Love Gone Sandwich!
Love Gone Sandwich!
Rotten tomatoes (ratings*) are absolutely fine but not rotten eggs when it comes to committed foodies. French toasts and omelets with orange juice every morning on your breakfast table can compromise your taste buds and nose but not these two super crazy flatmates cum love birds Ayesha and Veer who pour their souls into whatever they can cook and eat. Also whatever you and I can think of.
Ayesha and Veer found their love and comfort in food, it is their first language where words can take a rest and see them in action with their culinary skills do the talking. Where Ayesha could easily cast magic of deliciousness on every meal with her bare hands and intention to make sure it touches Veer's heart, and Veer leaves no stone unturned to make Ayesha's deliciously magical efforts noticed and worthwhile being her connoisseur in the journey of their foodie love. They would talk for hours about the different cuisines, search cafes & restaurants for hours, try everything they never had before, cherish their experiences of the epicurean feast. Sometimes it is just an expresso or a fine wine that brings euphoria, goofiness, intimacy, intensity, and ecstatically high emotions to the table when the date belongs to Ayesha and Veer.
If I ever have to picture what would every day of their lives looks like, I wouldn't do any differently. This is basically every day of their lives for the last two years. They met through a dating site and obviously, their common interest in foodgasm brought them close in no time. They met in a coffee house after a week as luckily they both were in the same city for work. Seems like a date match in heaven! After a couple of dates, they decided to move in together and they did so thinking it is the best decision of their lives so far. Turned out it was until one day, one awkward silence, one retrospection, one decision.
Ayesha and Veer haven't been on vacation for the last six months due to the heavy load of work on both. They were working day and night, unlimited talks on their favorite thing were getting tasteless, kitchen romance was getting washed up and date nights began to appear pale & boring. But all these things never went unseen & unnoticed from Ayesha; hiding behind the screen of a laptop, sitting on the other corner of the bed, looking at Veer she knew this isn't right. She knew Veer didn't even begin to see the pattern of aloofness she already felt. She decided to fix things before Veer could smell the bitterness of this whole situation that can break them even in their thoughts.
Veer's birthday was on the calendar and what else could be better than this to resurrect the dying romance. Ayesha made a vacation plan for a week to celebrate Veer's birthday and fix things, she booked a homestay in Goa. She knew Veer liked surprises and it worked too; she told Veer about the trip and he hugged Ayesha as if he was waiting for this retreat badly. They left for Goa the day after Ayesha told Veer about the trip, Ayesha knew this trip would return the special affinity they both have in common and the comfort that comes with it. The journey began and so the resonance of their love & excitement began to rise, gradually they were regaining the lost control of their foodie spirits, the humor in salads, the love in pancakes, the joy in pizza, the intimacy in seafood, the power in coffee, the freedom in beer and everything else that go through the taste buds and flows under the skin to spread the rhapsody of hunger that let you moan with pleasure.
The day Ayesha was waiting finally came, Veer's birthday. Today she wanted to reach Veer's heart once again by casting magic of deliciousness with her bare hands and so she got ready as Veer's favorite, she cooked Veer's favorite, she decorated the house Veer's favorite. It felt like Ayesha put her last breath to make this day memorable. She noticed Veer wasn't in the house and it gave her more time to add sparkles of surprises on Veer's birthday. She was happy and lost herself in the wild exuberance that was about to come with Veer's smile. It was already evening, the house was illuminated with sparkling lights and Ayesha's happiness, the dining table was lit with candles and blooming in the aroma of the delicious feast, the music was soothing enough to get lost in the serenity of love & peace. Everything was perfect, only Veer was awaited. Ayesha was at the door eagerly waiting for her Veer, parallelly tangled in her thoughts, flaws of relationships, invisible spaces, and how to fix these uncertainties. Ayesha was burdened with these uncomfortable thoughts but she also had the power to fix everything to win Veer's love & heart always and forever.
Amidst thoughts, a flash of light touched Ayesha's face and it broke the trance but brought a huge smile on her face as soon as she saw Veer waving at her, standing right in front of her all dressed up. He came close to Ayesha, hugged her, and kissed her forehead. Ayesha knew the moment has come to unfold the surprise, she was all set to express and show her love. She hold Veer's hand but she felt a blindfold over her eyes, she couldn't understand what happened. Veer whispered in Ayesha's ears, 'I have a surprise for you, let me show you.' Ayesha wasn't ready for any sort of this thing, she felt a jolt of happiness too. She nodded and they left. Though Ayesha looked behind the love she was carrying in that house waiting for Veer before leaving. Veer and Ayesha reached the place, Veer took Ayesha's blindfold off and Ayesha was stunned after what she saw. SURPRISE (Veer echoed)!
