She sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.
It was still raining. As it should be. She wore her bright red shirt and black jacket over the dark blue jeans, her eyes neatly done and hair let lose. The black curls entwined the long fair fingers as she went over the plans again.
Nobody would fail to notice her. Even on a rainy, dark evening. She could already feel somebody looking at her from the back of her head. He would definitely notice her. Especially on a rainy, dark evening.
“The b*******!” she screamed out in her mind, banging the coffee cup and sending out splashes of brown all around. The waiter rushed to help her and she smiled at him broadly, thanking him. So far,so good. The waiter would say that she was a jovial person.
At that precise minute, a six feet athletic body clad in the coolest casuals entered the café. She took a minute to study him. Was it the handsome face or the ‘cool dude attitude’ for many a girl had fallen?
Remembering the task at hand, she took out her mobile. Smart, yeah, it was. Tilting her head slightly, she held the coffee cup by her face. The selfie looked smart enough too. In its corner, as though captured by mistake, was him. Updated status- “ Enjoying the best coffee@Starbucks” . Anyone who checked would know where she was, when and more importantly, with whom. He had ruined her life, she would ruin his. She could almost see the next fifteen minutes.
In the washroom, she took out the blood stained knife. She ran it over the shallow laceration over the side of her abdomen with its pointed end. It started bleeding again. She wrapped it and kept it in her handbag. She pressed the bandage and returned to her table, just as he passed by.
“Hi Div.. well..so..how are you?” he would manage an uneasy smile. “ Hi..I’m good! Why don’t you join me?” She would smile gently and move to make him space beside her. As she moves, the shallow laceration that she had made over her stomach would hurt. She would press over the bandage and make it bleed into it. It should be fresh when seen.
“Well..okay.. You are looking great”.
“Wasn’t I all the time? Even when I agreed to marry you? Even when you chose to cheat on me?”. Aloud she said, “This life is suiting me good Ishan. By the way, you are looking great yourself”.
She knew it was a lie. He was actually looking worried; a patch of beard had grown like moss over stone. “Hmm ya..actually no, Div. I am not doing good. I was fired last week. And that ***** of a woman gave no reason. I just walk in and they tell me to clear my desk. It’s damn difficult to get a new job too.”
“Farah is an old friend. I heard you threw up a huge fight before leaving.”
“Oh yeah, they can’t fire people like that. What does she think of-” he would stop short. “Did you say you know Farah?” Now he would realize. That she masterminded it all. There would be a rage of fury and she knew what to do next. Her hand moved towards her handbag. But-
“Do you think you can talk to Farah and get my job back?” Div looked at it him with bewilderment. Did I love such a naïve fellow? How much more stupid can he get?
Mistaking the disbelief in her eyes to be helplessness, he said, “ Oh it’s ok yaar. I can understand. And especially after all that I-”
“ How is Ankita?” She was growing impatient. The wound was hurting too.
She had to get him to one of his furies, to shout, to bang the table. It would then that she would scream, “AHHH..he stabbed me!!” The bandage would go into the handbag, blood start oozing through the cut in the shirt she had hidden beneath the jacket. When people surrounded them, she would faint at the sight of blood. The blood stained dagger would clatter on to the marble floor, beside Woodland shoes. Then there will be police, of course. The media would say, “ Murder attempt on ex-wife in a popular, packed, café. 25 year old Divya was attacked by her ex-husband, who is a known alcoholic and out of work, with a sharp kitchen knife. The couple was chatting for a while, when 26 year Ishan was found shouting at Divya, even as she tried to pacify him. The witness said that he had tried to stab her and then tried to flee. He was arrested and the weapon recovered. The lady escaped, with minor injuries and is currently being treated for shock. The Mahila Mandali chairperson-”
For all this to happen, he must be provoked. Instead he sat there like a- “Fool!! That is what I am.” He banged his fist on the table. Div smiled; at least he was coming around. But it was not rage in his voice. It was agony and it disturbed her. “She left me weeks ago. She never loved me. And I, the b***** hell don’t know if I loved her!! It was all a..a huge bubble. Colourful, big, shiny and POP! It goes!!”
He was hysterical now and shouting all madness possible. They had all the attention and Divya knew that it was the right moment. But she couldn’t bring herself to it. It was now her turn to sit like a stone, numb. Something had happened to him. This was not the person whom she hated, whose life she wanted to make miserable, who she wanted to rot. This was some character from her long past. It confused her.
“I have been following you since past one week Div. Ever since you started coming to this café. Every evening I would come and watch you leave but couldn’t gather up my guts to face you. Leaving you was the biggest mistake I ever did. It has been bad luck ever since. Can we start over again? Please?”
She stared at his face for a moment. While a small voice within scolded her for the fool she was being, forgetting all her revenge, the strong voice of hope shouted that it was all true. He was genuine. Her eyes locked with his eyes of anticipation, “How fast can you get me to the hospital?”
Samudyatha U C