The Last Page

Early morning winters never really inspired Kabir to do much. Waking up felt like a monumental task, made more difficult with the chronic back pain that he felt each time he attempted another new journey into a new day. With antique furniture pieces surrounding him, it seemed like Kabir was stoic, accepting whatever fate had in store for him, not really progressing or changing with the times. Sometimes when we don’t see the time to change, it can make us feel a lack of motivation to progress further on.

One particular area always caught Kabir’s eye the moment he woke and sat up on the edge of his bed each morning: the little study table by the corner. It was reminiscent of the old Colonial days where a neat pad lay with a fountain pen stand on a solid pine wood table, the ones where you could still smell the old pine, evidence of lasting in strength for many years despite all the moments of happiness, sadness, despair and endurance that went on in that room. Years of neglect and attention though meant that dust collected steadily; brown stains appeared on the once fresh crisp pages of the pad, the smell of new evaporating over the years. The lack of creases or folds in the corners  was further evidence that Kabir never attempted to lay hands on the pad.

While Kabir was only in his 40s, his movement across the room resembled that of an old man past his prime, wilting towards the time when he could finally call it a day and seek abode in the infinite consciousness of eternity. Such was the perceived misery of his life, the loss of pursuit of high dreams of being a well noted and published author.

Kabir grew up in a notable and recognized family of artistes and renowned scholars; his fondest memories were of those moments when he would sit in the open terraces of the fertile grounds of Punjab, the fresh air of crop fields, listening to the melodious readings of his Grandfather at their family home. His Grandfather was a voracious reader, a deep  intellectual and philosophical thinker, and always felt there was a special writer in his young Kabir.

There was always a beam in young Kabir’s eyes, paying that child like attention while listening to the words that emanated out of his Grandfather’s melodious voice, reciting old folklore stories; some of inspiration, some of a majesty that few were privileged to witness such as Kabir’s Grandfather.

But on this particular morning, like any other morning, recollecting those memories would be bitter sweet until Kabir realized where he was sitting now, this mundane routine of his life. While earlier there was a sadness, it had become an acceptance, an almost this is my life now approach for him.

Life sometimes takes us on journeys we least expect, perhaps unable to understand the emotions we will endure. For Kabir this journey started 10 years ago…

***

Kabir and Sukina, a couple that were  admired and envied both for their immense and deep love for each other, and for the beautiful young family they raised. Sukina, a young junior to Kabir in University, fell in love with Kabir’s extreme intelligence and poise. Handsome as well, but witty and charming, it was no surprise the effect Kabir had on Sukina. The attraction was immediate, and from there a deep bond was sealed in their undergraduate years. 

Both were ambitious, seeking fame and glory in the world of writing. The difference though was Sukina lived life with the flow, never really getting attached to what could be or become…Kabir had big dreams, even visions of being a notable bestseller and grand writer, sometimes becoming drunk in the imaginary success and wealth he would acquire once he would get there. Sometimes such wild imagination can lead us astray, resulting in our downfall, not realizing each of us perhaps has a different path or life purpose.

As Kabir and Sukina ultimately built their marriage and life, Kabir’s lack of finding a break for a writing career leading to stardom over the years ultimately made him question where his life was going. In many moments of frustration fights ensued between Sukina and him, before he turned to the bottle, hoping the numbness felt would dissipate the pain he bore deeply. 

Some pains are more ingrained over time, and Sukina had her own emotional pains while seeing how Kabir was slowly taking a treacherous path. After taking years of physical and emotional abuse from Kabir, Sukina felt the toll on her to the point where she finally asked Kabir for divorce. Kabir never really recovered from that moment in life, thinking all was lost until he became a recluse, only momentarily visiting his children, and building a life away from the society he once felt a big part of. 

***

Waking up this morning was different though. There was a yearning deep inside of Kabir. This yearning was unfathomable. He gazed again at the study, focusing intently on the dusty pad that lay exactly in the center where it had been, not having moved all the years. One treasure he always paid attention on was the fountain pen in the stand, an old gift given to him by one of his renowned mentors, a well known poet in his times. A gift Kabir truly cherished, and perhaps the one ornament he held dearly close to his heart in these years of being reclusive.

The morning was beginning to feel surreal, like the pen was calling out to him. The last time Kabir ever laid pen to paper to write creatively was all those years ago before that heart breaking moment with Sukina. Trying to write again always reminded him of that painful moment. Sometimes there are pivotal moments in life that become the triggers either for pursuit or decline, forging sometimes unforgiving paths.

And sometimes there is an epiphany, a call from within, or a Higher Source that offers us the chance for redemption, however small a step we take.

Kabir mustered himself, taking small steps, however painful his back was. He slowly progressed in the direction towards the study table. The calling urged him harder each step, encouraging him to move quicker. There was definitely something he wanted to get out…like a power that sometimes takes over when new vigor and ambition are seeking us.

Pulling out the chair, Kabir noticed the dust accumulation and swiftly wiped it off with his bare but rough palms, a symbol of the lack of attention paid to himself over the years. Not for a moment did he care; his attention was on THAT pen!

Sitting down, there was a feeling of comfort, but a different comfort he hadn’t felt in so long. He gazed briefly out towards the small window frame, looking out into the tiny garden now looking like a ghastly mess of shrubs. He had a hesitant laugh, but his attention soon turned to the pen…

A few minutes passed and Kabir seemed fixed in a trance, like sitting in his own deep meditation. His frail arm slowly lifted the pen…holding it felt right and slowly he began to write his first few words on the crispy brown paper. Perhaps this was the start of a new but brief chapter?

Like an artist in the zone,  he slowly moved into song, writing with poise and flow. This was his moment of redemption. Was it his Last Page though? One never knows when the ‘Last Page’ in life is, but every time when we don’t feel like turning over a new page, there is always some calling, some thing that always urges us to keep writing our stories, setting our destinies, however murky or dusty the road ahead seems!

Perhaps Kabir found his calling again, his new journey to unfold, maybe writing and leaving new stories for many of his future generations to listen to, just like his Grandfather made him listen to all those years ago!

Realizing this, Kabir ensured the Last Page was still a while to come.

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2017 

 

The Interview

Suit and tie ready, neatly pressed. Not a shred of loose fluff on the new outfit. That was how Michel, or Mike as he was nicknamed, was. Today was his big day, his big moment. As he shone his black Italian designer formal shoes he had bought at the weekend sale, he felt like a millionaire, a man on a mission to the big league. He was neatly shaved. He sprayed a whiff of his favourite Italian cologne (Mike was an Italian Immigrant, hence his fascination for Italian accessories). Although he was short, 5’6”, there was a handsomeness about him; a ‘movie star’ about to hit it in the big time.

