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Secret admirer…

February 14, 2009

She found this Valentine’s card on her office table. Sender anonymous…

It was like any other day for her. Woke up with the alarm; right next to her ear. Turned off as soon as it rang. Being a punctual workaholic, she left her bed immediately. During the shower she remembered it was Valentine’s Day today. But pushed the thought back, as it had no significance in her life…. anymore. Intentionally started planning ahead for the day. The meetings she had. The paperwork she had to finish. And what all she could do not to remember the special day it was.

The phone rang. It was her friend. They had been friends since last three years only but felt a connection as if had known each other since forever. The friend also a colleague in her office, had joined the same day as she did, and had been working in the same department since. The friend needed a lift on the way as her vehicle broke down. She nodded and agreed to meet her in 10 minutes on the place where the friend was standing. Then got back to getting ready.

She put an effort not to look good. Not that she could do much about it as she was a beautiful woman. And she knew that and had known that for years and was pleased with it for years. But since…… well… too many memories. Not being able to handle them; she shifted to this apartment away from everyone she ever knew. A new place; a new job, a new life. At least that was what she had attempted.

It has been exactly 3 years since the death of her beloved husband. Her childhood sweetheart whom she grew up with. They both knew they were destined together. She had spent so many Valentine’s with him. And every year he would top himself with a better day for her than the last year. Well why wouldn’t he.. It was also the day they decided to get married and exactly after one year again on the Valentine’s Day they got married.

No one had seen a couple more in love. They were the cutest couple in town. Everyone just adored them. They did have their small fight now & then, like any couple but never any thing serious enough to not spend the night in each other’s arms. They loved the life they lived together.

The Valentine’s Day for them was very special but not about gifts, but love & time spent together. There were normal gifts also and surely a card, which would express their love towards each other. The card was never bought but made with love.

He would always plan something romantic for them to do which one only can imagine or see in romantic novels or movies. He gave life to her fantasies. Be it a ‘boat ride’ in a placid lake, a walk by the seashore at midnight or just a simple home cooked dinner at their roof. He did find something or the other that would please her. As if he sensed what she wished for.

The phone rang again. It was her friend again. She saw the clock unbelievably. 20 minutes had passed. She shook her head as if trying to get the memories out. How did she let herself trail back? But then she was not herself today. For 3 whole years she kept these memories locked in the dark corners of her heart but she was not able to control them today. And that was bothering her.

It was the day of his demise. A Valentine’s plan that had brought upon his end. A plan to light up the bedroom with lights had ended in an electric shock. It had left her in more of a shock than him. She could not imagine a life without him she didn’t want anyone but him in her life.

Since then, she had put on a girdle of security around her. And let no one get near her. Emotionally that is. She was a nice person to talk to and she had made some new friends too but none of them actually knew her.

It was time for her to leave. Her friend was waiting. She didn’t like to get late. As it raised questions and made her answerable to other people. Which she did not want. She didn’t want anyone in her life. Anyone having any kind control over her.

She picked up her friend and reached the office in time. Replied to her friend’s queries on the way and lied to her the first time in 3 years. She had always told her friend the truth and requested her not to question about her previous life. But today she had no excuse but to lie.

On reaching her table she saw this huge handmade card, with a bunch of pink roses.Confused and afraid she picked up the card.

The card said “of all the eyes I have seen, yours are the ones who have the depth which make me want to dive to the bottom & find the treasures hidden beneath”. Sender your secret admirer…. What a childish thing to do. Secret admirer… Are we in school or what? She said aloud so that her colleagues and maybe the sender too if anywhere around could hear that. She knew whom it was from but didn’t want to believe he could do something like that. She had been trying to avoid this for the last three years.

She didn’t throw away the card. Just kept it aside to clear the table; as it was almost covering the whole workspace.

She must not think of the card. But how? It was right there on her table. So big that no one could miss it. But still she told herself, that someone might have been joking. But she knew everyone in the office no one could do that to her. Everyone loved her.

That’s right.. everyone loved her. Including the man who was standing at a distance and observing her. He stood tall, with his eyes focused on her. Expressions clear that he wanted to give her the best he could offer. He had been in the same office for the last 8 years, but the last three had been disturbing in a good way.

 He had felt something when he had seen her the first time. Nicely dressed waiting for her interviewer to call for her. He had never seen a woman so confident of herself. But only after she joined he came to know that her confidence was a disguise to keep herself from getting unwanted advances.

That is what had attracted him towards her. Her eyes so beautiful were filled with pain which she hid from everybody. But he being not only a good observer but also a good hearted man felt that. He wanted her to be happy. He had tried that in past and had failed. Not that he had said anything directly but had invited her to a few birthday or new year’s parties but got in return a polite rejection. Which he didn’t mind, as he knew her past. He knew she wanted to be left alone. And that is what he was not going to do. As she deserved to be with someone who loved her. She deserved a second chance in life. She was too good a person to be left alone… sad.

