The laburnum

The wind blew harder. Never hard enough to mar her vision, yet hard. Her loosely tied hair was now let open, gently caressed by the moving air. The flowing dupatta made her happy. Thanks to all those less womanly days of formals and jeans. She truly enjoyed the femininity bestowed upon her by the curves and in-shape tailoring of her salwar. After years, she remembered to pin the shawl and cover her bosom and the deep neck line. She was wondering yet how long she took to dress up for the casual meeting with him. Why would a cup of coffee demand so much of touch up? May be its not the coffee. May be it’s him. May be it’s him after so many years.

“The conversation was pretty short, wasn’t it?”, she asked herself. May be I hurried to break the ice. I should have given him a chance to start the conversation, atleast now. For every time in the past, he wanted to talk and win me over. Poor thing. I never gave him a chance. Or may be, he wouldn’t have wanted to talk at all. After so many years of silence, may be he forgot to talk anymore. Perhaps, he’d have been too worried to choose the right words and lay the perfect situation for talking.I’m usually right. And almost always right, about anything vaguely relating to him.

The phone vibrated in the leather pouch, held tight in her hands. She would have always yearned for somebody to call. But now, the vibration seemed to disturb her. She didn’t want to feel anything other than the chill of the wind. She took the phone, to turn it off. The call ended as she took it. She glanced at the clock. She was way late. It’s almost turning six. She should have been at Ann’s at five. Dialling him immediately, she cursed her tight schedule. The laburnum laid pathway was so welcoming that she didn’t want to walk back. The drooping laburnum bunches and their yellow glow were mesmerising. The evening sun could be the most unforgettable sight of the day. She craved to make it to the beach. But the choice was between him and the sea. And it didn’t take a second long for her to decide. She turned and looked around for a taxi to reach Ann’s. Perhaps, she missed something. She waited and went back to the laburnum. She disconnected the unattended call, and clicked her mobile camera. That was the best shot of her life.

Turning back, she got into the next taxi that came her way and sent him a text apologising for the delay, begging him to wait.

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