Pakhi parked the car at her usual spot. She had reached work earlier than usual. The elevator ride to the top floor took about a minute. People suddenly became aware of her passing through the aisles as she walked to her cabin. She was wearing a crisp black suit and a white shirt, her hair was pulled all the way back and tied high. Smiles and morning wishes made rounds. Her assistant fumbled with the papers in her hand as she spotted her. “Good morning Ms. Singh” she said “your coffee will be ready in a minute”
She tapped her shoulders and smiled.
Her cabin was designed by her best friend. It was made perfectly to her taste. A window that overlooked the city, an antique mahogany desk on which sat her modern gadgets, glass shelves lined with books and a leather couch. All the time she wasn’t travelling for work, she spent in her cabin.
She sat on chair looking out of the window, waiting for her coffee. The sky was glowing amber. It was an early onset of summer. She had missed her city. The last couple of months had been gruelling with meeting and events around the world. She was still jet lagged from the long flight that got her home last night.
A blinking red light on her phone caught her attention. It was a text from Zeb.
“Happy birthday Grampa” it read. She smiled as she replied back to her best friend with the same words.
She looked at the picture placed on side of her table. It was of an old man with silver hair, and two girls in summer dresses kissing his cheeks. The picture was taken on one of his birthdays. The girls travelled to his house in the hills every year so they could be with him on that day. She held the picture tightly as she thought of the house they spent their summers in. It was old as it was large. It looked like a Swiss chalet hidden in trees. The meadow at the back of it, was where they had spent endless afternoons chasing butterflies and listening to wind blowing through the grass. It was also where the old dog Mr.Rumpelstiltskin would chase them all day, then they would lie on the terrace all night making up shapes of the stars and share alien stories.
She sighed as she drifted back to the days she missed the most. Somewhere in between listening to Grampa’s stories and reading to him they had grown up. Mr. Rumpelstiltskin was buried in the meadow after a service they had held for him. The late night stargazing sessions ended in discussing crushes and romances. One summer after college Zeb had re decorated the house with Grampa’s help. The project had helped her get into one of the top design institute of the world. It had made him so proud. Pakhi remembered sitting on the ledge of the window that faced the forest in the front of the house. That was where she had written her first book. She was now a famous author and head of a department at a leading publication houses. Both the girls were living the dreams they had shared sitting over branches in the woods. The chase had taken them away from the place it all began. Pakhi missed the carefree days spent there, of reading in the shade while they wind played with her hair. She craved the sunshine that filtered through her straw hat on to her face.
Her reverie was interrupted by the knock on the door. Her assistant ushered herself in with coffee in one hand and her schedule for the day in the other. She looked surprised as she saw her boss packing up.
“Please push forward all my meetings to after the weekend” She said as she walked out of the cabin, smiling. By the time she reached the elevator she had typed a message to Zeb “Picking you up in 30” it said.
Even though the house was just a couple of hours away from the city, the girls hadn’t been there since Grampa had passed away. After what seemed like forever they stood there, looking at it glow on a hot summer afternoon, more alluring than it ever was. They took off their heels and walked bare feet onto the grass that lead to the back of the house. The branch they sat on and made plans of the future, stood exactly where it was. They sat on it reminiscing the times that made them what they are. Pakhi let her hair fall to her back as she shut her eyes, soaking it all in. She felt a tickle in her ear which made her open her eyes in a hurry. Zeb was holding a blade of grass in her hand and grinning.
“Dear Ms. Bestseller, heres to inform you that the last one to reach the house makes dinner” She said and started running towards the house. Pakhi smiled as she began chasing her.
They were finally home.