It was a splendid evening at the cafe, a wonderful place to spend sometime and forget every thing for a while. It was 6:30pm and Rohan was seated at a corner table. It was as if he was waiting for someone. From where he was seated, he could see a young man across the hall, on the right side, near the window. He seemed to be familiar to Rohan. That guy was dressed in his best, he seemed excited and he was constantly checking his watch and the front door. He was waiting for someone.
On the left side across the hall, Rohan saw a girl, she looked pale and sad. She dailed a number on her cell phone, she held it near her ear for a while, then she placed it down and then her eyes turned towards the door, she was expecting someone too.
then a young girl walked through the door. She was looking gorgeous and her face couldn’t hide the excitement she had. Her eyes ran through each and every table at the café and finally, her face brightened. She saw her date sitting by the window, waiting for her.
She caught him, looking at his reflection in the window, checking if his hairstyle was ok. He was pretty nervous, she could see that. And man, did she already like this guy way too much. Walking over to the table she stood in front of him.
“hi..” Her voice was gentle.
The moment the guy turned towards her, he felt as though he had literally skipped a beat. She was ridiculously beautiful.
He managed a staggering “hi..” He stood up to pull her chair, comforted her and looked at her as he sat.
“you’re looking gorgeous!!” His voice was a whisper and She blushed. Both of them knew that the night was going to be a long one.
Across the hall, the girl was still waiting for someone. She had rung at least five times but there was no reply. Almost frustrated, she stood up to leave when a guy walked in.
The guy walked up to him,
“where have you been?? It’s been an hour since i came here!”
He knew that She was upset.
“I’m sorry i was at my office.” He apologised and kissed her on her cheek. It was like as if it was just a kiss. The romance was lost long back.
Both of them sat down.
“where have you been all these days???” She asked him
“I’m sorry… I was a bit busy working, the new manager is a tough guy to handle, I’m working late hours. I’ve told you about that, remember?”
” a bit busy?? It’s been almost a month and a half since we’ve met.”
The young man frowned. Both of them knew that the night was going to be a long one.
“what can i get you sir??” The waiter asked.
Rohan was lost somewhere that he hardly heard the waiter’s voice.
“sir??” The waiter asked again.
his mind jumped back
“oh.. Yeah… A cafe latte please” he said.
“are you sure??” He asked in a doubtful manner.
“yeah… Sure!” Rohan replied.
The cup arrived a while later, his gaze was fixed on the cup. Suddenly he heard a voice
“hey… Wassup??” It was Divya, she pulled a chair opposite to him.
“hey.. Hi… How are you??” He was suprised to see her.
“I’m good, what are we having here, A cafe latte?? Awesome!!” She smiled.
He looked at his cup, “it’s been a long time.. Isn’t it?” He hadn’t taken a sip of it.
“is it?? Isn’t it like you see me here every day?” She laughed. He smiled at her.
“yes… It’s been a long time..” She replied again her smile fading out.
It was going to be a long night.
Back at the table near the window, both of them were having a very good time. She was totally into him and she even knew that he was too.
“that’s my favourite!” She smiled at him.
“then two for the lady please!” The guy smiled at her when the waiter was attending them.
“you know what are the two things special in this cafe today??” He asked her.
“what??” She asked him.
“first one is the cafe latte… ” he said.
“and the second one??” She was curious.
“it’s you!” He smiled at her and she blushed red as roses.
But the table across the hall had something totally different.
“we don’t meet much, you don’t spend much time with me, you don’t return my calls, it is really hard for me to take all this all alone!!” the girl spoke helplessly.
“I’m sorry baby… I really want to be with you but i hardly have time after that double shift.”
“it’s not like before… Things have gone way to far!” She had something to say.
“my dad is looking for a groom… Today he gave these photos!” She threw a few photos on the table.
He went through those photos, “what’s the hurry anyway??” he didn’t expect this coming through.
“how long do you expect them to wait?? I’m 28 already!!”
“what do you want me to do??” He said. There was hint of frustration in his voice.
“its time that we spoke to my parents!” She said.
He didn’t speak a word.
“what’s the matter??” She asked him.
“i cannot do this right now!!!”
“why??” She had lost her patience.
“i wanna get settled in life first!”
“who is stopping you?, I am just saying that we get married, that’s all! Nothing is going to change!”
“you don’t understand… things will change!” he wasn’t listening to her.
“I don’t wanna get married right now, I haven’t thought about this yet and moreover, marriage is the last thing i would want to think about, at this point of time, in my life!” He said.
