Business Trip

Forbes’ “40 under 40” list this year featured Aishwarya Nair, CEO of Navia Tech.  

After a long day at work, Aishwarya headed home. As her car pulled up, the gates of her Atherton house swung open.  “Home, at last”, she sighed. 

The house looked quiet but when she pushed open the door, she was greeted by a roomful of people who collectively shouted ‘Surprise’ on seeing her. Standing behind them all was Arun, her husband. His arms crossed over his wide chest, he was looking at her with his trademark dimpled smile. It was a party to celebrate her success that ran late into the night.

After the last guest left, Aishwarya walked toward her room. Waiting in the hallway, was Antara, her sixteen-year-old daughter wearing a glum look.

“What’s up, sweetheart?”, Aishwarya put a caring arm around her shoulder.

Antara put her head on Aishwarya’s shoulder. She had had a tough day at school. After a long heart-to-heart, Aishwarya was relieved to see Antara’s smile finally return.

Momentarily, Arun walked into their bedroom looking happy that the party went so well. He shared the many cautionary steps he took to keep it a surprise. Aishwarya was tired but she listened on. She knew Arun was very proud of her success and had worked hard for the party.

Aishwarya looked down at her phone “Time to check in for your flight.” 

“I leave early tomorrow for that conference in New York”, she reminded Arun. 

He flicked the light off saying “Ok sweetheart. Don’t wake me, though. I am exhausted.”

At 6 am Aishwarya’s alarm went off and she slipped out of her bed. She quietly dressed and left without waking anyone. Her flight landed in Reno and got into a car for the drive to Lake Tahoe. 

She felt a pang of guilt for lying to her family about a business trip to New York. But the feeling passed. 

As the car got closer to the lake, Aishwarya’s face started to relax, the years seemed to be dropping rapidly. She untied her hair, letting it fall loosely on her shoulders, and pulled down the window to breathe in the fresh mountain air.

“Is he here?”, she thought excitedly as her car turned into the driveway of the cabin. 

And, dependable as always, Josh was there. 

The cabin door was propped open. A handsome 40-year-old holding a bouquet of red roses was leaning against the door frame waiting for her.

“Is everything ready?”, she asked stepping out of the car.

“Oh yes. Your lavender bath is drawn, champagne is on the ice, and dinner is ordered from your favorite Thai restaurant,” 

“Perfect!” Aishwarya’s smile got wider as she walked to him and took the flowers.

As Aishwarya entered the cabin, he strolled out. 

“Have a great stay at Tahoe Cabins.”, Josh called over his shoulder.

Aishwarya breathed deeply and then smiled as she shut the door behind her. 

Three whole days of solitude and silence lay ahead of her!

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