Friday, December 03, 2010

The House

He was always forgetful.

She clicked on the mouse and opened her email. She went through all the unread mails, hoping for something. Nothing. It has already been past three hours since the time he was supposed to wish her on their fifth anniversary as husband and wife. He must have forgotten about it again. Well, why wouldn't he be? He had only wished her once during her entire life spent with him, and it was on the first anniversary and that was it. The second, the third and the fourth, he forgot about them all. And if it wasn't because of her being so grumpy in the evenings of the three missed anniversaries, he wouldn't have noticed. No, he wouldn't have noticed about it at all.


She closed the browser and powered off the monitor. The light went off her face instantly, covering her back again into the darkness in her own private room. It was still raining outside. Thunders stroke and wind blew violently. She kept her room dark, as to comply with her own feelings. The only light that lit up the room was from the outside, of sunshine clouded heavily by the stormy weather. Her eyes felt sore.

Sometimes, I wondered why the hell did I marry you? She asked herself.

She admired her husband, actually. He worked really hard to keep the food on the table. But he was hardly at home even on the weekends. He was alway at the plant where he worked at, or his laboratories, or his clients' offices, or everywhere else. She knew he would have never cheated on her - he's the busy bee type, no time for women and even his wife kind of fella. They didn't have children just yet because the husband wanted to focus on his things first before starting a real family, which to this day she still wondered when exactly. Despite she being a director in a real estate company and him being an expert in his fields, both making hell lot of money, they hardly spent them. She never really knew how much he actually made per month, and she always had enough for herself from her paycheck even though he did gave her some dough every now and then.

Well that's just it? Marriage?

Her heart broke into now another million pieces from already millions of pieces since from the past three forgotten celebrations. She wondered where he was at the time. Probably busy with his job - the so called big time engineering job - and forgot about her all along, not to mention about the anniversary. It was only year five. Their love life was once so romantic and warm and affectionate. Well she guessed this must be what it was after being married - no more kisses and heartwarming poetries and shits, let alone presents for the goddamn fifth anniversary. She felt like kicking her desk out the window and hoped it fell and hit someone, hopefully her husband.

Worst, the anniversary fell right a day after her birthday.

The birthday was even worst. She remembered how she waited all night long last night until late but he wasn't home because he was so busy with his works that she ended up sleeping alone on the bed before he came back and emerged into the room (from which she did not notice at all) and slept next to her. It was raining the whole night and she waited if he would have hugged her all night long just like he used to do during their younger days after the wedding, raining or not. But she shivered inside the comforter instead, all alone. When she woke up in the morning, he was already gone to work. The house was all empty and silent and dead, just like every other day. But she was hoping to see something on the table in the hall where he used to leave her presents and cards in the morning as what he referred to as 'surprises'. Well there was already a watch, a pearl necklace, a handbag and that stupidly-looking, oversize shoes he bought when he was abroad sometime back. She wondered what kind of surprises he was up to this time. When she walked out the room and into the hall that morning to look at the table, she was surprised. Very surprised.

No cakes. No presents. No cards. No wishes. Nothing.

And this precisely explained why she came late into the office with a pair of panda eyes, three hours after work started. When she walked past the workstations of her staffs, she could feel all eyes on her. She had to cancel all her appointments with her clients in the morning, and postponed them to other days except for one: a client who she found out to be rather interesting because he wanted to buy one of the houses she had in her real estate deals. It was a posh house - the type of house that was not only pleasant to look at but definitely a bomb, especially when it was located on top of a hill facing the whole city wide. Nobody wanted that house for two years since she first invested in it due to its own price - stunningly high price  - until recently when that particular client contacted her company. She fell in love with the house since she first saw it, and despite her attachment to it to make it her own, she had to let the house go. She loved that house, and when compared with the apartment she and her husband currently were living in, which they were renting for, that house was like fifteen thousand times better. But business is business, after all. When she was reminiscing about all these, suddenly the intercom on the table beeped.

"Miss Daria," the intercom said. It was her secretary. "You have an appointment in half an hour time. It was the one you postponed this morning."

"In this weather, I think the client must have canceled it, " she replied while her eyes still looking far off to the horizon from the top of the twenty-floors building. "Did you check?" she asked.

"I did," the secretary responded. "It's still on. Client called and confirmed. He waited there for you since morning despite the postponed meeting." And then the intercom died.

