Updated: Feb 24
The sky was looking foggy and smudgy as always in the morning. I shoveled a toast down the throat, gulped my tea, and rushed outside.
It was not as crowded yet at the bus stop. Soon my office van was there to pick me up. I was relieved for not missing it; otherwise, it’s not easy to go by public transport and the taxi is an expensive choice.
The van’s windows were opened, but despite it is still 7 a.m., the air was not fresh, rather a dusty smell was prevailing in it to which most of us are used too, or never gave a damn. Winters were mild here, but ever since the air pollution, they were no longer enjoyable.
My colleague whom I always admired, and was always smiling, glanced at me and asked whether I had had any breakfast.
“Oh yes, I did”. I inquired her back about the kids, she got a phone call and the conversation didn’t last long. As the call ended she told me it was her teenage daughter who asked for some money which she forgot to leave it out for her.
We arrived at the office in around 30 minutes. I went to my floor biding an informal bye to her who worked on the other floor.
The day started and everybody got busy. As soon as my boss arrived, he asked for me to his office. He was promoted and transferred to this office recently. He always wore a striped shirt and used the gel on his hair. He must be in his mid-forties and usually looked vague and lost. He’s fine, punctual, and the one who had arranged office transport for the employees.
I went to his office. I was asked to grab a seat. He then inquired about my job and the like of other things. I gave him reassuring answers to which he seemed to be satisfied.
His office is fairly a big room but poorly ventilated. He was sitting on his outdated, revolving, leather, brown chair. In front of him were a huge desk and two chairs with armrests, at the opposite end. There is a three-seater sofa against the wall next to the door. The navy-blue curtains matched the sofa and the blue tiles of the floor.
He suddenly snapped me out of my thoughts, “How is your husband doing?”
“He’s great sir, he usually works the night shifts.”
“Oh, I see”, then he gave me a thorough look and continued, “this color suits you very much.”
“Thank you; it’s my husband’s favorite color too.” I reminded him.
“So”, he paused for a while, “you must know that today is Valentine’s Day. Do you?”
I was surprised by this unexpected question and before I could try to find reasonable words to make a meaningful sentence out of it, he forwarded me a small box and asked me to open it.
It was a velvety maroon box, and as I opened it, I saw a beautiful gold necklace tucked in a heart-shaped. I kept on looking at it for a moment and replied, “It is beautiful, who is this for, I think for your wife, is it?”
“Oh yes”, and a smile came on his face, he rather snatched the parcel out of my hands and asked me to leave.
I came out of the office perplexed. As I went to my desk, I forgot about it as clients started calling about insurance troubles.
I and my husband, Roy was married for quite a few years. We met at a party and then after two years of relationship he proposed. I am quite satisfied with my life, except when people didn’t believe that I was married because of my appearance. Fewer at times I enjoyed the notion but as more years went into the marriage, I found it awkward. Roy always expressed that women find it amusing to be ranked as younger or have a look of bachelor, and encouraged me to go with it.
The business ended on the lunch break. Me and my friend, who worked on the lower floor, always took lunch together and today was no exception.
Incidentally, I recalled the morning event with my boss and told her all about it. She went into deep thought at first and then revealed to me, which I will call a reminder, that her husband worked in the same place where our boss’s wife worked.
I seldom had a chance to see her husband, as we always meet in the van or at the lunch break and never been to each other’s house. Anyhow, she told me about the boss’s wife whatever she learned from her husband that most of the time she had to rush to school during working hours because of her kids’ troubles. Moreover, fewer times her husband had driven her to the school as she couldn’t find a taxi in time. For the first time, I also learned that our boss’s wife is the chief of her husband’s office. She told me that as her kids were in the same school so her husband had at times picked their children from school as well.
She went on about the “revelation” regarding the boss’s wife.
“She got three kids from her previous marriage and two from this. Her husband (our boss) too got 3 kids from his first marriage, so, it all makes 8 children in the same school”.
The conversation was, though one-sided, but interesting. I wanted to listen to more but our lunch break was only one hour. Due to the work, everything got out of my mind till the day was over at 4 and we got into the van and headed towards our homes.
I arrived to find that Roy had already been awake, showered, and cleaned the house and was now preparing afternoon tea.
While we were taking our tea, I reminded him about today as Valentine’s Day.
He looked at me interrogatively, “You never cared about all these days.”
“Hmm, yeah” and told him about today’s incident at my boss’s office and the conversation with my friend.
He laughed, “so your boss wanted to flirt with you?”
I grinned, “No, I don’t know, but maybe he just wanted to show me the necklace for my approval.”
“Thank heavens, he didn’t ask you to accompany him to the Jeweler’s.” He said laughingly.
He came near me and started kissing and caressing me; I began to melt like ice in his arms.
“Happy valentine’s day”, he whispered in my ears.
That night was a real Valentine’s Night, though my husband had to go for his night shift, I over-slept.
I woke up and quickly rushed to catch the van and thankfully I go there on time. As I arrived in the office, I was welcomed by a scene. Everybody else was watching, I joined the crowd.
An angry man was shouting at my boss, while the security people were trying to grab him out. He was struggling in their grip and was cursing at the top of his lungs. Suddenly, he freed himself and threw a velvety box on the glass of the office door. It split open and that same golden necklace popped out of it, which my boss showed to me the other day. Somehow, after doing this, that man relaxed and just walked out of the door towards the stairs with the security.
For a moment I stood there, but all of a sudden something struck me and I rushed to the lift. On the ground floor, I looked in the lobby and then suddenly caught the glimpse of his jacket and rushed out to catch him, as he was getting into his car.
I knocked at his window and he rolled it down, “Yes, can I help you?!”
“Well, as a matter of fact, you can.”
I introduced myself to him and asked him to have a cup of tea with me in a café right across my office. He looked at me for a while and got out of the car.
On my scrutiny, he opened up to me. The matter was simple, my boss was luring his girlfriend into his snare by showing his affection and showering some expensive gifts for nothing. His girlfriend got annoyed and told the boyfriend everything, the consequence of which I had just watched a few minutes ago.
I went back to the office; everybody was whispering to each other about the incident. I grabbed my desk and was trying to absorb the whole thing.
As I had a wonderful time yesterday with my husband, he also told me to stay away from my boss, as he thought he knew the kind.
I was listening to him when he said, “there are these men who can sniff the good relationships of people around them, which makes them jealous, especially if they are not enjoying such a connection. Even then, this type of bond makes them uncomfortable. They will try to ruin others’ standing of the affiliation by stealing something precious that they have. It can be a man or a woman, and in this case, as it is a man, he will always lure others’ women. He does not want you or some other woman for himself. He just can’t withstand what you and I or other couples have. He just wants to destroy that valuable and priceless link that mattered a lot to others. I am no expert, but they need help and should be looked into.”
He further added, “for the time being, people like you, me, and others who value their attachment and ties must identify such people and should be able to spot them.”
All these words were storming my mind, as to how right my husband was. I thought, maybe that was the best Valentine gift I ever had.