She walked with such dignity and eloquence. The sparkles in her 6 inch heel glittered like blood diamonds, her gown followed her like a faithful shadow - reverential and proud at the same time. Her corset did its job fearfully, while other women in the room gaped at the narrow waist. Her long neck adorned the most precious jewels that tricked the onlooker to her perfect bosom.
And her hair - her hair was the masterpiece. Tied up in a mammoth bun that could hold the world inside it. I thought her hair was bigger than Pam's summer hat (which was the biggest thing I had seen a head ever show off). She slithered from one conversation to the next with ease. All made space for her and would even feel belittled if she was not seen in their company.
Patrick, the quick to comment, shrewd yet humorous hedge-fund owner, was quick to knock on opportunity's door when she seemed at an approachable distance. His introduction went something to the extent "Hello Madam, my name is Patrick. I roll in money for a living and I am for real - are you?" She fluttered her eye lashes and after taking a long drag of her even longer slim brown cigarette said "I hope you get an opportunity to find out soon. In the meantime, I make a hell out of men's lives for a living. That reminds me I hope my maid put on that cruel red velvet and black satin bed linen for tonight. I so hate stale linen." Patrick wasn't as quick this time, he scratched his head and came straight to the point. "What are you doing later?"
She was earlier approached by Guy, a thinker and a philosopher - rich because of the friends he had and normal because of his analytical skills. He had invited her to be his date at his sister's wedding later that week. However, at this point she saw Shekhar staring at her lustfully from a distance. His wife close behind kept an eye on him while being utterly gracious with the audience around her. Shekhar, is the guy all the men in that room wanted to be. He was an industrialist and a financial analyst and Forbes 3rd richest man in the East coast. There were many that wanted him to be put to shame because they couldn't be him. Many shook his hand and made smart conversation while internally plotting his murder. Shekhar had not been fair with his men. He had fired ruthlessly, sued mercilessly and even shattered dreams of many a fulfillment for his benefit. Yet no one had the courage to focus the spotlight on him. They wanted him to love them.
"Who is someone you absolutely cannot stand in this room Patrick?" she asked. Patrick had fallen under her inquiring eyes and had immediately forgotten himself. He had wanted her to see him naked inside out from the moment he laid eyes on her. He now scanned the room with precision and started opening his heart out to her. He chatted about Jorge and his beautiful keep, about Tim and his obsession with real estate, Christopher's dyslexic mother, Nelly and her kind heart, Sonata's passion in art and finally Shekhar and his hatred for him. There was nothing evident at all that could tarnish his fortified reputation. All knew him but "not really". He won all the pitches and the girls. He had once made fun of Patrick, in front of his mother. This was when Patrick was in the hospital with a broken leg. The hurt of the leg was made manifold by Shekhar's sarcastic comments. Patrik was never able to forget that and was always in the look out for a chance to avenge it. "You got it" she said. "What?" asked Patrik. "I come today and only today in your life. You will never see me again. But you are doomed to love me for the rest of your life. To answer your earlier question - you wouldn't want to be with me later." And with a caressing stroke on his cheek she moved on to get a drink. Patrick stood there bewildered and shaken by the prophecy.
She got the dry Italian wine she wanted at the bar when Sonata came to get her drink and introduce herself. Soon after the introductions Sonata was on the attack of a verbal diarrhea regarding upcoming styles in oil paints and reputable artists who had not really made it yet. Soon enough Shekhar joined the club. He sent Sonanta off with a "Here you are my love! Harry's looking everywhere for you regarding that 4 x 7 ft oil on canvas". With that Sonata was history and the two that were the souls of the gathering stood eye to eye.
Shekhar got down to business soon, "I don't have much time with this conversation Madam. I would very much like to know you better. I am leaving for a conference in the Hamptons on Thursday. I would love for you to come with me for the weekend and be a judge to my culinary talents". "I don't think that can happen. I am on a diet Shekhar and I don't want anything to break my routine", she said. "In that case how about I reschedule just for you and we go to my vineyard in Mayodan? I see you do like your wine". So much for a man with such reputation. He had fallen for her in no time and now stood begging pathetically. She looked up as if trying to choke a laughter and then turned away almost rudely. When she faced him she was red with some kind of emotion that could not be defined. It looked like she was going to faint.
Everywhere else it looked peaceful where a war was actually going on. The women writhing with jealousy and the men with lust. The awkward air was heavy with sentiments when it happened.
Never had anyone heard the sound of a pin fall so loud till that second. It slipped through her bun and undid the magic. Every strand of her hair that was undone sounded like a whip lash. Everyone waited with baited breath to see what happens next. The next 5 seconds could have been a lifetime. The bun came down not to her hip but to the floor. Scalp and all. And there stood my friend Shawn in his undone Halloween costume - laughing and crying at the same time.