9 Jun 2013

Rhythm of Love.

"You really played us well, Leila." The text read.

I stare at the screen for almost over a minute and then compose a reply - my heart hammering.

"What do you mean?" I hit "Send" and wait with bated breath.

In the past few days, I had undergone a lot of sudden changes and I was still trying really hard to cope up with all of it. This text was from a friend - not any more, who thoroughly believed that I did not help her in her upcoming project wantonly. What followed was a series of miscommunication, mud-slinging  and fall outs that I had never imagined in my worst nightmares. I loved these people, whom I had started a business with.

The biggest mistake that I had done was - I mixed Love with Labour.

The combination never works well. I always knew I was more of an organizer kinds, but marvelled at the thought of partnering with someone who was experienced and a successful businessperson. So becoming a CEO for Myra's start up, seemed like a good idea for the time being.

However, I had always wanted to be a writer, so I had informally conveyed to the team that whenever a favourable opportunity will arrive, I will need to leave them. Nothing was on paper. Soon I was given a chance to work on my unpublished novel by the Witheredworld Publishers, who were the best in the town. I conveyed this to my team who were really happy, but in my joy I had ignored the pensive look on Myra's face. My friend. My informal business partner. I didn't talk to her directly about my leaving, but told her I will be there until everything will be final. Next morning, when I was clearing out my files and organizing everything for the office, I heard two of my team mates talking about what Myra had discussed with them previously.

"Myra said Leila lies about being a writer, you know?" One of them spoke, in a hushed undertone.
"Yea? Myra told me she never really received that offer from Weatherworld, she's been bluffing all along." Another one said. I was too shocked to react, my senses auto tuned to hear whatever they were saying.
"It's Witheredworld by the way. My friend recently joined there and she says she doesn't know any Leila."
"Haha, yeah, guess that's what she is. An escapist and unrealistic being! Who would read about love, regrets and all those things - so boring she is!

The topic soon shifted from my professional aspirations to my personal life. It was sick. I felt I needed to confront Myra about the things she was spreading about me. I waited for the co-team members to leave. On my way out, I saw Myra's sister - Niyati, whom I was really close to. She occasionally came to office to help us with organizing meetings. She tried to avert her gaze but it was too late, I held on. Hesitantly, she gave me a sudden tight hug and said, she was sorry for whatever was happening. I wanted to ask more, but she left abruptly, avoiding any scope of conversation. I decided to wait until Myra showed up. When she did, she ignored me and went directly into her cabin. It was like a slap that I wasn't prepared for. I went straight to her cabin and let myself in. She gave me a cold stare. I swallowed all my pride and asked,

"What is happening Myra? Are you not happy about my career break?" I fought back tears. She was a stranger, whom I had never met before. She wasn't my old best friend Myra, my confidante, my partner in crime. I wanted to hold her shoulders and shake her, but I resist.
"Of course I am happy! But you have been really unprofessional, by suddenly leaving us and telling people about it." She snaps at me.
"I didn't tell anybody! You knew about this before hand!" I grope for words, exasperated at the sudden shift in her stance.
"Whatever it is. You did tell somebody. You should have spoken to me first. I was really a fool to trust you Leila. I thought we would work on this project together. I even informed clients that we have you for another year." She looked straight into my eyes and I felt I was knifed.

"I did speak to you! I did not even tell anyone before I told you. What's...?" I stopped halfway as she raised her right palm, cutting me off.

"You have really damaged my reputation in the market. I had promoted it in the hope that you would stick to us. I do not hold any grudges against you, but well, I would have issues if you would ever want to come back to work with us again." I decided there was no point in arguing any more. Whatever I would say, Myra was dead set upon not believing me. I got up, taking in a deep breath, wished her good luck and walked out.

Today, it is the fourth day, since I have left the premises of our, no Myra's company, afraid of all the people, of all the calls I had been getting. I had cried myself to sleep and I was becoming paranoid. Everyone I had spoken or tried to share my thoughts with, had relayed it to Myra. Well, she was the boss. And I was a no body. Her text at 12 AM now, gutted me.

The screen blinked and I gingerly opened the text message.

"You very well know what I mean. Always playing the damsel in distress, aren't you? The world *must* revolve around you. And you damn make sure that it does, don't you Leila? You manipulated my sister. You made me look like the bad guy here. I was a fool to have ever roped you in. Should have known you are always confused. Always played by what everybody wants. Huh. Guess, this is the end for you. Let's see how you play with the dangers of the world outside. Good Luck."

What was this? Where was all of this coming from?

I lie down on my bed, realizing there must be something that I must have done. And then flashed before my eyes, the four client meetings we had held in the last three months. I had convened the meeting and the clients had complimented Myra on her choice, of me as CEO.

"You have such a good CEO Myra! Really makes us want to do business with you!" They had appreciated me. But not her, Myra, who had given me the chance to shine.

I recall another meeting, where Myra was struggling with a client about his products not selling as fast as a rival company. I had chimed in, involuntarily, having researched upon their databases that they must tweak the certain characteristic of their product and see. The results were triumphant. And the clients were happy. I had done all of this, in my naivety, not realizing for a second that I was undermining Myra's competence and stature.

I re-read the text Myra had sent and typed two words.

"Thank you." and send the message.

I lay up all night, staring at the dark night sky turning into slashed feathers of light, breaking in through my window, burning my eyes. This is how blind faith shattered. This was how pain felt, like tiny splinters, tiny needles probing you. I rub my shoulders and let a tear spill. I pick up my phone to check the time and see an unread message waiting. Involuntarily, I shiver but hold on. The text was from Witheredworld Publishers. Oh God. No. I feel faint, but open it anyway.

Such a beautiful song. Peps you up. Give it a listen please.

"Miss Leila, we would like to propose an increase in your royalty amount. It would be great if you could join us tomorrow at 11 AM at The Blue, for an informal lunch and re-assessing the terms of our contract. Our apologies for informing you this late, but we really think you have the potential to do more. Good night."

Oh. This is unexpected.

I feel tiny little fragments of warmth spreading inside me, healing me slowly. It is a new day. A new Leila is going to be born.


maithili said...

I just realised how much I missed you and your beautiful writing. You just have an amazing flow of words and emotions and this story just glides effortlessly.. Brilliant narration .. A new leila indeed :)

maithili said...

I just realised how much I missed you and your writings.. Your words and emotions just flow so naturally and the story just glides effortlessly.. New leila.indeed.. So proud of you sis for being so awesome.. I could just feel so much anguish in leila but I'm happy she found hope..

Wings of Harmony said...

@Maithili: I missed you too! Infact all of our blogger buddies should come back again, you, Soumya and Vinati are already here, Meoww will be back soon as well :D :D It would be like old times.

Did I mention? I love you. :)

meoww said...

beautiful work my dear...
I know what lies underneath.
but trust me,
A new Leila is indeed going to be born.
blessed be u-we-tsi-a-geya


Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Well, isn't that what we call, greet the dawn :D

Blasphemous Aesthete