‘Hello! Good morning. How may I help you?’
‘I want an appointment for this weekend’.
‘We don’t work on weekends.’
‘Oh yes. Darn it! How could I forget! How about this Friday?’
‘Friday? This Friday? This Friday is just three days away. We’re all booked.’
‘How about next week then? Monday?’
Sigh! ‘We’re booked all of this month ma’am. This is not your walk-in-when-you-want establishment, you know.’
‘Yes yes, I know. I’m a regular. I do understand. It’s just that this is urgent. Please squeeze in an appointment for me. Any day this month will do. Please.’
‘Umm… let me see. How about you come in next Friday. I’ll see if I can put you between two appointments. But no guarantees, okay? And it will cost you.’
‘That’s fine. Absolutely fine. I’ll be there.’
The next Friday saw Sanaya waiting anxiously, at the edge of a sink-right-in sofa, fingers crossed, hoping her tryst would happen. Anxiety made her revert to her childhood habit and she bit her nails as she waited. She caught sight of herself in the large mirror across the sofa and pulled her hand out with a frustrated jerk, looking around guiltily to see if anyone had noticed. She could not possibly be seen sitting here biting her nails, she’d be thrown out, barred forever, perhaps. She shuddered at the thought.
Tina walked out with a smile and a sashay. ‘Hello ma’am, relax!’ she said, ‘He’ll see you in a while.’
Sanaya gave her a tight, nervous smile.
A bell tinkled musically somewhere deep inside and Tina looked up from her desk, ‘You may go in now, ma’am,’ said she.
At those magical word Sanaya felt her tense muscles relax. Oh thank God, she muttered. All would be well now.
She walked into a large room that somehow managed to look cosy. One of the walls was painted a happy lemon yellow while the others were shades of pink and lavender. A fuchsia rug lay at the bottom of a silver pink sofa, a turquoise and scarlet painting graced the wall above it while yellow bean bags and rosewood easy chairs were strewn around the room. In the middle of this colourful chaos sat the Lord of the Files.
‘So what was the desperate hurry, my dear? asked he.
‘Thank you so very much for seeing me at such short notice. I know this is last minute but I have a crucial Board meeting and I couldn’t possibly go like this.’
Sanaya held up her hands with her bitten through nails. He took them in his, fingering the damaged bits with gentle fingers. Sanaya was a regular and he was privy to her nervous secret. ‘It’s been a stressful month and I’ve had just too much on my mind,’ offered Sanaya as a rather sorry bid at an explanation.
‘Hmm… bad, bad, very bad …… but nothing that cannot be set right,’ he sighed. And then with a shake of his head and a ‘tch tch tch’ he reached out for his toolbox, picked out the gentlest of files and went to work on her nails, buffing and polishing them to perfection.
Half an hour later she walked out of the nail spa her confidence renewed, her secret safe with the Lord of the Files.
Written for the prompt ‘Lord of the Files’ for Day 5 of the second edition of the fortnight-long Bar-a-thon.