Everyday is a Rainbow Day

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1) - Chapter V: Knowing the Unknown

Submitted: June 09, 2016

Reads: 71

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 09, 2016



In the next few months Farhan saw her many more times; in the elevator, at the cafeteria, or in the office cab. Sometimes she was busy talking to her friends, at other times enjoying a water cooler joke or simply attending project review meetings. Sometimes the Systems Engineer was busy working late; sometimes she was decorating the cubicle for Christmas, or gleefully smearing cake cream on a birthday boy or girl’s face. She was always bubbly and throwing back smiles. She was neither a close friend, nor did they ever work together on any project. But they exchanged smiles and were more on hi-hello rather than long conversations. Of course, Jhelum spoke to almost everybody in the office, including the middle-aged housekeeping staff. He had dismissed her as one of the smiling angels in the financial services holding company and also made fun of her at times; till he saw her teary eyed one winter evening.

She was having coffee with Archie, Preeti, and a few other friends at the cafeteria. He was sitting a few yards away sipping tea with Chowhan and Abhi. The six young ladies were laughing over some silly joke and Jhelum was in splits, as usual. The guys were having a serious discussion on the yearly increments throwing casual glances at some of the office beauties moving around. Farhan is officially ‘engaged’, so no question of flicking, Chowhan winked at him.

Just then Jhelum got a call on her cell. ‘’It’s him’’, she said. Her face lit up as she took the call and left the cafeteria.

More than ten minutes passed, but she did not return. Her friends chatted for a while and then left for work. Farhan also left soon after.

After about an hour or so, when Farhan came to the balcony for a smoke, he heard a whimper followed by a familiar voice saying,’’ why are you being so rude over a profile picture upload? I will delete it if you find it so objectionable. But please do not stop talking to me…’’

Jhelum turned around and was embarrassed to see him. She was all in tears, her eyes almost red and her face flushed. Farhan had almost forgotten about lighting up his cigarette. ‘’what happened?’’ he asked.

Nothing. She nodded. The male voice on the other side of the phone was yelling, ‘who is it that you are talking to?’’

She replied instantly, ‘’No one. I will call you later. ‘’

‘’Tell me who is it.’’ The yelling continued.

She disconnected the call. ‘’what happened, Jhelum?’’ he asked again.

She wiped her face with the dupatta and said, ‘’Nothing’’ and then ‘’sorry’’ and left the balcony in a hurry.

Farhan could not figure out what went wrong that day, nor can he make out what is wrong now, as he sees Jhelum sitting on the recliner, staring at her mobile screen, teary eyed.

‘’what happened, Jhelum?’’ he asked.

‘’Nothing’’ She said, looking at him, slightly embarrassed. The pale bedside lamp cast a melancholy shade on her hapless face.

He came and sat on a chair next to her, ‘’you were speaking to someone.’’

‘’Yes, I was talking to Ma.’’ She said.

He sighed. Something is better than nothing.

‘’Okay. So, do you want to go to your hometown?’’

‘’No’’ she nodded. ‘’I did not tell her about my present state.’’ She lowered her glances. Her thick eye lashes were wet from the recent downpour.

‘’Why?’’ he was surprised.

‘’ I do not want to divulge anything right now. She will be tense. Baba is not well these days. My brother Jishu is also out of town.’’

‘’But you need rest and care now. ‘’ he was slightly hesitant. He was almost fishing for words.

‘’I know’’ she said, looking straight into his eyes. Could she read his mind? The silent eyes answered his unasked questions. She was not going to stay here forever. But… he had many more questions to ask.

It is almost 7 PM. Vimla left long time back, post lunch. He can talk to her now.

He asked, ‘’ you want to have something, Tea or coffee?’’

‘’Tea would be fine.’’ She said.

‘’will be back in a minute.’’ He got up and left the room. Jhelum looked at his agile figure moving out. He is as active as ever, without a trace of fatigue. But look at her, how she has sunk into nothingness in just a few years!

Beep! Beep! Beep!

She looked at her mobile screen. Three messages from the same sender!

Oh no, she felt like crushing the phone. Then she controlled her anger and frustration. But she could not stop tears welling up in her eyes again. Farhan entered the room with two cups of green tea. He noticed her anguished face.

‘’Farhan’’ she called out, despite the lump in her throat, ‘’if you do not mind, can we please sit in the balcony?’’

‘’Yes, why not?’’ then he looked at her face. He put down the tray on the bedside table and offered his hand to Jhelum, ‘’hold my hand, as you are getting down from the recliner.’’

She tried to be on her own, ‘’it is okay. I can stand by myself.’’

‘’No, it is not okay, ma’am. You are still not strong enough to stand up on your feet’’ Farhan added more,’’ don’t worry, I am not going to bite you.’’

Jhelum burst out into laughter. She then held his hand and said, ‘’Oh Farhan, please shut up. You have not changed at all!’’

‘’No, I have not.’’ He said laughing.

Yes. This is what I want to see. The bubbly Jhelum, said Farhan to himself. 

© Copyright 2020 pearlinanoyster. All rights reserved.


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