“I never stood a chance. Did I?” She let out a laugh and paused for a second, watching his confused face.
Her opening statement or rather unanticipated question has thrown him off the balance suddenly. His face reflected exactly that and he could see she enjoyed this expression of his.
Since the moment he had entered the sobriety of the place has struck him like something he hadn’t expected. Devoid of all the Colors except a few tinges here and there, the place didn’t speak of loneliness but of elegance just like her clothes. Everyone’s favourite black dress that she wore with 3.5 inch comfortable heels, the blue sapphire pendant around her neck and on her ring were the only hint of color. He was as mesmerized as anyone else who had met her until now. Complicated, yet simple; was the way everyone described her who was touched by her presence ever in their lives. He couldn’t differ by the way their conversation had started. The arrival of coffee in dark mugs reminded him of his purpose of this visit.
“I didn’t quite understand what you just said”, he said, though he hated admitting that.
“Oh that’s nothing, Mr Johnson! People come here usually looking for the story of struggle, the kind of stories we tell our children for motivation that they can do anything to pursue their dreams, the rags-to-riches kind of stories, you know?”
“I don’t have that kind of story to offer. If we go by the standard formula that majority of successful people had faced struggles to emerge out of them shining like a star telling stories of their success, I won’t be there on the list. When I decided to take this plunge, surprisingly everyone supported me after little struggle but that doesn’t really count much. I didn’t belong to those category of people who defy everyone and fight their economical situations to prove their dreams. Everyone believed in me and my dreams and supported me throughout. Then what do you do? When you have no one to prove yourself to? You don’t really stand a chance with lack of that urge inside that comes from benig a rebelion”
“But you did defy a few rules set by the society Ms Parker, didn’t you?”
“Ah! Society! It doesn’t matter when the people who matters the most to you are standing by your side.”
“So, what’s the story?”
“I have no story. May be I just got lucky”, she smiled again, that generous shy smile of hers.
“You are being too modest. There’s always a story, if you want to share that is”, he urged her, but deep down he knew he wouldn’t get any further there.
“Well, yes there were struggles but then who doesn’t face them”, she smiled sipping her coffee. She offered the piece of cake she said she had baked earlier in the morning.
“As we all know you haven’t been very public about your personal life, which I respect, but don’t you want your admirers to know?”
“Sometimes yes I do want them to know how lucky I had always been for all the love I have in my life but don’t you think there always something enticing about the aura of suspense?”
And he couldn’t agree more. This suspense was the thing that drew people towards her, that was her secret charm.
“You collection, Colors of the Dark Soul? Tell me something about it.”
“Oh! I have been asked this a zillion times by now. The inspiration came from my own thoughts that always had a darker side. I used to call myself a dark soul until I met a few people who called them the same. But as I grew closer to them and got to know them personally, I realized there are colors hidden in every dark soul, we just need some light to see them.”
“Interesting”, he murmured as he rememebered reading her in interviews where she had told herself to be dark soul. It did reflect in the ambience where he enjoyed every sip of coffee.
The urgent call ended the interview earlier than he wanted it to but it did teach him something, that motivation doesn’t always lie in those rags-to-riches stories but inside the dark souls of a complicated-ly simple individual. Afterall, a struggle with self is the biggest struggle of all.