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Amidst the calmness, sometimes, your heart gives you that ‘Something is gonna happen’ feeling. You look around and try to recall if something previously happened is troubling you now, but you realise there’s nothing to worry about.
Shrugging these thoughts off, Anika walked into the canteen and started to prepare the snacks for the day. Around 9:30 or something, Mrs Leena walked in and the lady looked annoyed, as always. But wait ! This time she wasn’t merely annoyed, she was scared and confused.
“Prepare an espresso as soon as possible and take it to the 35th floor to Mr. Oberoi’s cabin. And if you made any mistake I’ll throw you out.. No.. I’ll cut your salary.” Mrs. Leena barked her order at Anika, who ignored her rudeness the way she’s doing from last two days.
Mrs. Leena, on the other hand, wondered what could be the reason that the ever so perfect Mr. Oberoi who likes to prepare his espresso in his coffee machine, ordered coffee from the canteen ? Her staff was too careless and she just didn’t want to make the angry young man throw her her out of this office. So sending Anika was the safest option. Though, she showed herself as a tough boss but she knew that Anika was good in handling this canteen and a very nice girl, too. She wished if she had four or five more ‘Anikas’ who could manage the other two canteens as well.
Anika didn’t know how to prepare this ‘expresso’ that sounded more like a train as if in Rajdhani express. She laughed and then searched on the Internet to see how it is prepared. With one look at the recipee, she already started hating this Mr. Oberoi. The person who likes this expresso, is definitely a man with straw filled in his brain and a tongue as bitter as this coffee looked like. He must be like this cofee, black and bitter and.. ewww !
She carried the tray and took the lift to the 35th floor, that looked like a dinosaur’s den, a well designed den with grey and white theme. The corridor was empty, with no one in sight as if she had stepped into a world where there was no one but she. She noticed, unlike other floors of this office, this floor didn’t have any plants. Being a plant lover, she couldn’t stop herself from picturing him as a walking and talking ‘Desert’.
The cabin, was exactly what you can describe as a king’s court with the throne in the center of the cabin. Infront of the comfortable leather chair, was the mahogany desk with a laptop placed on it and a few files scattered all over it. Behind this throne was a book shelf. Books were something she was really fond of. It’s not wrong when someone says, a book can become a very good advisor and an even better friend, not that Gauri was any less, but a book won’t stop her from crying and she could let her heart out as much as she can and a book will never complain when her tears will fall over its pages.
She applied a break to her thoughts and looked around. To the right there was a black couch, similar to the one in the canteen and infront of it was a table. There was also a door that may be, she thought, opened into another cabin or a secret world. This man was surely obsessed with black.
To the left, there was a glass wall that opened into a balcony, giving a breath taking view of the sky and then a bit of the city below. The hustle and bustle going on in the city below, was exactly opposite to the silence in this cabin. This glass wall, this balcony and the dark cloudy sky reminded her of that cruel beast. She shook her head furiously as if to shake his thoughts away.
Once she examined the cabin and appreciated it and contrary to that, criticised it’s owner, she kept the coffee on the table infront of the couch.
Her hand was on the door knob when the other door opened and she turned around to look who it was. Her grip on the knob tightened on its own seeing the person she wanted to see the least. He looked exactly like she had always seen him, yet he looked different. He had those hazel eyes, but the look in them was soft and something else she couldn’t infer. His face wasn’t carrying that strict look with his jaws clenched, instead, he had his mouth slightly open as if he wanted to say something and to.. smile ?
But his feelings or his expressions were not what Anika wanted to know or think about. She was not in a state to think of something, let aside moving. Her hands and legs shaking and her heart skipping beats as if she was going to have a heart attack, atleast, if that happens, it will be better than facing him or facing his cruelty again.
She gathered some courage and turned to go but he was swift in stopping her. She didn’t look at his face but stared his hand on her hand that was on the knob. She pulled her hand away and stepped back, so as not to be in contact with him in any way. If it hurt him, she didn’t know and didn’t care even.
“Anika..” Shivaay took her name with a gentleness she had not experienced in years. She looked at him but that gentleness couldn’t remove the hatred she had in her heart and that reflected itself in her eyes.
She had so much to say, so much of hatred to show him, so much of anger to vent out, so much of frustration that if she vented out even one percent of it at him, he will be dead.
“Won’t you say anything, Anika, anything ? To make your heart light, to get your frustrations out, to make me beg infront of you for what I did to you ? Won’t you.. won’t you make me feel like something useless ?” Asked Shivaay, taking one step towards her as he said this and she moved as away from him as possible. As for the answers to his questions, she didn’t want to say anything. It was enough that she was already struggling to breathe in the same air as him.
“Atleast answer me, Anika. It’s getting unbearable. This... burden is too heavy for me.” The pain and helplessness in his voice forced her to pity him for a moment but that pity was washed away by the sudden jerk by her past to her mind. The softened look in her eyes disappeared almost as soon as it had appeared and she teared her gaze away from his face.
He turned around and then looked over his shoulder, at her, rubbing his palm in his face, as if to wipe out the frustration of not getting to hear her voice. How he wished she would push him and he falls down and then his misery would end. Easy to wish, hard to achieve ! The frustration was not about her silence, it was about his own insane mind. He was confused, whether he was happy because he was getting the pain the way she got, or he was actually frustrated ?
“My mistake was unforgivable, that’s why I’ve not even tried to apologise. But don’t you think I deserve a punishment. Anything.. any punishment that would release your anger, your pain, the hurt I caused you ? Don’t you want to make me realise that this is how it feels to be tortured ?” Shivaay’s pleas fell into deaf ears.
His eyes stared at hers and he searched for anger in those eyes. But all he found was emptiness. Neither there was that anger he saw when she had made them understand the importance of their mother, nor he found those tears of pain, or those gleams of happiness when she was with Gauri or those hopes to meet someone she loved. There was nothing. It was him who destroyed all of this, and this destruction seemed irreparable.
His phone rang at the wrong moment, because he saw her eyelids flicker and he spotted something there in those brown orbs. It was tiredness. Yes ! She was tired of hiding her emotions. She wanted him to take his eyes off her so that she could compose her inner self once again and get back to the pretence of this emptiness. He had a chance to make her heart light of its burdens. But damn his phone !
He didn’t want to see who it was, and broke the phone at once in pieces that wouldn’t be able to be picked up but dusted off with a broom only. He sat on the couch with his face hidden with his palms, to think of something better to convince her to talk, shout, scold or beat him, kick him or punch him or even kill him.
“I don’t want to do anything. Because I know, it will be a waste of time to be stressed about people who don’t even deserve to be in my lives.” He heard her say and then the door opened and closed as softly as she had said those words. He kept staring the spot where she was standing just a moment ago.
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