Golden Enterprises was his target. It was a blue chip multinational conglomerate in the manufacturing, financial, and entertainment industries. Mike had followed its progress in the financial newspapers since his first year at college. It wasn’t just the lure of big money that he was attracted to, but the opportunity to work with his long time admired mentor, Sean Parker. Sean had risen from the ranks as an admin clerk to eventually buy into a 51% stake by the time he was 55. Mike always felt as similar to Sean: ambitious, confident, looking to always raise the stakes.

Mike looked at his Swartz watch – Time to go. He may have looked suave, but some aspects of his reality were still intact, going by the mismatch of his outdated watch with the expensive suit. I have to be on time. Mike was a sucker for punctuality. He reversed out his old Beetle, his favourite car. He didn’t really wanted to get rid of it, but success in the big league could change that soon. As he drove, he imagined entering a large office which smelled of the leather. The wide window would look out onto the Metropolis.  I just hope it goes well, don’t want to cock up this opportunity!

He arrived on time.  He relaxed for a little. As he entered the high rise building of Golden Enterprises, he noticed the polished marble walls and floors. The lobby area was large, and he was guided by the security at reception towards the lifts. “Mr. Parker is on the 51st floor; his secretary will meet you there” a smartly dressed security official said. Wow, 51 floors up! Mike’s vision of his own imaginary huge office dominated his thoughts during the lift ride.

The doors opened and he noticed how everything was in white. The floors and the whole reception area were just pristine white! He knew Sean was a hard taskmaster based on all the magazine interviews and articles he read about him. Mike knew what he was getting into, but this was his opportunity. A short lady dressed in a long beige dress with brunette hair greeted him with a Colgate smile. “You must be Michel?” “Yes mam, I am”. That sounded odd, greeting this young beauty with the address of Mam. The secretary led him to a large double pine wooden door. Pushing the door open, Michael took in the place he envisioned during his drive.  A glass desk stood in the center. Huge windows surrounded the room, the rays of the morning sunshine beamed through.

“Mr. Parker will be with you shortly, please have a seat here” as she pointed to a comfortable black leather reclining seat. Mike sat comfortably, the softness of the leather against his back.  A door opened and Sean entered from a side door. He seemed taller than Mike had imagined from magazine photos. Sean was dressed in a neat, slim fit Armani suit. He walked with a confidence that all successful CEOs exhibit when they know they are in a league of their own. Strands of grey hair were noticeable on the sides. The look appealed to Mike.

“Michel” Sean greeted in his baritone voice. Mike jumped up, raising his hand out for a handshake. “Yes, please call me Mike” he replied with a sense of nervousness. Stay calm dude, this is your moment was his immediate thought. Sean’s grip was strong, confident.

“Have a seat Michel”. No bother trying to correct him again. There was a look of focus and seriousness in Sean’s eyes. “So, you think you know a lot about Golden Enterprises?” Oh Boy! Mike thought this was going to be one of those testing interviews. Not the kind of start he imagined many nights before when he practiced his mock interview strategy. “Ummm, actually I have loved following the company and its successes over the years. I have been impressed with how you have managed to take it to another level, and I love the way you have risen up the ranks as the times have changed”. Mike tried forcing a grin. Sean didn’t seem impressed.  There was a blank stare from him…this was uncomfortable.

“What is it you liked about the way I rose up”, Sean shot back. “Well, I admire how tenacious you were, how you managed to hit back at your critics, the tenacity you showed even in the deepest moments of uncertainty.” Mike’s confidence returned, albeit briefly.  Sean turned in his King size chair, briefly looking out into the large window space behind. “Those bastards always wanted to get me. They thought I was a cocky arrogant fuck who didn’t know what it takes to rise. They underestimated me all the time. But you know what I had; do you really want to know what my secret to success was? I had balls, not just a bunch of small balls for whiney little shits, but big balls to take on all the fat fuckers out there who thought they knew it all.”

Mike sat back a bit. The heat of the moment had risen too much for comfort. He knew Sean had a reputation for a mouth that could go off, but didn’t really anticipate the interview starting off like this. “That’s why I have admired you sir, because you had the…” Mike hesitated before he was about to let out the B word that Sean so expressively used before… “Before you had the will to go on!” he completed.

Sean was silent. Was Mike beginning to win a bit of his attention? It was never going to be certain. Mike heard rumors of previous interviews where Sean was able to make grown men older than Mike cry. Mike was calm though, at least for that moment.

Sean flipped some papers, reading through at a frantic pace. He was looking at Mike’s resume. “Mark”, Sean mistakenly called out. “It’s Mike, Sir”. No apology. “Yes, so I want to know if you have the kind of balls I am talking about.” Shit Mike thought. He was thrown off by that statement. How could he keep pace with this, being able to answer comfortably, exuding the type of the confidence he would hope Sean would notice? After all, this was a man he admired, someone he wanted to impress. He didn’t want to be another one of Sean’s victims, ceremoniously dumped out of a hard to come by interview at Golden Enterprises.

There was a brief pause. Mike gathered his thoughts. Sean looked straight at him. Awkward! “Well sir, I like to take initiative. If I need to deliver at all costs, I will do so!” The response seemed standard, not one that made Sean sit up immediately to take notice. A slight laugh…maybe Mike was getting somewhere. “Deliver at all costs?” Sean looked at him quizzically. He leaned over with his arms folded and asked “What the hell does that mean?” DAMN. Mike felt his space being taken up…you idiot, that was definitely a shit response he thought.  “Sir, if it means the success of Golden Enterprises hinges on my actions I will do WHATEVER it takes!” Oh God. Did Mike give the proverbial promise, letting his soul being sold in the pursuit of corporate glory?

Sean leaned back again. “You know, this company is like my baby. Someone fucks it up, and I get mad!” Mike’s focus heightened. “I don’t need these techy, Ivy League fuckers coming in running the show.” Gees, was he thinking of Mike as one of those fuckers right now? Luckily, or so Mike thought, he was not afforded the luxury to be educated in the Ivy League system. Mike wanted to respond, but for the first time he was hesitant. Sean continued on, “You see, no one seems to have the street smartness or the ability to think for themselves these days. They all come out thinking they know it all, that the bloody Ivy name behind their names will help take them in leaps and bounds into places. Those shits don’t know what’s really out here in the real world.”

