Fatal (3/3)

For part 1 & Part 2 – click here! :)

————-

The next morning, she was gone.

Was she stealthy or what?

I forgot to notice that I had opened my eyes to the smell of coffee.

I got out of bed and walked to my kitchen, hoping to find her there. Instead I found a full coffee pot and a note.

“Sorry, had to rush. Catch you later!”

———

Catch you later?

I mean man, what the… I ran my hands thru my hair in frustration and poured out a cup.

Fucking hell…it was good coffee. If there was something I liked in a woman, It was her ability to make better coffee than me.

———-

‘You are out of her league man!’ My friends at work saw me looking at her picture on my phone, on my way to work and guffawed in delight. I knew they were right but I didn’t react.

‘Quit joshing, I gotta get going’, I mumbled and I tried to get her out of my mind. The thing was, I couldn’t get her out of my brain. Or her smell. What kind of obsession was this?

———–

I got home rather late that night. She was there. At my doorstep. With a small packet in her hands.

“Open it.”

She handed it over to me.

I took it, a little stunned to see her.

It was a notebook made out of handcrafted paper.

” I made it. Not for you, but I’d made it a couple of months ago. For someone else.”

I stared at her.

” You are giving me something you made for someone else? After you left without a word?” As soon as the words left my mouth I felt like such a girl.

“Thanks!” I started moving towards my door.

” For my ex – boyfriend. He died.” She spoke in a monotone.

I stopped to look at her, but she wasn’t really there.

” He was the only one I have ever truly loved. And I know I won’t be able to feel that way about anyone else.”

Her eyes welled up with tears.

” You know yesterday night after a long time, It felt good to be with another person. So I wanted to thank you for that. And for making me feel a little alive once again. My friends used to say that the accident was fatal in two ways. One, it took him away from me. Two, it took me away from everyone else.”

She gave me a kiss on my cheek and walked away.

I stood there, like a fool, holding that notebook in my hand and hoping…that tomorrow, when i’d be at the local supermart, I’d see her again.

———–

 

A special day

Sharon was sleeping with a frown on her face.

Karan, her brother entered her room to exit it hastily. Sophie, his wife glared at him.

“Let her sleep, we’ll wish her in the morning.”

——————–

Her phone buzzed at 2 at night. She looked at the screen and picked it up.

“Hey…sorry, I slept off!”

” YOU SLEPT OFF? I HAVE BEEN TRYING YOUR NUMBER FOR OVER 2 HOURS! I WANTED TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO WISH YOU!”

She held the receiver a couple of inches away from her ear and scowled. Not again. Dan, her extra possessive boy friend was at it again. But today she wasn’t in a mood to argue. No, today was HER DAY! One day away from the endless drama of being an an emotionally exhausting relationship with him.

” Dan, are you going to fight with me this year as well?” She spoke quietly, trying not to get annoyed.

She could hear him spluttering over the other side of the phone and she sighed,”I’m hanging up and I don’t want to talk to you today. NOT at ALL. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

He called her up a couple of times after that but she really wasn’t interested in being yelled at again.

——————-

She was sitting in the bus, on her way to Pune; a city around three hours away from where she currently resided. She was a little excited, a little apprehensive.

Ideally, travelling on her birthday wasn’t her idea of celebration but she needed to get away.

She was going to stay the night with HIM. The love of her life. It was an impromptu plan; she decided she needed a change; a lot of her friends were still in Pune…she could celebrate with them;the only thing was that she didn’t have a place to crash.

Till he offered that she could stay with her.

She was a bit hesitant. Its was not going to be easy staying with someone she had been in love with since the moment she’s first seen him and pretending that she was over it. But she decided to do it. It would help in breaking the ice with him…to show him that she could still be normal around him.

—————

He was there at the bus station, a little late…and with a friend of his but it was great never the less to meet him.

She wished that the friend wasn’t there so that she could have spoken to him a little longer but that wasn’t going to happen. She changed and left to meet two of her friends.

—————–

Reese and Sally met her at an an old coffee shop; they even cut a small cake for her. After spending a couple of hours Sally left.

