Kriti sat at the table in a complete daze. All the sounds around her suddenly seemed to have died down. While her heart ached and her senses felt numb, her mind strained hard to keep all emotions in check. She looked at his friends hopefully but uncertainly, unsure of what to do next. Should she directly ask them about him? How would he react if he came to know? Why was she feeling excited about all this?
By the time Kriti reached home she felt drowsy and spent. She reprimanded herself for downing a couple of Vodka shots with the girls to calm down her wretched nerves. As she crashed on the bed still dressed in her work clothes, her mind furiously took her on a ride to their past, one picture after another. Did he still rock stubble like he did back in college? Was his smile just as dreamy and his touch just as magical? He was immensely successful now, would he acknowledge her?
After a lot of deliberation and amidst giggles from her colleagues Kriti took a rare off from work during lunch break the next day. It was a shot in the dark and her grand plans could very well bite dust. Yet, she felt motivated like the same teenager who saved from her pocket money for months to fund her travel expenses to meet Mohit. She smiled affectionately to herself remembering the cards, letters, tickets and restaurant bills neatly preserved in a box at her father’s home. All this was worth giving a try for!
Meanwhile, Mohit was going through an intense struggle, figuratively and literally. There were important meetings lined up in the coming week during which some crucial strategic decisions were to be taken. He had piles of data to browse through and needed time to plan and focus. However, every time he looked at the computer screen he saw Kriti’s picture staring back at him. The dimples on her cheeks and the mole on her forehead still took his breath away. How was he expected to concentrate like this?
Behaving strangely out of character, Mohit finally delegated work to his team and stepped out of his office at lunch hour. The butterflies in his stomach refused to settle down even as he reached the restaurant his friends had partied in the previous night. He met with the Manager and introduced himself for effect. Giving away details about their patrons wasn’t part of their protocol; however, courteously, the Manager made an exception and gave the name of the person who paid the bill.
It didn’t ring a bell but Mohit was determined to find out. As he turned to leave, the Manager added as an afterthought that someone from the table was back today and had insisted on the same one again. Hesitant but suddenly hopeful, Mohit quickly marched towards the table. To his utter surprise he found Kriti sitting there alone, picture perfect, sipping coffee. “Having coffee at this hour? Is she whiling away time waiting for me?” He mused.
Their eyes met first. As Mohit walked towards Kriti it seemed like a decade passed between them in the matter of a few steps. The close guard kept on their feelings slowly started melting away as they observed how much time had changed them. Mohit looked dapper in a crisp grey suit while Kriti was beauty and elegance personified in a lovely chiffon saree. His stubble had given way to a dense moustache while her short hair were now long, rich and lustrous. The one thing that hadn’t changed though was the way they made each other’s heart beat faster.
When Mohit reached her table Kriti gave him a broad smile and said simply, “Hi! I was hoping you would drop by. Your friends are not subtle at all. Cute that I can still predict your moves, huh? Fancy Chinese still, do you?” All he could do after that was return her smile and hope that the restaurant served good Paneer Chilli!
Their relationship had seen a rocky past but this was not the time to ponder. Destiny had chosen to bring them together, again. They were still single and in love and that was all they needed to know. They had passed the test of time even though they never claimed exclusivity over each other. Whichever road they chose to take from here they could be certain it would be with this partner, for life!
Hope you liked the story and the happy ending. Please do share your thoughts with me. 🙂