He had actually gone a step ahead and found out her past. Met up with her old friends and some family members also. He had made his intentions clear to them. And they had approved. They came to know he was a good guy and a right choice for her. The only person left to convince was her. But she seemed as distant as the day she was on their first meeting. He thought not taking his eyes off of her.

But only that was not true. She had noticed him since the very beginning. Knew of his intentions in inviting her to the parties. And that is why she had refused. She was afraid. Not of him but of herself. She liked him and she was not ready to admit. She felt it was like a betrayal to her husband. She was not ready to do that.

But this bold step confused her. She hadn’t expected anything like this. So visible and loud. She had to do something about it. But how could she ask him if it was him who put that on her table? He might refuse and she would feel so embarrassed. But she knew it was him. And he better admit. She picked up her phone & dialed his extension. With a brief ‘hello’ she came straight to the point. ‘I want to meet you in the cafeteria during lunch time. Can you make it?” she asked and got a positive reply. She put the phone down & looked at her watch. 25 minutes to go. She had already wasted so much time.

That is exactly what he was thinking too. He had wasted so much time. He should have done this sooner.

They met up. A few looks from the tables beside theirs. But everyone went back to their business. She was straight to her question with a straight face. He smiled lightly. And admitted it was him. And told her it was not some kind of romantic or sensual intention. Just a token of affection from him as he liked her very much. He meant it and she could see that. Her instincts told her to believe him. She did.

He was frank with her and told her his intentions. He wanted to be a friend, a companion. Wanted to share her grief. She smiled and told him that she was happy he cared about her. And also shared her story with him which he already knew. He was happy that now she trusted him enough to open up. His caring measures didn’t go futile.

But at the end of her story she also told him that she was not ready & never will be ready for any relationship. And this time she meant it. She told him that she thought about it. She had thought about it since last three years. She knew a day like this would come and she should be ready for that. And she was. She said she was ready to be a friend; whom she already considered him or she wouldn’t have been talking to him. But she had something different planned for her.

The Valentine’s day when her husband passed away they were planning to start a family. And could not due to the unfortunate event. Since then she had been trying to adopt a child. She had been visiting an adoption centre and had been interacting with the children there. And was very fond of a young girl and wanted to bring her home. But didn’t find enough courage to do so but today when she got this card it reminded her of what she had to do. This was time. She now had a friend who would support her emotionally. But a relationship with him other than that, she didn’t want.

She was very clear and determined on this and he saw that confidence in her again that he had before the interview. Maybe this was the fire that was keeping her going. She had already called the adoption centre.

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38 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2009 3:03 pm

    A well written inspiring story :). A nice note to start the day!

  2. February 14, 2009 4:45 pm

    Very well written! Long but not boring.

    The ending was a pleasant surprise! I was hoping for the obvious ending – the second innings!

    Well, the second innings did begin though on a different note!

    You may continue this story the next Valentine’s day! You may submit it to Sulekha Valentine’s Day contest, the last day is today; observe the word limit though.

    I also want to adopt babies; I am single but dying to marry but I am unemployed and I love someone who does not love me!

    You must have loved Heartcrossing’s story; I saw your comments there. I can see shades of Heart in you! She is a very good woman, single mother and speaks her mind.

    By the way, I love the nose more than the eyes. When you have time read my latest post on the female nose! No hurry, read it when you have time.

    I have you in my must-visit list and links now. We are friends now. I have five blogging buddies closest to my heart: you, Arpit, Heart, timethief and Poonam because I am very comfortable with all of you and trust you.

    Feel no compulsion to visit my blog or comment. Do it only when you have time. Sometimes, it becomes very time taking affair.

    Ignore typos, if any.

  3. February 14, 2009 4:50 pm

    Interesting…
    Difficult to say, if she was right or she was wrong…
    It’s all in the mind…

  4. February 14, 2009 4:51 pm

    nice wordplay…..

  5. February 14, 2009 6:24 pm

    yet another masterpiece of a post. Hats off to you! Happy Valentine’s day!

  6. February 14, 2009 6:51 pm

    I agree with Chiranjib – not sure whether she was being sensible or no…

    But a good one nevertheless. A very different ending! 🙂

  7. February 15, 2009 5:28 am

    Neeraja – thanks 🙂

    Vikas – thanks.. i was worried it got very long . i didn’t expect it to be. this is the longest one i have ever written (2000 words). i usally like it short & straight.
    u r a good person. she’ll come around.if she is good enough.
    i liked heart’s story very much. i loved the feeling of independence.
    i’ll surely visit ur site. i like the way u write too.