Sharon told Reese about him and gasping, Reese caught hold of her hand,”You are actually staying with him!” She looked hyper excited. Trust Reese to be dramatic about everything.

Sharon smiled,”Yeah but don’t read too much into it, he’s just a friend.” She smiled as the lie rolled off her lips, so did Reese.

” Oh well,” Reese opened the door of the coffee shop to step outside,” I still think he’s an ass and you are way too good for him.”

Sharon didn’t respond. She was looking over to the other side of the road where he was sitting on his bike, he had come to pick her up.

” Is that him? Oh fuck he’s gorgeous.” Reese whispered as he walked towards them.

Sharon winked at her and climbed onto his bike. HIS BIKE. She couldn’t get over it.

They ate dinner at McDonalds and then watched a movie, laughing at how sad it was…somewhere during half time she realized that her birthday was over. They drove back to his place, talking a little but mostly in silence. She was lost in her own thoughts. As his bike moved almost noiselessly over the empty streets of Pune, she looked up at the sky; at the moon, shivering because of the light but pleasant chill in the air.

And at that very moment all she could think of was ,”It’s my 24th birthday and I’m with the love of my life. What could be more perfect?” Who cared if he didn’t feel the same? She had no expectations.

—————-

They walked upstairs and he showed her to her room, offering to sleep in the hall while she got the bed. She changed into an old set of pajamas and then walked to the balcony adjoining his room. The moonlight streamed through the leaves of a tree in front of his flat and the effect was quite pretty.

She sat there for a bit, lost in her own thoughts when he interrupted her.

” What are you up to?” He smiled down at her.

” Not much…was just admiring this…” She gestured around her.

They chatted into the wee hours of the night. She felt that she got to know him a little better. She couldn’t stop smiling.

—————-

The next morning she woke up quite early. She stepped into the hall and saw him sleeping there. A little guiltily, she decided not to wake him up just yet. She wanted to just look at his sleeping form, take away whatever memories she could for herself.

He woke up an hour later.

” Heey…so I’m gonna leave…don’t worry you need not leave me, I know where the taxi stand is!” She was standing near the door, fully packed.

” Hey… no dude…you can’t leave like this… let me make you something…” he sleepily mumbled.

She watched him cook some instant noodles and coffee for the both of them and then he walked her to the taxi stand. They shared an awkward but warm hug and she walked away from the dream she had always wanted to be real.

But she had to admit, it was the best birthday ever. Just being with him.

Taken: Part 2

For those who have not read part 1.

——————————————————————

Jordan rubbed his eyes. It was morning. Early morning, judging from the sky.

Someone had put a blanket on him when he was sleeping. He hoped it was her. In fact, he was certain it was her. He smiled and then frowned. This wasn’t correct. He got up and took a deep breath.

No, it wasn’t correct. He was seeing someone. Someone who he apparently loved, with whom he was happy. He put on his shoes and decided to leave early. Before everyone woke up. Before she woke up.

——————————————————————-

” Hey man, wake up!”

Ted, his colleague hit him lightly on the head with a file.

” What?” Jordan looked up at him,” I am awake!”

Ted rolled his eyes,” No, you were asleep. There’s some drool also…late night?”

Jordan smiled,”Yeah…kind of!”

Ted grinned,” Ok – I’ll see you soon!”

Jordan waved at him…he bit him lip and then opened his web browser.

“S-I-M-O-N-E C-O-O-P-E-R”. He pressed enter. There she was. Third from the top. Gorgeous to the T, but there was something else. He’d never felt like this before. He felt like he needed to get to know her better.

” Add Friend.” He muttered to himself and clicked on the button.

————————————————-

There was no response from her the whole day. Or the next. Or the day after.

And then she accepted it. He was a nervous wreck. What was wrong with him? He’d never been the type of guy to sit by his phone, waiting for it to ping.

She was online.

“Hey, you online?” He cursed himself. What an intelligent way to start a conversation, she obviously was online.

“Hey…how are you?”

” Good…just tired. Hungover.”

” Hehe. Same here.”

Jordan smiled to himself. She said ‘hehe’. That was good, right?

