The Workaholic

The coffee machine whirred against the stillness of the night. Sea breeze slid in, playing with the blinds, through the open window. City lights either blinked in confusion or shone bright like stars about to die. Night outside was in a glorious gloom.

Simi sighed and turned her gaze away from the window. She missed her friends, missed hanging out with them. Her relentless friends still called her out for dinners which got lost in the voice mail. Her eyes didn’t leave the monitor as she reached for the coffee mug. They protested silently and grew impatient at the blue glow of the screen.

The fax machine suddenly came into life and she looked up to see it spit out a sheet of paper. Slightly stumbling on her numb legs, she walked towards it and took in her hand the latest proposal for contract from her client. Tomorrow she will take it up with her boss, who must be snoring in contentment by the side of his girlfriend while his wife slept alone in their house. She threw the paper down on her desk and moved to fill her coffee mug again. Looking around, she thought how different everything looked at night. It was as if whole world were shedding off its mask and resting for another day of hypocrisy. Just like you coming upon somebody who is peacefully asleep. Somebody you know but you don’t want be known to. When you know they are asleep, you take a good look at them. You wonder what makes you love the person so much. You don’t seek an answer, you are content with just the feeling and you leave a kiss on the sleeping face. Then you realize that the person was not sleeping at all and has caught you at your most vulnerable moment and you run away. But that pang is going to haunt you for life.

At night, it is as if you arrive on a new planet where everything is in place as your own planet, but with shades of grey, dark even. It comes with silence and soft muted lights. Smell of sea and memories it brings, can of secrets it tears open in a frenzy, identities it reveal and the pain it pushes down your throat to twist your innards. Night raises havoc inside her.

She quickly turned to work to ward off her thoughts, which by now were tiding over her mind with the rashness of a boor. She threw away the last of doughnuts and tissue boxes off her desk. Glanced through the papers on her desk and arranged them neatly. As the first rays of the sun shot through the window, she hurried downstairs to get home. Carefully dodging the dark corners of the street, she sank tiredly at the back of the first cab that stopped. Today too she had miserably failed in keeping those dark memories at bay.

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