THE LAST WINTER

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Flowers and Heartbreak

Flowers and heartbreak.

"PAREESAYYYYY... OH MY GOD. YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED".

An over excited Melissa came rushing into my bedroom waving her hands in the air. Her hair were all over the place and she looked like she just escaped a hurricane.


"Do you really have to shout everytime you witness something out of the ordinary?"
My voice was laced with drowsiness as i couldn't sleep for the past three consecutive days.


I had been working non stop. Doing extra shifts at the local cafe at town. It made me decent money and I was able to live my life independently and also send my parents money every month. My parents were stubborn, they refused to leave the village so every month I take a week long holiday and go to visit them.


"You have to pretend that you don't know shit once you leave this room. But there's a cake and a bouquet of roses that just came in through the door. The delivery boy says its for you but there's no name on the card or anything."

Melissa seemed very excited with this news and she kept clapping her hands together.


I couldn't care less. Someone sent me a cake and roses, well, they definitely wasted their time. I was over birthdays and birthdays gifts and celebrations. My last three birthdays were spent in sheer isolation but somehow Melissa always ended up dragging me outside for a lunch or dinner.


I met Melissa when i first started working here. She was the daughter of the man who owned this cafe. I still remember that day when i left the village and wandered through the streets of town hoping someone would hire me for something, even for washing dishes. But once people knew i was from the village, they closed their doors on me, thinking of me as some parasite.


It wasn't until after a week almost that Melissa found me cold and shivering outside her Cafe. She took me in and till this day I'm grateful to her.


"Um Melissa. I don't think it's for me. I don't have anyone who would send me such stuff. If I had someone, i would be getting cakes and flowers in the past 3 years as well. You've seen my birthdays... I don't have anyone. There must be a misunderstanding. That stuff might be for someone else".

I was sure it was for someone else.


"Pareesay... Maybe this year it's special. What if... What if it's from him?"

Melissa was hinting towards a dangerous topic now.


"Thats it. That is it. I told you Melissa, i don't have anyone! Anyone! Do you hear me? I just have my parents and they can't send such stuff from over the village. Other than them, it's no one else in my life. The person you're thinking about... I don't even know if they're alive or dead. "

My voice started to crack but i held myself up. I couldn't cry infront of Melissa.


" I'm sorry Pareesay. I actually got so excited thinking maybe someone remembers you. I've seen you having such lonely birthdays every year and then finding out someone sent you stuff, i couldn't control my happiness. But you're right. I'll send the stuff back. It must be a mistake".

Melissa patted my back and gave me a small pitiful smile and left the room.


I felt bad for lashing out at her but she shouldn't have mentioned him. Three years passed by and to this day, i don't know anything about him. My parents told me that his mother had also stopped visiting the village and moved to another city with her husband. That family had just vanished. As if they were never even a part of the village in the first place.


I took a deep breath and started to tie up my apron for my next shift.

I rarely looked at myself in the mirror. I still wasn't very happy with my looks but yes i definitely had improved over the years. I was no longer skinny. I had filled up in certain places and my hair were no longer black. They were a dark chocolate brown shade. I would have never touched my hair but when i saved up money, Melissa and i made a promise to change one thing about ourselves. I dared her to cut her hair bob style and she dared me to change my hair color. I was reluctant at first but now I'm happy i went along with that stupid dare. I feel like a new person and this hair color definitely suits me... Or so i think so.


By the time i started my shift, i realized that the flowers and cake were nowhere to be found. Means Melissa was true to her words and she did send them away. Around evening, half way through my shift, the cafe got busier. It was always very busy over the weekends.

Tonight was going to be another hectic night for me.


"Black coffee."

A deep, husky and manly voice caught my attention.


I looked up while cleaning the counter and my eyes landed on a very handsome gentleman dressed in an expensive black coat till his knees and dark shades covered his eyes. His hair were styled black slightly and he looked like someone who just came out of a high profile meeting. He didn't look like from here. He was too well dressed and his entire presence screamed of superiority.


A man this rich was bound to give a heavy tip. I left my other chores and quickly went up to serve him.


"Sir, your coffee would be served to you in just a minute. Kindly take a seat. Would you like something else".

I asked politely, hoping he would increase his order.


"No."

He gave out a short, curt answer and headed towards an empty table and chair by the far end of the cafe.


Strange man.

Well who cares, as long as i was getting a good tip, i wouldn't care even if a dead man walked in.


I quickly made his coffee and placed the glass on a silver tray and made my way to him.


"Your coffee sir. Would you like anything else."

I offered to ask him once more incase he changed his mind.


"Yes".

He replied back while staring straight ahead into the walls.


"Yes sir. What would you like?"

My eyes were beaming with excitement. Oh Lord, please let it be a huge order.


"Why did you return the cake and flowers?"

He finally lifted his eyes towards me without taking his shades off.

I was taken aback by his question.

"Excuse me? They were sent by you? Can you please tell me your name because i don't recognize you. I don't accept gifts from strangers. Also, how did you know it was my birthday".

My mind was going crazy by now.

Who was this man.


"It's me, Pareesay".

He spoke and finally took off his shades. His eyes made contact with me and i stared into the most deepest, darkest eyes i had ever seen. Eyes that i could recognize anywhere.


My legs started to tremble. I couldn't breathe. The silver tray slipped from my hands and fell hard on the marble floor causing everyone in the cafe to stop what they were doing and turn their attention towards me.


Melissa called me out but i couldn't hear her. I was too far gone. I gathered up whatever courage i had left and quickly ran away from the place.


I left the cafe and didn't look back once. I couldn't believe who i just met back there. My heart was filled with all types of emotions. The biggest emotion on the surface was anger. Anger for him.


Arhem.

He returned.

He kept his promise.

He returned on my 20th birthday after disappearing from my life for the past three years.


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