The year 1999, when there were no breakups, only heartbreaks.
It was 2:30 AM and Daksh 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 Daksh 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.
Daksh was working in an IT company, but he always wanted to be a writer.
On the other hand, Tia had her priorities sorted. She wanted to start her own Playschool and was accumulating funds while working at her current job.
Daksh thought to himself, “So she seems to have made her mind this time”. He was not sure if Tia 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, Tia would make things right. Daksh would later realize that he could have controlled his anger and maybe not overreact every time.
“If she does not care anymore it’s better we break up tomorrow; I need closure,” Daksh said out aloud as if trying to tell the same to Tia. He went to sleep thinking Tia must have slept so why should he lose his sleep over her. He could not sleep the whole night though.
So, the sun rose, Daksh 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.
Daksh 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 Tia entered the cafe that made Daksh angry. Tia would often get late by 15-20 minutes whenever they planned to go out on a date and Daksh never liked any of her excuses.
Daksh 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 Tia.
Theirs was not a fairy tale kind of a love story but Tia would always say that their relationship was very different. Daksh had been in a few relationships before but he never felt what he felt with Tia.
As always, Daksh ordered his hot coffee and Tia ordered a cold coffee.
No one wanted to initiate the conversation. Daksh started to visualize how his life was going to be from tomorrow without her. He was sure that their relationship would end today, as Tia had always been the protector of the relationship at such times. Daksh 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, Tia 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. Daksh was shocked to notice that Tia was not even attempting to set things right this time around.
After a few minutes, Daksh broke his silence and said, “If it’s over, I wish you a happy life ahead.”
Tia remained quiet. Her silence made Daksh angry. He stormed out of the cafe and waited near his car for 2 minutes. Every time something like this happened, Tia would run and stop Daksh but not today. Neither she came out nor did she call. Daksh 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”.
Tia broke down in tears and that may be exactly what he wanted because she might speak to him now. Daksh’s heart knew that now she would make things right and all Tia ever wanted from Daksh was that he does not give up on her, just once. Daksh recalled all the fights that usually did not last for more than a few hours. But, this time Daksh was astounded as Tia said “Goodbye” in return.
Daksh 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. Daksh held Tia’s hand and said sorry. He was just a few moments away from losing the love of his life. Tears rolled down Daksh’s eyes. He got up and kissed her on her forehead.
Daksh looked at her for one last time with the hope that she would look back but Tia remained quiet still looking down, Daksh then left.
This was it, it was over. A relation of 5 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 signalled 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 Daksh 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 Tia replied, “You don’t get a day off in a playschool, imagine managing 50 kids like you!” Tia teased her.
Daksh 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.
Daksh was happy to see her daughter living his dreams of becoming a writer. Tia looked at Daksh and could see tears in his eyes.
Tia held Daksh’s hand and said “Thank you for not giving up on me that day”
Daksh smiled and remembered the cafe that got them back together.