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Monday, 6 October 2014

An Ugly Love Story, by HAC. Chapter-1

An Ugly Love Story.


“What’s your order ma’am?” He asked in his sweet voice. He had to maintain that smile for every customer, but this customer wasn’t just a customer to him.  He waited for them to reply. He was wearing a black cap, followed by the black dress of any typical Café coffee day worker.

“Two cappuccinos,” said Shalini and brushed her hair behind her ear. She passed him her debit card and he took it, after a few taps on the screen.

He was surely feeling nervous. His hands were shaking on the Card-swiping machine and numerous sweat bubbles popped out of his forehead.

“Please enter the Pin,” He rotated the machine in front of her and looked up. Their eyes linked.

He blinked.

She blinked.

It happened just like Pablo Neruda has said- ‘Then love knew it was called love.  And when I lifted my eyes to your name, suddenly your heart showed me my way.” He wasn’t seeing those beautiful eyes for the first time, he now maintained the habit of seeing them every day. This was the love story, which was left unclaimed from the almighty. Every element was there to blend into a story, but no one pressed the switch of blender.

She never skipped her coffee, he never skipped to stand on the other side of the counter every evening. Arjun had realized it, but the girl was yet to realize the love that was meant to happen in future. It was the uncertainty that was made certain by the future. Arjun was her senior in the college. Not so rich, hence working in the CCD as a part-timer. On the other hand, she was rich enough to afford a cappuccino every day.

“Here…” He said and passed his pen to Shalini. She signed the bill generated by the machine and passed it back. As they were leaving the counter, he said hesitatingly, “Ma’am! You are blessed with a beautiful pair of eyes.”

Shalini and her friend turned back. Shalini had the smile that accepted the compliment.  However, her friend hadn’t approved it.

Shalini stood silent with a smile and her friend finally spoke, “How dare you?” She shouted loudly. Loud enough to gain everyone’s attention in the café.

“It’s Okay,” Shalini held Ruhi’s hand. She was fuming in anger. Ruhi’s other hand was almost on the table and she was about to climb it and rip off his head, any moment. Shalini calmed her down. She again brushed her hair behind ear and whispered, “Thank you.”

“Sorry…” He looked confused. The muscles of his face sharpened so finely that he looked even cuter. As the dimple slowly blanketed itself in one of his cheeks, Shalini’s heart skipped a beat. She gave him a blank expression.

Ruhi came in between and shouted, “She said thank you. Now, if you allow us Mr. Compliment giver, Can we go, sit, and have our coffee?”

“Sorry, but I wasn’t talking about her eyes, I was talking about yours.”

She blinked.

“Your eyes are so intense I want to look away . . . or never look away, I can’t decide.” He said in one breath.

She blinked.

Her face turned pink and all her anger vanished. She wasn’t feeling shy, she was feeling embarrassed because maybe it was not a compliment, it was a taunt. She was not beautiful at all- this was the only thought that dusted her mind since last eight years. She was over weighted and had this very tiny pony tail to accompany her oversized body.  She always saw an ugly girl standing in front of her, whenever she looked into the mirror. She has been learning that she has been ugly for years and now all of a sudden, someone comes to her and tells her that she has a beautiful pair of eyes. It was unacceptable. It was not real, hence to her, it was a taunt.

She blinked.

He blinked.

A tear blocked her eyesight and the very next moment, he found her struggling to run out of the café. He stood numb, he wanted to run behind her, wipe her tears, and ask her that what made her cry. However, he couldn’t. Love doesn’t happen this way, you cannot run behind it, it always walk to you, unaffected with the situations and equations.

Shimla: Few years Later.

“Grand maa,” A voice came out of the blanket. She was coughing badly. An old lady entered the room with some medicines and a glass of water. As she came and sat next to the girl, the girl pulled her head off the blanket and laid down on her grandmother’s thighs.

It was snowing outside. Inside, the sight was different. When the nature was at its best outside, the girl’s face looked paler if compared to her grandmother.

“Maa… He will come back na?” The girl asked with all her hopes.

The old lady didn’t reply. Silence can answer many questions, but if spoken, the words can become hurtful. Silence is just like a damaged ship. It is gonna sink anyway, but still there are numerous hopes that could and would survive in the end.

A tear drowned from her eyes in the folds of blanket. Perhaps, he wasn’t coming back.

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