She sat in a Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The bloodstained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.
It was a Saturday night. Beautiful. Cloudy and a cool breeze flew outside the window. A little drizzle and darkness.
I looked at her and then resumed to my laptop. I could see that knife from underneath the scarf. I tried to focus on my work but my eyes kept twisting toward her chair. The bag was MK. A stunning white bag with broad blue stripes on it.
She was wearing a beautiful black dress, a 70’s Paris collection in the twenty first century. That invited me in too, to look at her.
A beautiful girl, an amazing bag and intriguing eyes. She had beautiful long hair, amazingly black. Mascara on the eyelashes and turquoise kajal underneath her grey eyes.
But what really hooked me was that she just sat there, for a long time, with tears rolling down her cheek each second. I felt that I knew her, closely but at moments, I felt that it was just a de ja vu.
Every time she turned around to look at something or the other, I felt I was closely related to her unless, the waitress at the desk called out her name to grab her cappuccino.
It seemed as though my fingers stopped moving on the keyboard, the raindrops hung in the air, exactly where they were. The noises in the cafe seemed to be dead.
I watched her wipe her face off and get up from the chair, walk to the counter gracefully, pick her mug up and walk back to the chair.
My eyes followed her footsteps.
Then the most uncertain and unfortunate thing happened. She looked at me. She had definitely noticed my interest in her.
The tears in her eyes increased. Her eyes went red.
Something got infuriated inside her, she left the coffee then and there and walked out of the cafe. I tried to pack my things up as soon as I could and walked behind her.
“Ana? Ana, wait.”
I called after her, she pretended to not have heard me and went on. Two lanes down the street, i lost track of her, but I knew where I could find her and so I walked to the place.
I kept my hand on her shoulder but she did not turn around. I walked forward and stood at her side, took her hand in that of mine and held it tight. We kept standing there for quite some time. It was past 10 p.m. and that did not bother any of us.
A few minutes later, I decided to break the silence, which, fortunately, wasn’t an awkward one.
“I am sorry Ana!”
She did not reply.
“Are you okay darling?”
She broke into tears. I had feared that the most. But I did not say anything because I could not. Instead, I just took her in my arms.
I finally got to hear her voice, after fifteen years.
“Why did you leave me?”
“I couldn’t have stayed any longer.”
“What went so wrong? What forced you to leave. You could have at least stayed in the same city. Why did you move to Delhi?”
“Ana, I had memories here. I could not just live with those.”
“So they were that horrible?”
At that very moment, I saw a blood stain on her neck. It reminded me of that knife and the scarf. I demanded to have answers for those odd things from her and so I asked her.
At first she refused to answer me. But later, she had to give in. She started telling me everything.
“After you left…” She paused, sighed and then continued. “I was in despair. I could not digest the fact that you chose to leave me. I was just a little girl back then. I could not even think about living my life without you in it.
But as they say, time is the best healer, my injuries healed too. Gradually i started moving on and took myself and my life very seriously, until that one night. It had been nine years that you had left. I was asleep, I had to wake up early the next morning. In the middle of the night, however, I felt that someone entered my room. I thought it to be an illusion, but by the time I realised I was wrong, it was too late.
An hour later, I was laying there in my bed, naked, with bruises of forcefulness on my body. Blood and tears became best friends. I could not understand what had happened. He was gone. I was destroyed.
I was not in my senses for days. I did not see him for months. I would scream the entire night but only the walls would hear me. Even they did not listen. That wasn’t what I had wished to be my “first time” like.
Five months later, i felt that everything returned. All the devastation and evil returned, with him. He tortured me, raped me, and threatened me. It became a daily affair. I had no escape. For five years, he came into my room, every night, touched me, undressed me, had sex with me, and I could not utter a word.
Three days ago, it happened again, but I somehow, lost control over my senses and ran out of the room and found myself in the kitchen. I did not understand anything, i just stood there in a half torn dress, grabbed that knife and killed my own father.”
I knew what all she had seen in my absence, now. She was quiet. Calm. She just looked calm. I stood there, shocked and unaware as to what I should say. I was completely clueless. I had no idea what I was doing and what I should do.
She broke into tears, fell down to the ground and screamed like a loon.
She stayed there for hours, in my arms on the ground.
That night in Mumbai, in the middle of the Juhu beach, I got her back for the rest of my life. The night had passed. Everything was over. As morning lightened up, she finally spoke something to break the ghostly silence.
“If only you had stayed mom. But I am glad I have you back. I hope I won’t lose you again.”
I smiled at her and she knew the answer.
We both walked back home to be each other’s support for the remaining years of our lives.