I wander the streets of my fair city alone. I pulled out my phone a number of times only to put it back. If time was what he wanted, I would give him that.
It had begun to rain a little. The light drizzle didn’t bother me. I smiled as I saw people rushing to get some shelter. I put out my hand, enjoying the feel of the cool droplets on my hand. Somehow, I felt that the rain was going to wash away all my sorrows.
One hour later, when I had had enough of the rain, I stepped inside a warm little coffee shop. I looked around in surprise.. Somehow, I had wandered into my old hangout. Everything was exactly the same.
For the millionth time I wondered where he was. He would have been so thrilled to be back here.
I ran a hand through my wet hair, most of the tables were occupied by couples. I stepped right back out. I didn’t have the strength to see people parading their happiness in front of me.
As I walked in the familiar yet forgotten street, I knew there was one place I just had to visit. I stood outside the bookstore, shivering in the rain, debating whether to go in or to walk away while I still could when someone from the inside beckoned to me.
Surprised, I walked in. It was the old shop keeper.
“Why are you standing in the rain. You can come inside..” He invited me inside. I smiled politely and stepped inside. I was just rubbing my arm trying to make myself warm when his assistant got us a cup of tea.
“Thank you so much!” I said, I was touched by his concern for me. I saw him looking at me carefully and after a moment he exclaimed, “You stopped coming to my shop!”
I hadn’t really expected him to recognize me. It had been a couple of years since we had stopped coming here. We had discovered the joys of ordering books online.
“You remember me?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes, yes.. you’re the girl who used to buy all those classics!” He said, proud as a punch that he had got it right.
Those classics.. Which Vikram used to make me buy. An involuntary smile touched my face.
“Yeah.. That’s right.” I said with a bright smile.
“Finish up fast, and then you can go meet your friend..” He pointed at the cup of tea in my hand.
“My friend?” I asked, confused.
“Yes.. He’s on the 2nd floor. I was so happy to see him too..” He smiled broadly and then his smile began to droop as he saw the expression on my face.
“You know your friend is here don’t you?” He asked.
“Which friend?” I asked, my voice barely a whisper now.
“The friend you used to come in with.” He said, puzzled, that I was asking this question.
“He’s here?!” I didn’t wait for his answer. I ran two floors up and walked through the narrow alleys trying to locate the familiar face.
And I found him. In the classics section. He was holding a copy of “Animal Farm.”
There he was, my husband, in the all too familiar checked shirt and bulky glasses.