Amidst the hot blowing wind and the firing sun, his withering eyes stopped at the thriving beauty of hers. His gaze stuck on her eyes that were constantly finding something, and her lips that were struggling to smile even for once. He forgot about his coffee, his work and even about his being and said to his heart, “She is beautiful; her eyes are the prettiest.”
Calming down his heartbeat, he stepped towards her and asked politely if he could sit with her. She- all surprised and hesitant allowed him to stay. For a few seconds, he dived into the very depth of her heart and felt an alienated pain inside it, which brought him back to reality.
For the first few minutes, they didn’t say anything, just admired the silence between them in the middle of a chaotic café. Then, she uttered, “I came here to be alone, but it’s nice to have someone.” He tried to think of a possible reason for that serene soul to be out here alone but failed and asked, “Did something happen? I mean, you sound sad and a…alone.” She looked into his eyes, tears start to roll down her cheeks, and she ran away, spilling the coffee that was sitting on the table for hours- which was the witness of her broken heart. He, in a way, read her being and ran behind her, stopped her from leaving by holding her hand and asked, “What happened? I know I don’t even know who you are, but I think I can help you, you shouldn’t be alone like this”, she wipes her tears and asks him to head back to the café with her. They sat down, and she said, “My name is Ahaana, and I am sorry to disturb you. You can go, I am fine now,” but he wasn’t satisfied that she was really alright because of a stranger connection between them was telling him the same. “I think I am gonna stay, by the way, myself, Aarav,” he said with a smile. They talked for a bit, about work, about their families and then Ahaana was just telling Aarav about her brother. He couldn’t stop himself and exclaimed, “You are beautiful, and your eyes are the prettiest!” She was stunned by this comment, and it made her blush; Aarav turned red and apologized, “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you or something, it’s just, I couldn’t stop myself,” hearing this made Ahaana laugh, then for some time, they both shared a laugh together that brought them closer.
When there was silence again between the two, Aarav asked Ahaana why she was crying earlier, and that made her quiet again. Tears filled her eyes, but she controlled her emotions and said, “I think I don’t know you enough to open up yet,” and she got up to leave. Aarav turned a bit restless and pointed up, “You know Ahaana that there is something between us, you just don’t want to admit it, and I know you can feel the same, you can sense the same, and you are living the same. So don’t lie to me and sit down, please.” She was startled by the remark and sat back down. She was confused about why she stayed and why there was a feeling of relief and peace in their vicinity. She was calm and composed, “Who are you? Do I know you or something?” she asked hesitantly, “I don’t think so, Ahaana, but I can feel the same; there is definitely something between us. Now for the sake of this unknown connection, will you please tell me what happened?” he urged lovingly. Ahaana stood up and sat right next to him, held his hand, rested her head on his shoulder and started crying like a little child. Aarav was somewhat happy seeing her cry because it might help her emotions to get stable, so he let he cry and put his other hand on her face. After a while, she gathered herself and said, “I actually needed this so bad, I don’t have anyone to share anything, no friends, not a very supportive family, I don’t know what would’ve happened if it weren’t for you.” Aarav wiped a drop of tear from his watery eye, and holding her fragile hands, he said, “I don’t know what we have or what happened to you, but what I do know is that you are not alone anymore, Ahaana.” She smiled at him, and they both ordered another coffee which became the witness of their concealed togetherness and not the untold hurt. Just on their very first meet, they became so close and so in love that they prayed to God in their minds at the same, thanked him for his blessings and that too looking into each other’s eyes – they found God hidden inside.
Aarav asked again, “You cried; we shared such serene time together. Are you now comfortable in telling me what happened?” She was in denial but cleared her throat and said, “Before you came, I was here with my boyfriend, actually fiancé, we were engaged. We are together for the past 7 years, and I loved him; I thought he loved me too, because he kept telling me how much he loves me and he wants to marry me and that death too couldn’t part us. But then…” she stopped. “Then what, Ahaana?” Aarav asked as if enquiring. “Then today I told him that I have cancer, and my parents are not ready to spend so much money on my treatment, but I have saved some, and I know we can fight this together. And listening to this, he just got up and left. He said I can’t marry a sick girl; I want peace and fun in my life, not tears and burden,” she said with a cracking voice. Aarav froze for a moment after listening to the word ‘cancer’, and he stood up and left.
“Dad, how was mom?” asked Ahaana. “She was beautiful, and her eyes were the prettiest, just like you, love,” told Aarav to her 5 years old daughter.