[SpiceJet SPJ-872 Flying from Hyderabad to Chennai]
A gentleman in a blue checked shirt and black corduroy trousers was smiling at the little kid who was hiding its face in his mothers shoulder. The man was not someone outrageously handsome but there was something about his smile and subtle physique that mesmerized her just couple of years back.
She: So, you still like kids?
Her voice still had the pricking sense of familiarity and a weird confidence which was unbeatably sensual. He turned back; struck at her sight as if he had just seen a ghost from past, or rather she was actually a ghost of his past.
His eyes met her.
They were still as hypnotic as he had felt them to be a couple of years back. She still had that sarcastic smile as if she could read his self objecting thoughts before it flashed his mind.
He: You, Hi, what?
He could have avoided her, after all so many people fly every day, and these passengers who travel in the sky have this obnoxious behavior of acting smart and making small talks with every possible person.
[Oh! They are so courteous you see.]
She: Well, that woman in the lounge was quite pretty, lucky you huh!
He: Which woman?
She: I know you were quite forgetful but never knew you will be this fast at forgetting your own wife.
He: Oh she, oh yes, yes my wife, she came to see me off. You know how women are.
She: Yes, I know how women are and especially if they are with man like you who…………. well nothing.
He: 10F, my seat, bye.
She: 10 E my seat, bye, not so soon. We still have some 2hours 15 minutes before saying goodbyes
She laughed at the sadist fate which got her against him all over again. He involuntarily thanked god for letting her cross his path again. Life can be cynical at times, well most of the times and especially when you are thinking about settling down and doing away with the uncertainties, that is exactly when the table turns and you come across an enigma which is hard to forget.
They meet in the middle of autumn when she freshly graduated from Ohio State University and joined him as a management trainee to learn the art of investment. It started off as a regular boring super corporate, hypocritical boss intern relationship but even before their acquaintance grew a month old a different relation started to sow the seeds. Office affairs, casual sleepover, random fuck ups are so ordinary in this super strenuous world but this was somewhat not the regular one.
She was ambitious- blood thirsty ambitious, outstanding analytical skills throughout understanding of the market nuances she was something more than an intern. She had something to teach him, who was the shark of the Wall Street.
He was not handsome, or rather he did not fit in the clichéd definition of “handsome” . He was tall, he was dark, bit of an introvert, not possessing those drooling features that women die for. But she saw something in him which she couldn’t resist. She saw the luster, extreme sexuality in his husky highly regionally accented voice. While most girls do not drool over arrogant, introvert and confined men. She found it outrageously irresistible and realized that she has reached a stage where fantasying him has become involuntary. It was not a rough sexual attraction; it was more than that, at least for her.
She missed him while shopping with her girl friends.
He longed for a glance of her kohl clad eyes.
She always made a point and sat next to him in every regular meeting.
He made sure to see her leaving for the day every night through the big glass window of his cabin.
They texted each other for small little things and made the conversation long with small hints of compliment “I like the shirt you are wearing, black suits you though very corporatist but you look nice, accessible you know, oh! Pass me the stapler no”
He- Hey sure take it, can you come into my cabin and fetch it for yourself, I am kinda busy in here, and hey careful you will skid, the end of your sari is stuck in the chair”.
She smiled, He smiled back. It was beautiful. However destiny is really ruthless. It is murderous.
The fact that another woman waits for him every night in this apartment was an unavoidable reality. That woman loved him and he loved her back, at least before she came in. That woman in his apartment wore a stone in her figure which was a sign of his belonging to her forever.
She settled herself, her lips slightly twisted in a sarcastic smile. She enjoyed his discomfort, she was killer any day.
She: So, how’s things on you end? Have kids?
He: No, I am happily married.
She: Marriage and happy, wow congratulation, you have just redefined history.
She: You are happy right?
He: How was Stanford?
She: I am divorced, could not make it click with anyone, he was………….
He: Why did you move to HR, you were one hell of a Finance woman.
She: I never wanted a child and he started hating me for that. I was ready for adoption bu….
He: I read your article in Forbes, you writing has improved.
She: I am single now, looking for a career break, maybe I will visit Australia sometime.
He: Yes Australia is nice, you should go there, you will enjoy.
She : Are you really still in love with that lady , I mean be honest.
He: I will give you the contact of a travel agent, he organizes amazing trips.
She: You did not answer my question.
He: How is work? When is your new book coming?
She: I hate you for being such a jerk
He: I guess I will take a nap, totally tired.
He closed his eyes, plugged his silent IPod tried to push his thoughts far off in the mist. Hot and sweating in the AC luxury flight he was suffocating to death. Her presence was haunting, it always was, her questions, anxiety and attraction. Her watery eyes overflowed, she knew the answers just that she wanted to hear it from him. Just for once to be sure that she was right, right about everything. She wanted to confirm that it was not only business that she excelled in. Love was also her cup of tea.
Air Steward: Sir, you would you like to buy something?
He: I will have an apple juice.
Air Steward: And for madam.
She: I ….
He: She loved nachos, get them for her.
She looked at him; she knew it that very moment. She got all her answers. He closed her eyes, like a typical husband who goes back to slumber after fulfilling his duties towards his wife. She woke up to life, exhilarated at that moment of false reality. Exulted to have lived a moment of a life she wanted to live forever.
[“Spicejet-872 is getting ready to land in Chennai in a few minutes; passengers are requested to fasten their seat belts. Please switch off you electronic device………………………………..”]
The moment of being together was coming to an end, luckily to a good one. His hands touched hers while fastening the seat belts. They both were glowing at the pleasure of the moment.
[“Outside Temperature is 34 degrees, thanks for choosing Spicejet. This is a special announcement Dr Anamika Kher, you husband is waiting for you in terminal number 3 along with your child. We on behalf of Spice jet congratulate you on your 3rd Marriage anniversary.]
The words hit him harder than an arrow. He got it in that very second. He knew what just happened. He knew he failed in a game which he strived to win. He understood that she was a winner, she always was
He: Congratulations madam! You are seriously lucky to have your separated husband caring this much for you that to on your anniversary and surprisingly with a child. Goodbye Anamika, Glad we meet.Glad I got to know the real you.
She: [with a twisted smile], I never loved you Abhiman , I just wanted to make sure you loved me.
She smiled, shrugged took her handbag and walked away in glory.