I just discovered internet. It was great to just surf and make new friends. I had my share of bad relationships and was done with the whole Boyfriend-Girlfriend thing. Chatting was fun and it gave me a release from my hectic work schedule. Life was wonderful with the internet at my disposal and complete anonymity.
And then, I met him online. Mystery Writer. He would not tell me his name and I dare not give him mine for the fear of having a pervert attached to me. We met every night at the chat room to chat on all sorts of stuff….fashion, movies, clothes, people….it was fun to share anything with him. I began to look forward to seeing him online every night. It almost felt like a secret date.
After a few months of secret dating, my curiosity got the better of me…who was he? Why did he not give me his name? He could not be a pervert….he was too decent for that…I knew what he worked as…an architect….was he gay…nah…I knew where he lived….I knew his love for colours and of his creativity…yet I didn’t know who Mystery Writer was. In his own words, he called himself an artist…and I felt so loved by him….yet I didn’t have enough courage to call myself anything other than Angel Girl.
One evening, he asked me “May I mail you…in the morning? My sketches may turn to doodles if I don’t rest. Our nocturnal chatting is making my mornings long and my evenings never ending….the only time that flies is the hour I spend with you.”
My heart hammered in me….a mail in the morning…for me…would he do that for some time with me….I blushed. This was the next step….we would have to exchange our emails. “Yes, why not” I replied. I had begun to trust him. That was the start of an email every day. It changes my life drastically. His mails were a source of inspiration; they became my Feel Good Factor. I began to smile at work. My colleagues were always asking on how I managed to stay so happy and why I looked so sleepy…Mystery Writer… I would whisper in my heart. And the mails flew in and we began chatting in the afternoon. He shared his designs from work with me and I shared my work of meeting people and going places with him. It was always interesting to bounce ideas off each other.
“Don’t you want to know who I am?” he asked me one day. I thought for a while. I knew that we were half a world apart from each other… our paths would never meet… but my heart refused to listen.
“Can I ask you for your name?” I typed breathlessly.
“Yes, but it will be my looks that scare you…” he replied.
I looked puzzled at my screen. Why would his looks bother me? I could not understand… before I could ask, the topic changed. The next morning, I was all nerves. I was to attend a party in the evening with some important delegates from out of town. My documents for the meeting were in place but I felt really shy in the wonderful dress I picked up for the party. Mystery Writer had assured me that it would look great on me … but I had laughed it off. He had not seen me in person, let alone seen a picture of me. He would never have guessed that I was a person with a problem figure and looked like a duck waddling around. We had discussed the dress and my skin colour and I laughed off his suggestions saying that I would look like a duck dressed up in peacock blue.
A parcel arrived at my work place that afternoon with my name on it. It looked like it had travelled half way across the world. I held my breath….who would send me a parcel? With trembling fingers, I opened the parcel. The packing was plain but twinkling inside was a beautiful bracelet that looked expensive. It looked carefully chosen. The stones were the colour of sapphire.
A dried yellow rose was also tucked in the filling with a note that caught my eye:
“A duck dressed as a peacock must have a beautiful accessory to match
Enjoy the party and relax…you will be quite a catch”
I was totally bowled over. How did he find me??? I was so touched by the gesture… he made me feel special. Who was he? How did he know where I worked? I wondered. My party was a success that evening and I loved the way I felt when the bracelet twinkled on my wrist. It made me feel special. I wanted some answers. I waited for him to come online the next day…he never came. He didn’t appear in the night either. I mailed him twice and check my mail whenever I got a chance. A day passed by and then two, no reply. I began to despair. There were more mails from my end and a week went by with no reply. Mystery Writer had disappeared. He touched my life at an instant and then he disappeared.
To cheer myself I decided to try out a different set of wardrobe and went out for more parties. It didn’t fill the void I felt, Mystery Writer had disappeared.
Another party with some delegates from Europe was announced. I had to go. The peacock dress reminded me of Mystery Writer. I did not want to wear it. I decided to go in my latest craze-a black and dark blue net sari. As the evening of the party approached, my heart was full of despair. I felt out of place thinking of the sari and it was too late to change my mind. Dressing up, I realized that I forgot to accessorize and was stuck with just a pair of tiny black studs and the bracelet. The yellow rose peeked from the box that I preserved with such loving care. My eyes misted in the memory. Bracing myself to meet everyone and no one at the party I put on the bracelet, put my hair up in a neat French twist and took a last look at myself. The reflection I saw stopped me to my tracks. The bracelet made me look elegant…it looked like I had selected the perfect sari and spent money to look beautiful. I missed him. The party was lovely and the European visitors loved my presentation. But the bracelet reminded me of Mystery Writer, I missed chatting with him. It would have been lovely to share my success with him. Among the delegates was a young entrepreneur who walked with a slight limp and with a walking stick. He was taller than all the men in the room and had an easy smile. I liked his smile and smiled at him when he yawned at our Director’s speech.
All evening he was attentive to everything I said and presented. Occasionally, I caught him staring. Ignoring the fact that it made me blush when I notice it, I walked up to him during dinner and introduced myself.
He smile and asked “Why is it that you dressed in a sari when your colleagues have dressed in a Western fashion?”
I smiled. He has a great voice, deep and smooth. “I like being different. “ I said as I played with my bracelet.
“Different? …. Do you mean different like a duck among the peacocks?” he asked. A dimple appeared on his left cheek.
My jaw dropped open. How did he know about the duck feeling I had?
“The last time we met Angel Girl, you were worried about being different” he was touching my hand, the one that played with the bracelet.
I stared at him trying to comprehend…. a thousand questions raced through my mind.
“Who are you? ” I asked staring at him.
He was a tall man with a great voice, an easy smile and with a stick that made him stand apart from all the guests I had seen. Yet something about him seemed familiar. And then it struck me….he has a yellow rose embroidered on his shirt pocket. I had seen it when he took his dark jacket off. That was why I had approached him in the first place….the rose was exactly like the one I got from… Mystery Writer. It was HIM….
By the time I found my voice, he disappeared and his parting words registered.
“A duck dressed as a peacock must have a beautiful accessory to match. Enjoy the party and relax…I had to see you looking beautiful … See you soon.”