It had been almost 5 years; still he could not get that evening out of his head. He had waited almost two years for that single moment, and when he got the chance he yearned for his mind and courage failed him. Raman was at his favorite street cafe waiting for his order to be served. This memory from his past visited him frequently; almost daily.
His mind drifted back to past while waiting for his order.
It was a fine winter evening - not too cold. It was officially the last day of their school. The farewell was planned to start in evening and go through night.
All students were arriving and gathering in the assembly hall, waiting to be escorted to the common room. Raman was with his friends, when he saw her. She was talking something animatedly to her friends. Raman was unable to take his eyes off her. She was wearing a black one piece dress. Her waist-length open hair swayed slowly in the blower’s air. She kept on tapping her foot lightly to the beat of song that was being played, and singing the lyrics almost in her mouth. She was like someone who has stepped from your dream into reality.
He fell for her for the first time he saw her, it took him some days to convince himself, and he knew that her was in love. It had been two years since then. He had thought that he will reveal his feelings on the farewell day.
The party started; slowly it gained its peak. Students were dancing, laughing, crying, taking lot of pictures with teachers, juniors, classmates and with their crushes, spending time looking at their crushes, and what not. She was sitting alone on a bench sipping her cold drink.
He saw her from the dance floor. He stopped dancing for a minute and was staring lovingly at her. He wanted to take in as much of her as possible. It was time to call it off a day. The party was about to over. This was his best and last chance. He turned from the dance floor to find her looking at him. Her eyes were looking at him. For a brief moment there eyes locked. It seemed like an eternity, both of them looking deep in one another’s eyes. They were disturbed by the DJ’s announcement of party coming to an end.
He ambled towards her. She was still looking intently at him. The way she looked made him feel uneasy and nervous. He sat beside her. They sat like that for some wile, neither of them spoke. The party was called off, students had started to leave. He sat there pulling together all his courage. He said, “You are beautiful”. She turned her head towards him, smiled a bit, as if waiting to hear something more, and said “And…”. And he wasn’t able to frame his next sentence. All he could do was to keep looking at her. Her friends came and insisted her to leave; his friends were waiting for him as well.
They both did not said anything else. They just smiled and left the party. His nostalgia was disturbed by the waiter. He said third time, patiently “Sir, here’s your order”. He smiled and took his cappuccino. He was smiling at the memory of farewell day, when he heard a familiar voice “Can I sit here, all tables are already occupied”. His heart started beating faster. He could feel the adrenaline mixed blood gushing through his veins.
He could not believe himself. There was she, standing just before him, straight from his memory. She looked even more beautiful than she looked five years ago. He looked up, and said yes. She placed her coffee on the table and sat. She said after a while, “Hii, Raman!!!”. His heart skipped a beat. She remembers him, his heart danced with joy.
They talked a little bit, she was on her way back home from office and has stopped to have a coffee. Their drinks were over, and again no one of them spoke anything. She broke the silence “So…”. He said “You are more beautiful than ever, except this nothing has changed”. She again asked, smiling “And…”. The waiter nudged him asking for the bill, he paid his bill and turned to look at her. He was shocked to find no one on the front chair. He stood up and scoured for her. She was nowhere to be found.
My mind must be playing tricks he thought. He was just about to leave, when he saw a note on the table. It read “You should have said it back then, or perhaps today!!”
He was bewildered and confused, unable to decide if it was some reality or just a memory.