Friday, August 15, 2014

The pencil

They’re both present. They’re both ready. She seats herself in front of the speaker phone. Her notebook is already open to a fresh page and her writing instrument of choice is all set for action. The engineer seated to her right takes a peek into her book. She’s clearly written the date of the meeting and places her instrument across the page where she can easily pick it up again as she will have to.

His eyes widen just a little when he sees she’s used a mechanical pencil. He’s known her to be a stationery fanatic. But in this time and age, when everyone just grabs the nearest pen and doesn't think twice about it after using it, this woman seems to treat her pens and pencils like they were souls who feel the pain of misuse just like any living creature would. And a pencil? True enough, there’s a block of eraser that seems to be well cared for. One end looks unused while the other was worn almost symmetrically.

“Really?” he breathes, assuming her not to hear. But she does.

“Really, what?”

“You use a pencil.” His smile widens.

“So? What is so surprising about that?”

He idly picks her pencil up and deftly spins the pencil between his fingers. The call would start in another five minutes. She turns to look at him. Their eyes meet as she places her hands over his, stilling the twirling pencil. Brown gazes into blue.

“You really want to know?” her voice holds a tinge of mischief. He comes a little closer. She does not move back. The air conditioning in the room is the only other audible entity. Their lips are merely inches away.

“Try me, love.” His voice is deeper than usual.

Her hand on his chest is soft but firm. In an instant, she pushes him away and grabs the pencil from his grasp.

“I don’t like mistakes. With this,” she looks down at her writing instrument and then looks back at him, her smile widening,
“I can always right the wrongs…”

There is silence as their gaze is unbroken. And then the phone rings.

It’s business as usual, once more. 

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