Someone Cares

October 2010

5 AM

I wake up with a snap, and my mind immediately starts churning with all the stuff to be done. Its searches yield two conclusions –

1. It’s going to be a horribly busy day at work.

2. It’s my birthday.

Typical.

Okay, first things first. My brain slips into gear and starts passing clear, specific instructions to my limbs. Their mission? Get me out of bed and get rid of that half-dead zombie feeling. I was in office till like 1:30 AM this morning, working on a contract so I feel a bit like a zombie. Bloody contracts.

My legs propel me towards the bathroom and then towards a sachet of instant coffee poking tantalizingly out of a drawer. 

For some reason I can’t seem to fathom, I feel like a sack of dirt. On paper, everything is fantastic. Life’s good.  

And surely, I’m not so immature that growing a year older would spoil my mood so bad? No it won’t, I say to myself. That’s not how I tick.

So what is it? I think I know, but it’s hard to be honest with myself. It’s…well…it’s just that…oh, Bugger it. I want my Birthday to be a bit special this year. And I know it won’t be. It’ll be filled with meetings and contracts and all kinds of drudgery.

People seem to think that being a lawyer is an über glamorous job. It’s not, especially if you don’t actually litigate. Mostly, you mope around, push paper, fill out forms, nitpick boring paperwork, go to meetings and go home, to be rewarded with doing the same thing the next day. And the one after that. And the one after that one too.

I’m exaggerating just a little here, but you get the idea. It’s not a great way to spend a birthday. And somewhere inside me, this child has awoken, which wants this birthday to be nice and magical and beautiful. Ergo, I feel like a sack of dirt. I sigh and put down my coffee mug. It was a gift from my dad, which he gave me for…no reason in particular. He’s like that, my father.

And then, I hear a cough and a shuffle behind me. It’s Prav.

“Morning, sweets”, he says, in an overly jovial, silly sort of way.

I roll my eyes.

“Good morn, my beloved”, I reply in a shrill, sugary sweet tone. I can play this game too.

He smiles. It’s a big, shit-eating grin. Killer stuff.

“Get dressed, we’re heading out”, he says in a matter-of-fact voice.

“What-“

“It’s Sunday. You don’t have to work on Sundays”

“But I do. There’s –“

“Your boss thinks you’ve got the flu. I, uh, sent him an email about it a few minutes ago”

“But Prav-“

“Oh come on, you’re an SVP, Natasha! Get used to it; you can take days off now. Besides, it’s your birthday”.

The same smile again. Now that I think of it, it’s an amazing smile.

“I…wow…you…”

“You’re welcome. Just get dressed for now and pack up.”

And then he puts two train tickets in my hand.

He actually planned this?! I’m speechless.

“Happy Birthday, Nat”

He holds me close. And suddenly, I realize that my sack-of-dirt feeling wasn’t about the birthday at all. All I wanted was to know that people cared. And now I know they do. He does. It’s not that I’m insecure, or that I want attention from people. It’s just that sometimes, you get so involved in the things in your life that you forget to be properly human. You forget to smell your coffee, forget to see how blue the sky really is. You forget to notice how warmth flows between people, how strong the mental bonds are, how a cosmic synergy makes even painful existence beautiful at times.

I hug him back and all is right with the world.

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