A Birthday



The elevator stops at the second level of basement. Her black Tahari suit was just an extension of her tall & slender frame. Her Velias tapped a curious harmony on the marbled floor and her Mulberry swayed to the rhythm of her swinging hips as she walked confidently towards the darkest corner of the car park. 

“You are late Riya”

“I’m so sorry Roy, it took me a while to deflect Parul. We swiped in together; she was curious why I was going to the second level leaving my car at -1.”

“Ohh don’t get paranoid, not tonight.”

Her deep black eyes tempted the ensnared boy inside this 40-year-old man who only wished for her enchanting company. She kissed him.

“Happy Birthday Roy”
“Thanks love - for that, I can wait forever.”

The black A8 swooshes away from the dimly lit car park into the illuminated cosmopolis. The night was still full of strange possibilities.

“Even after all the time we’ve spent together, I still can’t believe your choice of music. Sade? Seriously? “

“She was my first love. Sade was giving me company while I was waiting for you. Change it if you wish.”

“That’s Ok. So how long do we have tonight? Enough for a dinner?
“Yup. That’s right just enough for a dinner.”
“How about Swerve?”
“No that’s too loud”
“Well, how about Fire & Ice”
“How about some ice & lots of fire at my place?”

“Roy, we don’t have time for jokes. You don’t know what all I had to do to steal a few hours with you.”

“I am not kidding, we are going to my place and I promise it will be more than a few hours, I am in the mood for both fire & ice.”
 He smiles and winks.

“What about Neeta?”

“Well I played it carefully. You must have noticed I’ve been calling late meetings last couple of weeks. Since she first found out about us, she’s been spying like hell. I managed to divert her several times and after a few mistakes, I’ve learnt where she looks. So I deliberately spend more time at work.” 

"And you were explaining the importance of honesty & compassion to the employees last month. The  production team is really pissed off Roy. Do you know how many complaints we’ve received. Production starts at seven AM shift and they leave by six. They have to wait two hours after a strenuous day’s work to attend your eight PM review meetings."

"Well I hope you covered for me, my most lovely Human Resource. "
"Off course I did. I feel bad for those poor souls."

"Huh yeah, you sound like you feel bad."

"Stop judging me; I am not as sick as you are. Did you really tell Sheeba to start looking for a job where her assets will do the thinking for her! I took her for a drink last week, she broke down completely."

"The foolish girl has no work all day and I don't mind it, you know how organized I am. I had asked her to keep an eye out for a fax from Axxon and inform me ASAP. I had to sign it & send it back immediately; Mark is stuck in Turkey waiting for it."

"So did she miss the fax?"

"No, she received it. I was in a meeting when she tried reaching me. Didnt follow up after that and left with her stupid boyfriend at six. Got a call from Mark around 9Pm asking if I had sent it back? That’s when I went to her desk and saw the fax."

"Roy, are you jealous of her boyfriend - enjoying the fresh fruit."

"Common Riya, you know I only like ripe wild strawberries like you. I am not interested in a gym trainer’s squeeze."

"Trick question! So you ARE jealous, you even know what her boyfriend does for a living."

"Come on. The moment you talk politely to girls like this they start spreading their legs. She told me her life story just one week into the job."

“So, where is Neeta?”

“I told her a couple of days back to leave me alone for a while as I am having a hard time at work, serious pressure. I suggested she visit her parents as Rohan & Reema are already there for vacations. Told her I’ll join them soon. “

 “
Hmm. Well played. You do have patience for tricks, we’ll test it tonight.”

“Well i am prepared Ma'am."
He holds her hand tightly as they enter the gated community.

“That’s a nice watch. Neeta?”
“Yes. It’s my birthday present. She has taste you know.”

“I can see that. Though I won’t call her a keeper. Sometimes men need chains.”
“We can arrange that as well, if you enjoy it.” He winks & smiles.  

They take the service elevator to Roy’s penthouse on the top floor, holding hands and kissing passionately, as the ground beneath them is swiftly passing away.

“Calm down Roy. Let’s open your present first.”
 “YOU are my present.”
 “Hopefully the future as well.”
“And a bright one too, if we are careful. He smiles & kisses her again.”

The elevator stops at the 14 floor.

Roy unlocks the door, Riya is all over him.  It’s dark. They are kissing their way to the light switch when all the lights turn on. 

“Happy Birthday to you” echoes through the brightly lit penthouse on the 14th floor.


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