Such was corporate life. Mike always knew it. He laughed sometimes in school when he saw how all his peers imagined wildly how much of a roaring success they would become, little knowing how tough it really was. Here it was, being confirmed in the flesh, in front of a powerful and admired man Mike passionately followed, but at that moment was getting a whipping.

“Yes sir, I do know how tough the industry can be, never for a minute do I feel it can be easy. Despite that, I want to succeed, and I have a will that will help me to learn and move fast”. Sean seemed to have a slight grin. “I sense you are a little different from the lot. I’ve had many like you come in here, all shiny shoes and stuff, trying to make an impression”, he said. “You definitely seem to have something”. What’s this now? He was getting appreciation? “Thank you” is all Mike mustered as a response.

“I am not sure though you are quite a fit for Golden Enterprises”. Mike’s heart almost stopped. “Hmmm…nah I am not really sure…but let’s see can’t really say if I can make a decision.” Mike was stunned. Did his chance of getting to work with his future mentor vanish just like that? Sean got up and proceeded around the table towards Mike. Mike was lost. He felt like he was staring down a long dark tunnel. He seemed to have lost his sense of purpose.  He got up, this time providing a firmer handshake. The appeal of Sean Parker diminished.

“My secretary will guide you out”. The double pine door entrance opened with the sight of the short secretary Mike was welcomed by. Not even her beauty gave Mike a sense of hope. As he entered the lift, he went into a slump. How the hell did I blow that? That thought just seemed to ring with every beep as the floor indicator counted downwards. Did Mike just expect too much from the beginning? Surely he couldn’t be like those so called other little shits that Sean had such distaste for.

Minutes passed like hours. He didn’t know whether he wanted to cry, have a drink or just go shout out like a mad man in an open area. The confident Mike just seemed to have disappeared. As he walked towards his Beetle, his mobile rang. What now? Mike’s annoyance was not hard to miss.

A soft, familiar voice was on the other line. “Michel, please can you come back up, Mr. Parker has called for you”. Mike stopped short in his tracks? He wondered. A chance of redemption the least of his expectations. 10 minutes later and he was back at the double pine door entrance to the offices of the same man whom moments before he thought was a real prick. As he entered, he saw the tall figure of Sean Parker standing behind his desk. Sean stared for what seemed like an eternity. “Let’s talk” he said as he motioned to Mike to come over.

Mike underestimated the real Sean Parker. Sean loved to play the odd game during his interview process. It was his way of testing how interviewees reacted in such tense and awkward situations. Experience taught him that he could see the real personality of a person through such situations. At the same time, Sean followed his instinct. It was telling him Mike was different. Sometimes our instincts are so strong that we naturally incline towards them.

In contrast, Mike thought he was lucky. He wasn’t lucky; he showed a sense of composure that was rare among previous peers that interviewed with Sean. Mike had been through such situations before. What always made him stand out was his ability to come back, even from the hardest knocks. This moment was the least he expected to return from. But such is life, that sometimes our tenacity takes us over and helps we to achieve what we least expected.

A few years later, as Mike became successful in his Golden Enterprises career, he reflected on the interview and the key moments that helped him get in. He learnt that tenacity and instinct can go hand in hand, sometimes bringing out an unseen potential that people least expected of themselves.

It’s a rainy and gloomy day, but the insight and reflection made Mike smile …His front office door opened; it was time to run his interview, time to bring in a new mentee. This was his chance to play the role of Sean Parker, but this time on his own terms.

 

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The Devil’s Eye

The early morning waking hit him. He searched for his toothbrush among the rubble of toothpaste, eye drops and his razor,. Mark’s eye lids slowly raised as he reached for his toothbrush. A moment of blindness. Deep down he was dazed, confused by what he thought he had seen the night before. The simple task of brushing teeth was difficult as he tried to gather his thoughts and make sense of what had happened.

“Honeeeeyyy” Judy, his beautiful wife of 3 years, called . “Are you awake?” Mark  was nervous and not sure whether he should respond, his fear telling. He wondered, what’s wrong with me.   The bathroom opened. Mark  jumped in fright.   He regained his balance and noticed the natural serenity of Judy’s face. She smiled and proceeded to hug and kiss him. Mark was reluctant, and gave  her a quick warm hug. Judy did not sense for a moment anything was wrong.

He walked down the steps to the  kitchen, and opened the fridge. He searched for something that could consume his present misery. He was wheezy and nauseous. Do I really want to eat? He couldn’t make up his mind. Just then the sound of Judy coming down the steps stopped him mid track. Nervously he said “Honey, do you want an omelet?” Judy smiled –  a surprise that her man wanted to cook so early in the morning for her. Truth was, he was in a panic, not sure how best to address the situation with normal conversation. He was still thinking about last night. “Aw hun, that would be lovely thanks!”  Judy gushed with happiness. Mark breathed a sigh of relief.  The distraction of cooking a supposedly continental style omelet for Judy gave him space. Still, he felt anxious.

He picked up the  eggs, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. One egg drops down, splatter all over, a sign he was tense and awkward . He cleaned up. He looked around the kitchen, and the  cutting knife caught his attention. He stared for a while…was it? What was he was really seeing? Blood! Snap out of it Mark. He reached for the wooden grip. The knife had the same cleanliness as yesterday. He had imagined the blood.  He was afraid… But why ? He had the knife, he had control…but his peripheral vision kept seeing Judy’s smile. He worried as she watched him snap down with every cut on the vegetables.

For a brief moment Mark was amazed at out how well his omelets turned out –  a sense of perfection in this environment of tension. This was the only perfection and he was grateful for at the moment. He started thinking of those scenes where one picks up a knife in a battle of rage. The sight of blood appeared again. Judy picked  up the letter opener. He stumbled as he jumped with fright. That jump of fright again. “What’s wrong honey, you don’t seem yourself?” “ Oh just feeling a little under the weather angel” Mark said. “What are you doing with that?  Judy laughed at his remark before answering with surprise, “opening letters?” Judy looked at Mark with concern. She had not seen Mark with such jumpiness and aloofness  for a long time. Not since their first date when his initial shyness had attracted her. Mark’s frustration was  building . Angel, I need to get out for a while.” Judy looked at him wide eyed, “But you just said you are not feeling that well?”Judy was curious now. She wondered why Mark was saying this. Did he just want to be alone she wondered?  Oh Man! He thought, I can’t be next to her right now.

