The first part is here.
Drenched, in the sorrows of his love and the sky, he walked into the dark. The whole scene played in his mind and with every passing step, a stream of tears rolled down and it felt heavier than the rain…
Two years later, on a perfect spring morning, along with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, he was dug in his laptop, trying to fathom the words. An email pops up and he is taken aback for a while. Life seems to have completed a full circle at that moment. He was due to go where he vowed to never go again, although he had his first breath taken there.
He wanted to not take back any of what was he had left behind. He had evolved into a completely different person and that’s what compelled him to go again. He left all traces of his older being and set to drive. His mind told him to consider it again. His heart signaled something unusual was about to happen but he rejected all that, as the rejection had became his mantra of life.
A playlist later, he was standing at the point where he decided to never come back. The life’s full circle had already filled a quadrant. He still moved, ignoring all the signs. He roamed around his house and the streets near it, warmly collecting the memories again, with the exception of one notable individual. He reached where he was supposed to be. The coffee shop he had seen grow up with him. The similar aroma and the memories nearly filled up the second quadrant when he was brought back to his senses by a shock, as his eyes fixated on the counter. The horror of that evening two years ago came running back and he stood there petrified. Before an eye contact could be made, he was smart enough to sneak out and let his mind run wild with all the permutations.
The face that he had vowed to never see, was there, staring right into him. In his mind, he had never thought he would see that face again. His heart pumped hard, as if to tell him all along that it sensed it 3 hours ago but you never listened. The meeting was equally important for him too. He went to the market nearby and brought himself a little disguise.
He came back and sat down, right opposite to the counter. As much as he tried to look away, his eyes seemed to have found a north pole and stuck at the counter. He felt himself getting attracted to the counter and the next moment he realised, he was walking up to it. He reached there and without a second thought, ordered a Mocha. As soon as the first words came out of his mouth, a shock went through the counter person and she reacted as if she had seen a ghost. They were stuck in that moment for five seconds before he nodded and brought the counter girl to her senses. When asked about his name, he ignored it and moved on.
The meeting started but to no avail, as far as he was concerned. All he did was to keep staring at the counter and his brain ran a movie made over the 20 years, with every significant part highlighted and replayed. He sat there watching it inside his mind and got up as soon as the meeting was over. He sat back in his car. He was about to drive again to where he came from, instead he was moving towards a hotel.
The night was spent rolling all over the bed as his mind decided to play a repeat telecast. He could hardly sleep. He never wanted to go back to the coffee shop but he found himself woken up with anxiety running all over him and forcing him to dress up. He did. Like he had always done. And the disguise was put on again. 10 minutes later, he found himself inside the coffee shop again.
Just as the last day, he found himself sat right opposite to the counter and his eyes fixated on the order taking screen. The eyes hoped for the arrival of the girl behind it yesterday. Tall, tanned, shoulder length brown hair, hazel eyes and that little dimple as she greeted a customer with her smile. Couple of hours passed and she was nowhere to be found. His mind started to influence him. He was told that it was just the nostalgia yesterday and it is not possible. It took couple of more hours to convince him. He finally stood up, to move back to where he came from, when he heard that familiar voice from his back. The voice that had rung in his ears for 22 years. The voice that was his most favourite music. He turned immediately and found the same figure standing in his face. She smiled at him and excused herself. She pretended to be fresh and smiling but clearly she wasn’t. Her hair weren’t tidy as they were a day ago. Her dress was rushed and the sleep was evident from her bloodshot eyes. He saw her take her position behind the counter and deal with the customers just like a day before. Her presence at the counter had suddenly changed the whole environment of the cafe and everyone seemed to chit chat a bit more and seemed more active.
With his eyes still on her, he moved again to counter and ordered another Mocha. He tried to dodge again as he was asked to tell his name. “Jib, I know it’s you.” He felt like a high voltage shock ran through his body and he’d fall down any moment. He just looked at her again and moved to a side with disbelief in his eyes. He picked up his coffee with trembling hands and left the coffee shop. He sat in his car and wept uncontrollably till he had nearly passed out. He leaned his seat back and slept while his coffee rested on the dashboard.
He wakes up with the sound of thunder and rain splashing his windscreen. He jerked his head and prepared to drive through the storm. He tried all he can but the car won’t start. He stepped out in the storm and tried to sneak into the coffee shop. It was closed. He now had nowhere to go, till the storm gets over. The voice rings in his ears again and an umbrella covers him. He feels his arm grabbed and pulled. He starts walking without looking on the side, his mind still in shock.
