“You are absolutely sure about this?” Yuva asked one more time, with an enquiring look. On another day that question would have been laced with sarcasm and Geetha would have retorted, but when she looked at him back she knew for a fact that he was asking that question out of concern, and nothing else.
“Yes, Yuva, I can handle this,” she said, slowly caressing the bandages strapped on her arms and forehead, and pushing open the door with her right hand. She did not enter yet. The door half-opened, she looked at him and smiled, as he remained there, standing behind her. “I’ll be okay,” she said with a pleasant smile, and nodded at him. He finally gathered his steps and walked away. She pushed the door completely open, and right there was a cluster of crowd starring at her, all of them her office staff, gathered near the entrance. Geetha’s eyeballs rolled as she looked at them and they silently looked back at her. And without warning, a ring of applause, cheer and relief broke out loud. She starred down the hall, slowly negotiating past her fellow colleagues. Either they are truly rejoicing her return, or her return is being a comfortable excuse to make the firm premises a mess, she doesn’t know. But she knows that there is a woman sitting in the waiting room, where her prospective clients mostly wait for her. She looked desolate, almost ignored and abandoned as the whole office staff are busy tending to their celebrations. Questions from them were ringing in her ears, but she did not listen nor respond to them. She is still feeling dazed, but she watched the woman intently. “Who is she?” she asked Cheng who happened to be beside her at that time, asking all sorts of questions about the case and her health. Cheng’s enthusiasm disappeared. “She wanted to meet you about a lawsuit, and she wants you no matter what. We told her you’ll be back today, so it happened to be that she’s waiting for you since today morning,” he said. “I’ll meet her in my office,” Geetha told him, and walked off. The celebrations are a pleasant surprise nevertheless, nobody complaints about being treated as important, but nevertheless, there’s a job to do.
“Hi,” Geetha said, struggling to get her coat off as she attempts to make herself comfortable in her own office again. “Let me help you with that,” the woman came forward and helped take off her coat. “I understand you have been trying to meet me,” she said, finally taking her seat. “I’m Karthi,” the woman, said, offering her hand. For some reason, Geetha knew there and then that she never handled a case such as this, though she was yet to know the details of it.
Yuva waited at the foot of the stairs as he saw Nisha descending down the stairs with an apprehensive look. There was caution in the air. As she came closer, he blatantly held his cheeks. She stopped. “You want another one?” she asked. “What did I do wrong this time?” he asked sheepishly. “Then behave normally, otherwise you know what I’m capable of,” she said with a sarcastic smile. She instinctively grabbed his hands, took them into her own, and started walking. “Don’t be afraid, I’m still the same girlfriend, we are supposed to hold hands,” she said. “Where are we going?” he asked without a clue, as she seemed to be guiding him with a clear notion as to where she wants to go. “We are going to say thanks to your sister,” she continued walking.
Yuva was lost as to the course of events that are now taking place in his life. This is not the first time he and Nisha had fought, and subsequently reconciled with the help of his sister. And this is not the first time they are walking to her office right after finishing their works in order to thank Geetha for playing peacemaker. How many more times will their relationship stand these tides? How many more times will Geetha readily play peacemaker? He had questions in his mind, questions as to why the fights appear in the first place. There is something wrong somewhere, but now at this moment holding her hands again is a pleasure he is not willing to sacrifice by asking uncalled for questions.
He does not want to ask questions. He does not want to sit and discuss the direction their relationship is heading with her. But he senses that he knows it, she knows it, and Geetha knows it. It won’t be like this forever. Someday, they will talk about it.
Nisha pushed open the door slowly and immediately noticed that Geetha was in her office, apparently attending a female client. They had to wait. Both went to the waiting room and sat two seats apart. A beguiling silence followed. There was little skirmish smiles, occasional hesitancy, and everything else around it. It was as if they were just playing around with the idea of love once again, stoking the fire of attraction. Nisha, especially, was very much into it. She knew that she loves him beyond anything else she has ever desired and taken knack for in her life. She is willing to go through this emotional roller-coaster again if given the choice. He was worth it.
A knock on the door, and Geetha showed herself with a wide grin. It’s been a good 20 minutes, but Nisha and Yuva did not utter out a single word with each other in that period. “Hey,” Geetha said, taking her seat beside Nisha. A rush of blood woke inside Yuva, he felt left out. Geetha is the peacemaker, but she always harps about Nisha’s emotions. What about his? What is with these woman to woman discussions that they have from time to time? He glanced as they continued speaking in hushed tones. Giggles are heard.
“Hello, I’m here?” he said enquiringly. What is it that makes Geetha attract the attention of everyone, until an office celebrates her return, or makes Nisha forget his existence and immerse in a conversation with her?
Before either Geetha or Nisha could their attentions to him, another knock on the door came about. A poked her head into the room, obviously not intending to take too much of their time. “When are we meeting again?” she asked. “Next Tuesday dear,” Geetha said.
“Karthi?” suddenly Yuva woke from his extended period of dullness. The head was no more poking in. Karthi entered the room completely. “Yuva,” she said with a warm acknowledgement. Geetha and Nisha’s heads turned simultaneously in Yuva’s direction.
Yuva kept looking until Karthi walked out of the door. His eyes weren’t elsewhere. It wasn’t until he turned around that he realized that Geetha and Nisha are still in the room. “Err, like, we are here?” Geetha said. Nisha was looking at him enquiringly. “Collegemate, my junior,” he explained. “Oh, close?” Geetha asked. He couldn’t figure whether she had any kind of assumptions with the way she was asking questions. Worse still, Nisha is still being silent. “That was 15 minutes without noticing our existence, she must have been pretty close,” Nisha finally said. 15 minutes. Yuva did not realize it took that long for a normal introductory conversation he had with her right outside the waiting room all this while.
“Why is she here anyway?” he asked. “Thoda, 15 minutes, and you did not ask that basic a question to her?” Geetha raised an eyebrow. “I know it has be a court case, but what’s the catch?” he asked again. “She’s suing the school which used to employ her; they fired her recently,” Geetha explained. Yuva nodded, and walked back to his seat. “What for?” Nisha had that extra curiousity. Geetha geared up as if she’s lost for words to explain the situation. Yuva grabbed himself a plastic cup, and helped himself to some water from the fertilizer. The 15 minutes of animated talking had left his throat parched.
“Because she…I can’t find the right word…lesbian?” Geetha said, one word at a time. And with one cough, Yuva spilled the water onto his shirt.
To be continued..