—————————————————-

The chatting became a regular thing. They were talking all the time, always as friends, always very careful not to cross the line. But a line was being crossed. She was the only thing he thought of.

And then they started meeting. For coffee. For lunch. For small breaks between work, whenever he was free. He couldn’t get enough of her.

He was sitting at home when his girlfriend called. He didn’t pick up. But he knew it was time. To do the right thing.

” Hey Lisa, sorry I haven’t returned your call…I have been busy…we need to talk…will call you soon.”

He ran a hand through his hair. He knew he was being a bastard. But he was stuck. He was in love. And he couldn’t help it. What do you do when you find the love of your life and you are with someone else? Do you make her yours and never let her go? Or do you let her go, do the honorable thing and be faithful to your partner?

He couldn’t be honorable. He was only human, after all. He grabbed his keys and walked out of his house.

It was late, but he had to do it. He parked outside her house, she was home since the lights were on. He pressed the doorbell. She opened the door.

” Jordan!” She exclaimed and then she smiled.

He stepped inside, without asking for her permission and kissed her full on the mouth, kicking the door shut with the back of his foot.

The love stalker

Zara flipped the page of the book she was reading.

Correction. The book that she was pretending to read. She was one of the regulars at this corner Starbucks outlet. Cherry, the store manager always greeted her with a cheery ‘good morning’ followed by an occasional compliment.

Zara adjusted the frame of her Gucci sunglasses. Pretentious, yes. But they served their purpose. From her corner seat, she had a perfect view of the surroundings. And his office.

Every day, since that day that she had first seen him, she used to sit here, on this very seat and watch him walk up the single flight of stairs, nod at the doorman and walk inside. She sighed, replaying the first time that they had met in her mind for the millionth time.

———————–

The music was blaring. Her ears hurt. She adjusted her dress, a bit conscious since it was really short and she knew a lot of people were checking her out. But she hated the attention.

She smiled at her friends, sitting across the table. It was Nicole’s twenty-ninth birthday. She and a bunch of common friends from work were at The Trampoline, a new pub in town; which surprisingly had a trampoline. Stupid idea. All that one needed was a bunch of drunk people jumping up and down. She was quite surprised that there were no broken bones being reported.

Nicole took her by the hand. “Let’s dance!”

A few people from the group joined them. Zara danced for a bit, and then excused herself under the pretext that her feet were hurting. High heels, you see. She was sitting on a bean bag, rubbing her ankles when she saw him. And she couldn’t look away. Dusky, tall with a lean build; she liked what she saw. He was dressed in black and had a bottle of beer in in hands. One of the friends on his table must have cracked a joke because he smiled and she knew she was a goner.

She kept on looking at him, discreetly. He got up from his seat and started walking towards the bar. Towards her. Their eyes met. She smiled at him, a bit shy. He smiled back and walked past her.

———————

Cherry handed her the bill.

Zara blinked. It was nine AM. Sure enough in a few minutes, she saw him. She smiled. He looked good in Friday casuals. She signed on the receipt and walked out of the coffee shop. Tonight, she would make her move.

——————–

She was at The Trampoline again. Alone this time. Dressed in red. She waited in her car till she saw him walk inside with his friends. No women. She had observed him for two months now and they always went inside, in a bunch. Two of his friends, the blonde guy, and a short red-head always came out with different women each time. But he always walked out alone, always a little drunk.

She walked inside and headed straight for the bar. He was standing on her left,but she pretended not to notice him.

“A green-apple martini please.”

“Sure thing!” The bartender smiled and started preparing her drink.

“All alone?” The bartender winked at her.

She smiled,”Well…Mike,” as her eyes fell on his name-tag “I was waiting for my girlfriends to show up but their car broke down while they were returning from the hockey game today, so I came in anyway. No where else to go!”

“Aw, which team do you support?”

“The Blasters of course, who else?”

She could sense his eyes on her now.

“You support the Blasters?”

She turned around to look at him. “Hey…yes, I do.” Of course she did. She knew he supported them too. She’d seen him wear their T- Shirt to work on many occasions.

He grinned,”How rude of me, I’m Jake.”

She shook his hand,”Hi Jake, I’m Zara.”

