She cursed the weather. She cursed the trains. She cursed her job and mainly her boss. She cursed the sun that rose and brought with it this awful day. She cursed some more while she waited at the platform for her train. She looked at her watch and changed her curses into prayers. It was a 25-minute train ride and the shop closed in 20 minutes. She might make it in time, she thought to herself.
In the train, she settled down in the corner and thought back to the day. It had been the worst day ever since she started working there. The project had been important to each one of the team members from the day of its inception. They had worked their asses off the past month. Her boss had made changes yesterday and those changes had brought along everyone’s downfall. They had spent the entire day in recovery mode. Tempers had been high. Motivation had been low. Much yelling and quarelling had followed too. The blame game was on. She had been under tremendous pressure since she went on leave the next day. Her anxiety levels had been sky-high through the day. She had an early morning train to catch tomorrow. She hadnt packed. And then there was this stop to the shop still pending.
The train halted suddenly and so did her thoughts. She looked out of the window. The rain lashed against the window making it impossible for her to see anything. She assumed it was the rain that was causing this sudden halt. She resisted glancing at her watch again. Instead, she made a mental list of things she had to do. She was going home after 6 months. It was especially a big deal since it was the festival time. Her mother had asked for one and only one thing. The sweets to be picked up. She had ordered them for the entire family – the entire extended family – all 20-odd of them. She had placed the order, asked for the special packing and all her daughter had to do was pick them up one day prior to her departure. As luck would have it, her daughter was stuck on a train while the shop neared its closing time.
As soon as the train reached the station, she flew out of it and ran outside. The shop was a 2 minute walk from the station and she covered the distance in under a minute. As the rain drenched her, she stood in front of the closed shutters of the shop. Her eyes tingled. She wasnt sure if she was crying, the rain probably mixing with her tears. Could the day get any worse, she wondered. She stood there for a couple of minutes. She couldnt move – it could be the exhaustion or the hopelessness of the situation, she wasnt sure. She had no idea how she would face her mother.
As she entered her flat, she thanked whoever had ordered the pizzas at work. At least she was fed. One less thing to do. She showered, changed and threw her clothes in her bag in record time. She had lost her enthusiasm for her trip back home. She was going to be empty-handed; where was the joy in that! As she fell on her bed, she sent a quick “gnite” sms to him. One less thing to do was talk to him. She had already spoken to him a couple of times during the day. He had called during the day – either to motivate her or calm her down. She had bitched to him about her boss, about her pending visit to the shop, about her early morning train.
Her phone rudely woke her up. She had been in deep sleep. She looked at the caller id and grumbled. As soon as she took the call, she cursed at him – didnt he know she had an awful day, she had an early train and she needed her sleep. “Yes, I know. I also know your flatmate wont appreciate me waking her up with the doorbell. So I called. Open the door. I am waiting outside.” She yanked the door open and asked him what he was thinking showing up like that. He threw his overnight bag inside the door. “You said early morning train so I thought it would be easier for me to drop you if I stayed the night here. And yes you didnt ask and you are capable of looking after yourself. But its at 4 am and I want to.” He turned his back at her and was lifting a parcel off the floor while her heart melted a little. He shoved a parcel inside the door and bent to pick another. She peered at the parcel and realised with a shock that it was from the shop. How?What? When? Huh? “Well, I figured with the rain and all, you might not make it so I picked up the parcels. You missed checking your sms’es again, didnt you?”
As she locked up, it sank in. It wasnt all about the fervour and the giddiness and the hyper-emotions. Sometimes, it happened with the smaller things. As she drifted into sleep while he read his latest crime fic, she realised that he had no idea what he had done and what it had meant. With a smile, she dreamt about her trip back home.
(To explain the absence/silence that is going to follow, the writer is going to be away from the cyber world for a while)