“Well look who’s home” , a smiling Lisa greeted Mach.
“I know that face” , Mach smiled back.
He sat down on the chair beside the dining table. He looked like he’d have fallen unconscious if he had stood there a second more.
“Oh honey you look so tired” , said Lisa , as she put her arms around him.
The last few days Mach had been a wreck. He had come home like this for a few days now.
“Why dont you just quit this job” , asked a worried Lisa.
“Because I can’t. Its who I am , its what I do. I cant do anything else, I dont know anything else. “
“But this job is taking the light out you “
“ I know honey, I know. We just have to get through this and hope that things will eventually get better.”
Lisa tried to give an honest smile, but she was just too scared inside.
She went inside the kitchen , her heart yearning for those good old days when Mach’s work was good and he came home happy and bright.
She put together the dinner plate and prayed to God at the same time. She came with the dinner plate and sat beside Mach. She gently stroked his hair and tried to comfort him. She took his palm into her own and said “Everything is going to be all right”.
Mach didn’t believe that , but it made him feel better anyway.
“The thought of coming home back to you is the only thing that keeps me burning through the day. I am really lucky I have you” , said Mach , looking into her eyes.
“Well arent you a romantic” , Lisa smiled back.
“No , I really am lucky. The others….. not so much”.
“Well everyone has lovely wives” , Lisa said smiling.
“No, its not that ….something awful happened at work today”
“You remember Jack? He came home with me once or twice”
“Yes I do , what happened to him? “ , said Lisa , her voice faltering , not sure what to expect.
“He died in a mishap at work today”
“OH MY GOD!! “ , Lisa cried out as she suddenly stood up from the chair , throwing the chair behind. “What happened?”
“ They’re saying it was a short circuit with the equipment”. Mach walked up to Lisa and hugged her tightly , she was still in shock.
“I dont know what has gotten into people at work lately. Everybody’s suddenly become so competitive. Everyone wants to outperform each other, outshine each other. We used to be such great friends at work. Now everybody is just plain scared”
Mach finally realized that talking about work wasnt helping Lisa feel better. He didnt want her to worry , but the last few days had been hard and it showed. But still he moved on to more mundane topics and Lisa was smiling before long. Her smile gave him strength . Strength to go out there and fight another day.
Mach finished his dinner, by that time Lisa seemed a little less worried. They both decided it was time to crash , as another long day awaited Mach. As they lay down on the bed , both were hopeful and a little scared at the same time. Mach turned over to her side and kissed her on her forehead and said,
“Lights out sweetheart”
“Lights out honey” , replied Lisa as both closed their eyes.
Meanwhile, in the real world , Tom the supervisor yelled at the top of his voice.
“LIGHTS OUT. PACK UP!! “
The workers responded immediately as they started pulling down all the decorative lights one by one. Mach and Lisa amongst them. For another day and another occasion waited for them to bestow their lights upon them.