The Last Cup of Coffee

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

A small story where a boy and girl fall in love but part ways due to unavoidable circumstances. They meet after 20 years only to realize that not all relationships are meant to have a romantic ending.

 

 

Prologue

"A lot of things can happen over a cup of coffee".. Be it the start of a new friendship, a springing love, or a sinking bond. This tiny story is about two coffee lovers who met as friends, fell in love, and departed as strangers.

 

"Can I use my wild card today.. you said you will give me anything I wished for on my birthday..." she asked expectantly. "Please don't leave so soon. We haven't even spent enough time. Please stay.." she pleaded. 

Before she could insist more, he replied. " Don't ask me of this today. You can ask me anything you wish except for me to stay." 

His words pierced through her heart, injecting an enormous amount of pain she couldn't express but only feel deeply. Shortly, all emotions she experienced within started trickling down her eyes and fell on the coffee table. "I think, I need to use the washroom," she said and sped away.

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

Six Months ago, Shreyansh had met Anamika at the same coffee shop. 

It was her Birthday. She was dressed in a white salwar, loosely tied plaits swinging across her torso, gleaming earring dancing per her every gesture, and a pair of footwear made of jute. He approached her with admiration. 

"Happy Birthday!!" he mumbled. 

Before she could respond, he had disappeared. 

The very next day she offered him some sweets along with a warm welcome to her circle of friends which he accepted contentedly. "Shall we meet for a coffee?" he insisted. "Sure," she said with a broad smile.

 

It was Six in the evening that day. The sun had already begun to set leaving behind an orange hue making the view even more spectacular. 

"The Sky looks beautiful" she stated. ".. and so do you" he added with a grin.

 The blush on her cheeks was unmistakable.

 "Stop flirting!!" she speckled. 

"Hey please don't be offended. I was just trying to drag the conversation" he said.

" So you mean, I don't look beautiful?" she asked mockingly. Both of them chuckled. 

"So what do you want on your birthday," he asked.

"Thanks. But I already have all I need" she replied. 

"Hey, that's not fair. It's your birthday and I need to gift you something. Please ask for anything you wish.." he insisted.

"Fine. But I really don't need anything right now. I will ask for it when I'm in need. Is that alright?" she asked. He agreed with a smile.

 

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

 

 

Her beauty was impeccable. Her dark eyes so deep as the night sky, long hair tied up in plaits, dazzling brown skin, perfect frame, all of which made him admire her. He wanted to do everything possible in the world for her. He cooked food that she loved, bought her flowers, sent soothing songs, made her laugh, comforted her whenever she was in need, made sure she is always safe and sound. But there was one thing about her that always puzzled him. She was secretive. She never let him close to her, never let him touch her personal things be it her diary, her phone, her wallet, nothing at all. In fact, she never spoke to him about her family, her goals, her thoughts.. nothing. He was so curious to know her mind that he thought if he shares his affections with her, it might make her comfortable and she might open up to him. 

"I need to tell you something important," he said. 

"Go on.," she replied.

"I don't know why but I feel it is important for you to know this" he uttered ".. my parents have always been my priority, there is no way I can go against them.. Their word is the last word for me". 

"That great!! But why are you telling me this?" she questioned. 

"I just feel it's time you know about me and my priorities." He answered."Aren't you willing to tell me anything about you?" he added.

"There is nothing about me I can tell you," she said and walked away.

 

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

 

 

He tried multiple attempts but failed. She never opened up herself to him. Finally, he gave up. He decided he doesn't want to know anything about her. But he couldn't stop himself from getting attracted to her. There was something about her he wanted to hold on to. Making sure he doesn't cross her line of privacy, he continued to do all the things he had been doing without expecting anything in return although his heart wondered if anything ever was coming his way or if he investing his time on an idol which is never going to move. He was so much into her that he wanted to spend all his time with her. Having her near was the only thing he wanted. Since he couldn't spend much time with her during day hours, he waited for her post-work so he could spend some time walking by her to her home. 

"Will you stop doing this for me? Why can't you just take the office cab and let me be by me?" she yelled. 

Her words smacked his ears hard. For the first time, he replied to her arrogance.

"Why do you think I'm doing this? What do you think of yourself? Cant, you be polite? Do you always have to be rude? If my presence offends you to such an extent then let me just walk out of your life. You can be by your own" he inflamed and left. 

