Riddhika Jain | Participant 2

The Last Meet


I sit waiting for you at the cafe where we shared our very first meeting. Little did we know we would make so many memories here.


I get your text stating that you have arrived and my heart swells up. Knowing that we were going to meet after so long, made me feel the butterflies all over in my stomach.


The bell on the cafe's entrance door rings making me firm of your presence. My eyes instantly shoot up and meet yours.


The charm in your eyes still captures me and I rush to hold you in my arms. Your white dupatta make my hands disappear as I get a strong grip on your waist. I learn that you still use the same shampoo as your hair smells strong and brings a familiar feeling back.


I want to keep holding you for all the times I missed hugging you but you clear your throat and I am brought back to the reality of the situation we were in. I remembered you don't like the affection I shower you with but you were always the shy type.


We walk back to where I was sitting earlier. It was our spot. We order the usual, and the barista smiles at us. Maybe he was happy the odd couple were back at his cafe again.


I was happy too. I finally had you in front of me. Those late night video calls failed to do any justice to your beauty.


Sitting across, you fiddle with your fingers and I smile at your habit. Every thing you do makes me fall for you over and over again. Our eyes meet again, but I break my gaze off yours as I look outside the cafe's window.


"Ruhi?" You call my name sounding worried. I hadn't spoken a word after you got here. But you always left me speechless.


It didn't matter to me what we meant to each other in that moment. I have already played this part of our conversation in my head over the past few days. What I was about to tell you might make you want to never give love a second chance.


With a heavy heart, I blurt out the words out of my chest, "I am leaving India to pursue my PhD in Creative Writing, Shay."


I look back at you and see you surprised. You maintain a smile as you speak in a calm voice, "You always wanted to fulfil your dream of becoming a writer, haan?"


"Uh, yes." I answer back. I knew I had my dreams to fulfil but not at the cost of losing the woman I truly loved.


"Wow, I am so happy for you, Ruhi. I wish you all the best. I hope we remain in touch."


"Yes, I hope so too." But the truth was I was unsure if I would ever come back to a place that held so many memories of us. And being a woman in a country where you can't marry the person you love added to my miseries.


I get up to take a call and excuse myself from the conversation we were having. I take a last look at you. I tried memorising every detail of your perfect face as I storm out of the cafe, never wanting to return back.


Most lovers don't get to experience what we had between us. But ours was just not meant to last.


-x-


THE END

 

Written By : Riddhika Jain

Instagram Handle : @writtenbyriddhika

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