He was confused and his tension built and continued. He threw himself on the couch and reached for the remote.

Suddenly Judy snapped “OK, let’s just talk, leave the TV Mark”. Mark wondered, whatever in this god damn world did she want to talk about? He was not much of a talker, and last night had made him even less so. His thoughts continued to whirl around it. Could it be? Could it be what he really saw?

“Oh come on angel, it’s been ages since I caught up with any of the sport”, he said in a loud tone. “Dammit Mark, we haven’t talked about planning for kids!”

What??! Now she wants to talk about the kids, at this very moment? This was hell for Mark. Kids were the last thing on his mind for now, let alone for a few years to come. “What is it with these women and this talk on kids” mumbled Mark. “What was that honey?” Judy asked “Oh I was saying kids huh” Mark laughed. “Yes, having kids honey. You know how important it is to me”. “I do my angel, but we need to think about us first, the money, the renovations, all of these things that will take a toll on us”. “Fine, suit yourself” Judy said in disappointment. Phew! Mark was relieved again. Judy left the room without another word.

Mark ran for his laptop. He typed furiously, searching for a missing clue. What was he searching for? He typed ‘funny eyes¸ red devil’. His brain was fuzzy. Could it really be what he had seen? He hoped Judy would take her sweet time doing whatever it was that preoccupied her.  He didn’t want her finding out what he was up to. He found no real clues, just a host of mumbo-jumbo articles on various topics related to the occult and other sinister groups.

He walked up and down at a frantic pace in the study, trying to put 2 and 2 together. Was his imagination really just playing with him? Or was he watching too much of the horror stuff on cable lately?  Mark occasionally delved into it when he was bored. It never troubled him that he engaged in this. But last night was something different. Something that he could have sworn made his heart skip a beat.

Judy came back down, all refreshed from a long dip in the tub. Mark was still scruffy. He looked and felt  worn out. She touched his cheek. He shuddered inside. “Mark love, I think you should just stay in today, have some honey with green tea and sleep it off” Judy said. He starred at the ticking second hand on his antique clock. The moving hand moved slowly in what seemed an eternity, while he waited for that moment when Judy would pick up her car keys and drive off for her regular girlfriends outing. When are you leaving woman was what he wanted to shout out! “OK honey, I think you are right, I’ll sleep it off”. Judy smiled and gave Mark a quick hug, dropped a parting kiss on the top of his head, before turning to pick up her keys. He breathed more slowly now, hoping that being alone at home for the day would help him make sense of what was really going on.

As Judy turned to look back, she smiled the smile Mark knew so well. Judy looked up to the crystal clear blue sky with cotton cloud formations. There it was…the red gaze, the red circle in HER eye!  Here she was, beautiful Judy, departing with the Devil’s Eye!

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The Sleeping Giant

There was a pause…a fleeting moment he did not want to escape from. It finally happened! They say you take in all the joy you can at the very moment because you never know where that next moment will come from. He paused again, then gazed at her; he managed a smile, one that was different from his shy demeanor he had portrayed all year. This was the moment he had anticipated with baited breath……

***

Paul was a studious character, short, skinny, and a seemingly unappealing scholar. To some of his classmates he appeared to be the typical class nerd, his silence reflecting a shy character, uncomfortable by his surroundings. He kept to himself at most times, while girls giggled and laughed at him, running and passing him in the school hall ways. Despite all these drawbacks, Paul was able to keep himself engrossed in some literature or his biggest passion, the Formula One. The senior year began quietly for Paul while most of his classmates delighted in each other’s company, sometimes even making a party in the town. None of this seemed to interest Paul, not least the big binge drinking night sessions that could have proved to him at least he was a man and belonged to the ‘crew’.

Deep down he really was troubled. There was something that was beginning to nag him day by day as each month passed. His teachers felt he was becoming worse, sometimes displaying a serious lack of attention in classes. This often resulted in awkward moments for Paul; his voice trembled with responses, sometimes even evoking loud laughter from the class. Matters seemed to get out of hand as his classmates painfully reminded him of his odd behaviour and responses in classes. Not surprisingly Paul remained silent through all this. Yet deep down inside he was feeling serious doubts about his ability, about how he would go onto greater heights later in life. He wasn’t sure how events would pan out as the year slowly approached its end, particularly for one big day where it could be his make or break!

Speech Talk was a major event at Winston High School for all seniors. It was seen as the event that made you a senior that would be recognized as a reputed speaker post school and into college years. Every student had to prepare a speech of substance; only five special awards were given to the best five speeches out of a possible 30 candidates in the class. Most of these awards were grand in nature, with the top three being scholarships to some of the major Ivy League colleges for the Junior year.  Paul had heard many folklore and tales, some even myths, about alumni who went through the event. Some of the stories really fascinated him! But there was one problem; Paul was struggling to speak eloquently, his shyness becoming a major social obstacle. As time slowly approached to the event, Paul had sleepless nights, even having moments of claustrophobia, imagining himself giving a horror speech show, while all his classmates delighted in his failure! Some of his nightmares even bordered on the more ridiculous scenario where he started sounding like a duck!

***

Speech Talk day is here. Paul has been in a frenzy all morning! He reached his heights of clumsiness as he prepared for this big day. This was a big test for him…it suddenly dawned on him that success today would mean the year gone past would just be a fickle memory he could erase from his awkward and unflattering past. He managed to pull out an old grey woolen suit his late grandmother had made for him many a year back. She had requested him to wear it on a big day in his senior year, a day she felt he would surprise many and receive many plaudits from wide spread admirers. Paul wondered how his grandmother had developed such faith in a grandson who otherwise seemed the least likely to yield any kind of towering success. Perhaps like all old and wise people she had a hunch, one that would eventually reflect the real possibilities, the real Paul.

All along the journey to the school campus Paul gazed into the streets; he watched with gay abandon, sometimes reflecting on his childhood moments when all his shyness and awkwardness was not a social handicap. How he wished he were there now, rewinding back to all those years gone past.  It all seemed good and enticing to him, momentarily lapsing in this past dream world, escaping from his current reality. He was suddenly interrupted by the driver, notifying him and his family of their arrival. The silence in the car was too odd for Paul, he had to get out of it!

