February, 2018


Short Story

Box of Chocolates


She tried connecting to his number a few times before she gave up. It seemed like he was still on a flight. With both them working at senior roles in global IT companies, they ended up living out of their suitcases. They spent time together in Mumbai, which was also their home, and was a rarity. It had become all the more hectic since last year when they both had gotten elevated to heading international sales in their respective organizations. And now, by sheer coincidence, both of them were returning from the US back to India, though on separate flights. His flight was stopping over at Frankfurt and hers at Munich, just a few minutes back. Luckily, due to some issue with her flight, it had been redirected to Frankfurt and onward.

She was very excited about the prospect of meeting him at Frankfurt and giving him a surprise. He used to love surprises and the thought of giving him a surprise at the airport brought a big smile to her face. For the last two months, there had been a hint of tension between them with their busy lives. She thought, “It was nothing that an unexpected catch-up and weekend break to an exotic location cannot sort.” She looked at her watch and noticed that his flight was an hour away and they had possibly three-four hours at the airport till they boarded their respective connecting flights. She decided to take a nap in the business class lounge till then and set up her alarm accordingly.

She was awakened from her deep sleep by her alarm ringing. She looked up groggily at the arrival board and realized to her dismay that his flight had arrived about thirty minutes ago, a bit earlier than expected.

“Shit! Just when you least expect it, the flight lands earlier,” hurriedly saying so, she rushed towards the ladies room to get herself ready to meet him. The room was empty. She stood in front of the mirror, straightened up her dress and looked at herself critically.

“Need to lose some weight and start dieting again,” she sighed while applying some makeup when suddenly she was startled by a thumping noise that came out of the cubicle behind her. And a few other guttural noises that only meant that there were two people inside having a good time!

“Oh!” she exclaimed to herself and wondered how people could do it inside a toilet when suddenly the door opened and through her mirror, she could see a girl walk out. She must have been around thirty-ish dressed in a business suit. She saw her looking at her and briskly walked out of the restroom with a hint of a smile on her face. She adjusted her dress as she walked out.

“Man, some women have guts,” she exclaimed and went back to her make up and wondered who would step out of the cubicle. And the door creaked slowly as if someone wanted to make a discreet exit. When she saw the face of the man who stepped out, it was she who got an unexpected surprise.