I looked at the mirror before leaving the dressing room for today’s flight. It was a routine that I followed for every day of duty. Being an air-hostess, I have to look perfect.
Perfectly pleated Saree? Check.
Hair in place? Check.
Smile for what? Should I smile for breaking up with my boyfriend just hours ago? A sudden call was all it took to make my world shatter down. All he said was, “You are not able to give time to our relationship. I think we should call it off. Don’t worry, we’ll still be friends. I’ll always be there for you.” I tried explaining to him that my schedule has been hectic for the last two months, but to no avail. He had made up his mind. And this “being friends” was just a way of consolation.
I remembered the time when we were together. I wanted to give him time, but either one of us was always busy. I had even thought of leaving my job once, but couldn’t. Being the sole earning member of my family, I had to do this job. When I had joined, this was my dream- my dream to fly and go to new places. But now, it was also a necessity, much more than my dream.
I loved him always and I still do. Appalled with speechless pain, I wished to run away from there and tell him that he was my priority. That I still loved him the way I did two years ago. That all I wanted was his happiness and his companionship. I wish I could. I wish he would understand. But, he wouldn’t.
And my job requires me to smile. I have to smile and greet each passenger. I have to smile and answer their queries and help them. I have to smile and tolerate their impertinence. I have to smile even when I am disgusted. Leaving behind all my worries and sorrows, I have to smile. And yes, it does give a satisfaction when the passengers also smile back to you. Although that’s rare, but it does make my day when little kids smile when I hand them chocolates or when someone smiles when I help them out.
Wiping off those tears from my cheeks, I gave myself a touch-up. A little blush here and a little lip gloss there. Moving my lips to form the perfect curve, I smiled. I smiled with an intensity that would make my eyes light up and hide the tears away, until I could be myself again. Till then, I’ll just fake a smile.
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