There was a buzz surrounding the settings by the grand stage that had been set up. Paul’s focus seemed to have shifted squarely on the spot where he would stand and possibly deliver his future. He wore a dead pan expression as he sat in his allocated seat. Thirty minutes lingered as three students spoke. “Paul Erlcott”. There were a few claps, most notably from his family. But there was something perculiar about Paul’s approach to the stage once he left his position; it was eerily different from the shy, closed character many had known him to be….

Paul placed his crumpled speech on the speech desk. He took a moment to capture his environment, slowly pushing his large framed glasses closer to his eyes, almost as though a target was being set. He took in all above and around him. His fists clasped with nerves, tension slowly rising and emanating in the air. The sweat was slowly effusing over his wide forehead. He cleared his throat, the lump feeling like a larger apple shoved down his throat. And ACTION!

There was a long pause. SILENCE……………. Would Paul speak at all? A slight murmur erupted, then Paul paused again, and then… The words came out loud and clear, each being pronounced with a defining and engrossing tone. There was a crispiness to the speech. You could feel the polished result. Heads turned up slowly as everyone focused on Paul, like a pop sensation that had just hit the stage! Everyone was taken aback, not least Paul! You could have sworn this was someone else that Paul was mimicking. But this was no mimic! This was Paul Erlcott, now standing tall and proud, giving an oration that was about to floor many, not least all those ‘crew’ that never seemed to accept or include him in many of the rituals. The speech was faultless, almost comparable to one delivered by a new president to be sworn in, promising many a bright future. When Paul completed his final sentence there was thunderous applause, most notably from those same classmates he endured this painful journey with. Paul stood tall, unable to comprehend what had just happened!

After all the excitement finally died down, the final presentations for the awards were made. Paul received the second best prize; but this was a BIG first prize for him and for his many new found admirers! His life was going to change from now. He was now going to join the big guys in one of the premier Ivy League colleges on a full scholarship. It was all too much for him to take in! Paul could still not afford a smile as yet. Something suddenly caught his attention in the corner of his eye. It was her! She came in a long red gown, her hair long and soft, her eyes serene but with a dazzle of innocence. It was Kaira, the girl he had admired all year, but hardly had the courage or determination to approach her. She strode slowly towards him, but the nerves were gone now. The smile he displayed said it all…a new man had arrived! He finally spoke to Kaira, that same confidence from the speech now exuding in his interaction with her; he was probably going to win her heart at some point.

Many wondered what made Paul transform on the crucial day when it mattered most. A hopeless, shy, awkward clumsy ‘nerd’ who had no chance in hell at such a prestigious event. Was it a routine and disciplined practise approach that made Paul into the orator he was today? Not really, Paul hardly managed to practise effectively at most times. Something just clicked, the event perhaps bringing out the bigger person out on the day.

As he turned back towards the car he heard a voice…it was a particularly uncanny but somewhat recognizable voice.  A female voice that suddenly asked “Paul, you remember I told you if you wear this suit, you would become something big?” Paul was startled. Was it his grandmother, speaking from the heavens? “Yes gradma”, as he used to call her, his nerves slightly returning. “I told you so, I was right!” she retorted in that old wise voice of hers. The voice disappeared. There was something always bigger in Paul, a giant of a person. He never really believed it, but seemed to do so on the final day. Like all of us, we all have a giant lying within somewhere, we just need to muster the courage to bring it out, just like Paul did. The giant was always there; it just needed to be awoken. The Sleeping Giant had awoken!

Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved!

FINDING DAN

The pleasantness of the summer air could be felt all abound. The fresh grass and its dark hue were evident in the sprawling lawn that met the entrance of St. John’s hospital.  13 February 2012, a somewhat momentous day for a seemingly unlucky date. He stood up from his bedside, slowly being dressed into a crisp white golf shirt with dark denim jeans. He still had that beaming smile and handsomeness. Although the summer day made everyone content, behind his smile lay some hidden doubts and trepidation. He would venture out into the world for the first time since that tragic day two years ago. Suffering from amnesia, only two people could be his answer in their search to find him again.

***

Dan was always a bubbly guy, full of enthusiasm and joy, yet he also had his moments of charm and subtle humour that enthralled his ‘audiences’ at parties. He made great friends wherever he went, but none of his friendships could compare to that which he had with Mark and Laura, his best friends. The three always had a ball together; it seemed nothing would pull them apart. Over the last few years though Dan’s character started changing…his sensitivity enwrapped him to the extent that trivial matters would grossly enrage him. He was beginning to lose trust; Mark and Laura felt he was beginning to become distant. Dan’s sudden shift in character may have been attributed to his new found addiction with making the quick buck, engaging in drugs and his continuous pursuit of women for casual sexual affairs. Mark and Laura loved Dan dearly but slowly their concern grew for him…they were losing Dan. The thought of Dan not being present in their lives would feel like a gaping hole in a relationship that the three strongly created to last for a lifetime. Laura tried using her feminine touch to console Dan and make him realize he had everything, not least their great friendship.

 Mark never really took the matter seriously, citing Dan’s odd behaviour as just a random moment of madness occurring momentarily in Dan’s life; to Mark the situation was just that… temporary. He convinced Laura sooner or later Dan would come to his senses.  Laura though had growing concerns; Dan confided often in Laura because of her soft and consoling nature. Mark was straight to the point whenever he argued with Laura about the situation …yet he did also deeply fear that his great buddy was slowly drifting away.

 One chilly morning Dan got engaged in an argument with Mark and Laura. The argument seemed like the normal spat that the three would encounter amongst each other from time to time…yet this time there was an eerie feeling. All was not well; Dan’s temper was flaring. He had started throwing objects in disgust and anger. He felt betrayed by Mark and Laura. He was hurt and his trust for them was dwindling by the moment. Mark and Laura had given an ultimatum: either Dan would stop his addiction for drugs or he would forever lose them both. Dan’s cursory volume was raised. He grabbed his car keys and rushed out into his plush new SUV vehicle. Dan sped off in full throttle. Mark and Laura feared for the worst.  A loud crashing sound was heard in the distance. Laura screeched in agony!

 ***

Dan was paralyzed from the bottom half of his body and suffered from amnesia after the accident. Mark and Laura were devastated! They seemed to have lost their true friend, even though in physical terms he was present. Dan was ordered to go through a rigorous regimen that would help him to walk again as doctors assured Dan’s parents that there was some hope of Dan walking again. Mark and Laura blamed themselves for not taking action soon themselves to help Dan. It seemed that soulful and playful friend with whom they shared so many great moments had temporarily left them with this agonizing pain.

