Café Latte Experience
By Shreya & Dee Kay
“Train no ‘8’ ‘0’ ‘3’ is about to reach platform number 3”, the loud announcement proclaim.
Just for a moment Alyssa was woke up from her thoughts as she stood up alongside many others waiting for the train. She looked around as she saw many strange faces yet her eyes searched for the one for whom her heart longs.
The afternoon sky that was shinning bright before being consumed by the darkness of the grey clouds gathering around. The clouds were on the verge of explosion as they let out their pain in form of the rain. Alyssa looked at the pouring rain trying to control her own.
The approaching train blew its horn, louder and louder, as it made its way to the station. She felt an unknown sense of restlessness in her heart. She was going back to her college for the first time after her final exams to complete some formalities. Unlike other time, her joviality was replaced by agony and melancholy. She stepped in the train that took her back to the memory lane she so desperately trying avoid. The short journey to her college was all it took for tears to burst Alyssa’s dam of restraint.
She wondered why the happiest memories hurt the worst?, why they are the once that cut the deepest? Her tears reminded her of what she had lost. She longed to be free of the memories of her ex-boyfriend, yet she wanted him back more than she’d ever wanted anything. Her mind questioned again,
“He loved me once, how can he just go away? How can love evaporate so fast? Was I entertainment, something pretty for his arm, never his heart’s charm?”
She put her head down and let the painful journey of life continue as it had been for three long months. Never ever, had she imagined that an inner wound could leave deeper scars than the outer wound?
However, life goes on. The train reached the destination. She got out of the train and decided to calm herself down beside the lake that was nearby the station.
She used to go there with her love although this time it was an unaccompanied passage. She sat on a rustic black bench by the tranquil lake. The yellow ball of fire in the sky changed to hues of orange, and then almost tangerine followed by the aromatic smell of the night blooming jasmine.
She saw the old shopkeeper hawking snacks at the corner, which made her acutely aware of her own hunger. She walked towards his shop still lost in her thoughts as she remembered the time when she was there with her love. They used to be so indulged into each other that everything else came second in their small yet beautiful world. He never use to miss any chance to hold her hand or surprise her with a kiss. She kept walking towards the shop as her tears return on her face. She remember how he would wait for her at their spot and every time he would buy her favorite coffee from the old man’s shop. She wiped her tears as she reached the shop.
“One espresso.”, she said. The old man looked at her. He wanted to say something but he stopped himself for some reason.
“Anything to go along with it?”, he asked.
“Are you waiting for him?”, the old man asked without even knowing that she has been asking the same question to herself from last 3 months. She couldn’t say anything as she was numb and stood there motionless. He didn’t ask again, maybe because her tears were answer enough for him. He asked her sit down on the bench near the shop as he took her there.
“What happened?”, he asked without waiting for her to get out of her trance. She couldn’t speak at first but then she started telling him; her story and she couldn’t stop. The old man sat there listening to her story with patience and utmost attention. She cried her heart out for the first time while narrating her story to a stranger. After couple of minutes, she was finished with her story but tears were far from being done. The man gave her a glass of water and then smiled. For an instance, his smile made her forget all her pain or maybe it’s just a thing about smile.
“You will be fine. Trust me.”, the old man said.
“There are things in life that we have total control over whereas there are many more which are out of our control. Love is one such thing that can never be controlled. We all wish to be loved and also to be able to love someone. That’s what we desire from the dawn of civilization and maybe to the end of this world. The pain, the emptiness, and the extreme longing you are feeling at the moment will diminish some day.”, the man said as he looked straight into her eyes.
“When?”, she asked in desperation.
“Maybe tomorrow, maybe after a week, month or years. Nobody can give you an exact timeline but you will move on eventually because that is what we humans do. We move forward no matter what has happened in the past. At the moment, you are looking at the smaller picture because you’re hurting. Soon you will realize that this small picture isn’t worth risking the bigger picture, which is your LIFE. You cannot stop living your life because someone stopped loving you. Love starts with YOU. So firstly, love yourself before you start loving someone else because you are worth it.”, the old man said as he stood up and went behind the counter. Alyssa sat there for a few moments thinking about what he told her.
“Here you go.”, the man handed her a cup.
“This isn’t espresso.”, she said looking at the old man with surprise.
“No, this Café Latte, you’re favorite.”, the old man said with a smile.
She finally had a reason to smile, AGAIN.
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