Letters from nowhere: Part 7/7: Zestful
On Thursday, the managing director apologized to Anne for categorizing her with Twinkle and praised her efforts in trying to solve the issue. The apology did marvels to her attitude towards her director. The grumpy pig was transforming for the better.
By Friday evening, the man showed marked improvements and even succeeded in making her laugh. He grinned seeing her laugh at a joke he had cracked and the grin proved lethal to Anne’s fluttering heart. The romantic in her terrorized her that she would fall in love with that grin and its owner. Chiding herself, she returned to her seat smiling like a fool. Stephen Winthrop appeared to be of her age. The man must be married. He would never look at her twice, if he knew what was on her mind.
In the evening, while having coffee in the nearby cafeteria, a waiter came in and gave her a box of chocolates. A Shmily coin was glued to the top of the box. Mr. Shmily was back in action. Together with it was a handwritten letter.
“Who gave you this?”
“Ma’am, a customer who left just now asked me to give you this.”
“Do you know him?”
“No ma’am... saw him for the first time today.”
Opening the letter, she read.
Come to your father’s house today at 8.00 pm. I will meet you there. I have already met your father twice and have made my intentions clear. I cannot go on playing this charade anymore. I need to tell you in person how ardently I love you.
Whoever this Shmily was, knew exactly who held her control button. Yes, she would go. She couldn't wait to meet the person who claimed that he loved her to bits.
With her heart doing a wild dance against her ribs, she pressed the bell on her father’s flat at 7.45 pm that day. Clara opened the door with a huge smile and hugged her warmly.
“We were waiting for you eagerly. Wait, he has gone down to get something for you,” said Clara, while her father beamed at her like a happy child.
Curbing her urge to make them reveal more about the person, Anne waited. Twiddling with her purse handle did not ease her mind nor did the ticking clock.
When the doorbell rang, Anne waited anxiously for the final reveal. A person carrying a huge bouquet came in. The size of the bouquet made it impossible for her to see his face, but the person was quite tall.
“Good evening sweetheart,” said the man, and with trembling hands, Anne took the bouquet from him. She gasped. Mr. Stephen Winthrop stood smiling at her.
“Sir, you…,” mumbled Anne and staggered. Two strong hands that wound around her, steadied her.
“Sebastian, you wanted to see that painting I had completed, didn’t you?” cried Carol. Within seconds, she and her scheming father scooted out of the flat, leaving Anne with Stephen in the flat.
Months of reading his thoughts had made her feel like she knew him. An event-filled week that had slowly thawed her dislike for her arrogant managing director made her welcome the warmth of his hands and she blushed when he gathered her into a hug.
Stephen professed he had fallen in love with her at a company get together party, three months ago. He had not approached her, being an introvert, but had started to study her.
“I had read that Shmily story online and whenever I thought about someone whom I could love like that, your face popped into my mind. Wanting to know you, I created that email id and started mailing you. But you never responded. That was when I decided to come to Bangalore,” said Stephen.
“But you never acted as though you liked me. In fact, you blasted me on that first day,” said Anne.
“Sorry for that. It was all a mistake. My enquiries in and around Bangalore during my first week here had revealed that Twinkle was behind the shady dealings. I suspected you were in league with her. And that nearly killed me,” said Stephen, squeezing Anne’s hand apologetically.
Anne fondly looked at the man in front of her and mouthed ‘It is okay’.
“Will you marry me, Anne? Make me the happiest person in the world,” asked
Stephen, sinking onto the floor on one knee. After remaining mute for a whole minute owing to his sudden request, she whispered a hoarse “Yes”.
When Stephen slipped a shining platinum ring on her ring finger, Anne wiped the happy tears that were flowing out.
Her father and Carol, who must have been listening at the door, barged in showering their happiness on the happy couple.
Gone were her insecurities and gone were her fears, something about the man who stood near told her that there were rainbows ahead.