Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sunglasses - A Short Story

She paused in her late morning hour to observe her day for a moment. She thought it was a busy day like most other busy days.  The main difference was that today she was going to meet him.  Noon hour was the agreed upon time.
She had originally proposed to meet a couple weeks ago but he declined and eventually rescheduled for today.  she had forgotten about what she wanted to tell him.  Whatever it was, it seemed unimportant now. But there was other things concerning her mind that she thought to share. But may be these would also deem unimportant in a few weeks.
While packing up her bag she received a text from him to meet in the patio of the cafe instead.  She sent a short response in agreement.  Then grabbed the sunblock and started applying it while walking to the door. At the exit door she realized she had forgotten to pack her sunglasses. She paused for a moment. She was already late. But he wanted to meet in the patio now and it was indeed a sunny day. She decided having a more comfortable lunch on the patio would perhaps increase the quality of their meeting, even if it was shortened by a few minutes.  Comfortable, however, was an ambitious wish for the meeting.
When she got there he was already sitting at a table. There was little patches if shade on the table provided by a neighboring tree.  He had hunched over his bowl of salad and some sort of meat. Healthy, she thought.
She approached the table from his left and casually apologized for her tardiness. He announced that it was a breezy day. It was indeed. She was enjoying feeling the wind in her hair now and thought why  he cared considering his short hair and long sleeve shirt.  She refrained from asking him.
She sat down with her dishes and started munching. She could hardly remember what possessed her to want to meet with him. To catch up yes. But that would take only a few minutes of sharing how she was and how her family was and how he was and how his family was.
He was finishing his salad. She was still playing around, finding small reasons to say something avoiding the eminent awkward silence awaiting their meeting.
She glanced at his wrist watch. Almost half an hour was remaining. She felt relieved knowing that she still had time yet anxious how to find the words to fill that time.
She couldn't read him. He looked calm, indifferent even.  The sun was on his face now and he made a shift in his sitting position. She was afraid to lose the moment. She was almost done with her meal.  Almost time to leave. May be it was best to leave now rather than starting the talk. What if she didn't tell him? Then he would find the meeting very boring perhaps. A waste of time. But what if she told him and later when she thought about it she realized that she exposed herself too much in her talk? She tend to do that.  After all the subject seemed utmost important now. How could she possibly prevent damage from this meeting?
Suddenly the moment arrived. It got triggered by his question. The question landed on her like an unexpected patch of shade. So she started telling him. All she could manage saying. She was not sure when to pause or if she should pause or if she wanted to pause. She wondered if she was crossing the line of confidence. At times she found her voice trembling ever so slightly. Her eyes welled with tears a couple times but she tried hard to sound professional and poised. But eyes. They can never betray.
She told him at last. Done.
He stood up to leave. She followed.  The meeting was officially over. Nothing more to say. Back to the usual life.
She started back trying to walk tall. Good that she was wearing her sunglasses.

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