At the coffee shop…

I hadn’t seen him in fifteen years. I was amazed at how the thought of seeing him could still send fritters in my stomach. I was nervous like all those times, many years ago, when I waited for him at the entrance of the hostel. My hands were wet with sweat. I was going through the first hi, hello a thousand times in my head. Would he say hello, would I say hi, will he give me a light friendly hug? Will he just shake hands? Will he be as friendly as he used to be or would have marriage made him more formal? As usual he made me wait, the longest five minutes. I always waited for him back then too. There was a huge clock on the wall, there was a watch on my wrist and a clock on my phone’s home screen. They all moved so slowly agonizing my wait and stretching time further. I was idly looking out of the window when to add to my turmoil he suddenly appeared at my table with the same old big smile on his face. God, the smile that I fell for eons ago. I stood up, just in case he wanted to give me a hug. To my disappointment he said, “hey sit down”.. So those were the first words, no hi, no hello, no handshake, no hug. I sat down not taking my eyes off his face even for an instant. I hoped I was not gaping and he wouldn’t notice that I had butterflies in my stomach. I wanted to appear to be the calm and poised person he would expect me to be after being married to someone else and a mother of three kids. But hell no, how could this guy make me feel this way after all these years? Guess that’s what you call first love.. We set off like we had just separated the previous night, first about his travel, then mine, his family, then my family, his children, then my children. There was a lot of catch up conversation. After a while we easily got into talking about the years we spent as soul mates. How friends teased us, the adventures of ladies hostel, night outs at the library, kuchikooing… As we started talking about the night we separated after college, he gently touched my hand and we grew quiet. Our eyes spoke volumes.. why did we part was the question lingering on each other’s mind… Suddenly he called for the usherer and asked for the bill, my hand still in his. I asked him “are you leaving?”.. he remained silent. The bill came, he paid, grabbed my hand and walked out of the coffee shop….

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