“why is that every time we talk it is always about you and only your life! You never give importance to me!” Her voice rose.
The argument was heating up.
Back at the table, Rohan was talking to Divya.
“so… How is your life Divya??” Rohan asked her.
“it’s awesome!! I’m just living it to the fullest!! Hows your job??” she asked.
“I’m the manager now!”he said.
“that is great!!” She smiled.
He looked at her for a while, “i miss you..”
“hmm… I’m sorry..” She said.
“i just want things back to the way they used to be!” Rohan felt bad about what ever had happened.
“but this is what you wanted Rohan.. Isn’t it???” She said.
He remained silent for a while before saying anything.
“I’m sorry…” He said.
“don’t be Rohan… It’s just that we wanted different things in life!” She said.
it was 8pm,
“well… I had a nice time with you.. I think i should leave…” He hadn’t taken a sip of that cup yet.
“well… You are leaving early today??” She said.
“huh?? How do you say that??” He was confused.
“every day you leave at 11pm, it’s a bit early today.” She said.
“huh?” But i just met you today!” Rohan was confused.
She took a deep breath before she started.
“Rohan… This conversation happened 4 years back.” She said.
Rohan sat back.
“look around… There is no body in here! Every body is gone! You were sitting alone at this cafe all this time.” she said.
At that moment, Rohan found himself slowly drifting back to reality. The entire cafe was empty. People had left, it was 10:00pm.
Meanwhile, she continued “and that…” She pointed to the couple near the window “happened 10 years ago,” it was Rohan and Divya, they were on their first date.
“and that….” She pointed to the table across the hall, “happened 5 years back” it was the last time Rohan saw her before she got married.
” right now, i am in America, living a happy life with two wonderful kids and a caring husband. this entire conversation happened 4 years back, when we accidentally met each other after my marriage, the rest of the evening is just your imagination” she said.
Rohan was at a loss of words.
“there are many precious moments in life… you should never let go of them, you caught the first one”
Both of them looked at their past near the window.
“i think I’m falling for you!” Rohan held Divya’s hand in his as he said those three words.
“i love you…” He said. Divya was so happy that a tear drop slipped out.
“so am i… I love you Rohan..” She said. It was a night he could never forget.
“but you missed the second one!” She said and Their eyes were at the table across the hall.
“what do you want me to do now???” Rohan was out of control.
“i want an answer!!” She was in tears yet she was determined.
Rohan sat there thinking between to extremities in his life, he had to make a decision. And then he said those three words.
“let’s break up…”
Divya’s eyes welled up as she took in those words, without a word she left the place. It was a night he could never forget.
“had you missed the first moment, the second one wouldn’t have existed. You wouldn’t be standing here watching all this. Had you caught the second moment, you would still not be standing here watching all this. But, i guess, fate had different things coming up for you.”
“you haven’t moved on Rohan… You are still holding on to that one memory… let it go… It’s time that you did…” She said as she disappeared.
Rohan sat there thinking about how his life had shaped till here. He looked at his cup, it was empty. At that moment he realised how similar was his life to that cup.
Placing the cup on the table, he walked out.
“excuse me sir??? You there!! You haven’t paid for your cafe latte!” The waiter shouted when a lady pulled the waiter back and held him a 50 rupee note.
“that’s for his cafe latte, keep the change.” She looked at her watch, it was 6:35pm and then she walked after Rohan.
Totally confused, the waiter returned to the counter to pay the bill.
His mate was standing at the counter.
“i don’t understand what ever is going on over here.” He said to his mate.
“why?? What happen??” The mate asked him.
“there is this guy who comes to the cafe every day at this time and sits exactly at that table over there and orders cafe latte everyday. Then, this lady walks up to him and talks to him for while. And as far as I’ve heard their conversation, they seem to talk the same thing over and over again. And then this guy leaves the cafe after 5 minutes without paying. And this lady pays for him. The strange fact is, that he never even takes a sip of what he orders.”
“oh you mean her? I know her, she is suganya that guy’s wife!”
“what??? But I’ve seen him call her by the name Divya!!” The waiter was even more confused.
“actually, that guy is mentally retarded, one day his wife came to me and told me about her husband’s condition and asked me if i could help her out with this problem. And from that day till now, this woman comes here everyday at this time and the same thing happens again and again.”
life is to short to miss special moments, once they are gone, they are gone. if you have it, you’d rejoice about it for the rest of your life, if you miss it, then its all regret. But the worst is part is when you don’t even know to what extent you are actually regretting it!!! Don’t let REGRET rejoice YOUR life!