    Chiranjib – It’s all in the mind 🙂

    Max – Thanks 🙂

    Rohini – 🙂 Happy Valentine’s day to u too…

    Sindhu – why can’t a woman choose to live her life as she wishes. is a man’s support that necessary..? i agree it is important and very useful many a times.. but.. is she insensible just because she refuses to take anything but moral & emotional support..?

    thanks.. i wanted it to end differently. 🙂

  8. February 15, 2009 5:33 am

    nice flow to the story.. story of someone u know ? 😉

  9. February 15, 2009 6:00 am

    No.. I am not saying the woman is being insensible. Like I said… I just cant make it out – I am not calling her insensible at all!

    I, for one, believe that company in life is very important – at all stages. Company of good people who will stand by you all your life. Saying I will provide moral & emotional support is fine – but when it comes to actual every day life, its not that easy that he will just be able to deliver all he promised, as just a friend! In that angle, when a great offer is being made to us, I was just wondering if it was a good idea to say no. Thats it.

    My views – thats it. But again repeating – am not calling her insensible! 🙂

  10. February 15, 2009 6:23 am

    Oorja

    Amazing ending and totally unexpected..really liked it:) You write so well 🙂

  11. February 15, 2009 6:25 am

    Bhargavi – no actually it is purely imagination..

    if i tell u of the inspiration u might laugh. i found a card on my table yesterday morning, that was with the newspaper as an advertisement for an airline company that they were giving dicounts to flyers for this week. but my hopeless romantic creative mind started looking beyond and ended up in this.

    Sindhu – ya agree with you and i know how different saying something and being there to do it is. she being an independent working woman might be able to take care of the monetary matters.
    there are other aspects of life when u do need somone and for that she has her baby now. for companionship or support in later years.
    it was no sudden decision. she had been planning it.
    she just couldn’t imagine herself with any other man.
    even the man who loved her wouldn’t want her to say yes half-heartedly.
    as for the society.. there will always be questions involved. who have they spared ever..!

  12. February 15, 2009 6:28 am

    Praddy – thanks dear.. 🙂

  13. February 15, 2009 7:41 am

    Nice story, I like not-so-obvious end 🙂

    • February 15, 2009 9:31 am

      Poonam – Thanks 🙂

      Vimal – ya i thought so too after writing it.. but life is not easy for everyone..

  14. February 15, 2009 9:04 am

    thats a good way to move on in life ! Good story, keep writing! and i believe this is just fiction and I hope no one goes through so much of pain in life !

  15. Apar permalink
    February 15, 2009 10:24 am

    Nice story Oorja…but the practical person in me, would have told of the intentions of adoption and given the relationship a try too. all idealism apart; but bringing up a kid is not a simple thing. Kudos to women and men who are single parents, when an offer is made from an understanding person …
    well, it is my point of view!
    For fiction though, I suppose it goes well, the twist and the not so obvious end! 🙂

  16. February 15, 2009 12:04 pm

    Apar – ya i can understand.. maybe i didn’t want it to end in obvious..
    i see Sushmita Sen living happily with her adopted daughter and feel if she can do it then why not any other woman. it may be difficult but not impossible.

  17. Apar permalink
    February 15, 2009 12:15 pm

    Trust me when I say that it is way more than difficult 🙂 Nothing is impossible.Forget celebrities who have loads of money…there are women and men around the world who do this single parenting thing.
    Besides, I am always reminded of my mum’s teacher – a nun who in those days used to advice gals who talked of being single to not do that unless they take up religion like her. I have known way too many bitter single women who have a good career, great kids….it would scare anyone. That is why I said when one is given the choice, especially when it is not a bad one – why not take it?! 🙂 Again as I said earlier, life choices are not that easy!

    • February 15, 2009 1:02 pm

      hmm.. choices are never easy.
      when i started to write i just saw it as fiction and didn’t want it to be a typical story.
      i have been thinking about it all day long.now i can see it may be more difficult than i imangined it to be.
      maybe here i tried to replace one relationship (love) with other (child).

      can she really not live for the child..? with true friend(s) for support…! does she have to take the regular path.. what about her feelings for her husband..? will she able to justify the new relationship even if she agrees to it..? will that man however angelic he is.. at one point not get annoyed of it..? will he support the adopted child too..? will he not want a one of his own..? will she be able to provide that to him..? is it all right..?

      i know its my story and i must answer these but.. i am thinking aloud.

  18. Apar permalink
    February 15, 2009 1:11 pm

    I will try answer these in my point of view. 🙂
    Yes…she can live for the child who will grow up and have a life of its own. Then will she burden the kid with the load of saying she sacrificed her life for the kid (intentionally or not…)? So, does she live her life with only memories and deny herself of companionship as she grows older? The questions of the man getting annoyed or not supporting the adopted kid is so cliched much like the cliched evil stepmother types!
    In fact, I have a friend who adopted a daughter; now is remarried and has a kid with her husband. Touchwood, it is a really happy family. The gal who has been adopted is sometimes more spoilt than the other one by the dad 🙂
    Seems like we are having quite a discussion here 😀
    I did say earlier, I understand that this is fiction that you have written…and it is totally fine 🙂 and beautifully written.

