The Coffee Shop
The Coffee Shop
It was already dark by then.
A few stars were already visible in the sky. There were not many people at the coffee shop. Dhruv and Ariana both went for the table which was farthest from the counter and they sat there facing each other. The café was dimly lit with every table having a little aquarium placed on top of it. And that aquarium was also a lamp, glittering in different colors making their faces look different with every color.
While Dhruv was skimming through the menu and asking for suggestions, a waiter came by to take the orders. And before Dhruv could decide what to order, Ariana shouted to the waiter- “Two coffees and one- garlic fries!”
As the waiter hurled away, and Dhruv stared at Ariana in surprise, she asked, “What!!”
“You didn’t even ask me what I want?” said Dhruv making his face twitch a little.
“But I had already asked you,” replied Ariana copying his face and smiling broadly, “I asked you at the seashore for the coffee, didn’t I? I suppose that’s why we are here, aren’t we Dhruv?” As she said this she was already laughing and looking at his expression.
“Fair enough, young lady!” retorted Dhruv with his smile, even more, twitched, “Well then, what about the Garlic fries? I suppose it was not a part of the deal or was it?”
“Oh don’t worry about that, young man!” snapped Ariana, waving her arm in a careless manner, “These are complementary.”
The two of them were now smiling, looking at each other’s faces which were changing colors with the aquarium.
Neither of them said a word for a while until their order arrived.
The waiter came holding a tray in his hands, placed their order on the table, and walked away with a smile.
The two of them took the mugs of coffee in their hands. Before they took their first sip Dhruv raised his cup a little up in the air and moving it a little towards Ariana he said, “To a new friend!”
She gave him a smile and raised her cup in the air and took it closer to his cup, she said, “To an old-new friend!” And together they touched their caps in the air making a clinking sound and then took their first sip together. Dhruv noticed the word ‘old’ in her toast but decided to ignore it.
Both of them were smiling at each other sneaking glances at each other’s faces while they had their coffee and helped themselves with the garlic fries.
Finally breaking the uncomfortable silence, Dhruv said, “So… How long are you staying here?”
She took another sip from her coffee and looked at his face from the mug. Dhruv was looking at her face now and saw her smile fade a little. Perhaps she realized that they had only just met. And soon will have to part their ways again. Dhruv would be with his friends who should be returning from their boat party any time now. And she would be alone once again, on her own.
She looked at him a little longer before she could come up with an answer and with a faded smile returning to her lips, she said, “Well… Ummm… I haven’t yet thought about that. I haven’t planned for the next destination yet. Maybe tomorrow… maybe the day after tomorrow.” She couldn’t look at his face anymore and slipped her face behind the coffee mug.
Dhruv had noticed the change in her expressions and wished that they could spend a little more time together. Making up his mind with a smile returning on his face he said, “Well, why don’t you join us on our trip? I am on a trip with my friends and it is about a week long. We would be covering plenty of places. I suppose it would be nomadic for you as well and together we can have a lot of fun. What do you say, Ariana?” He was already excited about the proposal.
Ariana’s sweet smile returned once again to her face and without giving any second thought to the proposal she said yes.
The two of them looked at each other in admiration without blinking an eye. A slight affection was already building in the air and soon they realized how happy they were in each other’s company.
After a couple of minutes, Dhruv’s cell phone began ringing. He looked at his phone and raised it up to let Ariana have a look at the screen. Guessing her ignorant look at the phone he announced, “It appears the boat party is here…”
Dhruv’s friends from the boat party had called him to inform him that they had already arrived and would be joining him in the café.
Ariana hesitated but didn’t let her facial expressions change. While Dhruv was making up exciting plans, Ariana excused herself to the restroom.
Dhruv’s friends arrived at the coffee shop in a short while and found Dhruv sitting at the farthest corner table- alone and with two mugs of coffee placed upon the table. Ariana never returned from the restroom…