All good things come to an end, or that is what they say. The end of a probable beginning. The same goes for this. The story of the end of a saga. A story that almost began. The fall, the skip, the ambiguity. A time that indicates…
… a goodbye.
The two years of life. A thousand arrows piercing through with the soulless soul falling apart. The narrative of a lone soldier. For the life shall not be the same again. Not without the debates, the tea trails, the long walks, the chocolate room benevolent and coffee. Yes, a lot can happen over a cup of coffee, or that’s what I thought. Well, it nearly did …
It was a peaceful Sunday morning, I was back in town. Calm swooning over, the sun shone brightly over the clear sky. Birds swarming over the trees, squeaking to wake up their young ones. I glanced around to see the local folks flipping through the pages of their newspapers. The rocking chairs creaked as they shifted their body weight around.
My mobile rang- ‘Tring-Tring’
I slapped the fly buzzing around my face and picked up the mobile. A feminine voice spoke-
“Hello! You there?”
“Yes! I am in town. The plan is on, right?” I inquisitively replied.
“Of course it is. How much time will you take to reach?” She asked hastily
“I am halfway through. About to reach in a few minutes.” I lied. I had been waiting for an hour already.
“Good gracious, I was stuck at home. Now moving like lightning.”
“Ah! Still with the same sense of humour. Although, sounding better than the Rofl Gandhi jokes.”
“Ha! They are at least better than your political rhetoric. Okay, catch you there, am driving.”
Keeping the phone down I scanned the surrounding. Five tables outside on the porch, four tables inside. It seemed too empty for a Sunday. I decided to take a seat nearby a window. Satisfied with my comfortable seat and the location I signalled the waiter-
“Hi, there! One café latte with a hint of chocolate please.”
“Sure Sir! Are you expecting someone?” inquired the waiter.
“Sorry? Oh, yes… Am waiting for a friend. Do bring a cappuccino, extra strong, after 10 minutes for her.” Looking at the waiter’s confused look I clarified- “She’ll be here any minute. Am just pre-ordering the cup.”
“Oh you must be knowing her quite well” came the response from across the lane towards the entrance. As we looked across, she made her way towards the table.
“I am so sorry! When did you reach? I got stuck in the traffic.” She exclaimed while she walked confidently towards. A posturing figure and a commanding voice. She had matured.
As I looked towards her, glancing and making eye contact with her hazel eyes I couldn’t help but be mesmerised. There appeared to be some vibrant invisible strings tugging my senses. A chord being pulled over my thoughts, a sense of drowning. Magic per se. Something was indeed different… I gazed up, simply had to.
“Magic, strings, chord and drowning! Get a hold of your senses, buddy. You aren’t meant for any of it”… I murmured loud to myself.
“Drowning? Whose drowning you boringbug?” she chuckled. I looked at her, mortified and blushing, dug myself deeper into the newspaper lying on the table. Or that’s what I pretended to when I realised I was holding it upside down.
A hand grasped the paper away and handed me over a cup of cappuccino. “Wait, I had ordered a cafe latte with the hint of chocolate” I exclaimed.
“That’s your punishment for reading the paper upside down and being ignorant” came the response. My cafe latte was in her hands. Stupid cupid was playing his game…
“OMG! Stealing away people’s precious coffee?” I asked with a sly grin on my face.
“Nope! I just took your cafe latte by mistake. Be glad that I am sharing mine with you.”…
“Ooh… oopsie.” The cappuccino tasted horrible. As I gulped down the coffee without squirming I spoke: “remember the pasta we had in the chocolate room?”.
“Yes. The pukish looking dish that you had ordered. Let’s not even talk about it”.
“Oopsie again. Consider it my blonde moment. Probably Sunday blues are affecting me” I smirked and looked at her. My heart skipped a beat, for the stare was met with another stare. A familiar face.
Noticing my awkwardness she said “Falling for me already? I thought you were better than that!” as she stretched a hand-out. I took it with a graceful “thank you!”
“You have matured a lot. The childish persona is barely noticeable.” Filling out the coffee bill I inquired further “What transpired all these years, you suddenly went off the radar?”
As the silence took over, I waited for her answer. January, February, March… Months and years had passed. None mattered. A glimpse here, a stolen glance there. I tried to shake off the Ed Sheeran’s song playing in the background as I walked towards the gate “I’m in love with the shape of you, we push and pull like a magnet do, a’though my heart is falling too…” I thought, the city and the coffee only added to the charm of it.
“Life. That’s what happened in between.” She replied in a hushed voice.
I stopped in my tracks. The hushed voice, the mystery and long-term absence, I knew I was being gazed upon. My mind did a somersault, knees and belly churned, tongue-tied I looked around. Her hair and skin were gleaming in the sunlit room. Before I realized she walked past by.
‘I don’t think I have happened yet? ” I called up from behind with a grin, stopping her in her tracks. Yes, the thought did trouble me at the back of my mind, but positivity knows no bounds, well not when am along.
She looked back over her shoulder “Always?”
“Always!” Smiling back, I made my way out passing out my last words in her ears “Goodbye…!”
Zoom to present…
A new day, new hope. I look at my reflection on the glass door. A bit of ageing, different glasses and some weight here-there. However, I still carried the same arrogance along with my confidence. I stomped into the cafeteria. It looked the same, the charm of the old, the rusty tables and the glass panels. I took my favourite seat.
It has been months. I had been avoiding this place for too long. Yet, some memories are too precious to be re-visited, this happened to be one. The place where it all began and the place where I ended it all. However, I couldn’t forever be in a state of denial after-all I had sent that stupid Cupid on a long holiday.
Sitting here I glanced around. A sweet fragrance, funny sights, the place was bustling with people. Students playing guitar in a corner, tourists sitting on the other and couples enjoying their cup of coffees. *Tick tock* the clock on the wall moved. I signalled the waiter…
“Hi, there! One Cappuccino please”…
“One Latte for me”….
*That voice* I jumped in my seat and looked back… I simply had to.