Her ego was pinned. She turned away and started walking in the opposite direction. Not having walked longer, she realized she was rude. She had hurt somebody who genuinely cared. She felt guilty about her actions. She turned around to see if he was around. To her disappointment he was not seen anywhere her sight could reach. She felt terrible. She wanted to apologize. She tried calling him, but there was no response. She wanted to talk to him. She didn't want to let him go. The only place she could try her luck and find him would be the coffee shop she thought. She raced towards the coffee shop hoping she could find him there. To her relief, he was at the counter waiting for his cup of coffee. She arrived at the counter and asked the vendor to make her a cappuccino as well and that she will pay the bill for both the orders. 

Shreyansh picked his cup of coffee unashamedly and grabbed a chair to sit, letting her pay the bill for his order as well. As her order was delivered she took the chair next to him. 

"Your haughty!!" she charged.

 "Not as much as you" he replied with a placid face. "Why are you here? you should have been home by now.." he said. 

"I missed my cab having an unreasonable conversation with you. Now it is your responsibility to make sure I reach home safe. Walk me home" she ordered. 

He exactly knew what was going on in her mind. Without letting her ego flame more, "It's already late. Let's walk!!" he said.

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

Two months later, "I need to rush home.." he said anxiously. 

"What is it? is everything alright?".. Anamika asked concerned. 

"It's a family emergency. I will explain everything once I'm back. I will try and stay in touch.. Please don't be worried about me and take care of yourself"..on this note Shreyansh left. 

Days went by, his absence was felt. For the first time, she felt she was missing something important. All she could think of was him. She wanted to talk to him desperately. She missed their coffee conversations, their long walks, all the things he did for her. It was not late for her to realize what she felt for him was something more than friendship. She waited patiently for him to return so she could tell him what she felt for him.

 

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

Precisely 15 days later, Shreyansh was back. She couldn't stop her excitement to be seen from her face. She wanted to run to him and express how much she had missed him but she chooses not to do so. "While he was leaving, he said it was a family emergency. What could it be? I should ask him about it.." she thought. 

She went to him and asked.."Hi Shreyansh. How are you? Is everything alright at home?".

"Yes Anamika, everything is fine. Thanks for your concern" he replied. 

 She sensed something abnormal but she thought it might have been his family issue. 

On the same evening, "Do you wanna join me for a cup of coffee?" she asked. 

"I'm sorry but I have to leave early today" he replied bluntly. 

His behavior had changed completely. He wasn't the same Shreyansh she had met 2 months back. He was all different. 

She thought for her self.."Is he the same person she wanted to be with? Should I still go and tell him what I feel for him.." - No was the easy answer she got for all her confusions. 

 

 

 $*$*$*$*$

 

 

 

 

With every day that passed by, she noticed a different Shreyansh. He had changed completely, he was nothing like before. He did not wait anymore for her after work, he did not cook her favorite, he seldom spoke. All of which bothered her to the core. She couldn't take it anymore. She wanted to express her dilemma. She wanted an explanation for his changed behavior.

She went to him and said.."I need to talk something important to you Shreyansh. Please make time for me today. We will meet at the coffee shop at sharp 7.30 PM. I'm expecting you there" she obliged. 

 

At 7.30 that evening he came to the coffee shop where she was already waiting for him. They ordered two cups of regular cappuccino and sat at the coffee table. 

Taking in the first sip of her coffee she asked "What is the matter with you? Why are you indifferent to me?". 

"Hey, it is nothing as such. Everything is just the way it was. It's just that I'm a little busy these days. Please don't take it as my arrogance." he replied. 

"I can sense it Shreyansh. There is nothing like before. Everything has changed, you have changed. You are not the same person I had met three months back. Please will you tell me what is the matter?" she inquired. 

He denied answering any of her questions. 

She was fuming with anger. "Will you ever express your feelings to me? Will, you ever open up your mind and let me know what is going on?" she wailed. 

"Stop shouting!! Have you ever done the same? Have you ever let me get any close to you? have you ever expressed yourself to me? Why should I?" he retorted. 

"What is that you want to know about me? What do I feel for you? How do I feel when you are indifferent to me?. I love you. Your behavior hurts me. I miss you when you are away. All I want is to be with you" she confessed. 

Listening to her words he had a glint of satisfaction in his eyes. After all, finally, she had disclosed her feelings to him. But at the same time, he felt cheerless.

"Please.. stop," he said. "I have an admit from the university I always wanted to pursue my masters from. I'm not sure when I might have to leave" he uttered with a heavy heart. "Please do not get used to my presence. Please forget all the things I've done for you so far. I will try to undo some of them myself so you do not have to face the trouble when I'm gone" he added.

