October 22, 2020 Thursday
After a normal day at his office, Steve was locking the door to go home. It was a late workday today. Skye already left for home. Steve was planning to take the bus to home when a voice called him from his back.
Voice: - Wait up, Dr.Morgan.
Steve turned back to see a woman approaching him, with a confident look in her eyes. She stood in front of him.
Steve: - Yes, any help you want?
Woman: - Oh sure! It would be my pleasure.
She looked surprised and happy. She shook her hand with Steve for an unusual long time.
Woman: - I am Dr. Emily Watson from the experimental physics department.
And then like being suddenly back to senses, dragged her hands back.
Steve: - OK?
Emily (in a single breath, rapidly):- Well I am familiar with your attitude in these kinds of things so I would go straight. I was appointed here 3 years ago, after my Ph.D. in Matter Waves completed. I stood 4th rank in my university. I also am nominated for giving the best paper over my topic of electron transmission through graphite sheet and now I am here to ask you if we could….um… you know….like…go out…together…like on dates and all.
Steve: -Woof! Once again, for…I don’t know which time I am in this situation where despite feeling very bad, I had to say no to your proposal. I am sorry, Emily. This won’t happen. But hey, please don’t feel bad cause maybe I am the unlucky one to deny your proposal but some good George will be in your bag someday.
Emily (nearly in tears):- I knew it was a 1% chance for you to accept. But I put up on the risk cause I didn’t wanted to carry it for so long. (clearing her up) And yes, it’s 24th time.
Steve (exclaimed):- Sorry? What?
Emily:-Ever since my appointment here, I had been tracking you, and it’s your 24th time rejecting someone.
Steve laughs and Emily smiled too.
Emily: - Can I ask you one more thing?
Steve: - Go ahead.
Emily: - You appointed Miss Skye as your assistant one year later after you were appointed here. So, is there any chance that she is the reason that you keep rejecting everyone?
Steve (crossing his arms): Hmm...interesting point. Well, I never thought her before as my date. Also she never asked me out in the past 6 years. So I don’t think that she is anyhow involved in all this. But why did you thought so?
Emily:-Well, I thought she gives you a drive any time you want, she manages all your work, she strictly restricts anyone meeting you very casually, she sometimes stays at your place at nights, she is with you at all the ceremonies and conferences and many things like that. Thinking about it, one can say that when you are not sleeping, eating, and doing other essential things, she is with you. So maybe she only is inside your head, so you keep rejecting every other.
Steve (chuckling):- You really are a thinker. But hey you are experimental physicist. Leave all the assumptions for the theoretical physicists. Besides, whatever Skye does is a part of her job. And she is not just my assistant; she is my co-researcher in my most of the projects. So we discuss together at my place, nothing else which you think. And I have fear of traffic, and our homes are on the same route, so she drives for me as an act of morality. So nothing is as what you think. Well then, I should take my leave.
Steve took one step forward, then paused, and asked Emily if they could walk together up to the exit. But Emily simply denied by saying that she is fine and also that this walking together may put her heart at risk by desiring more moments like that.
Steve (feeling impressed):-Smart choice! Well then, Good Night.
And with that they both went their ways. Steve caught up the bus to his home and after a while his phone received a message from Skye.
Skye:-Are you home, sir?
Steve (recollecting Emily’s words in mind):-Why do you ask?
Skye:- What do you mean why? Wasn’t I supposed to track your sleep schedule for this month? I do it every day.
Steve:-Oh yeah! Right. I was joking around.
Skye: - R u okay? Since when do u joke?
Steve:-Nothing. I am in bus right now. I’ll text u when I will sleep.
Steve got off the bus at his stop. Before sleep he texted Skye as he said.
Steve:- I’m off to sleep now.
Skye:OK. Well u r 3 hr and 32 mins late from your daily average sleeping time. When you told about your extra working I estimated just 3 hours late. Did you work more?
Steve:- Not actually. There was a situation at work today. Come tomorrow, I’ll tell u. GOOD NIGHT.
October 23, 2020 Friday
Next day at work, Steve narrated all the incident of last night by siting in his chair and Skye listened all that while arranging papers which he scattered in last day’s overtime work. Skye became a bit dejected at Steve’s words of it all being ‘just’ work. But she didn’t show it and instead with a stern look replied, “Yes, it’s just work. How can people lead it the other way.” Steve nodded in affirmation. But suddenly he turned towards Skye and asked, “How come you never asked me out for a date?” Skye’s eyes widened. After softening her gaze, she walked to the table, settling the papers on the table, and took the seat in front of him.
