Reunion ~ A story

“For me the best place to elope from the hustle and bustle of city life and the drudgery of daily chores is this isolated coffee shop amidst the serene atmosphere of the valleys and mountains. This ambience heals all my pain and marks a peaceful conclusion to my inner conflicts.
The fog on the glass reflects my thoughts…..my hand is trembling as the memories of my past days makes a chill run down my spine. I don’t know if I was fair to her or not, but just one of those things which made me hide the truth so that I alone could bear the harshness of reality for the remaining days…”

He put his pen down and took a deep breathe of relaxation. For him the best way to escape sorrow is to pour it out in words.

The misty morning along with puffs of wind and the sight of mighty mountains cannot help him but to come to his favourite coffee shop in the hills, where he was staying for 2 years.

*******************
In the coffee shop the scenery comprised scattered stools, arranged chairs and table. Their theme is retro. The all wooden furniture, sombre wall decorations and a slow Italian music playing in background….preached something else.

He gave his jacket a hitch, settled his brown hat and white spectacles and took a sip of coffee.

He caught a glimpse of the calendar on the manager’s desk and saw the date ‘7th December’.

His heart started pacing faster as on this very day three and a half years ago, destiny had brought her into his life….

*****************
As Sunday is the unofficial international holiday, some visitors had come right from the station and some were frequent, known visitors like he was.
The coffee shop did a good deal of business on holidays.First, it had a splendid location, nearest to the station, which attracted tourist to pay it a visit. Second, it was one of the oldest shops there, a favourite of ‘coffee addicts’ at that place…
Who doesn’t want to enjoy a chilly,misty day with a warm cup of coffee?

As the coffee lovers ventured into the shop, he started feeling aloof.

Absent mindedly he left the diary on the table, before heading towards his lodge…..

******************

“Cheer up you dull beauty! “

On Her friend’s insistence, she had accompanied them to this hill station to spend a few vacation days.

“Reunion .. interesting name”
“Let’s visit it and have a cup of coffee.We are too tired after the long train journey.”

On taking her sit,she noticed a black diary on the table while her friends ordered coffee.
She could not resist but read the first page.

–“I swallowed so many words that it swallowed our friendship. I never knew her feelings nor realised my own. I didn’t want to hurt her nor part ways. Still I had little in my hand….”

To her utter surprise she knew the handwriting so very well!
Suppressing thousand of emotions, hiding from her friends sight, she put the diary in her bag.
What an emotional turmoil was she going through! It was two long years, after which she confronted memories, which lay buried deep down in her heart. She had learnt to move on, she had made herself strong enough to console herself but now!

this handwriting is his!
Absolutely his!

*****************
What fond moments they had spent together!
The melody of his music and rhythm of her dance!
The whole University used to bow down to such spectular piece of art….
Their relationship was unique. They had immense respect and trust binded in their friendship. Their bond was an epitome of togetherness. Slowly and unknowingly it was blooming into love.

Then how could it end so abruptly?…..

*****************

What misery her visit to ‘Reunion Coffee Shop’ had brought!

All those flashbacks of promise and beautiful moments was haunting her. They had once promised each other, never to hide anything,no matter how grim the reality might be….but what his actions preached was only betrayal and sorrow.

She took a deep breathe.
Preventing her tears from outpouring, she read his diary that entire night…

**************

She wrote a letter, kept it inside the diary and the next morning ,carried it to the coffee shop.

On asking the manager whether he knew someone by that name, the manger said,
“Yeah! He is a young man. He frequently visits our shop, but how come you know him?”

“He had left his diary on the table, where we sat yesterday. I think the diary had accidentally slipped into my bag.
Kindly return him his diary.”

“Well, I’ll surely give him.”

” One request. Please do not tell him who had found his dairy. It’s my request.”

The puzzled manager just knodded.

**************

After two days he came to ‘Reunion’ and asked whether his diary was there.
The manager obediently did not reveal her name to him.

He opened the diary and saw a letter in it.
He was speechless…. He can never fail to identify her writing.
With trembling hands and blury vision, he read

” I am not sorry that in your absence and sudden departure I misunderstood you. It was a natural that it would shatter my heart…….but now I know everything……
You broke our friendship, extinguishing my peace of mind.
Do you think me to be so fragile as not to bear the harshness of your life’s truth? Why you could not gather courage to confess it? Was our trust, respect towards each other not enough to make you confess?

You can betray our friendship but I cannot.
I just want you to be happy as I had always wished. If it was difficult for you I would have made it easy, if you had given me that scope.
Nevertheless, your sudden departure had preached me lessons.
Now I am mature enough to interpret what you were going through and what actually made you to leave me and our blooming love. Afterall who were once my guiding light, who had shaped so much of my present me…..
Our memories will always be delicately nurtured by me at the deepest corner of my heart. Yes, I can feel why you cannot face me….. Don’t feel guilty.
I love you despite all.
I’ll respect your decision.
Good bye my dear friend.”

Tears rolled down his cheek. He realised how pure, honest and genuine, their relation was. A deep wound got healed after that letter. Now it was his turn…

“I am sorry for whatever you had to go through because of me. Your letter is like a honey to my soul. Maybe it was my fault to underestimate our mutual understanding,the very foundation of our bond. I just wanted you to be happy and that’s my last wish.
I just want to die with your flashbacks. I cannot explain, your letter is like dream, a fairy tale, proclaiming a happy ending.
Thank you for everything.
Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for being with me, even when we cannot meet anymore….
never again.
I love you too.”

She knew he would respond. He knew she would come to receive his last response. That was the old rapport, which both of them retained very well.

On receiving the letter from the manager she felt as if it was a happy conclusion to an unfulfilled chapter of her life. She was prepared to carry the pain of the truth….. Recollecting moments of their soulful journey she moved on…

That letter also ended all his inner conflicts and he patiently continued to suffer the terminal stage of cancer in his few remaining days…… reminiscing golden memories.

It was not just reunion of two eternal souls. It was reunion of two lives….

The shop got its name justified.

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