“There’s a car waiting. See to it that those girls are dropped wherever they want and get yourself a free ride home.”
He walked towards the car and noticed the girls his boss was talking about.
“Is that an E-60?”
He looks around for the owner of that excited, impulsive voice. It was one of the girls in the group. She seemed far younger than the others most likely in her late teens. He sees no harm in talking to her although in a land where conversations were strictly restricted to business.
“Yeah, it is. Do you like it?” He has a warm smile on his lips and an innocent sparkle in his eyes.
“Yes. It looks lovely. I have never seen one this close before.”
He asks her to keep the file he had with him in her bag.
It was a monotonous journey except for occasional bikes vrooming past. She was visibly bored and started yet another abrupt conversation.
“Do you like working there?”
“Well, yes. I get a good salary but it’s a nasty business that they do. I can do nothing about it though. Anyway, here’s my stop.”
“Oh, where do you stay?”
“Starry Heights Apartments. I don’t feel comfortable at the office quarters. It’s a small apartment but I like it. Goodnight then. Nice meeting you.”
She finds his file in her bag. The following day, she goes to his apartment and hands him his folder.
“Oh, thank you so much. I was wondering how I would trace you without so much as a name.”
She sports a satisfied smile. “Are you always alone? Don’t you have any friends?”
He admires the spontaneity in her questions. “No, I generally don’t entertain here. I retire to this tiny apartment to get away from the monotony of work.” She leaves. He feels the presence of a caring soul. She feels the presence of a soul to be cared for.
Work goes on as usual. He and his monotonous work – neither cribs. 1 message received. Please fill in for me at the Interview hall today. I am down with fever. Thanks. Selection for shipping – .
A couple of days passed. 523, Starry Heights Apartments; a knock on the door. His fellow employee opens and gives her an unwelcome look. She searches for him and their eyes click. His friends hand him his jacket and he rises to leave. She presses a fleeting kiss on his cheek and whispers, “Thanks.” He puts his arm around her shoulder.
Beside the fountain outside his apartment, he realizes how happy he was with her and vows to keep her happy all her life. Her eyes well up as she feels elated. The next moment they shatter into a million pieces. It was a cruel world and he could do nothing about it.