’t believe in pleasing people or faking expressions. And as a result, he could never befriend anyone. Some even felt pity for him for being this lonely that he used to send instant messenger pings to himself. But then it was easy to make fun of him than to offer him their friendship.

He stretched his arms and legs, while his mail was being sent. His work for the day was done and he still had half a day to pass. Today he wasn’t in the mood of continuing with the online course material. So he opened up the social site for getting a glimpse or two of his friends and crushes.

He skimmed through the notifications, ignoring half of them. But a message from someone caught his eyes. It was from her, the profile that he had checked out last night. She had replied to his message. It has to be a hate reply, like a hate mail or a bad insult; the one that shatters every last bit of self-respect.

He opened it and read the message in one quick look. Then he took a deep breath and read it all again.

“Hey there… Yes, I’m on a holiday here and am traveling to different parts of this country. And I must say, your country is very beautiful. So much more than what I had expected.

Anyway, I’ll be going to some extreme points and might not be available over web after two days. Today, I’m here at <place>. Come meet me if you like.”

It was the first time that his casual comment or approach was taken as a casual talk and was responded with such casualness. Otherwise he had only expected her to block him or to report him as a probable stalker or even an online offender, so much for saying ‘hi’ he always thought. But this time it was different. He had probably made a new friend and he definitely wanted to meet her.

So he took an abrupt sick leave and drove some 100 miles to see her. He found her exactly at the location she had mentioned. They exchanged formal greetings and she invited him over a cup of coffee to a nearby café.

Over the cup of coffee, they had already exchanged a few years of history from each other’s lives and he had offered to show unexplored places around, which she won’t find in the tour guide she was carrying. She had cheerfully accepted his proposal.

He mailed a formal leave application to his office from then and there. And they started planning her last few days in the country, shortlisting places she might find interesting.

It was an instant involvement for the two. He hadn’t expected her to even reply to his message and she hadn’t expected this unknown message from a stranger to turn into a travel expedition with him.

The two selected the best places they could cover in the limited time available and left for the first place the very next day.

After they had seen the “must-visit” sites of the place, he suggested something different to make the memories more interesting for her. He suggested to make a story at each of the place they visit and to film it with them being the characters in the film. The story could be anything, comedy, drama, adventure or even romance. But the film that they would shoot will make it all more entertaining then a plain sightseeing experience.

She found his idea weird but thought to give it a try. And then at each place that they visited, they will together make some funny, clumsy story and try film it using the front facing camera. It was difficult than they had anticipated. They were no real actors and had no cinematographic skills. But nevertheless, they tried.

And the first one was so interesting and totally funny, they spent the whole night watching it on repeat, over a bottle of beer.

As soon as they got back to the network covering areas, she started posting their creative videos over social sites, and even tagged him in her posts. Her friends went crazy over her posts. But it was different in his case.

His friends were jealous of him either for his creativity, or for his travel expeditions, or just for the fact of him enjoying with her. Some even taunted him of finding someone out of his league. But he ignored all their reactions. He had already blocked all his friends from giving any comment on her posts.

Days passed quickly and soon it was time for her to return. They both knew this that their time together was limited and probably they were never gonna see each other again. But none of them ever thought about it once. They spent even the last minute they had together with frivolity and feeling of adventurous titillation.

At the airport, when she crossed the security check, she turned back to catch a last glimpse of him. Over the last few days, he had become the most precious part of her life, but a memory nonetheless as they lived in different countries. She couldn’t stop the tears from falling off of her beautiful brown eyes. But she was happy to have met him and have spent a quality time with him.

He watched her go towards the boarding gate, tears in her eyes. But he didn’t let her tears mirror in his eyes. He fought hard to keep his tears away. He acted their favourite Robot part from one of their stories and they smiled remembering the incident. It was probably the last time he was seeing her. But he was happy that this time someone actually saw his pure intentions without blaming him with their prejudiced assumptions.

The flight took off, leaving both of them in tears, and smile at the same time, as after so many years, they both had found selfless friendship in their lives.

The next day, it all went back to normal routine for both of them…

While a beautiful story had ended, rather a little bittersweet end, the story was definitely eating for them. A story, they wanted to write their own versions to.

Bonus: *Not so interesting though*

After a few months of online chats and video calls, she suddenly called him at night. He got up from his sleep and tried hitting the green button to pick up, but instead ended up hitting the red one. She thought that he must have fallen asleep, so she kept the phone down and postponed her plan to propose him. The next day, she quashed the idea altogether.

