Monday, June 17, 2013

A Fork in the Road - Conclusion

Ash and Ziya had been best friends for life.  Their day started with each other and ended together.  Most of their school years living next door to each other, days glided like the geese flocks flying high in the sky.  It was a friendship often misunderstood as they hit teen years.  Undeterred their bond resisted social pressures until the unthinkable happened.

Ash’s family broke apart as his parents split and his mother carted him clear across the ocean to another continent.  Over time, they lost contact, grew up and grew apart.  Ziya acquired a loving husband, a fulfilling career, and her life was complete once again, until now…
In the dim bar, Ash set his vertically folded magazine down, turned towards the voice and gazed into familiar eyes.  Kicking back his chair, he stood and the two long lost friends fell into enthusiastic embrace.  Peeling away from each other, they settled into their seats and proceeded to catch up on the lost years together. Ziya learned that Ash ran a successful business which took him all over the world.  Having spent all of his young adult life in starting and building up his company, he found no time for attachments.  Single, he roamed the world freely.  His current trip scheduled for two days but upon learning of Ziya’s stay length, he changed his plans.
Weekdays at work dragged as Ziya anxiously waited for the evening when they hit various restaurants and talked into the night.  As weekend hit they decided to drive off into the mountains, away from the city.  Ash had made reservations for two rooms at a resort from where they took short driving trips, walks, explored some winter sports, sampled various cuisines and local delicacies including some as daring as rattlesnake and boar.
Their friendship picked up naturally as if there had never been a seam.  Ziya loved her husband, but she began to realize that she found more comfort in Ash’s company than she did with her husband.  She discovered she could be completely herself and be a kid again with Ash.  As the weekend came to a close and they drove back to the city, Ziya’s mind raced.  There was no question that she loved her husband deeply, but her friendship with Ash was special.  Are love and friendship two sides of the same coin?  She glanced towards her friend and looked at his smiling face.  His eyes had twinkled with delight at the sight of her and hadn’t stopped twinkling since.  He was a good friend, she declared to herself.  Was she at a fork or can she walk two paths?  Her mind continued to twirl and tangle in this web of questions.  Putting them aside for now, she took delight in the company of her companion for one more evening before they part their ways.  At least, until their paths cross again…

The End

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Fork in the Road - Part Four

The server stepped forward to ask if she needed another beer and Ziya smiled with a nod.  She looked around the room and watched the group in the center becoming more animated.  Behind them in the far corner a table that had been previously unoccupied, she spotted a shadow.  Somehow she felt the need to see who it was, but his face was hidden behind the tall man chugging his pint amidst laughter and jokes in the group.

With a fresh, cool mug of beer in front of her, she settled back on her seat and leafed through her magazine for another article.  Skimming through several pages, her attention fluttered like leaves in a storm.  Pushing away her half-eaten plate of now cold fish and chips, and discarding the magazine on the far side of her table, she sat back with her mug and observed the people around her.  At long last, the loud group stood up and staggered out of the bar, one by one, leaving the room feeling lonely.

With the tall guy from the group gone, Ziya’s gaze fell on the man in shadows.  His head bent into a magazine folded vertically, he took a sip from his beer before returning to the article.  A smile passed Ziya’s lips and she stood up to walk in his direction.  She watched his thick, dark hair and the trendy, dark rimmed glasses.  His shirt was starch white, a yellow necktie loosened at the collar.  A navy blue sports coat along with a long wool coat hung at the back of a chair across from him, a pair of black leather gloves on top.  She paced before reaching him, savoring every step, every detail.  His face was square and from the profile view she detected a hint of a dimple on his clean shaven chin.  His thick lips pursed at something he read morphing into a pout as he read on.  She approached his table and stood tall, next to his seated form.  He looked up, his eyes widening as they reached hers.  She smiled and said, “Hello, Ash.  It’s been a long time.”

To be continued….

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Fork in the Road - Part Three

Work day fled with meetings, reports, education, but when 5pm came, all her colleagues packed up and headed home to their spouses, kids, girlfriends or boyfriends.  Ziya scanned the wall-less office floor, each desk balancing a flat monitor, their black screens staring, mocking.  The cleaning staff wordlessly reached under the desks, emptied waste baskets and drifted through the open floor.  Ziya banged her laptop shut, grabbed her bag and walked to her hotel.  Back in the grand lobby, instead of heading to the elevators, she decided to hop into the pub.
Settling in a dark corner of the cozy pub, she ordered a beer and fish and chips and sunk into the lush armchair.  She looked around the room noticing a few seats dotted with people, mostly young professionals enjoying the happy hour.  A group of nine men and women occupied a table in the center of the room, their rambunctious laughter echoing in the small space.   Behind them on the far wall, a screen hung from the ceiling turned to the sports channel.  Ziya watched the show intently and tried to follow the poker game that was in session.  After observing the serious faces of the players, she became bored and decided to find other forms entertainment.
Taking a sip of her dark, foamy beer, she reached in her bag for the Economist stuffed in it for the air journey.  In the dim light of the pub, she strained to read the small print, bringing the magazine closer to her face as she picked on her fries and forked the fish from under the magazine.  Lost in an article on a new “ID system in India”, she did not notice a young man enter the pub, glance at her hidden face, but then move on.  Feeling a sudden breeze wisp through her hair, she put down the magazine and looked up towards the empty doorway.
to be continued...