Two Years

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Chapter 11

Awkward from the Start

His room looks impersonal. He turns one chair for me to sit on and sits on the chair beside it. I feel terribly self-conscious and nervous at his proximity. My already guilty mind makes me shy away from looking at him.

He leans closer, and I feel jittery, moving slightly away. He is waiting, so am I. Finally, unable to handle the suspense, I turn to look at him. He is struggling for words, knowing what to say to me must be difficult. I look at him defiantly, “I was on my way out. I came to meet Shelley.” Not you, the implication is clear.

He sees the helmet in my hand and exclaims, “You rode your Scooty!”

I steel myself and look at him scathingly. “You have a problem?”

He purses his lips looking sufficiently snubbed! I feel smug.

“You visited the tenant this week? Why?”

“Can’t I go?” I ask bitingly.

Silence reigns. Does he expect me to explain myself! The cheek! I ask, “How did you know I went there?”

“Mr. Chandran called to know if there was something you wanted.”

Who is Mr. Chandran? The tenant?

“Why did you go there?” he asks, his eyes fixed on me.

I get up quickly, my handbag toppling and a few things spill on his table. “I just wanted to check on the house,” I blunder through as I hurriedly push them back into my bag.

I head to the door, but he blocks my way. “Why did you come here today?” he demands.

I square my shoulders, raise my chin, put out my hand to him and say, “To look for a job. By the way, congratulations Mr. Marketing Manager!”

He frowns perplexed and I take advantage of his confusion to leave.

As I walk down to the parking, I am reminded of how I was sure Kathik and I weren’t meant for each other. When dad asked me after the second time how the meeting with Karthik had gone, I did thumbs down. I didn’t think we both could spend a lifetime together.

Father looked mildly surprised, then shrugged and said, “OK, if this is not working out then there is this guy from the US…” and he rattled off some details. But I was not ready to meet the next one right away. I had had several mental blocks about meeting Karthik. I had had to prep myself to finally agree, and had become hopeful that it will work out. I needed time to get out of this one before I could think of another.

Dad was understanding, but told me not to hang there for too long. “Take it easy. If you both don’t hit it off, it does not mean the end of the world.”

Thanks, that was encouraging!

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