After a brief walk, they stop outside a cottage. Even though he had known every corner of this city, but this was unfamiliar to him. Surrounded by woods, small houses built on a little distance to each other. Each one of them told a different story. The one in front of him, reflected the image he had seen for the last two days. Haphazard, messed up, yet it looked beautiful and even with a raring storm outside, it provided him a sense of calmness. The door creaks open and they walk in.
An old bed, with its joints about to fall off, lied there in a corner. He sat down and explored the place. Clumsy, yet it gave him a sense of calmness. He was again brought back from his thoughts and steam was blowing in his face. His mind started racing once again as the scent of the coffee expanded in his senses and a feeling o of familiarity took over. He took a sip and it brought back all the memories that have been locked in a corner of his mind. The familiar aroma, giggles, running around and dodging, deep conversations, they all flashed back between his eyes as he feels the hand on his shoulder. He comes back to reality and tries to speak, but everything right now is still overwhelming. “The last time you were this lost, it was when I told you that you cook horribly, and the face you had soon after, it still makes me laugh”, the voice ran in his ears and he let out a smile. He turns towards her, his eyes still shooting a million questions, but the sight of the smile that he had adored all his life, took them away. In a breaking and low pitched voice, a few words finally left his mouth. “When did you come back?”
“I came back here just after six months. You know how happy I was. To have finally found something that felt like I have a purpose in life now. To know you have something to look forward to for the rest of your lives. To create memories with every passing day till you take your last breath. Someone like me, who had always been a pessimist, found a purpose to feel happy and look to the future. It all came crashing down as soon as the hangover was gone.” “Love is such a pain, though sweet. It’s from the heart afterall.” He chipped in and continued to look at her. “I tried to give it my all but something just kept missing. He could never understand me, like you did. You could even tell from my hairstyle on a particular day how I was feeling. You knew what I wanted to eat and when. You knew which song will cheer me up. You knew when I wanted to be left alone but still kept checking on me. It annoyed the hell out of me but then I realised that those checks kept me sane. He did all that initially. He thought he had done enough when I said Yes to him. It was all gone when I went away.” “It was all gone when I went away”, he added with an emphasis.
She was found awestruck for a moment as she recollected his words and it all came crashing down to her. She remembered how she met his friend when he was on his trip and immediately started asking about him. She would inquire about his likes and dislikes, if he has someone in his life, and wishing if he noticed her more. Then he suddenly started doing everything she liked. He read her favourite books. He agreed with her opinions on social matters. He did grand gestures, just like her fantasies. All she thought was that this guy was sent to her from the heaven. Now it dawned upon her who it actually was, disguised by that man. She tried to speak again but she could only cry at the realisation.
“As fragile as water bubbles, I find sorrows vibrant. Victims of birth and death, from the deepest core of heart”, he murmured. He wiped off her tears and set her hair. “So why did you not try to contact me when you came back?”
“When I came back, I went straight to your house. Like my life, I found it empty. I tried asking around but I remembered, the only friend you had was me. For weeks, I kept visiting at our place, at the sunset, hoping that you will come out of nowhere, with a box of my favourite donuts in hand. The hopes remained and I kept remembering you. I was just alive under this blue sky, clinging on to hopes of seeing you one day. Memories, that made my heart sunk whenever I remembered them, and the sadness turned into non-stop tears. I wished I had told you to remain there. Every sorrow that came my way, you were there to swat it away like you always did. I kept punishing myself for losing you. But I knew, you will come back one day. Something told me I will find you one day.”
She moves and crouches herself in between his legs while holding his hands. Tears kept rolling down from her eyes. It looked like the all the rain outside has simmered into her eyes and kept flowing. “You know me. You understand me. My world only exists in your shadow of love. I find myself sinking in your spell. My heart will become steady, if you’re with me. Every sorrow will go away, if you’re with me.”
He found himself sitting there like a statue while he heard consistent sobbing. He stood up, while holding her by shoulders. He wiped off all her tears. He held up her chin and looked deep into her eyes. He leaned into her ear and whispered, “See, I’ve always been taller than you.” Her red, sobbing eyes immediately glowed up and she smiled. He held her cheeks and said, “I can spend my lifetime by just looking at this smile, because it will always keep me freshened up. It is magic. I love you.” He leaned in closer with his eyes closed and touched her lips. Few seconds later, he was holding her tightly while they kissed continuously. He paused for a moment. The life had just come back full circle. This time for good. He grabbed her and fell back on the bed. A loud thunder erupted, as if to approve what had just happened. They went on to celebrate their love as the skies celebrated with them.