  19. February 15, 2009 1:37 pm

    discussions are always welcome.. what’s the use of having a blog or friends if u can’t have some goodhearted discussions.. i actually missed it a lot since moving here. me and my friend used to do that a lot 🙂

    ya it can be ciche’ but is true too. may ur friend’s family stay happy forever.

    now old age.. that is one major issue. but not trying to just debate but there is no guarentee that the companion u choose will be there to share that. still u are dependent on kids. be it adopted or own. but better we plan for our old age and try not to burden the kids for anything.

    companion might not live but friends will. if not all of them some will. so moral of the story is make more (true)friends.. 😉

  20. Apar permalink
    February 15, 2009 1:54 pm

    😀 yeah discussions are good 🙂

    As time goes by, I have come to realise (personal experience totally!!) that no matter how close you are to your friends; they have their own lives & priorities!

    Death is something that one cannot plan for – as in, one cannot say oh, the person I am with will probably die soon or something. If that were the case, none of us should ever think of having a companion 🙂

    Discussion will keep continuing 😉 may be we should take it off the comments to a chat and not bore your other readers 😉

  21. February 15, 2009 3:07 pm

    beautifully written story..:)
    and the ending is so real…what if one is simpy not able to get over past hurts and is unable to heal past wounds…?
    that is why I loved the way you ended it…
    yes,she could have accepted the guy too as a part of her life but then it would have been another happily ever after story…:)(though I love those the most)
    but this felt real…
    keep writing…as beautifully!:)

  22. February 16, 2009 5:12 am

    Apar – ya no one will ever marry if we were to consider death. everyone has to die some day. why waste the time we have, thinking of something which is not in our hands.

    i think this discussion must not have bored anyone as it gives an insight to the story.. and the stroy becomes real (& popular ;-)).
    if i had let her marry him i would have missed out on all this. 🙂

    Indyeah – Thanks.. welcome here.. 🙂
    i love happy endings too.. but while writing i need a twisted ending 🙂

  23. swetaa permalink
    February 17, 2009 10:57 am

    Really nice n touching story.. with a b’ful ending…

  24. February 20, 2009 1:15 am

    Love, Companion once found can we find the same again? That’s what I thought when I read this. Can one just get over it, start a new life? It depends I guess, living alone can be a scary, human inherently is a social being, so then I come to the point of where she adopts. I guess that’s where she finds the companion, someone she can start a new life with. Nice one!

  25. February 21, 2009 5:11 am

    Perception – thanks and welcome here.. 🙂

    that is what i was thinking. she was lonely and needed someone in her life. why does that have to be a man and why not a child which she can take care of. yes it will be difficult but wouldn’t it be easier than the last 3 years she had already lived alone..

    if this man was not here offering this or if he was not the right guy for her then her decision of adoption would have been seen as a good one. but when there is a possibility of companionship and support society feels she must have opted for that.

  26. February 21, 2009 6:39 pm

    I would have loved the story more had she accepted his offer.

    Come up with Secret admirer – 2 🙂
    where she feels that the kid needs a father figure and marries this guy 🙂

  27. worktoday24 permalink
    March 2, 2009 3:40 pm

    nice, touching post

    thanks.. 🙂

  28. April 1, 2009 7:00 am

    the ending came 2 me as a surprise..was obviously expecting something else….but very well written….keep writing..:):)

    thanks.. 🙂

  29. May 26, 2009 1:50 pm

    “She didn’t want anyone in her life. Anyone having any kind of control over her.” Truly insightful–my favorite lines. Amazingly well written! I’m more confident now, you would find the theme of ‘residua’ interesting.

    Someone above commented the story to be long (must have not tried my story 😉 ), but personally would have liked the story to continued. I think it’d be difficult for the secret admirer and the protagonist to continue that way. Just as I was typing out this sentence, I realized, you’ve not used a single name in the story! How did I miss this piece of detail! Truly impressive! Sorry for so many exclamation masks! But your story deserves them.

    TC.

    actually those are one of my favourite lines too..

    hmm continue the story.. hmmm…

  30. June 15, 2009 9:41 am

    I don’t know how come i haven’t come across your shortstories!! 🙂

    Loved reading it 🙂

    Thanks..

    now you’re here… Welcome… 🙂

  31. December 15, 2009 2:28 pm

    Very interesting story. 🙂 Came via the Avant Garde Award links.

    Thanks.. 🙂 welcome here…..

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