Five00-3

Retrouvailles

Shalini never liked rain. Damp and misty mornings always intensified her desolation.

She sat beside the window sipping coffee with a memoir in her lap retrieved from the storeroom that morning. As she watched the rain, the phone rang.

“Hello, Di, How are you? It’s Megha here.” Shalini’s train of thought was disrupted by the sudden phone call.

“I am good Megha. Is this your number?”

“Yeah, this is a new one. I have come yesterday, Di. Can we meet today evening in our favourite café?”

“Today…” Shalini was a bit reluctant, but Megha insisted, “I want you to meet my fiancé.”

“Ok, I’ll be there,” unwarily said she, caressing her hand over a phone number below a half-finished diary entry.

“I’ll call him once”, thought she, disconnecting the phone.

It had been five years, since her dad passed away and her mom became wheelchair bound in an accident the very next day she returned from a trip to Shimla. She was 30 then, unmarried and decided to spend her life with her mom. But these days, she often feels lonely seeking some companion or a husband maybe. Megha was Shalini’s student cum friend whom she helped in every possible way with her books, notes and guidance.

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To go out on a rainy evening was the worst thing that could happen to her;  still she dressed in her favourite green salwar suit with light makeup and let loose her long hair with a small side clip. She always managed to look graceful.

As she entered the café, she saw Megha from a distance. She smiled cheerily and waved at her. But who is that sitting beside Megha? Her steps ceased seeing Abhi, she met at Shimla, 5 years back. In a moment, everything flashed in her mind, the half-finished diary entry, Abhi’s phone number, the promise she made in Shimla but could not keep. She was completely bewildered how should she react? Should she pretend?

“What are you thinking?” Megha pulled her hand towards the table and introduced her. “Abhi, this is…”

“I know, she is Shalini,” Abhi interrupted and winked at Megha. “I met her in Shimla, five years back, right Shalini?” This time Shalini was much more baffled as the word ‘fiancé’ rang in her ears. She didn’t know how to acknowledge, but nodded.

Sensing her unease, Megha got up and came close to Shalini. She put her hands over her shoulders, “Relax, Di, don’t get tensed, I know everything.”

“But ….” Before she could finish, Megha intervened, “Abhi is my boss, I met him six months back and we became good friends. It is then he told me about you and I could relate the whole incident.”

“And we planned to give you a surprise,” continued Abhi. But before she could react, Abhi held her left hand and put the ring into it.

Shalini was overjoyed. She never thought a rainy evening would turn her life from season of fall to blossoming spring.

*****