When she called, he waited for a few minutes, saying “hello” “hello” over the disconnected call, eventually dozing off, not knowing that she was having the same thoughts that he had started to have recently. But he had always ushered those thoughts away, presuming rejection due to their differences.

Later in the next year, he had gathered courage and had planned to propose to her on her birthday. He had a ring ready in the birthday cake he had baked for her. But when he wished her birthday over the video call, her friends never gave him a chance to get her undivided attention.

One night, while both of them were staring at each other’s profile picture, both of them together thought of confessing their love for each other. And they both started typing the the words, in a race to type first before the other person’s ‘typing’ indication changes. And they both ended up proposing each other at the same time.

Small Bites with Family: Balloon Volley

A series of funny and interesting incidents that happen with me and my family.

Find my other posts under the same tag:
#SmallBitesWithFamily

… …

It was my birthday the other day. And a balloon or two were spared from the audacity of the ferocious balloon-poppers. And I thanked God for that. You see, I don’t enjoy the usual enjoyments enjoyed by the jolly people of this world. I have my peculiar set of delectation, and they usually do not involve a lot of people.

I was looking at the balloon, and was thinking about how I would bask from this amazing little sport. I threw the balloon up towards the ceiling. The ceiling fan threw it back at me, taking help of Gravitational force, somehow trying to overpower me. I managed to catch it back and threw it again with greater force. This time it reached the ceiling. But this wasn’t fun.

So I sat there, balloon in my hand, quandary in my eyes. Just then my mother comes to my rescue. I don’t know what crossed my mind, but I just threw the balloon at her, to which she countered with an amazing smash. I managed to lift the balloon up with my long legs, and got the game going.

We continued playing balloon volley for almost half-an-hour. And there were moments of ecstasy, moments of walking on the air, while playing with Mom. We laughed, cried out in excitement of our great shot or shock of opponent’s great answer, we enjoyed that silly little game.

What could have been a millisecond worth of thrill by popping the balloon turned out to be a long, happy memory for me.

We got tired and eventually pulled the plug of the game in the middle. There were no scores kept, but only joy. The smile on her face was satisfying.

When life seems dull and dark, try to spread the light by burning the candles of hope… And remember to recycle them 😉

P.s.: In the evening, the kid next door came and marked his mark on the balloon. And I couldn’t do anything, but to watch him take away my treasure. Okay, I did annoy him by holding the balloon above his height, but that’s a different story. 😛

The Locked Doors

Sam frequently finds different doors in his house locked from the inside, without any reason. When the mystery unfolds, will Sam be able to take all that? Read on to find out.
… …

