After going through each and every moment of his love story, he drifted into sleep.
The next day he stood at the door of his cafe, a few minutes before time. The anticipation was killing him inside. All through the morning hours when his heart had been rummaging hard in his chest, these last couple of minutes were almost choking him out. Finally, she arrived. He saw her getting out of her car, climb up the stairs and open the door.
And there he stood.
For the briefest period, they had an intense eye lock. She was the one to turn away. While on cue, he escorted her to a table in the secluded corner of the hall. He had deliberately chosen this spot, to ensure minimum interruption. The basic courtesies followed. A glass of water, which she drank in a single gulp.
“She is nervous.” He thought. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, not anymore.”
“Listen…,” she fumbled as the waiter served them coffee. He had it brewed specifically as per her choice. After a brief pause, she was about to continue, when he just chuckled and she gave a confused expression.
“I don’t know whether you feel it or no, but I do. Ever since the day I saw you, I am sort of living you. Just could never get you out of my mind. Even when I tried avoiding you, fate kept on bumping you into me.”
Megha opened her mouth to say something, but he silenced her. “I know you are married, have two adorable kids, but see even this does not bother me at all. I don’t want to make things awkward for you but I feel the connection. Just a look and I seemed to know all about you. Isn’t that crazy? Your choices, your dreams, your likes and dislikes, all match with mine. Even our coffee tastes match.” He gave out a hearty smile.
“I don’t know if this is the appropriate time, but I just want to tell you, I Love You. With all my heart, my soul, I just Love You. My happiness lies in you, belongs to you.”
Now before he could continue further, Megha interrupted. “All my life I waited for that moment. That skip of a beat, that eyelock, that take-my-breath-away feeling and yet when there is someone to relate all these, it just doesn’t fit in anyhow.” She paused to silently let go off the lump in her throat.
“You told me very honestly about your feelings. Now with the same earnestness, tell me is this right?” The last sentence, she spoke, making a direct eye contact.
“When all of this should actually feel right, how strange is it that it doesn’t.” She whiffed, and continued, “You don’t need to say but I also know your answer. Don’t ever try to contact me in any way.”
With this she picked up her bag and walked out, leaving him heartbroken. Not that he didn’t know that any form of union between them was impossible. His love might have given him happiness, but it was accompanied by a heartbreak. He stood there still and silent, his mind playing her words in loop.
“When there is someone to relate to this…..
When all of this should actually feel right…….”
And just then, like a flash of lightning, a realisation dawned.
“She too feels it right, she believes we are soulmates, so she too loves me. She might not have expressed it openly, but ….!” The realisation was enough for his broken heart to heal itself. “But Megha this is enough for me to last this lifetime.”
He simply rushed outside to call her one more time, to explain to her about this realisation, ignoring her plea to shun all form of contact.
But he saw her car speeding away. He knew he had to be strong for her, for himself and for them. “Out beyond the ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” He whispered.
When Megha sped past his cafe, her mind and soul, were two restless beings. Tears trickled down her eyes, trying to absorb her pain. She had been restless too, right from the day she first saw him. Those intense eyes kept flashing before hers. She tried to sleep past it but those images followed her everywhere. And when he very innocently tried to hand her over a new phone, she had felt sorry. Sorry for him, for herself and also her situation. She kept on thinking for a long time why was she so upset when he came to know about her marital status.
She had to move forward. Hell but why was this sword of moving forward hanging over her.
There was nothing between them.
It was a statement more to convince herself. The other day at the book store, she had literally frozen when she caught a glimpse of him rummaging through the pile of her selected books. Had she not been stopped by the book store owner, she would have left at that very instance. He was keen to talk about the book she had ordered. “Any other day,” her mind prompted, “but not today.” Her agony was not over here.
Once in the morning, while she was taking her driving lessons, she saw him in a car speeding past hers. The guilt that followed was unbearable. Arpit was sitting right beside her and here she was busy ogling at another man.
How could she explain that waiver of bill at home? That was the thought that induced her to have a talk with the manager of that coffee joint. She felt no qualms further in approaching the owner himself when the manager was unable to give plausible explanation.
Mr. Sagar Dutta!
The name plate read. She literally barged in his cabin, like a warrior let loose. And she saw him. No explanation was needed. She left the money on table and made a hasty exit from there.
But he followed her not only in her thoughts, but also in her inbox as Whatsapp messages. Every message he sent was immediately deleted from the phone. She dared not reply. Her huaband was one possessive man and even if he was not, Megha could not do something that might even come close to adultery. She thought her ignoring would restrict him. But he seemed adamant. From the routine good morning and good night messages, he moved on to sharing snippets of his daily routine. When he started posting clicks from the book he was reading, Megha sort of starting liking it. His take on the book, his feelings while reading it and his passionate disclosure thereafter, all these things impressed her. A few days after, Megha was sort of addicted to them. Why wouldn’t she not be. Her marriage to Arpit was an arrangement of convenience. Her parents liked Arpit and were convinced that he was the best match for her. Her opinion was not sought for. Her meeting with Arpit was also a guided affair, under close supervision.