“Remember the first time I had seen you? It was the same situation, albeit with different surroundings. Feels surreal.” Stepping back from the water cooler, Jaya smiled at Mihir’s words, reminiscing their college times, when they had first met. She didn’t know when had he joined the same company.
“Nope. I don’t think so.” Mihir knew Jaya was teasing him, for both knew that neither could ever forget the other no matter what. She turned
back and gave the trademark mischievous smile, which set his heart racing again, after all these years.
Without a word, she went back to her workspace and resumed her tasks. All his tries to initiate any conversation, met with ignorance or curt
replies. Whenever their eyes met, she held the gaze, daring him to do more, yet not a word uttered. This went on for the entire week, before he sent her a message again, “J, someone is looking lovely in pink, as always.” She was concentrating on her work when her phone dinged. Irritated, she took a glance at the device, replied “Whatever” and put it on silent. However, she could not stop the slight blush from creeping in on her cheeks. This kind of one-sided phone conversation happened for a few weeks and met with the same cold response from Jaya. One fine day, it all stopped abruptly.
Maybe it was their past or was it that Jaya had gotten used to his attention again after all this while, but ultimately, the sudden absence of Mihir and his annoying ways made her miserable and angry. After a prolonged three-day wait, she texted him, a simple “Thanks for not bothering me anymore”. All she got was a laughing emoji as the response.
Things were the same for the next few days, just a few angry stares from her, and mischievous replies from him. However, in spite of all these things, they didn’t even realise how they had restarted their age old habits of taking care of each other subtly. Bringing the other’s favorite dish, to finishing off their individual tasks before hand so that they could help out with the other’s work were a norm.
It was raining one day and Mihir had
insisted he drop her home, giving the clichéd excuse of having some
All the way home, they had been exchanging stolen glances at each other, remembering that rain-washed night when things had taken a sudden but welcome turn. He had been dropping her home and they had stopped over to eat the sandwiches they had got on the way. Jaya’s casual mention about meeting a prospective alliance had triggered something and he had tightened his hold on her hands. Though he had
denied anything bothering him but her repeated attempts to make him talk had ultimately resulted in him kissing her, just like that, pouring out everything he had for her. That had been the start of a tempestuous relationship, if one could call that. The bone of contention had always been that this relationship had ended with the same abruptness which it had started with in the first place.
Sudden break jolted Jaya back to the present. Unsure, she still invited him in, which he accepted after a brief moment of indecisiveness. While she went into the kitchen to prepare their favorite – filter coffee – he had taken the chance to look at the house, expressing his liking at both the house and the way she had personalized it in the minimalistic way possible. Jaya was still not sure why it had left her feeling a bit proud though..
It had started drizzling now by the time the coffee was ready, they decided to sit on the stairs leading out to the backyard. Getting the best of both worlds in one go, as Mihir would often say. For a long time, the pitter-patter of the raindrops were the only sound audible, for the two souls were lost in both the present and their unrequited past. Sensing they might never get this opportunity again to clear out the
misunderstandings and ask the questions long unanswered, Jaya initiated the talking. Soon, it was a full-fledged discussion on how the other should have tried more to keep their relationship alive. Once every feeling had been expressed, right from anger to sense of betrayal, each smiled at the other with the same warmth that was there during their college days.
“Are you seeing someone?” Mihir asked suddenly.
“Nope! Someone ruined that luck way back for me..!” Came the tart reply. Nevertheless, it gave Mihir all the cues he needed to set things right.
“Well.. high time we sorted that, no?” Mihir smirked while saying it, taking her hand, caressing the inside of her wrist ever so softly.
“I’m not sure this would be a good idea after what happened, though I can’t ever deny the love which I’ve always felt for you. Even if it had gone bad.” Jaya was both shocked and relieved at his words and wasn’t able to stop those tears from brimming in her eyes.
“I dont know where we go from here Jaya. My tenure here is going to be over in just two more weeks, and you’re going to be here for a long time. I am really clueless how we’re going to manage it. Though one thing I’m very sure of is I can’t deny this anymore. I’ve lost you once because of my stupidity and fear.”
Jaya tried stopping him from talking about their past but was met with an adamancy about the opposite.
“If only I hadn’t lacked the patience required to talk to our families and set things in motion, we’d have been together a long time ago.”
They looked at each other in silence, acknowledging the moment, accepting the second chance they were getting with a slight smile on their faces. Neither knew where they would go from here, except that it would not be anything related to growing apart this time.