Year 1999, when there were no breakups, only heart breaks.
It was 2:30 AM and Arjun kept checking his phone. He was sitting on a chair with his legs propped on the table. The table was neatly arranged with a few books from his college days and a notepad that he always kept with him to write stories and poetry. He was swinging a pen in hand impatiently. He kept thinking about the time it started and how surreal it felt then. He remembered when they went for a drive and it started raining and how they sang their favorite song together but now things had changed.
He said to himself, “She does not deserve me anymore. It’s over.” Suddenly the phone beeped, and Arjun pounced at it.
The message read, “Alright! Let’s meet for one last time at 10AM.” The meeting point was their regular coffee joint where they first went 2 years back and ever since they went there almost every day.
Arjun was working in an IT company, but he always wanted to be a writer.
On the other hand, Nishka had her priorities sorted. She wanted to start her own Playschool and was accumulating funds while working at her current job.
Arjun thought to himself, “So she seems to have made her mind this time”. He was not sure if Nishka had sent that message or someone else. They had many fights in the last two years for all the reasons a couple could fight. Every time a fight happened, Nishka would make things right. Arjun would later realize that he could have controlled his anger and may be not overreact every time.
“If she does not care anymore its better we breakup tomorrow; I need a closure” Arjun said out aloud as if trying to tell the same to Nishka. He went to sleep thinking Nishka must have slept so why should he lose his sleep over her. He could not sleep the whole night though.
So, the sun rose, Arjun was feeling sleepy but managed to get ready and started to drive from his house to the cafe. He kept on murmuring something as if revising the things he would say to her.
Arjun parked his car outside the cafe and went inside, trying to make the facial expression that would be appropriate for the situation, but he was unsuccessful.
He went straight to the table they would usually choose to sit, it was right in the middle with just two chairs and a white table. After 15 minutes Nishka entered the cafe, that made Arjun angry. Nishka would often get late by 15-20 minutes whenever they planned to go out on a date and Arjun never liked any of her excuses.
Arjun behaved like a true gentleman. He got up from his chair, greeted her with a hug and pulled the chair for her, however, avoided any eye contact with Nishka.
Their’s was not a fairy tale kind of a love story but Nishka would always say that their relationship was very different. Arjun had been in a few relationships before but he never felt what he felt with Nishka.
As always, Arjun ordered his hot coffee and Nishka ordered a cold coffee.
No one wanted to initiate the conversation. Arjun started to visualize how his life was going to be from tomorrow without her. He was sure that their relationship would end today, as Nishka had always been the protector of the relationship at such times. Arjun looked at her while she was sipping her coffee and he realized that he wanted to grow old with her no matter how much he hated her now. He had never been that afraid in life to love or to lose. All this while, Nishka either looked at her coffee or just faced downwards with tears almost not visible in her eyes. He was about to fall in love with her all over again. Arjun was shocked to notice that Nishka was not even attempting to set things right this time around.
After a few minutes, Arjun broke his silence and said, “If it’s over, I wish you a happy life ahead.”
Nishka remained quiet. Her silence made Arjun angry. He stormed out of the cafe and waited near his car for 2 minutes. Every time something like this happened, Nishka would run and stop Arjun but not today. Neither she came out nor she called. Arjun got angry thinking that she does not even care if he left from there. He went back furious, stood in front of her and said, “I knew you will not even bother to come out to say goodbye, so I will say it, Goodbye”.
Nishka broke down in tears and that may be exactly what he wanted because she might speak to him now. Arjun’s heart knew that now she would make things right and all Nishka ever wanted from Arjun was that he does not give up on her, just once. Arjun recalled all the fights that usually did not last for more than few hours. But, this time Arjun was astounded as Nishka said “Goodbye” in return.
Arjun was angry, his blood boiling but extremely broken and lifeless from inside. He placed his car keys on the table and fell on his knees. They both did not say a single word. Arjun held Nishka’s hand and said sorry. He was just a few moments away from losing the love of his life. Tears rolled down Arjun’s eyes. He got up and kissed her on her forehead.
Arjun looked at her for one last time with the hope that she would look back but Nishka remained quiet still looking down, Arjun then left.
This was it, it was over. A relation of 2 years came to an end.
Akshita was dressed in her school uniform. She was a little nervous but extremely happy as she was all set to read out her written story for the first time in the School auditorium. She had waited for long for this day. The stage was set, the auditorium was full, but she kept looking at the main entrance. The organizer called her to the stage and she walked up to the stage eyes still fixed on the entrance gate. Suddenly a man dressed in a business suit entered and Akshita calmed down. He signaled her to start and Akshita started to read. After a few moments of reading, Akshita was lost in her story. Everyone seemed to be shocked by the way she had written, it did not seem a 16-year-old girl could have written this. And when she ended the story, everyone started clapping and gave her a standing ovation for her extraordinary talent.
Akshita thanked everyone and started walking down the stage. Everyone sat back on their seats and the organizer was about to call the next participant. Suddenly in that moment of silence, someone started clapping from the main entrance, Akshita looked at the main entrance with joy while Arjun did not even look back and shook his head in disbelief as he knew it was Akshita’s Mother who had a habit of reaching 15 minutes late.
Akshita ran towards her Mother and hugged her tight.
“Mom you are late again”, said Akshita, to which her mother Nishka replied, “You don’t get a day off in a playschool, imagine managing 50 kids like you!” Nishka teased her.
Arjun too joined them and they all hugged like one happy family. Akshita kept on talking about how nervous she was and how relaxed she is felling now.
Arjun was happy to see her daughter living his dreams of becoming a writer. Nishka looked at Arjun and could see tears in his eyes.
Nishka held Arjun’s hand and said “Thank you for not giving up on me that day”
Arjun smiled and remembered the cafe that got them back together.