She kept her eyes peeled that morning as she set foot into the office, adjusting her small frame cautiously to keep the pain at bay. Everything seemed to solve itself after it had happened. The difficult people had apologised; her roof had been fixed two days after the call, by a repairman who would not give up his hirer’s name; and she still had not figured out who the caller was.
For the past two weeks after the conversation, she had called the same number, but had been, as she had expected, directed to a typical voicemail. She had resorted to texting.
“Thank you, my roof is now in good shape! I am fairly certain that you mean no harm. Still, may I know who you are, please?”
It took him three days to respond to that simple question. — “Certainly.”
She pondered a night, trying to decipher what he had meant, but failed to give context to that single-worded answer.
And he had evaded the question.
— “How do you feel today? It’s been quiet around here.”
“I’m recovering fine, really. Quiet, perhaps because it’s the holiday season. But I don’t exactly feel joyous with the incision under my left rib.”
— “Something warm might help you to feel better?”
They next day, a box of hot chocolate appeared by her doorstep. Instead of uneasiness, she was overwhelmed with emotions. She brought the simple box of beverage into her house and held the warm mug in her hands all day. Perhaps she should be afraid; was this stalking?
Yet she had permitted a continued exchange of texts. She was comfortable sharing her feelings and thoughts; as he was in displaying his concern, as long as he could avoid questions about his identity.
At the office, she paid close scrutiny to every person that spoke, hoping she could recognise that special baritone voice. Could it be that broad-shouldered man, decked in an exquisitely-cut deep blue suit? No; that suit was much like what a woman would pick for her man. No; she preferred to strike from her list anyone who might be married. Was it he with the prominent jaw, slender face and black curls, the one who made any girl blush? No; he was a seasoned player – and she knew better that she wouldn’t have made it on his list. Perhaps the man with rugged features, deep brown eyes and tousled hair, who had evaded her gaze?
She dived into a pile of work after her colleagues gave the customary ‘welcome back’ that hid their relief as she reclaimed her projects. When the evening came, she felt guilty. She had eyed everyone she could catch sight of, but found herself passing unruly judgements. Why did she care if those angular cheekbones were too attractive? How did it concern her that a man’s chiseled nose and thin lips reminded her of a Roman God? She knew him over the phone, and was touched by his kind gestures; did it really matter how he looked?
She picked up her bag and took a quiet ride in the elevator headed for the ground floor. Making a conscious effort not to stare at fellow commuters sharing the space, her fingers toyed with the edges of her phone. Contemplating, a smile crept on her face. Perhaps if she texted him, she could spot him when he was “…typing…”
This is Part 2 of a story about two strangers. Part 1 is here. I have no idea where these two are headed, really…