It was a hazy Sunday afternoon. She was sitting by the window looking up at the dull sky. Her look was consistent and intense as if it ordered the sky to change its look. She kept sipping her tea slowly. She never liked to drink her tea in a haste. It had to stay as long as she believed it could. That was her satisfaction. Her thoughts were clouding her just like the sky.. she hated them. Her fight was unconsciously making her sip the tea faster.
The evening before had not been a pleasant one. His words were ringing. How could Volt..?? He did not hurt her as much as she was hurting herself now. Why did she ever trust him? She couldn’t let go. The tea was gulped down and the cup went straight back to its place. Today was going be ‘defensive’.
Earlier evening –
Joh walked towards the cafe. She always did. It gave her the 10 odd minutes before the meeting to pace down and arrive at just the right time. Fingers fidgeting, she checked her phone every 4th second. She saw his car pull up outside the cafe. Her walk was now confident and she strutted. She walked over and greeted Volt.
As agreed, she was supposed to get her documents, certificates and it was going to be one meet with the HR and they were going to be done.
Joh was always prepared for work. She knew Volt since her first year at Maddison. Always guiding and cheering her towards better opportunities. Her mentor when she would just walk out of a job.
It was happening for the 20th odd time. The process was similar. And she was prepared. She was light and carefree and they were laughing away her episodes of professional hazards.
As their light hearted conversations went on and the Americanos’ were half over, Joh enquired about the HR. And there it came.
‘I love you Joh. Too much. You just had to know now.’
Joh was still. Maybe she did not hear him. Maybe she did. Maybe she did not know she did. ‘It must be a joke. Maybe its okay to say what you feel. Wait! What?’
She heard it. Her face was talking and her mouth wanted to attempt but she could not.
Fingers had started to fidget again. She wanted to keep staring down at him in disbelief but she feared he would read her. Unsure her hands went to her phone, flip check, flip lock. She grabbed her papers. Straigtening her posture and her fast hand knocked the glass off the table. Her body was quivering and talking agitation. She grabbed her purse and stormed out of the cafe.
Joh was never good at reactions. She was filled with defence. She knew she was not strong. She knew her first expression would be hurt. She never wanted anyone to see that.Her pace became faster. At time when you Don’t want one.. taxis started crowding her asking her where to go. She just had to give a look. She walked fast and hard. She could not breathe.
There was no thought in her head. She was so blank, that she waited on the divider staring at the clear road in front of her. She did not cross. A passing truck honked right next to her. Now she was thinking a little. She crossed and hailed a cab.
She breathed deeply. He had said this for the 5th time- after breaking her heart everytime he withdrew his words. Maybe he would again say he was sorry and he never meant it. She hated ever believing him to be friends and going back.
Volt – “Did I say I love you? No Joh.. You must be hearing things. Or I don’t know if I am hallucinating. Melanie would know – the medication is heavy.’