"Trouble when you are gone? Why didn't you tell me earlier? Don't you think it's important for me to know?" she asked exasperatedly. "And who are you to decide anything for me? You entered my life with your choice. I did not ask for it. You made me feel important even after my denial. It was your choice again. Now you want to undo everything and leave which is also your choice. How dare you decide things for me? You want to leave, you can just leave. Do not tell me what I should be doing and whatnot." she said resentfully and left.

 

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

For the entire next 30 days, they had near to nil conversations. It was all colorless. Both of them were dying to talk to each other but they didn't. Shreyansh approached Anamika a couple of times but she did not respond well. She refused to have any further eye contact with him. Her heart wanted to stay back with him, talk to him, clear the differences but she followed none of them. Every time he spoke to her, he only got a dry reply. He knew the situation was slipping off his hands and he didn't want to lose her. Finally, he made his mind, no matter how rude replies he gets.. he will have to clear the differences before he leaves. 

He went to her with credence and said "Anamika, it is reasonable for you to be upset with me. I'm sorry. You can punish me if you wish but please don't get muted. I can't let this silence kill the bond we share. Please talk to me..".

 He got no reply.

"Anamika listen to me. I don't have much time left to spend with you. At the most one month. I'll be gone after that. Please don't spoil the little time that is left. I want to make the most of it with you. Please..". 

She looked at him and realized how unfair this life was. She had every right to be upset at him, but the time she had left with was so less that she couldn't afford to spend it being upset. Ultimately she gave up on her anger and accepted his appeal. For the next month, everything went smoothly. No arguments, No fights, normal conversations, everything went well until the final day arrived.

 

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

The day had come when he had to leave the city and go. Everything was set. Tickets ready, bags packed and six hours left to board the flight. While he was making last-minute checks, he received a text from Anamika. 

It said "Shreyansh, I know it is late I ask you for anything but I need to talk to you before you leave. Please meet me at the coffee shop in 15 min. I assure you I won't consume more than 30 min of your time. I'm anticipating you will be there". 

He couldn't deny her request. After all, before leaving he wanted to see her as well. He got dressed up quickly and rushed to the coffee shop. She had already arrived. They placed an order of two regular cappuccinos as usual and grabbed their seats. 

"Can I use my wild card today.. you said you will give me anything I wished for on my birthday..." she asked expectantly.

 

$*$*$*$*$

 

 

 

 

 

She came out of the washroom. She looked tired of crying, her eyes dripped with tears, her lips were trembling unable to speak plainly. Clearly, she had wept her soul out. He couldn't see her in this state. His eyes were moist too but all he knew was holding her at this moment would weaken her more which he couldn't afford to do. 

"Let's make a move," he said, "I will drop you home and leave."

She agreed. He walked her home in complete silence. None of them uttered a word. 

As they arrived at her doorstep, she hugged him tight just like a small baby, pouring her heart out she managed to get closer to his ears. 

She whispered, "Please forget me. Erase all the memories you have with me. Forget that I ever existed. Never try and contact me again". 

With this, she quickly slid inside her house and shut the door on his face. He knew exactly why she said those words and he knew that is absolutely what is right for both of them.

 

Epilogue

Twenty years later, "One Cup of Regular cappuccino please," a middle-aged female voice said across the counter. She was dressed in Blank formals, a blunt haircut, a smartwatch ticking on her wrist, and a pair of eyeglasses. The wrinkles on her face clearly depicted her experience. She was there for an informal business meet. 

While she was waiting for her order, "Make it two and I will pay for both the orders.. " a familiar male voice said. 

She turned around to see who it was. He was wearing blue trousers paired with a white shirt tucked in cleanly. He wore a blue specially handcrafted jacket which added elegance to his style. He had strokes of grey hair which made him look extraordinarily attractive. It did not take her much time to recognize him.

"Shreyansh!!" she exclaimed. 

Her eyes were moist again. She felt like a quick slide show of the entire six months they had spent was played in front of her eyes. She was so happy to see him that she had forgotten 20 years had elapsed.

"Yes, Anamika. It's me" he said. "I'm sorry I called you here on a pretext of a business meet but I knew if you had known I wanted to meet you I would have never got this opportunity". 

She was glad he hadn't forgotten her. 

The conversation between them went on.. he told her he was happily married and had two kids. She was happy for him and insisted on visiting his family someday. She told him about her journey since he left. He was extremely proud of her. 

He asked her about her love life.. she replied.."Well!! I have achieved everything I wanted to. I have everything I needed. But you know marriage was never my cup of tea.. Or rather my cup of coffee.." with this they broke in laughter. 

This cup of coffee was definitely an end of a long wait and the start of an everlasting friendship they cherished forever.

 


Submitted: November 05, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Siddhi Deshpande. All rights reserved.

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