On the pretext of seeing the painting, he approached her, the young girl understood his gesture, then she met him in another way. On the pretext of seeing the painting, he approached her, the girl understood his gesture, then she met him in another way

I didn’t want to be in the office at all. She didn’t come today. Time and time again, he just looked at the clock. Evening tea had arrived, ie will have to sit for another hour. Tea arrived at five o’clock. I wanted to leave an hour early, but the peon left with a file on my desk. There was a note on the file, ‘Urgent, needed now.’ After pulling out a couple of abuses from the boss in my mind, I started to settle the job.

At the end of the work, it was six o’clock. Come on, an hour has passed under this pretext. While holding the file to the boss, I decided to thank him for giving him the job at that time, but changed my mind after seeing the constant gloom on Khadoos Boss’ forehead. “Brother, no matter how much work you do, you are never happy,” this time I walked out of his cubicle, rounding my lips.

Quickly ran into the parking area. If it is late, the chances of being picked up by someone are reduced. Someone will go halfway. From there you will go on foot.

He’s on leave, I found out after seeing the red mark when signing the register. but why? Going to HR to ask that question meant answering a lot of questions and also sparking rumours. The whole day passed in anxiety to see him. Now I wanted to see it.

I knew his house. Jay, who worked in the accounting firm on the third floor, saw me and thought he would leave me. Along the way, I bought a box of cookies. That’s what she used to eat with tea at the office. A box of cookies still seemed to be on her table. Also bought the evening paper. Checked if there is a supplement with or not. Then I thought it would be best to call and find out if he’s home or not.

“I was passing by here, thought I was meeting you”, after thinking of many options, I thought it was fair to say that.

“Just home.” He answered in a lacy voice. There was no excitement, he heard about my arrival.

For a moment I was demoralized, then I rang the doorbell of apartment number 21 in the Midaj apartment. Many thoughts crossed my mind. ‘Anyway, I’ll tell him today. Would it be acceptable to say that today? If he comes to the office tomorrow, I’ll say so, but if he puts on a show there, then his respect will be tarnished. No, it would be better to say it here. We will only be two people, if she feels bad or says two or four things, then at least no one else will know. Can I really say?

He opened the door. There was no fatigue or annoyance on his face. Why did his voice on the phone sound like Alsai to me? I think in vain. I smiled and said ‘hello’. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. He had a brush in his hand. She was painting. The canvas was lying on the ground. She sat down with a cushion on the wall and asked me to sit down too. Instead of sitting on the couch, I sat next to him.

She was very comfortable. He didn’t ask me any formal questions. She painted while talking to me. I looked at him. I wanted to see everything. I knew how to go all day without him. Then common things started happening about what happened in the office and so on.

She said she wanted to finish the painting and so took time off from her duties. There was a girl in the painting, with shining eyes and calling someone with a wave of her hand. I started imagining it was the girl and she was calling me.

Embarrassed by my own thought, I handed the box of cookies over to him. She put the brush on the palette and started eating the cookies. I had also put the newspaper in my hand on the floor. He asked, “Didn’t you find time to read the newspaper at home or at the office you bring?” Are there any tensions?

“It takes forty-five minutes to get home by metro. In the meantime, I complete the sudoku. It’s nothing short of an addiction to me. The road is also cut off and the mind remains as tense as it is,” I smiled.

She laughed. The sparkle in his eyes was driving me crazy. I looked into his eyes. Maybe that’s how he can read my feelings. He saw it too. Then began to paint.

This time I looked at the painting more carefully. Slip something close to it. Her scent began to dissolve on my breath. His desk and mine were far apart in the office. I sat so close to him for the first time. I started giving some suggestions to increase the sequence of things. She was just listening. Seeing his enthusiasm, I thought I had to leave now. I wanted to stay though. It was starting to get dark. It was good to go there.

“Yes, you have to leave, otherwise you will be late to go home. And then on the way, you also have to do Sudoku,” he modeled the Soduku in the painting.

“Life is like Sudoku. An enigma, so I painted the thought. Even a girl with a painting is a headache.

She came to drop him off at the door. Then I held on for a long time until I came down the last step.

“See you tomorrow,” she said, shaking his hand. Fortunately, she will come to the office tomorrow. I wanted to go back up the stairs and tell him who had come to say that.

I was walking in the street. My hands were empty, my heart…I left it there. He was just beating. I got angry with myself. I knew I had missed such a great opportunity. The girl in the painting called by the gesture is me, I should have said so. I should have stopped waiting for him. Then suddenly I thought of something.

I texted him, “Looks like I left it at your house.” There you will have it.

His phone rang immediately. “Yeah, you forgot here. Wait, I’m going down with your newspaper, otherwise how are you going to do the Sudoku on the way?

“No, I wasn’t talking about the newspaper! He could have bought another one along the way too, I said almost teasingly.

This time, she had understood my signal. She immediately sent a message: “Yes, she is with me, I will save her for life.”

–Suman Bajpayee

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