He didn’t let go of her hand,”Zara. What an unusual name.”

“Thank you! It means light, in Hebrew.”

He smiled again.

“One apple martini.” Mike announced.

Jake looked at her,”Hey…I like that drink as well! When i’m not having a beer that is!”

“Shall i make that two then?” Mike winked at Jake.

Jake nodded,”Sure, why not?” He looked at Zara.

“So…what do you do Zara?”

“Well I own my own store. I make and sell pottery.” I also spy on you on in my free time, she silently added in her mind.”How about you?”

“Oh me? I have a boring job. I work for a bank. We finance high risk loans and all that jazz. What else do you do in your spare time?”

She took a sip of her martini,”Well…”

————————-

Three hours and five martinis later she knew he’d fallen for her, hook line and sinker. He liked fishing. So did she! They had the same favorite song, movie and actor. They both loved hockey and both of them uncannily worked at the same animal shelter.

What Jake didn’t know was that she’d signed up for the shelter after she had seen him go there every Saturday. And one night, when he was drunk, she had broken into his house and gone through his playlist, movie collections, photo albums, anything she could get her hand on. She knew him better than he knew himself maybe. She didn’t care much about Hockey either. No, she was more of a tennis fan. But he didn’t need to know that. He didn’t need to know any of this.

——————

He dropped her at her doorstep.

“Wow. I had a great evening. When can I see you again?”

Without waiting for an answer, he leaned in to kiss her. She braced herself. First kisses were always awkward. He put his hands on her waist and drew her close, his lips grazed hers gently. She sighed and pulled him closer and kissed him deeply, her heart hammering in her chest.

After what seemed like forever their lips parted. He lifted her chin up.

“Where have you been?” He whispered softly and kissed her on her forehead.

Zara smiled.”I’ve been right here.” Right here, watching you so that this would happen.

“I’ll call you tomorrow. Dinner at 8?”

“Sure thing.”

He kissed on her cheek and left.

She smiled smugly. Who said stalking didn’t work?

My mug is MY mug :|

I am not a stingy person. Come on, i am a Punjabi and Punjabi’s are supposed to have big hearts. Right? Yes, we are big when it comes to the temper department as well.

And yes, i believe in sharing. Or rather, i was forced to since i have an elder sibling. Which meant whatever i  wanted was also coveted by him. Oh well. I guess that’s what siblings are for. Especially the older ones. Who love taking stuff away from you and act all innocent when you yell “mommmmmmmmyyyy”!!

 Anyhow.

 This brings me something of immense importance.

 My mug.

 Or rather, the mug that i have in office. When i joined i was told that we could keep our personal mugs in the office pantry and use them. Awesommme. I have this really cool yellow mug with Count Dracula (may he rest in peace) made on it. And the first thing which i do every day is to sip the awful coffee that only the ten gazliion years old coffee machine in our office can produce.

Imagine my surprise one day when i noticed this certain gentleman from my office sipping coffee from my MUG? 

 If looks could have killed he would have died many times by now. And he’s not even a cat.

 Anyhow, i went and whined to my colleagues who just smirked, brushing this off as one of my many eccentricities. All was well. Till it happened again. And again…and like ten times more.

I went and complained to the admin lady who also smirked like i was half mad. Well even if i was so WHAT? Its my mug!

The tenth time that i complained she stopped smirking and put up a poster in the office which said that the mugs were for personal use only. See? Perseverence pays off. *Gloats*

 But MR – BIG – GRUBBY – HANDS still had his hands on my yellow cup. 

 My boss told me to just go and tell him. But whenever i saw him, he was always in a god damn group. So i kept shut and hid the mug in the drawer under my desk. 

 Till yesterday morning when i saw it in his hands again.Now yesterday morning i was not in one of my chirpy moods. I had an argument with ten thousand auto drivers, god damn them all (bismillah etc etc) as none of them wanted to drive me to office. Anyhow, once i reached office i noticed that Count Dracula was looking rather miserable in his big, fat, unclean hands with untrimmed nails (oh yes, i notice all of these random things). And i went straight up to him. And re- claimed my mug.

On retrospect i think i scared him a bit.

But my mug is my mug. :|