HER UNUSUAL SELF
Sunaina aimlessly stirred her hot cocoa, thinking yet not wants to think at the same time. How long it had been? Two years to be exact. It’s funny how time passes by you like a breeze. One minute you are happiest and next it shatters like a mirror; Once strong and now on run from life itself.
“Hey cocoa stealer” the annoying voice cut through her vigilant thoughts.
“For the last time” Sunaina heard herself saying “I didn’t steal your hot cocoa” at her wits ends with him.
“Awe” Ethan pouted “whatever you say, stealer?” and sat opposite her with his drink.
It’s weird they kind of form the routine to meet every weekend at this same time, nursing their cups of hot cocoa; come to think of it because of cocoa they met. They formed this weird ritual from the past one month; they do meet but never share anything from their respective lives. The two very different individuals, from different ethnicity, culture but, something must connect us other than that Ethan being delusional that she stole his drink.
“Why are you watching me like that?” Ethan pointed at her weird gaze.
“Because I can” Sunaina replied sipping from her cup keeping her gaze intact.
“You are creeping me out” Ethan started feeling weird from her pondering gaze.
“Now you feel when I see your face every weekend” Sunaina replied with a poker face “so tell me when did she leave you” she straight out asked him.
Ethan choked on his hot beverage and coughed hard and couldn’t believe the unusually stoic, I don’t care attitude Sunaina asked him that. The question rose how she knows that? And he finds himself asking her the same “what are you talking about?” tried to play cool.
Sunaina clasped the hand in front of her raised an eyebrow at his playing too cool act “so we are playing nothing is wrong there.” she said “let’s ignore the fact you scowl at every couple who passes by? Your gaze lingers too much on your ring finger and you sometimes caress that area too, not to forget the lost look” she concluded all this in just one quick breath.
Ethan was left spell bound, he couldn’t find words to deny her claims. He knows deep down what went wrong? Then came the anger and he too sprang on her “as if you are any different. You act as if nothing affects you but, deep down you too are wounded. You are running away from your truth too. Otherwise why would you be here in California away from your country, family? You are hiding as much as I Am.” he heaved at the end.
Sunaina didn’t even bat an eye lash as if she was prepared for this to come.
“True” just one world, that’s what Sunaina shared “so are you starting or should I?”
“Are you crazy?” Ethan asked her not getting what she is implying. But, one thing for sure she just bites the bullet.
Susiana sighed audibly and said “I’m divorced. He cheated on me.” there was no emotion on her face.
“Wow” Ethan commented “you are something”
“Are you sharing or not?” Sunaina asked instead annoyance seen on her face “so tell me who cheated on whom?” asked him.
“You don’t get the hint. Don’t you?” Ethan said in disbelief not believing what was he seeing or hearing? “Did you have too much of cocoa today?” asked her instead to check if he was talking to the same Sunaina he came to know from the past month.
“That’s not what I want to hear?” Sunaina answered Ethan “I get it you don’t want to share. So I guess it’s recent then.” she guessed about him.
Ethan sat there feeling like a lab rat and nut job scientists keep on injecting him with trail drugs to test the outcome. “Are you guessing my life story right now?” he asked again? “I think you need doctor,” Ethan suggested
Sunaina didn’t even pay heed to his suggestion “well in case you forgot I’m the doctor.” reminded him of her profession.
“Then you must be aware of your syndrome.” Ethan seriously asked concerned about her.
“If you don’t want to share say so” Sunaina calmly tells him “don’t be an uptight jerk.”
“I’m the jerk.” Ethan pointed at himself astonished “I liked you much better when you didn’t talk.” mumbled sipping the last of cocoa.
“Well I can’t even say that to you” Sunaina simply stated the fact
“Did you just diss me” Ethan wanted to confirm
“Did I?” Sunaina wondered aloud “maybe”
“What’s gotten into you?” Ethan sat speechlessly; the same Sunaina never said more than two words to him when he talked her ears off? Is now insulting him? Is this progress? If yes, he doesn’t like it one bit.
“Nothing,” Sunaina said with casually shrugging her shoulders “just small talk”
“Is this what you call ‘small talk’? Ethan straight out pointed her way of small talk way “if that’s what you call small talk my dear? I wonder what’s long, deep thoughts are with you?” leaned closer to her over the table.
“Want to try” Sunaina matched his gaze head- on not wavering from the closeness.
Ethan searched her eyes “well let me digest today” opted out what Sunaina suggested. Ethan needs at least a few days to put his thoughts around today first.
Sunaina stood from her seat paid for her drink and made sure to add tip “well how about we delay our small talk or whatever talk for next week. As always it was as unusual as it was the first time I met you” with those as parting words she left him as spellbound as he was when they first met.
Ethan his way back just keeps on rewinding their interaction from today, chuckling he went. One thing was clear they do share something other than a stolen cup of hot cocoa; something deeper they both harbor inside them and playing too hard to not let it bleed and painting them crimson.