 Laura and Mark often visited Dan at St.John’s in the hope one day he would regain his memory. Each moment shared was precious for them, even though Dan could not recognize them nor seemed to participate actively in their talks.  Dan was physically recovering and was on the path to walking again. Dan felt like he was in a never ending bad dream…he felt like a stranger in this new world he was confronted with; surrounded by unknown people and the agony of having to go through excruciating pain. He often pondered about the circumstances that led to his accident…Mark and Laura were hesitant to bring it up, fearing it would cause undue stress and jeopardize Dan’s chances of regaining his memory. Although Dan was briefed about the moments before his tragedy, it seemed a foolish act that a man would take such a chance of proving a point and land up in a terrible accident…anyways to Dan it did; in many ways the old Dan had become foolish before the accident.

Mark and Laura held onto each of Dan’s arms as they slowly led him out of the ICU unit and slowly tagged along with him as he took his first steps into the huge hallway leading out onto that inviting lawn. Dan was not sure what he would experience…he desperately wanted to regain his memory and find out how Mark and Laura were such a big part of his life. He genuinely began to like them. Something seemed unique about their continuous support and assistance…why would two people go through so much Dan pondered…surely the old Dan meant a lot to them.

As he put forward one leg on the lush lawn, a slight pain hit Dan. Mark and Laura paused for a while sensing Dan’s slight anguish. But there was steely determination written all over Dan’s face. That encouraged Mark and Laura to walk further with Dan. The first step to Dan’s recovery was a major victory! As days went on Mark and Laura tried at various points to remind Dan of a certain memory or jog his memory by taking him to places where their friendship blossomed over the years. Dan tried his best to recollect or regain his memory…the exercise was slowly becoming futile. Mark and Laura’s desperation showed as the days went on. At one point Laura shed tears, feeling like the old Dan would never come back. Mark sat motionless one day, coming to a conclusion that seemed like a last resort…it was the only way for them to move on.

 Mark approached Laura and Dan’s parents. There was a plainness in his face…it seemed like a blank slate, emotionless. Mark gasped for some air before he finally released some words. “I have had a realization. You may all not like this but I guess it is the best for all of us, most of all for Dan so that we can all move on peacefully. Dan may never regain his memory. I will always keep hoping some day that he will regain his memory. But maybe now we need to realize that new memories need to be made with Dan. We should feel so blessed we have him still with us here on this earth. There is nothing wrong in creating new memories with him. What do you all say?”

 There was a slight silence. Laura and Dan’s parents realized what Mark was saying was true and also a significant step to take for Dan’s future. Dan’s mother nodded in agreement saying,” Mark you are right! There is much to be happy about and we can create a great new life with wonderful memories for Dan! We need to move on!” Dan’s father smiled at his wife, appreciating her strength and resolve. Laura couldn’t disagree as well…she just wanted things to be as they were before the accident, but perhaps the path they were to embrace would bring them to that point somewhere in the future.

 A few days later Dan was sitting at the front porch of his place. Mark and Laura arrived, grinning like kids who had won a prize from a circus show. “Hi Dan” both shouted in glee, pacing quickly towards Dan. Dan looked up and smiled at both of them, his face beaming from the hot summer sunlight shining on his face. Dan glanced at Mark and Laura for a moment as they took their seats next to him…”you know guys I was thinking you have supported me so much over these last few months, I am so grateful to you both. I feel really blessed! You are the best friends I have had!” Mark and Laura somehow sensed the old Dan’s presence. It seemed he was back. Dan was back alright…but with a new life and new memories. Though the search for the old Dan was over Mark and Laura found something; they found a new best friend… they found a new Dan!

Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved

KABIR’S RISING!

The atmosphere bore some heaviness, not just in a literal sense. A huge cauldron was beginning to surround him. At 41, this may have been the final frontier, the final nail in the coffin. But he saw it differently. He had a point to prove. So much had happened in the past six years that it had become a bitter pill to swallow for him. Dumped unceremoniously from his team and his credibility in a shambles. Some would have said what a waste of a talent, a prodigy that went wrong.

But Kabir was granted a lifeline. His selection was inexplicable. Perhaps the selectors knew something the rest of the world didn’t. The moment was nearing soon…this was the time! This was the time Kabir would rise again or forever disappear and become an anonymity to society! He took one last deep breath and slowly strolled along the lush green field…

***

Camera flashes, steely eyed glares. Everyone seemed to be baying for his blood. Kabir Haja was a national hero, both on the sporting front and for his people. A talented prodigy that would later become a protagonist for his attacking flair. Cricket was his love, his one passion he adored since the time he picked up a bat at the age of 5. His father, Zakir, a cricket tragic identified something his beloved Almighty had blessed him with…a talented son who could go on to make a big name for himself and carry the family name proudly on his shoulders. Now at 35, it seemed that whole dream was to vanish without a whisper.

Corruption scandals linked to match fixing; accusations of scandalous affairs with big time celebrities from the movie industry; an alleged bribe given to a selector to be selected…Kabir’s head was beginning to spin. Someone wanted to nail him for these alleged wrong doings…but who? Was it someone who was enraged with jealousy, so much so that they went to this extent? Kabir’s misgivings could be understandable…there seemed no way out of this mess. The adoring fans who believed in him felt robbed, they wanted him to pay. Deep down though Kabir knew it was all wrong. His last moments seemed to be upon him. He had enough; was it worth the blood and sweat for his country? He could leave it all and keep all those wonderful and cherishing moments of victory and toil as a remembrance of the celebrated career he had built up for himself from scratch.

He felt lost and in despair. Laila, his long lost love, friend, and wife deserted him, angry at the outcome of their marriage and how she felt cheated. His parents were no longer in this world, and his friends estranged themselves, almost cowardly Kabir felt. His only sanity was that the allegations were difficult to prove. The selectors lost faith and finally asked him to go. He was a ‘free’ man; yet deep inside he was shackled by his sorrows and this confusion. He wore a tired look, some stubble showing on his fallen face, a sign of the hard times encountered in the last few months of facing the media‘s madness and desperation to get his side of the story. This was the last press conference. Kabir was once known for his confident and impressive dealings with the media. He had a magnitude of a personality, with the fairer sex often being swooned by him. Now he seemed gloomy, almost in a hurry to complete these last rites. As he stared at all and sundry around him, he only had one thing to say…”I am done! There is nothing more to say from my side. My agent will answers all the other questions”. At first stunned silence rocked the media personnel. What’s this, he has nothing to say they thought in amazement? There was a sense of confusion in the room. Kabir slowly got up and walked out, escorted by security personnel. He had no idea what he was about to embark on. Perhaps he would embark on a journey many would not have the courage to face; a journey where he was in solitude, content with himself and withdrawn from the society that so once marvelled at him and his exploits on the cricket field. Redemption was the furthest thought from his mind.

