Yours Truly, A Freelance Writer.

I know what you guys are thinking… You’ve read stuff like this before. You saw this coming. Well the struggle, it’s real. I had no idea what leaving my 9-5, monthly paying job would leave me with…. Rather, without.

Yes, I was disappointed. Yes, my life was mundane. Yes, I had to fight with myself to spend time with myself! But it was comfort. It gave me peace. It gave me a fancy chair that took care of my backache! But alas, now all that’s gone away: today I work with my legs dipped in my pool, laptop in hand and a lemonade by my side. Tomorrow I could work at a quaint cafe (that I would have spent nearly two hours locating online). I’ve thought about poverty, I’ve smiled at strangers, I’ve given biscuits to the poor crossing roads.
I’ve been indoors for 6 days in a row now. I spend time playing cards with my parents and catching up on my list of books to read… And, House of Cards, oh my my!
There are moments in between my day when I do sit in front of my laptop, hair tied up high, glasses on and fingers furiously typing…. Stringing sentences together or sourcing for images. “Content curation” I’ve always loved the word, Curate. It has this archeological air to it, makes me sound like one who is in search of “the truth”. The best part? It could be anything I want it to be. Why? Because I’m the curator, of course. Because I have the time I need to dig through the pages and pages of the World Wide Web and find something that the people, who have hired, and hopefully more will soon hire, will be thrilled and overjoyed at its sight. For I am, the Master Curator. (Indiana Jones feel is coming right about now)
But let’s focus on something more “curatable” (for the lack of a better word). It’s another C word that for better or worse, my life depends on.
Client.
Having a boss that loved to chew me till my bones ran dry got me prepared with one thing: thick skin. I can handle any amount of absurd work load, sarcastic commentary and sometimes the odd critique on works that didn’t require her feedback (for example, the birthday letter I wrote to her). She taught me how to stand tall, snarling and ready for a fight… My fights usually began and ended with her – today, I have to change my stance. I have to stand down. I have to approach clients who think of me as an equal. I have to learn, that it’s easy to think you have a thick skin but very difficult to actually have one on.
Clients will woo, seduce, bargain and the better ones will even smell the desperation of a freelance writer and all I can do, is wait. Wait and hope, show off my talent; yes, but the most part is in the waiting and hoping.
Waiting for the potential client to reply.
Then soon followed by, hoping the potential client will reply.
For now I can safely say, patience is a good teacher. But sometimes, a good win can also be a good teacher.
Here’s to all those who are hoping and waiting, and waiting and hoping. May our journey be a long one, but a good one: one that if nothing else, can be a good story for those living it with us!
Yours Truly,
A Freelance Writer.
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Kala Ghoda Café

She started walking- while her mind was aware of the direction she should be heading to, her feet seemed to be taking her somewhere else. Crossing lanes and paths that she had long forgotten. Unaware, yet aware, with lyrics of the past floating in her ears, Roxanne walked and walked, almost as if she were in a dream.

~X~

M looked around, the office was almost empty. He glanced at his watch, it was 6.30. He should pack up his things and head home too. His whole new life awaited him. He needed some more time. He looked at the thin pile of files around him. Nothing was urgent enough to be an excuse to stay on longer. Especially not for a newly married man. His head started hurting again. He needed a walk, a cigarette, and some chai. In that order. He packed up and walked out of his office. Just after sending a message his wife.

~X~

I’ll be late. Sorry.

Love you.” She sighed.

~X~

Roxanne walked and walked. It only struck her to look at the landmarks around her when a passing car honked, forcing her to stay alert. It took her a few minutes, but when realisation hit her, she smiled and turned right, into the small narrow lane.

~X~

He was almost finished with his cigarette when he saw-

Well, at first glance he knew it was her.

Roxanne had this way about her. Her long black hair was always dancing around her; sometimes even with no wind around.

Second, the way she walked.

Always being the shortest person around had her in the habit of taking tiny, yet quick steps. It made him smile, even today.

Her last message suddenly flashed in his mind and that smile quickly vanished.

The headache was back.

And she was now standing only a few steps away.

Her eyes wide open in disbelief.

Her lips slightly parted.

Emotions worth a thousand words and more etched on her face and unmoving body.

~X~

How could you do this to me? To us?”

His reply reached her too late. She had blocked his number.

~X~

He threw the cigarette on the floor. Crushing it.

As a tiger studies the deer he wishes to attack, he studied her.

Fight or flight.

~X~

Fight or Flight.

She didn’t look away. Like a deer being studied by her prey. She stood motionless. Waiting for him to make the first move.

She watched M throw the cigarette, and walk inside Kala Ghoda Café.

Was he alone?

Should she follow?

Can she run fast enough?

She was better than this!

Wait… What?

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~X~

M was watching the door.

He saw it open.

Her eyes full of confusion.

She walked in and picked the table right behind him. He heard the chair directly behind him move. He couldn’t help but admire his brave deer.

She ordered a cappuccino.

No one else was there, except the two of them and eleven years of history – all in this one tiny, quaint café.

~X~

It’ll explode. They both thought the very same thing.

~X~

When will you be home? It’s late.”

~X~

His phone beeped once.

She wondered if it was… Her.

Was her coffee too bitter?

Was there not enough sugar?

Did they use bad milk?

Should she say ‘Hi..’?

~X~

She heard his chair move.

It was the right thing to do.

He should leave.

She would breathe once he left Kala Ghoda Café.

~X~

He pulled the chair in front of her and sat down.

The barista sensed something was wrong, but also that this was personal. He went into the pantry, but stood close enough to the door, in case she needed him to be outside.

As he walked in, her eyes caught his.

~X~

Before Roxanne could say a word, M said his-

I was a coward.

Silence followed.

It wasn’t clear if she watned to hear more, or nothing.

Roxanne was unsure herself.

She watched him struggle to find the right words.

The white walls around them seemed to have more to say.

~X~

She never looked into his eyes.

Not when he saw her for the first time.

Not when he said his words to her.

Not when they say with eleven years of silence stretched out between them.

Not even when she stood up to leave.

~X~

He didn’t deserve to see the love for him that had found a space in her soul and would eternally stay there.

He didn’t deserve her forgiveness either.

But she gave herself the one thing that she deserved-

Good Luck.

Her words, as she walked away, out of Kala Ghoda Café, and as she finally moved on.

~X~

He stared at the untouched cappuccino she had left behind.

Even though the seat was empty, her presence lingered in the air, along with eleven years of their love that turned into heartbreak.

He had never known what good bye truly felt like- never known until he watched her walk away.

Good Luck- it was almost a whisper now. He tried to remember the sound of her voice.

The way her hair moved, even when there was no wind. Her walk, her eyes…

Something.

But she had moved on and with her, she took all of their memories.

~X~