There was nothing left for me to do. After picking up after my husband and the mess he had made throwing things around yesterday, I stepped out to meet my girls. Even on my worst days, they could make me feel good. And after the treatment that was doled out to me today morning, I needed a pick me up.
But before that, I had an important thing to take care of.
I reached before the scheduled time. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny so unlike what I was feeling. I felt the warm sunbeam on me and it dissipated some of the darkness and gloom inside me. I ordered some hot chocolate for myself and pulled out a book.
I was midway when I heard a familiar voice.
“Hey.. I’m so glad you called.” I looked up from my book and smiled.
Anurag settled in the chair in front of me.
“Thank you for coming.” I said.
Anurag gave me a puzzled look and pulled out the book from my hands. “What’s with all the formality?”
An awkward silence descended on the table as the waiter came with our orders.
“So..” Anurag cleared his throat, “You still at Ann’s place?”
I shook my head, “No.”
“Oh.” The disappointment was apparent on his face, “Then why’d you call me?”
The smile was gone, replaced by a frown.
“There’s something I need to talk to you about.” I said slowly.
“About what?” He put down the coffee mug that he was holding.
“This is not easy for me, so don’t interrupt okay?” I asked, my eyes searching his.
“Hey” He said, his voice full of concern, “What’s wrong?”
“Us.” I said simply.
“Us?” he looked confused. “There is no us.”
“Exactly.” I put my hand on his arm. “I want you to understand that there is no us, there never was an us, and there never will be an us.”
“What are you talking about?” He pulled his hand away. I knew I had offended him.
“Look, Anurag.” I began, “I don’t know what you expect out of.. ” he hushed me into silence.
“I don’t expect anything from you. We are just friends.” he said gravely. “And I’m okay if we stay that way.”
I sighed. It felt as though a great responsibility had been lifted off my shoulders.
“So you’re still going to be around?” I asked softly.
“Of course silly.” He laughed. He got up and ruffled my hair, “Okay, I have to get going. My flight leaves in some time. Call me.” With one last hug, he left. I couldn’t tell for sure if it was the last time I would be meeting him.
I let him go, even though I knew his flight wasn’t for another five hours.