An Alluring Reverie

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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.

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A Cabin in the Woods

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Arjun was having a regular day at work, long meetings, frantic calls, managing his team, making good for the mistakes they made at the same time stopping them from making new ones. He had done this for more than half a day, everyday for a long time. He had gone from having trouble buying his first tie to having a collection of the best ones in a short time.

His phone buzzed again, he looked at it while answering an email. “S calling” it said. He rejected the call. “will call her back” he made a mental note and continued with his mail. It took him less than a minute to forget all about it. Somewhere between discussing the final quotes for one of the overseas deal and ordering pizza for dinner his phone buzzed again. It was a message from S, “I have reached, what time do you land?”
“will take the last flight out, don’t wait up” He replied hurriedly.

A thousand miles away, Seher stood holding her coffee and looking out into nowhere. She was startled when her phone buzzed. The silence was too loud for her city ears. She read the message and smiled.

She picked up her book and walked out into the porch.

She didn’t mind being alone in the house. She loved every corner of it. It was far away from civilization, tucked into the forest. It was very tastefully decorated. The hall had book shelves all around with books neatly placed in them. The walls were lined with framed pictures that Arjun clicked. The kitchen was a small modern unit, with everything they needed. The bedroom had large windows, with white drapes on it. The bed took most of the place in the center of the room. On the wall behind the bed hung a picture titled “Seher”. It was one of the pictures Arjun was particularly fond of. He had captured the sunlight kissing her bare back at dawn.

They had first come to the place with friends from college, fell in love with it and continued to do so at every chance they got. They had bought the place a couple of years ago. The owner of the house was surprised at the unusual transaction. The deed was made in the name of two separate individuals. They weren’t related, dating, or even planning to get married. They even saw other people once a while. They worked and lived in different cities, spoke to each other when they got the time. They did not profess love for each other or claim togetherness for eternity.
They were just together.

It was 3 am by the time Arjun parked the car into the garage. He loved the chill that he felt as he dragged his bag into the doorway. He opened the door as silently as he could and locked it behind him.
The house smelled of Seher. He saw her lipstick mark on the coffee mug next to the sink, her jacket on the chair, her book on the counter. He couldn’t wait to see her. He climbed up the stairs taking his jacket off, then unbuttoning his shirt. He stood at the door looking at her sleep peacefully. He took his shirt off, slipped into bed from behind and put his arm around her.

She snuggled into it without opening her eyes.
“I missed you” he said
“I missed you too” she mumbled as he kissed her.

The cabin was the place where Arjun and Seher met once a year. They stole time from their schedules and lived a lifetime in seven days of togetherness.  They then went back into their worlds, only to come back again, the following year.

Cross posted from http://dailybluepill.com/