He was sitting calmly at a corner table, earphones plugged in and John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’ beating away in his ear. He took a look at his watch. She’s running late. It had been almost half an hour since he sat down at that place. He was sitting at a window table in the café, looking at passing cars, hoping to see the little silver hatchback her dad owned slowing down at the curb.
32 minutes late. He smiled as the car stopped in front of him and she climbed out, looking as brilliant as ever. Her smile present there just like it had been the last time they had met. He couldn’t believe it had been more than five months already since that little rendezvous at the Oxford bookstore. She walked in and instantly spotted him amidst all the tables. She opened her bag as she walked towards him and by the time she sat down across him, she was pulling out the novels he had lent her the last time he had been home. But he didn’t care. All he had on his mind was her.
He had left the city five years ago to go to college in the hope of starting a new life and getting away from the people he hated there. But not her.
He came to know her towards the end of high school and since then they had been friends. He had left after that but still they stuck together. Friends, great friends and then best friends. She had been an invisible, untouchable and inseparable part of his life for five years now. He never failed to come home in the break and never failed to meet her at least once every time. But not this time. She had finished college and got a job in another state. She was leaving in two days.
They both talked for almost half an hour. Actually she talked and he listened. He couldn’t get a word out for the life of him. What would he say? That he’s going to miss her? That he’ll never be coming home again? That she meant the entire world to him? They both knew that already. He wanted to get up, pull her to his feet and hug her as tightly as he could in front of all these people they didn’t know. He wanted to look into her eyes one last time for he did not know how long it was going to be before he saw her again. Damn, I wish I could kiss her!
A unknown voice pulled him out of his daydream. Son of a! it was her older brother. He had always been afraid of the guy. He had come to pick her up. There was packing to finish, last minute stuff to be done. But! BUT! This isn’t enough! I haven’t even hugged her yet! And they walked out together. He smiled as much as he could and tried to make conversation with the big guy. As they reached the car, he gave her one last look. There she was. Still clueless.Sigh! He smiled and mouthed two words, “good bye.” He turned and left. He didn’t want to but he did. Every brain cell screamed out at him, asking him to turn back. Turn back and run to her you idiot! Give her that hug! There’s still time! But he never looked back. He reached his bike, pulled on his helmet and drove away into the opposite direction.
The city wasn’t going to be the same without her. Things were going to change. And they both knew that.