He Was Left Alone In The Rain
He Was Left Alone In The Rain7 mins 398 7 mins 398
It was raining that evening.
She was in her yellow umbrella waiting on the other side of the road, on the sidewalk.
“How did it come to this,” she thought as she stared blankly at raindrops following off the umbrella.
“Did I ever love him? Ever? Was I weak to accept him? I knew he loved me so much but I just couldn’t ….”
A chill went up to her spine as she thought it. She thought of herself as a bad person. She couldn’t understand why she accepted his love when she never felt anything. Even the rain couldn’t hide the rolling tears on her cheek.
She shook her head to get rid of these thoughts.
“It is for the best…”
A Night Before That Evening
His phone rang on a beautiful tune. It was a background score of a movie she loved.
He picked up the call.
After a few moments of awkward hello’s and how are you’s, she said “hmm Raghav, I have to return it”
“Aashi, it's ok really…I mean it was for you…. besides…” before he could finish she said, “please Raghav, you have to understand.. this isn’t easy for me, I don’t want it any more.. pls…”
Dejected Raghav agreed to take back the Claddagh’s trinity knot necklace. It was a necklace having sterling silver with yellow plating and with a silver chain.
As Raghav put down the phone, he remembered something and dialled Aashi’s number back again.
He convinced her to meet him one more, maybe last time and hand it to him at the road near the coffee shop.
A Couple Of Weeks Ago
Raghav had taken her in a 3-star restaurant “the WESTIN”, well he had something to celebrate. She was dressed in a beautifully silky blue gown and was wearing her hair down.
At the dinner table, Raghav said, “Well I had a word with my parents and they are super happy with you and they really love you, you are a big hit in my family you know”
She was staring in the blank. Raghav notice she isn’t quite herself today, he asked: “what’s bothering you?”
Without blinking, she stared in his eyes and said “You know…….Vansh wants me…..he wants me…”
“Raghu, you know why I never said I love you to you cause I ……..” she couldn’t finish. “but I really like you and enjoy my time with you …you’re the greatest friend…..but ” she stopped, took a breath.
“Raghu, I have been seeing Vansh for a couple of months now, it was not serious, I use to meet him as a friend. I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t sure what I feel ……. but a few days ago he came into my room, hugged me, kissed me, and asked me to “live in” with him” her face was expressionless.
After a long silence, Raghav asked, “you told me, you moved on ?”
She shrugged while playing with her fork “I guess I wasn’t “
Raghav felt his heart imploding as he heard these words from her mouth.
A few months ago
She was getting ready for the “Bryan Adams Live” concert Raghav had bought tickets in black for them.
Her phone rang.
“Raghu could you tell me who’s that?”
Raghav took her phone from her purse. It showed a picture of a guy and name read as Vansh.
“Aashi...Its Vansh..” he thought of asking about him to her later.
“Let it go to voice mail…. I’ll check it later” she yelled from the washroom.
“Ok……Aashi, ” he said. He kept the phone on the table, something rather ‘bright’ caught his eye.
“Yeah” she yelled again.
“Why do you have a yellow umbrella?”
On their way back from a concert she explained to him that Vansh is just a guy she met in her college and he was her classmate in the Architecture class and while in college she had a little crush on him.
Six Months Ago
“Oh, com’on Raghav! see it reads as: The Claddagh’s “trinity knot” necklace is an Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. A symbol of spiritual growth, eternal life, and undying love. It’s exactly kind of gift I would love. Is there anything cooler than this?” she asked him as she was eyeing it through a window of jeweler shop of “the Claddagh’s”.
Looking at the prize tack he murmured “WOW! Ok if it all I m getting this for you, you have to tell me who were you waiting for that day in the coffee shop?”
“hum let’s see!”
“I don’t know why can’t you just tell me…. I m betting now that day, you weren’t actually waiting for anyone ”
They both walked away from the shop with a warm smile on their face. A few weeks later, he gifted it to her.
Raghav, soaking wet, was walking towards the curve from which the coffee shop was 15 min walking distance away.
A Year ago…
Aashi was reading a magazine and waiting for someone in the coffee shop. She had earphones to ears but the music wasn’t loud. In fact, her i-pod wasn’t even on. She had kept the earphones to avoid strangers coming up and talking to her. She was quite aggravated by the waiting.
Raghav was seated directly behind her and had an HR discussion in that coffee shop/ but it was rather late for his interviewer. He wasn’t sure of the time as he had forgotten his watch in the hurry. So he decided to ask the girl behind him for the time.
She didn’t respond twice on Raghav’s request for “Excuse me! Can you pls tell me the time?”
“the music isn’t that loud that she can’t hear me?” He thought to himself.
Raghav glanced at her i-pod in curiosity for which is such song she is listening intently only to find that her i-pod wasn’t even on.
Raghav immediately got up from his seat and went in front of her table. He tapped on the table gently as she looked up, he took his right fist and rubbed it on his left side chest in clockwise turns, slowly murmuring words as “I m sorry”
Raghav thought of her as a deaf person as she didn’t respond back to his calls and draw the inference of her earphones in the ear as ‘to avoid conversations with surrounding people’. Raghav had a distant cousin who was deaf, so he had picked up some sign language while they were at grandparents house together in childhood.
Raghav continued in his sloppy sign language asking her about the time?
Already frustrated Aashi, was completely put off, at what was happening in front of her. She shouted at him “what are you, retarded or something? Please go away”
Taken by the shock, he still continued in sign language and with slow lip moments he said: “I just want to know the time?”
“you could simply ask…. Pls, stop doing all that……”
“WOW! I thought ……….I thought u were deaf….”
“WHAT” now Aashi was very angry. She got off from her chair and wanted to slap this guy but just managed to control herself.
Raghav gave the explanation about why he thought she was deaf, with off i-pod and since she didn’t answer him twice when he called from behind…
“so didn’t u get it? don’t you understand the signs…..that maybe I don’t want to talk to you” she was really shouting at him.
She continued “god, u are such ……..its 3.3.0 pm, happy now pls leave me alone”
Raghav really wanted to say sorry …..again but wasn’t sure if that would have helped so without much saying he sat in his chair.
An hour passed but nobody turned up. Aashi and Raghav were seating alone on their tables.
Aashi realized that she was really mean to this guy whereas it was kinda funny what he was doing in front of her. She got up and sat beside him.
“look I m sorry but I m kinda having a bad day”
“My day isn’t so good either, I was supposed to meet this HR person for salary discussion but I guess he isn’t coming now”
Aashi smile and offered him her hand “I m Aashi, coffee?”
Raghav wore a smile as soon as he saw the yellow umbrella on the other side of the road. Their eyes met. He crossed the road carefully and came closer to her. He stayed outside her umbrella. He took his hands off his jeans and put a large smile on his face to greet her.
Cloud was thundering. The rain had picked up some speed.
She moved her hand in front of him which had the trinity knot. He took it from her hand.
“Raghav, I will be moving in with him so won’t be staying in the city from next week onwards…be in touch…”
She was about to take off, as she turned and said “and Raghav, you always wanted to know this; the day we met, I was waiting for Vansh in the coffee shop” she looked down, turned without hesitation and started walking.
Claddagh’s trinity knot slipped from Raghav’s hand and went into the drain with rainwater.
The rain was pouring in. Raghav stood their quietly, watching her leave.