Skye:-Well, there are many reasons. First, since I know most of the things about you, one thing I know is you feel pretty bad after rejecting someone. Consequences are reflected in your calculations. Since you trust me at a whole different level, I can’t say something to you like that. Second, I do not feel things like that with you. When I decided to work with you, one thing was pretty sure that romance is out of my life cause neither you would ever do that Mr. cold blooded single, and neither would I have time for somebody else to be distracted.Third…
Steve:-That’s enough. I got my answer. Pretty happy to know that you won’t ever disappoint me.
Skye:- Well, since I am on the topic of knowing you, one thing you must worry is that next week on Thursday is “Bring your family to work” day.
Steve:-What? What would my parents do at this lab? Who makes such traditions?
Skye:-I don’t know. It’s an order from the university administration.
Steve:-Connect to Mr. Burrington, I’ll ask for an exception for me.
Skye:-Well, I don’t think it would work, but, here you wing it.
Skye hands him over the phone.
(voice over phone): Edward Burrington speaking. Who is it?
Steve: It’s Dr. Steve Morgan here. I want…
Burrington:-Dr. Morgan, the gem of our lab, what a pleasant day it is to have a real conversation with the very only Dr. Steve Morgan.
Steve:- Well. Pleasure’s mine too. But sir I’m here to make a request to you.
Burrington:-Oh sure sir, go ahead.
Steve:-About this Family at work day, can’t you make an exception for me.
Burrington:-You want some of your friends too. Oh sure, bring them. No worries. I can make it for you.
Steve:-No, actually I don’t want to bring anyone. Me and my family don’t go along so well , so if that’s not a problem I can’t bring anyone.
Burrington:-Well, sir, that might be a problem. The government is judging the university researchers on the basis of their social bonding and it starts with their family. If anyone is found without its family then they may be at the risk of losing the membership at the university.i can’t make an exception for you because any kind of achievements will be out of context in it.
Steve:-OK. I understand. Thank you Mr. Burrington.
Steve hangs up the phone with a tense look on his face. Skye comes and takes the phone from his hand. Steve turns towards her.
Skye:-I know you are worried about talking to them. So don’t worry , I will talk and convince them to be here.
The sadness flies off of Steve’s face and he instantly hugs Skye. Skye was wonderstruck and murmurs in her ears, “YOU ARE A LIFESAVER.” He backs off and motions towards the cafeteria.
Skye comes back to her senses, walks slowly and sit down on the chair, still deep down in her thoughts, she starts remembering the past days of her college years when she was just enrolled there and then at the fresher’s party, she saw a senior involved in calclations with his pencil on the wall. She was at first amused by it. She went towards him and she realized that it was a work which only some of the high minds of the world could pull off. He was trying to pull off Non-relativistic time-dependent Schrödinger equation in 3 dimensions. She was totally shocked over his concentration level because she could feel the music there down to her bones. She went to him with a desire to befriend him cause know it or not but she was attracted to him.
Skye: - Hey, what are you doing here?
Steve nearly fell to the ground.
Steve: - Well, I’m bad at convincing people, so I can’t convince them to be there at the dance floor.
Skye:-So that’s the problem. Why don’t you come and dance with me?
He just stared her in shock. Then gathered his strength and ran away out of the venue. She was watching him go. One thing was pretty sure to her that this boy is gonna be a related to her from now on. From that day, they crossed paths many times but not a single conversation occurred between them because whenever she saw him, she found him lost in his own thoughts and calculations. She dared to talk to him for a time or two, but was ignored. So she never attempted it again. But she was after him. Since there was a year difference between them, so she joined all extra sessions and activities which Steve attended too. That’s how she got to understand him too much. She completed the graduation with the grades just a little less than him. She also went to the same university as him to get her Ph.D. in the same field as his.
Suddenly she comes back in the present. And murmurs to herself, looking towards the dresses she is wearing, “Store this dress untouched and unwashed. It has his scent.”
After office, she went to Stella and Charlie’s place, Steve’s parents.
Stella: - It’s always a pleasure to see you.
Skye (with a smile):- Pleasure’s mine, Aunt.
Stella (frowning):- How many times I have told you, with Steve not around, you can call me mother. He might not accept it, but I have seen the thing in his eyes for you. Also, no one other than you can handle him.
Skye:-Well we can leave the topic for another time. This time I am here for another thing. There’s a family at work day at the university, and you are supposed to be there as your son’s family.
Stella:-Why did he not come to tell me that?
Skye:-I guess you know the answer. Since that argument you had, I think he is not sure to talk to you and once he told me that he is bad at convincing.
Stella starts having a series of old memories flashing up before her eyes, in which