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A Life To Live
by Naira Yaqoob Bookmark and Share
 

Angela took pains today to look good. After all, it was her first day at the office. She had an opportunity to be an assistant to one of the famous architects of New York. She was apprehensive about her new job, as she had already lost many others.

Angela had always been a lonely and timid girl, lacking self-confidence and strong will power. It was to be expected, in view of the upbringing she had got. It's not so easy to grow up in a house where you have been abandoned by your mother, and then neglected by your father. Her habit of stammering had over-shadowed her soft, beautiful voice, with its slight French accent. Her face was a mix of French and American features, her mother being French. However, her blonde hair made her look like her father. She believed that her resemblance to her mother was one of the reasons, which made her father neglect her, or rather avoid her. He was embittered when she had left him suddenly, after Angela was born. This had created a feeling of insecurity in Angela from her childhood days. 

Actually, Angela's mother never wanted to have a child, She was a free soul, never wanted responsibilities to bind and hook her to life. Though theirs was a love marriage, Angela's father realized that his wife was slipping away from him. He could not bear it. He thought that a child would change her. He needed a baby for his own security. He had tried to persuade her. She did not yield. They had lots of fights and arguments'nothing worked! There was no other option left for him but to force her to give in. She had never felt so humiliated! He had to pay the price of his behavior. She stayed with him, carried the baby and her revenge inside her for nine months, and left him with the child to take care of. This would serve him of his brutality!

As Angela was adding a finishing touch to her make-up, she remembered her first day at the college. She had been so nervous that by the end of her ragging session (which had been nothing more than a lengthy verbal chat), she had almost fainted! Her father had commented that she would never be able to achieve anything in her life. This remark had hurt her pride. She wished she could speak without stammering and walk without stumbling. 'Clumsy!' his father would yell at her.

She would be perturbed all the time. Would her boss think the same way about her? Could she handle her job well? Would she make a fool of herself? Would she be able to interact well with her colleagues? All these questions haunted her. But somehow she was determined to prove her worth now- or so she thought. She had chosen a beautiful navy blue Chanel suit with a silk beige shirt. She looked pretty smart.

As she left for the 'big' day of her life, her maid was the only person to wish her good luck. Feeling unsure, she stepped into the huge office building, which gave a look of sophistication and professionalism. Angela silently uttered her prayer to build up her confidence, not wanting to ruin her day. She had even read a book on how to speak confidently in public, and promote good relations around you. Then only had she managed to remain very calm in her interview. Maybe the easy and composed atmosphere had also played the trick. Somehow she had succeeded in answering all the queries in a relaxed and sedate manner.

All the staff gave her friendly smiles; but she thought they were queer. She was not used to receiving hearty smiles from strangers. In fact, she had accepted that she was not a likeable person and had developed the habit of ignoring nasty remarks about her 'snobbish' nature. But things were turning different here. Her boss had been really sweet with her, treating her like his daughter. He had the kindest pair of eyes she had ever come across. He had given her various instructions and advises to remember. Then, he introduced her to the whole staff and they welcomed her heartily. Strange! Was this all true or had she been dreaming?

Angela had always feared meeting people, but here the people were so friendly and nice. Her earlier experiences had made her believe that people were insensitive and cruel. She was now being proved wrong. One of the ladies came up to her and offered to show her around. Her name was Sarah, and she was very talkative. She told her that the office was very good and soon Angela would be fond of it. Angela actually liked her in spite of her excessive talking. Soon she found herself talking quite freely to Sarah, as if she had known her long before.

By the end of the day, Angela realized that she had underestimated people as well as her own self. Life was not as bad as she thought and believed. It had to offer good things as well. Yes! She'd love to come back to her office the next day'   

30-Sep-2007
More by :  Naira Yaqoob
 
Views: 906
Article Comment A very inspiring short story, Enjoyed reading it!
rameshsvce
10/03/2012
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