The alarm rang and Sam got up in a flash, as if he was waiting for it. It was a big day for him. After all, you don’t get called for an interview at the most reputed management school everyday! He rummaged through his drawers and ran for the bathroom. He pressed the door knob inside to open the door, however, he couldn’t press it. ‘Not again!!’ he had exclaimed.
He had moved to this place recently. His earlier apartment was on sale by the owner, so he had to terminate the lease agreement abruptly. But he was happy as he was compensated for the premature termination properly, which helped him lease out this bigger and better apartment. Every thing about this apartment was fancy, except for the door locks, which were tricky.
The bathroom door lock had no key hole on it. It could only be opened or closed from the inside. And he used to scratch his head, trying to remember if he had accidentally pressed the lock button before closing the bathroom door while coming out. But this had happened several times now, and it was definitely not him, but the faulty lock.
He ran in to the store room and got the tool box out. It took him more than an hour the first time he had picked on the lock from the outside. There was one small hole on the knob from where a wire and proper jolts could prick the door lock. Now, it took him hardly a few minutes to do away with that lock.
The door swung open and he was relieved to not be late for the interview.
Later that night, he was sitting in his balcony, listening to his favorite tunes on the radio. He loved the radio shows broadcasted at night, especially the scary stories in between the songs. The narration was good.
He got up abruptly. He had fallen asleep outside in the balcony. He walked to the French doors and pulled one of them, but they were locked. Damn! These sliding doors could be locked or unlocked only from inside the room. And from the balcony he had no way unlocking and sliding these doors open. He tried a few times but he knew it cannot be done. He had been in similar situation before when he had accidentally closed the sliding door from the outside. But this time he didn’t remember closing the door. But still, if the door’s closed, he must have done it, right?
He spent the whole night outside in the balcony. In the morning, the maid opened the door for him as she had a spare key for the house.
He slogged towards his room, half undressed already. It was a hard day for him, so many events turned against his fortune. He slapped his fist against the door to open it but got hurt badly. The door was locked from the inside. This time it made him furious. He shouted and swore in solitary and cursed the time he had decided to lease this house. He cursed himself for being so careless to leave door unhinged to the wall.
He slammed the door several times with his hands and shoulders, but it wouldn’t bulge. And he hadn’t learned to prick this lock, unlike key-less bathroom locks. And the key to this room was inside the room itself in his cupboard. So he had no other option. He knocked down the lock using a hammer and slouched on his bed in exasperation. He was on the verge of crying, but somehow, he stayed strong.
Some time later, he got up to go to the bathroom, but found the bathroom door locked. Extremely vexed, he broke all the locks inside his house with that hammer. Exhausted, he sat on the couch and fell asleep immediately. The temper actually helped him in letting it go.
In the morning, he woke up and walked towards the bathroom. He opened the lock and went inside, but then stopped in shock. The lock didn’t look at all as if it was slammed with a hammer a night before!
He checked on all the locks of the house, feeling helpless. How did the locks get repaired in a night, by themselves! And why were these doors getting locked from the inside without his intention? Something was seriously wrong with this house… His stupefaction was beyond the limit of normal tolerance.
The next day he offered the owner to take the lease back. The owner found no issues in any of the locks or any other part of the house for that matter. And Sam had no other option but to continue staying in the house, as he had already paid the lease in advance.
He checked on the Internet, but found no articles relevant to his problem. He had started to have sleepless nights. And the frequent lock malfunctions were killing him.
One day, he kept all the doors open and had put hindrances in between the locks and the door-frame. He had kept a close eye on all the doors in his house from the living room for the full day for something to happen. But nothing had happened. At last, he got tired and flaked out.
When he woke up, all the doors in the house were closed, and his obstructions were dispersed around in the room. He fumbled towards his bedroom door, turned the knob and pushed the door open. His eyes fell out to see what was inside his room. He was not alone in his house…
… …
To be continued…

The Bird – The Rotting Nest

A series of stories of a bird who leaves his parents’ nest and moves on to live his life in his own way.
After three years of staying away from his family, in a perfect new nest, with enough space and necessities nearby, he still felt caged. He could not love his life and was in a constant fight with his mind over leaving the Rotting nest.
… …

Previous posts under this series:
The Bird – Finding a Nest
The Bird – Missing Someone
“Flap them harder! HARDER! Make a rhythm with both the wings, make it… No! What ARE you doing!? Oh just flap them together, NOT ONE AFTER OTHER!!” father flapped his wings in choler.
Father was having a hard time teaching him how to fly. Earlier they just used to jump off the roof when they finally came off age, but now, there were new rules for baby birds’ rights or some rubbish, which required them to first practice flapping of wings on the ground before taking The big jump.
He was just not able to sync the flapping of wings, if one was proper, he would forget to move the other. If both worked together, there would not be enough thrust to lift him up. While his dad just wanted to throw him off the roof. According to him, he would eventually learn to fly if he is thrown into a near-death experience.
Mother finally agreed to mend the rules, and they both pushed him towards the edge of the balcony. He was just a twig away from falling towards the ground, when he ran off their reach, postponing the big jump. He started acting his fear of failure. He had to. Or else, they would know that he had already learned flying by himself, practicing at nights. Mother finally gave in to his tantrums and postponed it for a few suns.
He didn’t want them to know that he could fly, as then that would be his time to leave the parent’s place and make his own life. But over time, they persuaded him to take the big jump. And that winter, he had to leave their home in search of his new home. [LINK]
It has been six winters since. The bird had found a place of his own. He had set a daily routine for everyday. However, he missed someone in his life. [LINK] But over time, his search for a companion had taken a backseat, as some other matter concerned him more.
His routine had become like a saddle of his life. He had accepted it to be a part of his being. And he could not think of a proper life without it. Just like he didn’t want to leave his comfortable space at his parent’s place, he had fallen hooked to his current routine.
The nest that he had so warmly adorned had started to smell foul day after day. His mornings were dull and he hated going to sleep at night. He wished that if he didn’t sleep, he wouldn’t have to wake up to another desolate day. Poor thing loved to live in his dreams, but was afraid to wake up, for he knew his life was nothing like his dreams. And that gave him many sleepless nights these days.
Every night he would sit in his rotting nest, juggling the pathos for his situation. He wanted to go in search of a new life. He thought that finding a new nest would give him happiness, however, he was hard to please, and was harder to make happy.
He had lived a life of pretence for a spread-eagled time. Rather, acting his delusory self in front of others for so long had started to make him believe in his own phony. Being a lost and bemused soul, he could hardly make his own choice now. It was always about what others wanted from him.
But at times, things turned out to be unconcerned for others, as it purely mattered his own self. And that was the time he would fly back to his rotting nest, hoping it to turn fresh all by itself, adjusting bits and pieces, all futile efforts.
At night, when the moon light would fall on his pulverizing nest, he would fly out of it and look around his area. He would remember the time when he used to sneak out of his parent’s nest to practice his flying. His time now is similar to that time.
He closed his eyes while sitting on the topmost branch of the tree opposite to his nest. His last view was his dying nest and he hoped to open his eyes to a new picture. A dream ran in his eyes, a dream to live… To live again.

