We were newbies in the working world then. She was sitting on one side of the fence while I was on the other end. We were introduced at a corporate event and a few days later, she called me to ask if I could help her with something she was working on. I accepted her request.
She was slender, wore her hair short and the clothes she wore made her stand out from the throngs of OLs that I’d come across. She was bilingual and was deemed as a rising star amongst her peers.
“Don’t ever think about it,” my senior nipped it in the bud. “She’s already married.”
I’d never known what her exact age was but deduced that she could be around my age, or slightly younger. Since that call from her, the rare moments when our professional paths crossed, only smiles were exchanged.
Then, the winds of time meant that our paths would diverge for the next few years.
She rose through the ranks swiftly, while I had to deal with the chronic problem of career stagnation. I knew she was in a league of her own. We never met and I reckon, I was now resigned to a place in her memory where only a murky semblance of my name remained. For me, she was someone I had never forgotten.
It was only in recent months that our paths looked set to cross again. She was posted to an organisation that had close dealings with my workplace, holding a senior position. By chance, I managed to get her on my Twitter feed, where I remained a follower without being followed.
Waiting for the train home one evening, I was checking out some websites on my iPad.
(Digressing a little, it was around the week when almost the entire country was caught up in the elections fever. Through the twitterfeed, I learnt that she had attended a few rallies.)
Looking up from the screen for a moment, it startled me when I realised that she was standing a few metres from me, waiting at the same door. It didn’t surprise me at all that she didn’t recognise me. Or perhaps she was pretending not to.
I turned my attention back to my iPad. While my fingers were swiping the screen almost absentmindedly, my mind began to whirl. I thought about how she must have been happily married for close to a decade already; how her career had progressed so well; and her love for cats.
The train arrived, interrupting my chain of thoughts. We shuffled our way into the cabin and that was when I lost sight of her. Thoughts as I made my way home were centered on how she was the type of woman whom I would love to grow old with, the disparities of our career paths aside.
She was one of the rare ones.