It’s All In A Name {Part 4}

Bhavya and I love to write fiction. We attempted to write stories based on words on every day in April, and it was fun. For a few days of the Ultimate Blog Challenge in July, we are again trying to write fiction, but this time, we are keeping the name of the central character the same. This is Part 4 of a series, and the character name is Faiza.

Previous Parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3



For Javed, information was everything. He had to know more about Peter’s past now. He couldn’t believe that the hard-working, determined man he had seen in the bio-data was the same man he had seen having sex with his secretary. He remembered something from the bio-data, and his level of disbelief rose. He opened the bio-data again. Yes, he had been right. Peter Sparrow was married. He looked at the companies Peter had worked prior to founding XLEnt. A half-smile came on his face when he realized he knew people at few of those companies. He clocked out of office, and then headed in a different direction, and to a telephone booth. He made calls, asking for information why he left those jobs. They promised to get back to him, and also to be discreet.

When he reached home, his mother had a smile on her face. Javed noticed that she had been cooking. A plate of hot samosas and sweet jaggery sauce was on the table, and there was the aroma of cashews and raisins being fried. That meant there was going to be kheer the next day. His mother always got the preparations for kheer done the day before. He tried to remember if there was any particular importance to the date. But nothing came to mind.

“Ammi, what is special tomorrow? Where are we going? And why are you making kheer?”

His mother continued to smile as she cooked. She reduced the flame, then turned to him.

“You are getting old, Javed. If we wait more longer, no one will be ready to give you a rishta. We have seen a girl for you. She’s beautiful, not much younger than you. We’re going to meet her tomorrow.”

He had expected that. He steadied, prepared himself to tell his mother to wait, but she cut him short.

“I know you don’t feel you are ready. That’s why I’ve not asked your say in this. And even if I agreed, you can’t escape tomorrow. It’s all set, and too late to cancel. So don’t bother with your protest.”

Feeling helpless, he nodded and went upstairs to his room. Switching the laptop on, he saw that there were three mails which confirmed his suspicions. Peter had been fired from the first company for having an affair with his colleague, and then blaming her when things had turned ugly. He had resigned from the second company when he was suspected of stealing money, then suing them for a large amount when nothing was proven, claiming his reputation had been tainted. He had more to think about.

The next day, Javed noticed that his mother had a fever. It wasn’t high, but enough for him to insist they not travel that day. His mother smiled.

“I know. I can’t if I wanted to, Javed. But I’m not going to leave you like that. When they heard about my fever, they decided to come here to check if it’s serious. Her father is my doctor you see.”

Resigning himself to his fate, Javed got ready to welcome his guests. The old grandfather clock in the living room had just announced 4pm with its resounding gongs when they arrived. Sitting in the hall, the girl, he noticed, was quite shy, soft-spoken, and respectful of his mother who she sat next to. She had worn a simple knee black skirt with a plain white top, almost looking like a school girl. But her hair was left open, and she had a smile that felt very warm, happy, all that he loved.

“Why don’t you kids go to the balcony and talk? Get to know each other a bit more,” his mother said.

Javed smiled, as he led the young girl out to the balcony. They heard the rumble of traffic below and the rumble of thunder above them. Raindrops had started to fall, but it was a slight drizzle.

“I don’t even know your name.”

The awkwardness was evident in his voice, and she laughed.

“Faiza. I’m a singer. At least, that’s what I want to be.”

The shyness seemed to have vanished. But her smile and friendliness were still there.

“How nice. I’m Javed. I work in Human Resources for XLEnt Technologies. I love to write songs, but it doesn’t bring the money.”

It was slightly exaggerating. He had written one or two a while back, but not something that had given a chance to grow.

“Would you show me some of your songs? Let me read.”

Javed went to his room, got his old diary out, hunted out one and gave it to her. The smile didn’t fade as she read his song.

“Can I keep this for some time?”

It was an odd request from someone who had just met him. But her interest felt genuine, and he nodded.

“Thanks. We should meet again. I want to know you more.”

He was about to nod, but then stopped himself.

“I don’t think I can marry you, Faiza. I’ve just started a new job, and I don’t know if that’ll be there forever. I am worried for something, and it might be a mistake if I marry now. Not for me, but for you too. Please. I’m sorry.”

He looked at her, standing there, holding the page of his music in her hand. The smile had flickered for a moment, but then returned.

“You don’t need to marry me to meet me, Javed. My parents are understanding people, and they will be happy if we stayed friends too. I think I could say the same for aunty, even though I’ve only met her today. It’s very rare that a guy I meet for the first time has something in common with me. I’d like to know more about him. Would you be friends with me, at least?”

Her words caught him off-guard. He smiled, and nodded. They talked for a while more, watching the drizzle. As they went downstairs, both were laughing, their friendship forming quickly, as if they were in kindergarten.

As she left with her parents, he knew had found the girl he wanted to marry, when he was settled in at a job. She had been as generous as her name in asking for friendship. He wondered if she would be as generous to wait for him.

To be continued…

(11th July 2014)

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Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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