Sana hated Joel. It was not because he was a terrible person. It was, rather, for exactly the opposite reason. He was a gem of a person.
He always adorned his face with a wide, charming smile. A smile that captivated everyone, but was neither an attempt at hiding some innate stupidness nor a craving for being characterised as “the cheery guy”. It was all authentic. At work, he was best at what he did - extremely smart and diligent. He mesmerised everyone in the team, inside or the outside, with his knowledge and his stories. Sana had not yet come across a single topic which had him stumped.
Sana, on the other hand, was miserably inadequate at work. She rarely completed stuff assigned to her on her own, helping others was unthinkable. She wasn’t too keen either, as it involved interacting with them. As part of a group, she was perceived to be the pensive dumbo. She rarely added anything to a conversation, but got always swayed by everyone’s perspective. More often than not, she left a conversation being bitter for her inability to contribute.
Not Joel. He was never seen fussed. Outside of work, he dialled his impressiveness up a notch. He was a terrific singer — Sana believed he was good enough to be a lead singer of any band. Every party had a performance from the cheery guy. Him, strumming guitar, and his soulful crooning.
Sana had no interests, no passions. She was into her late twenties, and she had no profile to boast of. Every attempt of hers to break free was shot down mercilessly by her fate. Some by the fateful accident that took her family away. Some by the untimely fire that took her friends away. Fate never allowed Sana to be the unfettered child, burdening her always with the needs of ever debasing circumstances.
Sana was woken up by a collective shrill around her. Everyone was looking at her. And she, through her teary eyes, had been looking at Joel, a usual guitar in his hand. She, then, heard Joel speak.
“Yes, her. She is a great singer. I have heard her croon many times.”
Fate, over her life, had nurtured Sana to be a grouchy wench. Sana hated Joel for dissuading her from being herself.