He had smashed all mirrors in his house, long ago.
He hoped to restore them all – some day after quitting the job. But foregoing the handsome pay, perks and prestige wasn’t easy. Somehow, the ugly mask earned him respect. Only the sales manager knew that he was nothing more than a robot – abusing, threatening, using, hiring and firing people – programmed to achieve unattainable targets. He knew the hollowness of the numbers on the balance sheet, but slogged day and night to achieve those.
The numbers were important because he was hanging on them by a weak thread. He was driven by fear, by aggressive forces that threatened his survival in those hallowed circles. There was slippery ground beneath and inhospitable terrains above to reach the peak.
He found himself face-to-ace with a bigger animal one fine day – slimy, slithery and venomous. He had to extricate himself from its grip before being choked to death. He threw off the mask, and took the emergency exit to the ground floor.
The air was fresh once again, and he was learning how to breathe. Today, he would buy that gilt-edged mirror on the way home, and fall in love with himself – once again.