***

Kabir’s legs are like lead, as he once more strides onto the field towards the wicket, his slow strides symbolic of a journey that has become weary in recent years. His mind was a minefield with thousands of thoughts running through…do I have it in me to do this? The temptation was there to turn around and forget this all was happening. Kabir was a wreck the night before, unsure if the path he had chosen would exonerate him from all the supposed indiscretions all those years ago.

He approached the crease, hands slightly greasy with sweat, evidence of the ‘momentous’ occasion and its effect on Kabir. His eyes no longer resembled that wide, gleaming look he had in his youth. The soul was there eager and bristling at the edge to tell its own story…the body was not willing. Kabir knew this was the moment he could prove to all that what happened  all those years did not kill his legacy. His family may have been no more but this was  about pride and honour to his name and to his humble and proud parents. He  was slowly willing himself on. The heart started pounding harder. The bowler made his mark; he had a sinister look about him…I’m here to finish you old man…you don’t belong here. Kabir let his fears vanish. He slowly accumulated all his faculties and movements to get into the groove.

First ball: Whack! Right into Kabir’s chest. The pain was excruciating! A booing sound was slowly gathering around the stadium. “Go home” shouted some in increasing aggression. Kabir hopped around a bit. The doctor had his mark set to come out and attend to him but Kabir raised his hand firmly to him, denying him permission to enter. There was no way Kabir was going to give up now…the fight was on…redemption was written all over his face.

Kabir managed to survive some telling signs of aggression from his opposition. He slowly started to work his old magic, yielding his willow like those old magical times when the crowd would become enthused by his skills. The moment was beginning to appear scripted…Kabir was now facing the last over needing 10 runs for victory. His body started tightening with the tension and anticipation of achieving some lasting dignity and victory! First ball, Kabir has a wild swish at the delivery, his arms feeling cramping sensations. There is a gasp from the crowd…can he do it? People who were once committed tormentors and foes of Kabir’s were now egging him on while staring in adulation at this 41 year old’s courage and determination.

Second ball, again a swish! Everyone’s silence was heard now. The atmosphere could be cut like a hot knife through butter. Kabir tried to calm himself down, talking to himself with positive words. He knew he had to just make contact with one delivery and he would reach his zenith. Third ball he makes contact and two runs are taken. Eight left to win! Three balls. Fourth ball and Kabir misses again! Now the crowd is jeering, more so in anger that the Almighty was not giving a helping hand to this man looking for redemption. Fifth ball and Kabir makes two runs. The final delivery…six runs needed and Kabir knew one hit would seal his fate. As he looked up he saw a familiar figure in the crowd. A slender woman whose ethereal beauty he could not forget. As she gazed and turned towards him their eyes met briefly. It was Laila. No smile was forthcoming from her…but Kabir’s soul was replenished with her sight…he could now focus on the final task ahead with added faith and support.

The final moment seemed to be slowing each second, with each second beginning to feel like eternity. The bowler thudded along as he ran in to deliver the final delivery…this was it! Kabir’s eyes lit up and swung with all his might and ferocity…it seemed a current sprung through his charged up body…WHACK!!! Kabir murdered the ball way over the long stand over the longest part of the stadium! SIX!!!!!! The roar was heard, euphoria was all abound! Kabir won the game! He was in shock! People rushed to him, some hugging, some trying to grasp a piece of his clothing. He was mobbed! It seemed the legend was reborn.

As Kabir began to leave the field pressmen hounded him for questions and insights of the feelings he was having after competing in one of his finest hours as a sportsman. Kabir though had someone else on his mind. He searched all over for Laila, almost frustratingly since she could be not located. Then he received a delicate pat on his shoulder…he quickly turned and Laila stood in front. She seemed to contain an uplifting energy. She was more beautiful now Kabir thought. As she looked up to him she said ,”You were great! I missed you!” They both embraced in a long hug! He had won over his lady love again.

As Kabir and Laila reconciled and built their relationship over the next few months there was still the unanswered question of the source of all the allegations made all those years ago. Journalists dug deeper to find something. After much agonizing and consternation it all came to a stop after 3 months. Kabir’s old best friend spread the rumours apparently being jealous of his fame and rise to celebrity. His friend dearly loved Laila and wanted her; the only way he could remove Kabir was to tarnish him in society so that Laila would leave him. Kabir was relieved though. His image and reputation were restored. He had achieved redemption!

The legend of Kabir had risen again!

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved

LOVERS RETURNING

She waited with bated breath, her hands clasping with impatience. Sounds of the crowd’s constant chatter and busyness surrounded her. Excitement brewed with the anticipation of a loved one stepping out of that arrival door! The arrival hall though seemed like any other normal place at the moment for Kylie. She thought constantly… What would Dev be like? Would he still feel the same way about me! She was nervous yet excited at the same time – her one true love was returning ‘home’ after a gap of 2 years being away from Jo’burg. Dev was away pursuing his MBA in his homeland India, yet home seemed to be back here in Jo’burg.

***

5 years ago a small function was taking place at the Michelangelo in Sandton. Celebrities and socialites alike attended in grandeur! Kylie, an heir to a rich fashion mogul, was in her prime helping her father in the family business. She’s a beautiful blonde South African with English roots. She has stunning blue eyes and is a tall yet appealing figure. Men gasped at the very sight of her! Brent, the man she supposedly loved and knew since childhood was a roughshod Afrikaner. He was born and bred in the farm areas of Benoni. His family had accumulated vast wealth over time and owned significant properties in central Jo’burg. Kylie and Brent’s initial meeting was one borne of physical attraction, yet over the years Kylie increasingly grew out of any emotional attachment to Brent. There were times she dreaded being with him. Kylie always thought of this relationship as a comfort zone, one to fall back on for pure security. Both were bound to be engaged at some point, especially since it was both their parents’ long term desire.

