The promotion that never came
12 long years, waiting for the next promotion.
The ‘friendly’ comment I heard most often “You don’t mean that? 12 years? Why are you still here?” Or rather what is wrong with you?
And to be honest, I didn’t know.
But what I also didn’t know was what I gained in those 12 long years.
A mature attitude, patience, a can-do attitude that would help me survive in the jungle of the next job.
What did come was a self-belief thicker than a bear’s skin.
What did come was knowledge that helped me ace the odds in the next job.
A long night ahead
The meeting was secretly heralded as the fight of giants. A fight to the finish. One in which I was to be crucified.
You came with a full force, a team of loyalists, on whose behalf you would slay me.
There you sat, less than a foot away from me, surrounded by your cheerleaders. There was I, a paltry team of two to support me, neither of whom I could count on. You were the clear winner. Even before it started.
And yet, here I am. Meeting over, unharmed. Or so it seems.
You didn't raise a finger of accusation. I stared in surprise at you, not more than a foot away. Your polished manner didn't betray the contempt you have always shown me in the past. Your eyes were carefully neutral, your manner painstakingly convivial.
I didn't get it. Wasn't this supposed to be a fight to the finish? Why then did you let me go?
Is that why I have lain awake night after night since then? Grateful to have been spared and wondering why? If so, why am I not analysing the meeting more thoroughly for clues and hidden moves? Knowing what I know of you, a suave politician, who has it in for me.
Instead, night after night since then, all that I can see is the handsome face so close to mine that day. The perfectly sculpted nose, the lips that I almost reached out to explore with the tips of my fingers. The way your eyes wandered to the hoops in my ears. The way you mastered your people's dissent against me with ease.
How did a meeting of clashes turned into nights of longing?
She sat at the table, head in her hands, the tears flowing freely.
She couldn’t believe the words she had just spoken, shards of glass that must have pierced his fragile shell.
Much later, she resolutely set off for the café, where she found him as she knew she would, staring blankly at nothing.
After a while, her palm crept out to cover his hand.
His palm turned into hers, their fingers instinctively fitting together, as he looked at her, the hurt fighting the love.
Relationship with coffee
If we were having coffee together, you could have seen the love overflowing from my eyes
A voice call cannot capture the subtlety
Nor a video call the intensity.
If we were having coffee together, your optimism, your good nature would have lifted me
From the grey that is increasingly enveloping my core
Bringing my gentler, happier self to the fore.
If we were having coffee together,
I would never have known long-distance relationships can survive only with an occasional coffee together.