Saturdays are always so busy. What with the cooking and washing, after all one cant just live on packed and processed food all week around, now can they? Getting the housework done is no mean feat. After a leisurely bath and a nice nap I set off to get some shopping done. It doesn’t take me long to fill up my cart with veggies, oils, soaps and other essentials, for I always know just what I want and where to look, you can call me meticulous you know. And once the shopping was paid for I headed for the book store to pick up a nice book that would see me through the weekend. Browsing through the books, I picked up that book I was looking for and stopped at the coffee counter for a quick cup of cappuccino.
“One café frappe please” said a husky voice just beside me, and immediately I was pulled out of my reverie. No! it cant be him. I took a deep breath to steady myself. He cant be here in this town, it has to be someone else. But the same choice of coffee.. it has to be someone else. Café frappe after all cant be just a favorite to one man, other people love it too. I shrugged off the thought and went to the counter to pay for my coffee and leave, the last thing I wanted to do was torture myself imagining about a man whom I had totally eradicated from my system, almost I admit I still think about him and wonder where he is now. I haven’t heard about him in awhile now, ma has stopped questioning me about him by now. But to hallucinate him to be in this city, miles away from home is just too much. I ticked myself for even letting myself think of a person who is supposed to buried in my past. It unnerved me to think that even after almost a year and half he is still ever present in my life, enough that a simple slip and he got under my skin. Arrgh! I was about to leave when someone called me and without thinking I turned around.
“Nayona?” I was stunned and stood rooted at the stop withingout knowing what to say or do. But I managed to mumble.
“Neel!” there he was, my greatest nightmare standing right in front of me, mirroring my expression.
“How have you been?”
“Umm…fine and you?” I could barely mutter, when all I wanted to do was flee away from this man to avoid being close to him. I don’t want him to mess with my system anymore. Not wanting to spend a moment more than necessary I cut him short and said.
“I have to leave, I have errands to run. You take care.”
“But.. I.. you..”
“I really must leave.”
He didn’t answer me. The look of dejection adorned his face as I turned around and walked away, and I steeled myself, resisting the urge to turn back to look at him. Quickly I made my way back to my paradise, my one room apartment, which was my home in this unknown city.
In the safe haven of my home, flopped on the couch and curled my feet under me and tried concentrating on the new book I had just gifted myself, the one that I was looking forward to read eagerly but somehow reading was the last thing on my mind then. Neel.’s face loomed before me and refusing to fade out.
His features has hardened and he kept a slight stubble. Gone were the chocolaty, boy next door looks or the naughty twinkle in his eye. He has matured but he had those crinkles in his eyes that I so loved… loved? Now where did that thought come from? All that is over I rebuked myself, what he was and what he is now shouldn’t concern me now. This is my life now and Neel is not a part of it anymore. I rebuked myself. What happened shouldn’t have but then it did and now this was reality, and this is how it was meant to be. No use thinking of what could but never will be.
Neel wasn’t the kind one can ignore for too long; he manages to sneak in your thoughts and your life with ease that one doesn’t even get an opportunity to anticipate it. I could barely get him out of my mind that evening and memories came flooding and I was taken back to the first time we had met…
To be continued…