Almost a talk

A series of love stories which were almost…

Days of silence between the two of us was washed out on that day when we talked for the first time, well, it was almost a talk.

… …

‘Tick tock… tick tock…’ This was one of my favorite sounds in the office in those days. I am not talking about the clock, waiting to announce the end of day’s play for us all. I am talking about the sound made by her long flat heels when she walked around in the office.

Our office was otherwise very silent. The only sound that you could hear was of continuous keystrokes made by all the mechanical humans under the roof, trying to win an invisible race. And other sounds confined to the two and a half walls of respective cubicles. Neither the sound nor their feelings or wishes or dreams ever came out of the cubicles.

It all started as an annoyance for me. In the amazing peaceful silent office environment, all of a sudden, I heard a slowly increasing sound of someone’s heel thrashing the floor. There was a symmetry in the sound, it was almost musical. But it was a disturbance nevertheless to my attentive open-eyed sleep. So I got annoyed and looked above the walls of my cubicle, and things changed.

I saw her for the first time, though I had heard the sound of her heels several times before. My ears could make out the difference between other shoes and hers. Yet, I had never taken an effort to look at the person whom those shoes would carry. And that made all the difference in my office life. From the boring monotonous life inside my rat-hole (aka cubicle), things started to get interesting for me.

As my cubicle came on the way towards the rest and refreshment area, I could see everyone in the office at least once a day when they passed by me. And that was both a benefit and a distraction for me. And after getting to know about her, it became more of an addiction for me.

I used to hear the sound of those heels several times during the day. And out of those several times, many times she would be walking towards me. I would see her, peeking above the walls of my cubicle. From my otherwise slumped back posture, I would instantly sit straight and fix my table. Everything should be at its proper place…

This went on for several days, with awkward eye-contacts and look-aways, until that opportune moment when I actually had a chance to talk to her.

That day, I was coming back from the rest area myself and just at the time, she also came out from the door behind me. And we both were walking towards the door leading to the central walkway.

I don’t know what came to me, but I held the door out for her. She accepted my gesture gracefully, smiled and replied with a ‘thank you’. And my awkward response was inaudible even to my mind.

I went through after her and couldn’t stop staring at her hair dangling like a bell. After a few steps, she turned back and slowly looked around and then at me. She smiled again and walked away. I couldn’t be any more happier…

My friend saw all that and started teasing me for her. And I enjoyed myself for all that. But things don’t stay perfect for more than a moment, with me.

That evening and night went like I had conquered the world. I danced while walking, skipped steps, and would constantly hum some good tune. You could find me smiling without any reason. I wished with every broken piece of my heart that something would make out of this particular story.

A few days later, I couldn’t see her in the office. Probably she was late, probably she was on a leave, probably she was on a longer leave, probably she went to her hometown for a mini-vacation, probably on a longer vacation… My assurances to myself grew more and more unreasonable.

Soon I understood that she no longer worked at my location. Probably some other location or some other company, but I didn’t want to make assumptions any more. I knew I was never going to find out if there was some story at all in our little conversation.

There was a trend of wearing those heels at office, and whenever people would move past me with those heels, all the memories would bring back the pain in my heart with each tick-tock sound on the floor. But I was happy, at least it was almost a talk, unlike my other almost love stories…