Tick tick it's 4.00 in the evening. Only an hour to go but loads of work to be done for the presentation. Will I be able to finish it before the deadline? I do not want to lose this job. I have spent years on this project. Whether I like it or not, my further growth in the organization will be decided by this project. Almost everyone left, my eyes are still glued to the screen with the hope that I will be able to complete it in some time. However, nothing seems to be in progress, still, yet refer lots of reports. Aha, good God, finally I did it, I have completed. Tick tick it was 8.00 p.m. The moment I lift my eyes from the screen My Coffee mug was staring at me, my coffee is not steaming anymore it's already ice cold. I look around I could not find anyone in the whole office. I am all alone. In the last 25 years of my life, this is the first time I am experiencing complete silence except for my own heavy breath. I was rushing as fast as I could towards the parking lot, but I had to come back because of the howling and ear-splitting blizzard. Even if I go, I will never reach home. I would die in an accident or people will find my frozen dead body. I went back to my cubicle, I was scared, hungry, and helpless. Not knowing what to do I was holding my hunger pain stomach. I search all possible cubicles if I can find some food, after searching almost 45 cubicles, I found a half-eaten sandwich on Jane’s desk. I gobbled it. I feel a little better. Tick tick its 11.30 o clock. I tried to sleep on my desk, but I could not. I thought I will look for a better comfortable place to lie down.
I could not think of any other cozy place but other than Mrs. Kazi's office. Nobody is allowed to enter her office except for few executives but very rare, I have never entered in my 4 years of work with the organization. I went inside the room was neatly maintained huge space with a couch cladded with Velvet. Mrs. Kazi is a very disciplined highly influential personality. People would say she is the only one of its kind. She hardly talks to anyone in the organization. What she decides is a law in our organization. This is the room, I am not supposed to enter but I did, the situation was such I feel the room was the only right place for the whole night. I lie down on the couch suddenly a soft gentle voice whisper in my ear. Feeling sleepy, Sofia. I was startled but the voice was so calm and continue don’t worry you can lie down if you want. I was stunned and looked at the long slightly wrinkled closed to 60 years old gentleman. He asked you worked with us for 4 years, right? I was confused about who is he, I have never seen him before and how does he know me? He sat down next to me and continue talking.
Gentleman: Looking at you I missed my daughter.
Me: who are you?
Gentleman: My name is Kazi.
Me: How come here? I have never seen you before.
He does not bother to answer my question.
Mr. Kazi: My daughter Diali, my beautiful daughter, she loves her pet Daisy a cute British long hair cat. Daisy will always be with her whenever wherever Diali is. My poor daughter, she hardly sees my face as I will always be on my business trip. Mrs. Kazi will hardly spend time with her lovingly. We are not good parents.
He sobbed, and I can see the glitter tears on his wrinkled cheeks. Now, he was walking back and forth. I was nervous curious staring at him.
Mr. Kazi: My daughter was waiting for days so that anyone of us will spend time with her. Christmas was the most waited time for her as we spend time together. With the growing business and added responsibilities, I was getting farther from my family. It was 23rd December 1981, I just completed a long-waited business proposal. It was almost 12 o clock at midnight.
I looked at the one of the most beautiful silver wall clock hanging in Mrs. Kazi Office right in front of me. Oh God, it's 12 O clock midnight on the 23rd of Dec 2018. I was getting a little more horrified.
Mr. Kazi: I was famished and have to rush home, (he giggled so loud) like you were trying to but you are sensible enough to understand “Better Late than Never”. But I didn’t stop, it was a very dark night with the howling blizzard. Roads were empty could hear only the cracking sound of trees. The blizzard was raging but my urge to reach home was more than the danger awaiting outside. I keep driving in the midst of howling dangerous Blizzard.
He cried aloud this time, I did not know how to react, but I was in dilemma, he wipes his tears with his wrinkled sun tanned red big hands.
Mr. Kazi: Can you do me a favor?
Me: Yes, please tell me.
He took a nicely packed small gift handed over to me with the address written on it.
Mr. Kazi: Kindly deliver this to the address given.
Me: To whom and what is this?
He said aloud in an angry tone, please! you will be rewarded and walk away from the room as fast as he could and said goodbye and good night. I was also so tired and very sleepy thought I will get out of the room as early as possible before anyone comes. I slept on Mrs. Kazi Couch.
Sofia! Sofia, please wake up. I opened my eyes thinking everybody in the office must have arrived. To my utter surprise, I was not in the office, I was in the hospital bed. I looked around and asked what happened why am I here? My Mom was sitting next to me. My colleague Jane was standing in front of me and said its ok dear you are fine. My mom told me we can go back home doctor confirmed you will be discharged in a couple of hours. But why am I here? Jane told me they found me outside the office, fully wrapped with snow, half dead.
Me: Excuse me, do I? I was sleeping on Mrs. Kazi’s office couch.
Jane: Dear, you know that room is not allowed to enter, and nobody has keys except Mrs. Kazi.
Me: Jane, I slept there, and I talk to Mr. Kazi as well, we talked about his daughter as well.
Jane: Sofia dear, Mr. Kazi died a long time back, before you were even born darling. He died in the blizzard 2 days before Christmas.
I was still in a maze yet to come out or stuck in a puzzle yet to solved, was I dreaming? Is it real? I got discharged and went home. I hurriedly check my Purse; I found the gift which was handed to me to be delivered. I really wanted to figure out what really happens. If it was a dream, how come this gift? I was having a conversation with a dead man who died before I was born. The only way to figure out is to deliver the gift. Early next morning I went to the address written on the gift wrapper. I went there oh, holy God, it was a mental Asylum, who could this person be. I was not allowed to meet the person but I requested. They finally agreed but asked me to open the gift and show it, I unwrapped the packet praying it should be something acceptable otherwise they may not allow it. Luckily, it was a toy, exactly perfectly crafted British longhair cat. Now, I know who is this lady whom I got the gift for. They bring a middle-aged lady. She must be in her forties, she was hoping and was saying meow, meow. I don’t want to put myself in a puddle anymore and hurriedly left the place. I went inside my car breathing deeply and tears all over my face wiping it furiously. I met a guy who was dead in Blizzard and deliver a gift for his daughter who is in a mental asylum. Nobody believes I met Mr. Kazi.
The project I was working on got declined, I got fired as well. Mrs. Kazi thinks I am out of my mind and she could sense my focus was gone. I know I will have a hard time and have to figure out something at the earliest possible or I will be on the roads as a beggar. I was gazing outside my window; my roses were not trimmed were almost died. My daisies were blooming wild, and I also have to mow the lawn. Without any second thought, I went to my garden. There I saw a bunch of rose plants that were fully dried, I uprooted them all. The area looks empty so started planting another heap of rose plants. Something stuck in my gardening trowel. I put my trowel deeper, I can hear a metallic sound. Shape like a pot, I pull out the pot covered with mud all over and pour it out, Metal clink clink clink clink, oh my god it’s a treasure, gold coins. I put my hands again and check in the same spot. Another Pot, I pull it out, Pour it out, this time chring chring chring, oh its expensive stones, diamond ruby emerald. Am I dreaming? Suddenly something stuck in my mind” YOU WILL BE REWARDED”.