On that very night at the Michelangelo one of Brent’s mutual friends brought along an entourage. One man though seemed uniquely different and interesting. A tall 6″1′ handsome looking Indian man had entered the room. Kylie glance at him…there was something there that caught her attention. Their eyes locked briefly with each others. It was Dev. Dev seemed to have this persona and aura about him, one that drew Kylie towards him and created an instant attraction. Dev’s Indian features were particularly appealing to Kylie.  His dark eyebrows, lush black hair and big round eyes. He was a well-groomed man and appeared very well-mannered, polite and extremely intelligent – something Kylie loved and was attracted to in all men that exhibited these characteristics. But Kylie felt there was still something different about Dev. She couldn’t quite make out at first what it was.

Dev was a Punjabi immigrant that had settled in Jo’burg for the last 14-15 years since he was a teenager. His family engaged in various business interests. Dev though battled over the last few years trying to fuse his Eastern beliefs and traditions with this pretentious Western society he constantly engaged in. Dev was also attracted to Kylie. He thought she was stunning, yet felt something deeper resonate it in him when he first saw her.

Kylie approached him slowly. Her thoughts rand wildly. What would he think of me? Would he be interesting? Could it be, finally I have found someone I can share some feeling with. As Kylie approached she reached her hand out to Dev…he paused slightly before he slowly reached his hand out to meet her’s. ”Hi, my name is Dev!” Kylie was taken aback. Her body seemed to be momentarily in a trance, butterflies running through her. Here was this attractive and handsome Punjabi man who had a strong mix of a Western/British accent and a deep resonating voice. Yet all this seemed irrelevant to Kylie, she was still fixed in a trance! She wanted to hear his voice again…this was strange but Kylie hoped this feeling could last well into the night. As the night progressed, Kylie and Dev got on like a house on fire!

As the next few years progressed Dev and Kylie’s friendship grew ever stronger. This was further consummated by their first kiss which was passionate and romantic. Kylie was slowly beginning to lose interest in Brent. Dev and Kylie’s new love affair would continue to bring them bliss. Sometimes they would sneak away from work and go for a quick coffee. At other times they would meet at social gatherings with friends. Both could not get enough of each other. They often exchanged mundane smses but these were more as an excuse to be in touch even when they were not physically in front of each other. Some smses would even be very romantic in nature. There was always a constant connection between them. Even though each loved being in the other’s company, Kylie struggled to play the happy girlfriend role whenever she had to be by Brent’s side. Dev’s frustrations sometimes grew because of Kylie’s relationship with Brent, though at times he seemed to be content with the situation between Kylie and Brent. Once in a while though Dev would ignore Kylie just to get her attention focussed back on him. But the passion was so strong that Dev often occasionally expressed how he felt about Kylie and him being soul mates.

The time had come for Dev to follow in the family tradition and pursue an MBA. Dev had his own business interests and always wanted to venture on his own so he felt this was the right approach. There were other reasons though that Dev wanted to leave Jo’burg. He wanted a change of scenery, even though he was not sure how he would feel to leave Kylie. He increasingly grew weary of the pretentious society, and the childishness and immaturity of some of his friends; he found it hard though to express these issues to them directly in fear he would hurt them badly. He couldn’t bear leaving Kylie, his one true lover and soul mate. Yet Dev was ruthless as a person when it came to his ambitions. Dev made his mind up to go. When Dev first told Kylie of his plans to go abroad for a couple of years Kylie was less than impressed. She practically ignored him for a couple of weeks. Dev then feared he had lost her for good. Kylie eventually came and said a painful goodbye to him at his time of departure, even though deep down both knew they would meet again. They both promised each other to write and call whenever and as often as they could. Kylie though had doubts if Dev would keep his promise to keep in touch. Then again she remembered Dev was a man full of surprises so anything was possible! Eventually Dev did keep his promises over the 2 years that elapsed before his return.

***

The airport announcer abruptly ends the hollowness that Kylie was beginning to endure. It’s been 15 minutes since Dev’s flight landed. What’s taking him long? as Kylie glanced around for him. She wasn’t sure how he was going to approach her. She waited for this day with expectation. She wondered curiously though how many women Dev met while he was away. The thought of some other woman across the Indian ocean waiting for Dev to return just made Kylie a little apprehensive.

Suddenly a tall gentleman appeared, dressed in a casual blazer and dark denim jeans. He was wearing some branded shades. He looked very familiar to Kylie. The shades were then whipped off to reveal the identity of this man. It was Dev! He appeared to have some kind of glow about him; Kylie’s heart began to race. The moment had arrived. All those wonderful memories spent with Dev came flooding back. She ran towards him and jumped up to hug him with a firm grip. She didn’t let go for a while…

Kylie felt a warm sensation being embraced in the arms of Dev. She could feel Dev’s new physical strength, something she loved. Dev lifted the palm of his left hand as he looked into Kylie’s eyes. He brushed aside a strand of her blond hair that seemed to disturb her slightly. Kylie didn’t want to let go; the passion was still there, exhilarating as ever. “I missed you my love” she said as she began to calm down. Dev with a soothing smile replied “I did too my baby!”

Kylie and Dev walked arm in arm as they left the airport to head home. The drive back seemed awkward with brief moments of silence in between. But Kylie loved every minute she had with Dev now. He had become even more attractive in her eyes. Maybe it was his long absence that made Kylie long for him, both in mind and body.

Kylie suddenly pulled up at a five-star hotel in the Sandton area. Dev seemed bemused at first…Kylie smiled at him and said “Babe this is a surprise for you!” Kylie had booked a special suite just to be engrossed with her lover for the day; besides 2 years had passed since she last saw him. Nothing was going to separate her from her lover now. Dev though seemed a little confused. Something seemed to have troubled him.

The two lovers were excited at the sight of their room suite. Dev seemed more relaxed now. He felt he was back at home; what better than to spend it with the one he passionately loved all those few years ago. They both cuddled and made passionate love throughout the afternoon. 3 hours had passed and Dev decided to go for a long soothing shower. Kylie lay in bed deep in thought as she caressed the silken bed linen. She knew it was over with Brent, yet feared Dev may have changed too much in the last 2 years to pursue something serious with him. She wrestled with some doubts. She turned and saw a box on the dressing table. The box was solid and covered in blue felt material. She inquisitively opened the box while Dev still lingered in his hot shower. As the clip of the box clicked and opened a beaming white light shot straight into Kylie’s eyes. It was a huge diamond studded ring, beautifully crafted and cut. Kylie couldn’t believe it, confused and excited at the same time! Was Dev going to propose to her? What about Brent as she pondered? Dev then walked out of the bathroom. She quickly glanced at him. It didn’t matter to her because there were no feelings left for Brent. Her lover had returned. She had made her decision!

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved