A messenger window was open on his screen. He had been sending her messages for an hour. There was no response from her. He remembered the expression on her face when he saw her in the morning. Blank. He could sense some tension, her mind was onto something. He had wanted to ask her what it was, but he had left her alone. Now he wished he had asked her.
Perhaps she was not at her seat. Perhaps she was in some call, or maybe in some meeting. Or she might have walked out to have a coffee. He tried to slow down the thoughts racing in his mind. He was trying to figure out where she might have gone or what might have happened. He always liked to know what was happening. Being unaware disturbed him. She had advised him to change. He tried, but after a while gave up and decided to leave it as it was. He was comfortable with it.
The music was flowing into his ears from his iPod. He was hearing one of her favourite songs, which was close to his heart too. He was worried, though. It had been some time since she messaged. Maybe he should check on her at her seat. If she was not replying even after so many messages, then she might not be alright. That was what he was thinking as he started down the steps from the seventh floor. He had to reach the ground floor and walk to a corner to be at her desk. One could see the greenery outside from there. It was always lovely to stand there and sip a hot of steaming hot coffee, watching the rain. He smiled at that thought.
The system was locked. She was not at her seat. Her bag and other belongings were there. Her phone was not to be seen anywhere. He took her extension and dialed her cell phone. It was ringing but there was no answer. He dialed thrice but there was still no answer. Her teammates didn’t know where she had gone. He was walking back when one of the security staff told him that she had walked out talking on the phone with some papers in her hand. He was puzzled. What papers did she have in her hand?
Again, why was he getting so worked up about it?
*** *** ***
She was walking fast towards the metro station. She had to catch a train as soon as possible. She was already late for her appointment. The papers she clutched close to her would decide something this day. This was not her first meeting. Every time she read the papers, it presented a different picture to her. She was apprehensive about what was coming. She saw three missed calls in her cell. That too, from her desk. He must have been there. She switched off her phone and put it in her bag. It was not the right time to talk. He would see through her excuses.
*** *** ***
It was a very quiet ride back home. She had anticipated a barrage of questions and an emotional outburst. But the way he behaved was not even remotely close. He chose to remain silent and cold, just like the way she would have responded. The silence spilled into the living room, and slowly crept into the kitchen too. This was too much for her. Then it happened. She spilled coffee onto the table, and what ensued was a riot of fury. He was in a fit of rage, and she soaked in the shouts, taunts and emotions. Finally she heaved a sigh of relief. Nothing was broken, everything inside the room was in the same place and his anger had subsided. After a relatively silent dinner and an apology, he went to sleep. She was familiar with this routine. She slowly entered his library room. With trembling fingers she placed the envelope and a note on his desk.
*** *** ***
He woke up late. She would have reached office already. He messaged her that he would be on leave, and proceeded to inform his manager too. With a cup of coffee in hand, he went into his library. It housed a decent collection of books, two desks, writing pads and a bin full of crushed paper. The ones he had discarded. She used to say he was too critical of his own work, and that his expectations from himself were too high. She pushed him to meet a publisher and bring out his book; not once, but many times. He was afraid of rejection. He had kept the papers safe in his vault, and it would remain there.
The envelope stood out on the table; pristine white, with a few letters in red. It read, “I’ve had enough”. He was always fond of her handwriting. The letters looked beautiful, but the words made him apprehensive. His rage always drove her to a corner, and he was apprehensive that she might have had enough. His heart raced as he opened the envelope, expecting the worst. Inside it was another envelope. With the symbol of a flying bird. His heart skipped a beat. She had played it around him. Inside the envelope there was a signed letter from the Editor-In-Chief of Falcon Inc. expressing the publisher’s interest in bringing out his book.
*** *** ***
He was not there when she came back from office. The white envelope was on the table. The letters in red that she had written were intact. She turned the envelope slowly to read the words scribbled in blue- “Thank You”.
And in smaller letters – “Not enough, Not yet”.