What's wrong with everyone? Goddamn it, she said. How so lazy of her to do anything that day. She looked at the clock on the wall. It was nearly 3.00pm. The weather was still as thunderous and rainy, perfectly just like what she was feeling inside. With a heavy heart, she took her overcoat and bag and started to make her walk towards the other elevator so that she could avoid her staffs seeing her like that. When she got into the elevator, she fixed herself with the help of the mirrored-wall and faked a smile. She hoped the client won't get too freaked out seeing her like that. She then thought again about her day. She didn't mind if the staffs or anybody else did not wish her for both the occasions. But the husband, her own husband? Not even a text message? She took out her phone from her bag and checked. There was no message nor a call from anybody - not even from her husband.  


She threw the phone back into the bag and got out from the elevator and into the underground parking area. She got into her car and drove off like a mad hatter, into the heavy rain. The traffic was slow, and she was thankful that the house was only ten kilometers from her office. She ran through on what she needed to do with the client. She was told by her secretary that the client had already met her executives on buying the properties and had already banked-in half the amount of the properties' total price, which was very generous, showing that the client was very interested and serious about buying it. This meant that all she needed to do was to shake the client's hand and award the property for handover. Well there goes my dream house, she whispered to herself, before contemplating when she will be able to buy a house like that, if there will ever be anymore like it. Ironic, for being a property and real estate director who still lived in a rented house, having none of her own. Not that she didn't have the money though, just that she never really thought somebody was going to buy that damn house she loved so much.

When she arrived at the house, she took a look at it for some time, admiring its beauty. She was always here whenever her husband was not around, like he always was, spending her time alone walking through its garden and enjoyed the view. Many times she cried from her frustrations and loneliness from departed warmth of love. Well she will definitely gonna miss the house, other than the need to find a new spot to ease her disturbed mind. The client must be here already. She remembered that her secretary told her that the client just recently quitted his job and he needed to have a place to settle down before he gets himself a simpler job. In the mean time, her secretary said, he wanted to spend more time with his family.

The perfect man that never occurred to her, alright. 

She took out an umbrella and carefully walked into the house compound. She noticed that the door was unlocked and left opened, and this made her think - how did the client obtain the keys? Must be one of the managers' work again, she assumed. So without thinking much she put off her shoes and walked into the house with the document bag, ready to meet the new owner of the beloved establishment. But there was no one in the house. She double checked this and made brief search in all rooms and spaces but she couldn't find anybody. When she went pass one of the window, she saw someone - a vision of a man blurred from the rain - bending over at around one of the bushes in the garden, as if he was searching for something. He must be the client.

But what the hell was he doing in the rain?

She left the document bag on the floor of the house. She went out, put her shoes on and walked into the rain with her umbrella but her stilettos sank into the soft ground as she walked, so she decided to take them off and held them hanging by her fingers. As she approached the man, who was in a navy blue shirt all tucked into his long khakis pants, and all wet from the rain, she called for his attentions. 

"Hello!" she yelled to match the sound from the rainstorm. "Hello!"

He didn't turn around. He was instead checking flowers - red blood roses - growing by the bushes, one by one of them. She couldn't really see him because the heavy rain was getting heavier. She was on top of a small hill, a part of the house's landscape, while he was at the lower ground.

"Hello!" she yelled again. "Hello! Hey there!" Oh God, she thought, do I need to throw these shoes for your bloody attentions?


This time the man picked one of the fully-bloomed blood red rose, broke its stem and turned around after he was satisfied with the rose he picked. He turned around and faced her. He was all wet and his long hair felled and covered his temple and almost his spectacles. He walked towards her, and slowly the vision of the man got cleared as he did. 

She lost her grip with the umbrella and it flew away with the wind. Her shoes fell onto the water-soaked field of perfectly-trimmed lawn grass. And she stood there in the rain, slowly getting wet and all stunned with her jaw dropped at maximum.

"I thought you'd never come," the man said as he walked closer to her. He then raised his hand with the rose still in it to her and smiled. 

"Happy fifth anniversary, sayang," he said, and as he offered her the rose, which she didn't take because she froze up and her face still in disbelief and her jaw still dropped. He continued to smile as he nodded towards the house, he said, 

"And happy birthday."

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