The cold morning breeze has always been good to me, and today I needed it more than ever as I rode my royal Enfield to office. Its Valentine’s Day and I’ve not been having a great week with my wife because I have been busy. Busy with the clients of a new project and getting a model of the colony we intend to build. The idea I was working on blew both my boss and the client’s rep’s away. Today was the contract drafting and the finalising day for the deal. I was to give my final presentation to the clients who were coming from a different city.
So it was all ready and I would be able to wrap up my office work and face the love of my life. I took the liberty of ordering a beautiful bouquet of her favourite flowers (plumeria).I first saw her under a pagoda in a cafe, we had our first date there and under the same tree I asked her to marry me. We even become those cheesy people who bought a tree because it reminded us of our happy memories from the past.
I parked my bike and ran up stairs and got settled into my cubical, sorting all the paperwork and checked if all the agreement and contracts had been updated to the latest. I even went through all the slides of the presentations for any errors. I got out and met my team gave them a final briefing before the final hour. The clients were expected to arrive any time between 12 to 1pm. So I walked in to my boss’s office to inform him that we were ready. “Sir we’ve got the meeting hall, refreshments, screens and everything else ready. Is there anything else we should get in place? ”.
“That would be all Vijay, and I’ll just confirm the client’s arrival. By the way Vijay the restaurant you suggested was definitely worth trying”. I smiled. Pavan (my boss) then called up Isaac (the client), “Hello Sir. How are you this morning? ” and the conversation trailed off. I leave his office when I get a thumb up from him telling me it’s going to be show time soon. So I get back to my cubical and told the others about it.
My team leader Likitha and I went out for dinner last night. Over dinner she said, “Vijay it’s really nice to see you put together all of this with such professionalism, Pavan was quite impressed with your work and at this rate you will be at the top of your game in no time”. I grinned and took a bite of the fried momoms’ and told her “Wow these are amazing!”, and we had a pleasant conversation and a calm night after a really long time.
We all decided to have a quick lunch before the clients showed up since it was 12:45pm we assumed they would be up to the same. We all had a quick lunch and got prepped for the meeting and I even wore my lucky watch at least that was what Archana(my wife) kept calling that watch. I was all suited up like Barney Stinson would say, I walked up to the mirror looked at myself and announced “It’s going to be Legend wait for it dary meeting” and burst in to laughter. So I was prepared and ready to finish this deal, I walked out of the loo in a fresh outlook to finish this meeting.
That’s when I heard a crash from the meeting hall and ran in to the room. The model of the new colony we had designed for Isaac just crashed to the floor. I was devastated and I almost threw up my breakfast, but I pulled myself together because I didn’t have time to cry over spilled milk and big kids don’t “cry”. I took five minutes breathed in and out.
I knew the model is an essential part because it captured the true essence of our designs. I put my heart and soul to it so now I won’t let this be the end. I pulled myself together and pictured myself beating up a Giant fire-breathing dragon with nothing more than AAP’s broom.
I removed my navy blue jacket hung it on the chair and rolled my sleeves up because it was time to get this shit moving. Now for damage control I started analyzing the damage the model had been through, I helped the others put everything back onto the table. I realized the basic ground work was just been through very little damage just a little paper tare.
I started examining the buildings and houses in the model the villas had been worst struck by the crash and 2 out of the 10 villas were beyond repair. The others needed a paint touch up and a little quick sticking.
I got up took the model moved in to the second adjoining cabin and I just started working on each of the fine details. When the team volunteered to help me out I gave out everybody a job and then got on to renovating the two damaged villas.
I spoke to Pavan he confirmed to postpone or delay the meeting by an hour at the most and nothing more, he even sent them out to lunch. I got pizza, coke and chicken for my team. All of us worked our butts off, till we could make it presentable. We even added a few ponds and gardens and trees just to hide these marks.
All this hard work took me back to my college days where we spent hours late in to the night on college exams and presentations. The stress and pressure just made me miss her a lot more because in college it was her smile that got me going on my dull days. The trip down memory lane just rejuvenated my spirits and I got back to work.
As the hour or so flashed the Clients came in. I asked Likitha to take over, but she said “They are your clients, so go talk to them. We are almost done and I’ll wrap it up here and bring it”. I hugged her and said “Thank you so much Likitha, your just amazing and I guess the parking lot could use a few cars”, and I unrolled my sleeves put my jacket on and walked out like I owned the scene.
I was confident again, it was my game, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. So the worst is over and I have come out of it strong and steady, so let’s do this shit! I walked into the meeting hall and it all went like clockwork.
We came out of the hall cheerful, satisfied and relaxed from a tiring day. I knew the model didn’t jump from the display case and break so I needed to investigate it on my own. Pavan let us leave early it was nearly six; I guess he too had plans for valentines. I told them that I will lock up and leave, after everybody left I went into the security room and I watched the security tape from earlier.
I couldn’t believe what I saw, Likitha tipped over the model. I knew I had to deal with it but not now. Archana would be waiting for me in my parents’ farm house in Kolar a 107kms from where I stood. So I picked up my things dropped it on my table and left.
I picked the bouquet from the florist and a bottle of our favourite vodka and left. It was around seven when I left and reached nearly an hour later. I got down the bike and opened the squeaky gates which exposed me to the soft, warm and comfortable light from the garden. The bright blue lights from the ponds, the little two story house just brought back fond memories from my childhood and I was gushed with memories.
I parked my bike within the gate and slowly walked in, the house was softly lit the care takers lived in a building adjoining to this property but outside the compound giving us privacy. I still remember the first time me and Archana walked in to this property, it was just a couple of weeks after our wedding we spent a long week here our relationship reached a new level and our love blossomed like water lilies in summer.
Now I took the bottle and bouquet to the tomb stone that read ‘my loving and dear wife Archana 1985-2009’. In 2003 when we had started going out I found out Archana had cancer, but it wasn’t serious then and I said I don’t care. Doctors said everything would be until that fateful day in 2005 where cancer said enough sleep it’s time to come back. She fought hard and came out of radiotherapy and chemotherapy strong. She fought with all her might and she won the battle and would have won the war. But never did I expect the sneak attack from cancer again, but this time it made sure that it took her away from me forever. It caught her off guard when she was recovering from what I have been told is a miracle in its own way. But here with her I have and will spend the happiest and most painful moments of our lives. She will always be the Love of my life.
Kissing your soft lips on a rainy evening
Arms around your waist and toes standing,
My hands holding your pink cheek
Your seductive smile getting me drunk,
Your long legs intertwined in mine
Our love bloomed like lilies in Eden.