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One look at her and he knew she was a rag doll, a million shards of glass fixed together with something that was hardly visible – what held her together?
SHe intrigued him. He just did not know why he hired her. She was a mess. A clear mess. Deepika. Her eyes told it all – every broken shard shone in her deep eyes – blinding me into shock. What could have happened?
A heart break? He thought? Nope.. doesn’t look like. This is something much more deeper. He did ask her, “Have you ever loved someone?” And she just nodded. That’s it. Something about the way she fluttered her eyes made him feel that she could love deeply. As deep as her teary eyes.
But still, heart break wasn’t really what it seemed like. He had seen enough of life to know how many different faces this being called ‘grief’ wore. She was in grief. Yes. Absolute grief. That’s the right word. Grief.
Deep, dark, lonely, shrouded, NUMB.
A zombie. That’s what she had turned herself into. A zombie that knew only to work. Go back. Sleep. Get up. Come to work. Sleep. Nothing else. She hardly ate – and when she ate, it was tasteless crap, which she’d so sweetly share with me. Grief had turned her so numb that she couldn’t even make out the blandness of food.
WOuld you like to have coffee? Would you like to go out for coffee? I asked again, ensuring that she heard me. She looked up from her laptop. “Huh?? I don’t like coffee.” That’s it. This girl. This 30 something just turned a date into a coffee preference conversation. My Bloody Goodness!! She was either too smart or just too naive. Naive was a tall order – naive doesn’t exist these days. What was she?
All I knew was she worked – like hard labour. Effing hard labour. Tell her anything about the work she did, and she’d turn into this tigress – roaring and defending left right and center.
Something about her told me she could be trusted. Perhaps the mean gossip that went around about her ‘wierdness’ never reached her ears. Or if did, she perhaps didn’t care. Whatever it was, I could sense a flicker of respect for her. Unlike all other women of her age, she was just. A girl. Like a tiny tot that hides behind her mother’s sleeve – except that she hid behind her grief.
And she was determined to not let anyone shake her pieced up million shards up. It would have taken her ages – to pick up the pieces and walk tall again. I suddenly felt another sharp sting in the center of my heart. Protective?? Of course not!! I have seen enough. But the sting kept digging in and in – until it morphed itself into an arrow that pierced to the other side of my heart. I was confused.
It doesn’t really work that way. It doesn’t. But that sting was a growing desire to unbreak her. To peel off that pieced up skin to reveal a bright shining beauty that had retired some 5-6 years ago, I guessed, only to be proven correct later.
Deepika, he thought, somehow, I believe there would always be space for your hand in mine. “Give me your hand”, he said.
The lady doesn’t even turn her head!! She just gives a cross eyed look.
Phewwww. The Board Room fight was easier, I guess!!
Who does he think he is? Absolutely no sense of how to talk to a woman..!!
*back to her article
Do you think this is a paragraph from a Mills & Boon story?
Would you like to give him a name?
*Originally published 9th January 2016