A beach full of people, a beautiful set up for birthday celebration, everything was perfect the way she would have wanted to celebrate Veer's birthday. Everything was so perfect from Venue to Decoration, Food to Music, Drinks to Dance. It was all Veer's choice, the way he likes it. She looked at everything minutely, observed neatly as if she was reading something perfect but wouldn't want to accept it. She instantly looked at Veer, she read him too and understood that It was his choice too. She saw enormous happiness in his eyes. She began smiling witnessing his happiness and self-indulgence; they celebrated Veer's birthday. They danced and caroused, They had an epicurean feast once again. She celebrated Veer's freedom and choice of being himself; He was himself and She was painfully happy to realize she was himself too. And on that thought, she danced like a song, kissed him hard, and let him be. She kept reading him, was trying to find something that wasn't even there. And the celebration came to its end, the noises were turning into silences. The cold breeze and seashore were clearer & louder now. They waved their friends goodbye, Veer was still in a loose spirit of freeness. They came back to the house, standing at the door Ayesha was trembling to unlock the door. What if? Will he? She looked at Veer and unlocked the door, turns the lights on, and looked again at Veer. She was still waiting for validation and attention from Veer.
After a brief pause, Veer kissed her forehead and said, 'I Knew you would make me feel special, you know me better than me Ayesha. I love you.' But it wasn't the expression she wanted from Veer. She wanted to celebrate the togetherness, lean on Veer's shoulder and share the flaws of a relationship that comes with time but can be fixed as long they are in it together. She wanted to talk about a lifetime of kitchen romance, dinner dates, diving into the aroma of breakfast, unlimited talks over espresso. 'Ayesha I am tired', said Veer and went to bed. 'I am tired too', said Ayesha, she went to the dining area, sat on a chair, lit a candle, she cut the cake; 'Happy birthday to you Veer', she sang while eating a slice of cake and cried over. Ayesha realized she was fixing something that was broken on her side, the other half was never existed or was long gone. She spoiled herself for Veer, to reach him she lost herself on the way. She acquired her taste in Veer's choices and kept acquiring them until now. Everything was clear to her now, and she wanted to fix it. She had to. There was a gift box kept on the table, she opened the box, took out the ring, and put it on. 'Today, I am the one who deserves this ring, not you Veer. Today the one who needs to be fixed is me not you Veer. Today I am choosing myself not you Veer.' ( Ayesha in painful voice). She knew she had gone unseen & unnoticed!
Veer was a happy-go-lucky guy who always lived in the moment, he was always surrounded by people he wanted to be with, he always chose the life he wanted, the way of living he wanted to pursue, people were naturally inclined towards him for what he was. He would not think twice to try anything or everything. He was always loved by people. Being happy and content in life was his mantra and for him, that comes from food and freedom, love became the cherry on the cake when he met Ayesha. She gave him the love, pamper, sense of security, loyalty that elevated the importance of being loved by someone in ways Veer didn't explore before. Veer never doubted their relationship could go sideways for anything more or less, he knew Ayesha loved him more than he could ever imagine. He felt secure in the relationship and no matter what, Ayesha would be there for him always. Veer knew about the hardships of the relationship but he felt immune and this feeling was enough for him to be 100% positive.
The next morning, Veer woke up and asked Ayesha, 'Where is my gift? I know you have a surprise for me like always.'
French Toast, Omelet, and Orange Juice on the breakfast table, Ayesha smiled and said, 'Yes I do have a surprise gift like yesterday, like always for you.'
'But you have to answer my question first then the gift is yours', said Ayesha.
'Make it quick Ayesha, I am starting to have breakfast, and you both'. (Veer winked).
'Why do you love me Veer?', asked Ayesha.
'Because you make the best omelets & makes me feel special always.', said Veer.
'Of course, then why do I love you?', asked Ayesha.
Veer stopped eating and looked at Ayesha, this question somehow made him uncomfortable as if he never saw it coming and never wanted either. There was a long awkward silence that has never been there before, especially on the tables of breakfast, lunch, dinners, and dates.
'Here is your gift Veer. Open it.', said Ayesha.
'What is it Ayesha?', asked Veer.
'Freedom', said Ayesha and left.
Veer opened the box and there was a key to his flat. Veer realized the unspoken words now, the unthinkable, his end of responsibility that he unintentionally avoided led him here today, and the next moment he rushed towards Ayesha screaming her name. He hold her hand and said, 'I don't want freedom, I want you, Ayesha.' Let's talk!
'Who said it was your freedom, it is my freedom Veer', said Ayesha.
'Happy Birthday Veer'. (said, Ayesha)!
Ayesha left and went to a nearby coffee house, ordered a latte and sandwich. "Holding on and letting go" by Ross Cooperman was one of her favorite songs, she took a deep breath, plugged in earphones, and listened to it in the loop. She felt herself!
PS: When you leave it's not because your love wasn't enough, it's because you're tired of your love being taken for granted.