It was a staring competition between us two, but half of the times she would avoid my glances as I thought of what to say. She just revealed everything that happened to her and anything that I had never really expected to even think off. This woman was full of secrets and her life stories were deeper than an ocean.
"Fourteen years," I started as I looked as her fidgeting with her finger. "Where were you?" I asked and that made her sigh because she understood, I was talking about why she have the time, to meet me.
"I know what you must be thinking but after I was transferred to South Africa, life was harder for me. My parents were hardly around me and I never really had any friends. So, I focussed how to survive and on my dream. It was how, I ended up taking management courses and started off with a startup company. Then my parents came in and they supported me my whole life, keeping me under their guidance and it was how time went by."
"All of a sudden, I heard about my dad's New York building and he told me that he wanted to gift it to me and I could run my company here. So, it was why I came here in the beginning," she said and that made me look up at her, my lips forming into a thin line.
"So, you actually came here to give Knights Corp a notice, to evacuate?" I asked and she nodded biting her teeth.
"I did hear about Knights but I thought it might be someone else because I had seen you countless times in TV, about your science projects and achievements as a scientist. In no way, I was sure that it was you. It was purely a coincidence," she said closing her eyes for a second.
"So, what now? Are you going to give me a notice sometime?" I asked and she shook her head negatively.
"No! Actually I roamed around and did my business. I came to the conclusion that my organisation is not ready to start in New York We would be in loss. But then I wanted to expand more and I thought of investing in your company. You are famous for your oil and chains of hotels. I wanted to invest in an oil company, so here I am," she held her head and gave it a little massage as she looked back at me smiling.
"Veronica, you fool. You could have tried to contact me in some other way. When you left, I will be honest, I really thought you didn't care and for the first time in my life, I believed what Elliot told me. He said you never really cared about our friendship and as you didn't show up, I was really sad. You could've at least said a goodbye," I said as I leaned down and kept my hand on top of her cold ones and gave it a reassuring squeeze. She seemed to like it, as she kept her other hand over mine and smiled up at me.
"I knew it, I can always rely on you. I am so sorry, Ace. But I had to leave. My situation at that time, needs to be blamed," she whispered and I nodded as I tried to withdraw my hands but she pulled me back, holding my hand firmly.
"Your hands are so warm, I don't want to let go," she mumbled as she rubbed my hand and that made me chuckle.
"Wait! I will bring you some soup," I said as I retreated my hand and got up but it was Maria, who entered on time with her dinner.
"Here she is," I said and helped her put down the tray of food before Veronica.
"I still don't feel like eating, please, take it aw-" she was whining when she saw my face. I gave a pointed look and that made her pick up the spoon as she dipped it into the bowl of soup and sipped a small amount before looking up at me and giving me a nervous smile.
"You know you have changed a lot," she begun as she sipped her soup and I gave her a confused look to what she meant.
"You don't wear your glasses anymore, you are so tall, I feel your head is going to bump the doorframe, you are more open and straight forward now and you retort back now," she said and that made me chuckle.
"I was always straightforward and I always retorted back but my ways were different. And I still wear my glasses. It just that at some point I felt I shouldn't wear them much and after going through ocular surgery, I regained my vision and I left using them. But I do wear them while working," I told her and she narrowed her eyes at me.
"You went through a surgery?" she asked as all of a sudden she lifted the tray up and kept it to her side and sat on her knees leaning towards me.
"What are you doing?" I asked as I folded my arms over my chest and looked at her as she leaned towards me.
"Now, when I see it, you really have deep blue eyes. They are gorgeous," she whispered picking up her finger and directing it towards my eyes and I was quick to hold her finger before she punctured my eyes and pushed her back.
"Well, thank you. I got it from my mom," I told her and that made her laugh.
"Amazing. I hate my eyes. They are just so simple and common," she said which made me scoff.
"No, they are not. They are beautiful and really dee-" I stopped before, I could finish what I had in my mind as she sipped her soup and looked back at me.
"You are just saying that because you are my friend," she murmured and played with her soup.
"So are we good again? I mean are we friends again?" she asked and I nodded giving her a smile and she beamed up.
"Thank god! You know I was dying to meet you again. I wanted to share so many things with you," she said and ended up with a sigh.
"As I grew up, I understood how lonely I felt. True, I liked being alone, but sometimes I needed a friend to share somethings. I missed you dearly."
"Sometimes, I really thought of leaving everything and search for you but then I stopped thinking what I was going to tell you if you asked why I came searching for you, when I needed you. It seemed selfish of me. But it's alright. Finally I am going to tell you everything that I had in my heart," se smiled at the end and that made me chuckle. I felt happy that she had changed as well. She was speaking about her this time and being more open to me. I guess, it was our age that made us so straight forward and mature.
"I will tell you about the bullies I dealt in my college life and also about the places I traveled. I learned horse riding and some other sports too. We should probably go out for horse riding, if you are interested. It would be fun. I will tell you about my brother too, now that I recall you complaining about it that day," she said referring to the day, when I lashed out on not knowing her.
"No, I want to. You should know about my stupid brothers and also about my sunrise volcano trek in Bali and what else? Oh and about my marriage and my taking over the company as the CEO," she finished as she looked up probably thinking what more she had to tell me. I was smiling at her when all of a sudden it hit me.
"Marriage? You are married?" I asked slowly as I felt my heart pounding the blood flushing from my face.