Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Bitter Coffee

This corner side cafe occupied a special place in my life. I discovered it when I moved to the city to start my professional career. This was on the way to my workplace. One quick skip and hop to get a coffee once in a while. As time passed, this gradually developed into a routine. Somewhere over the course of the first year in this locality, I developed a personal bond with this café.

She joined my office a year after me. And as someone who was of almost same age as her but had a year or so experience in the group, I was assigned to mentor and on-board her. The frequent interactions initially were professional. And as it invariably happens in a lot of such situations, somewhere the professional barriers got breached and we encroached into each other’s personal spaces. It was during one of our initial interactions in office that I suggested to head out for a coffee at this café and she came along. Slowly, as our relationship blossomed, the café and its corner table became a very usual setting.  We shared out thoughts, aspirations and dreams over countless cups of coffee. We dreamt about a dream wedding, an unforgettable honeymoon and a happy married life sitting under the roof of this coffee shop delightfully savoring lattes and cappuccinos.

Somewhere along, the world of idealism gave way to the pragmatism of real life scenarios. There were wedges between us, the clashes became one too often. And at last, yesterday, the Sunday before Christmas, at the entrance of this very café, this very location that had become a part of us and our relationship, she said goodbye and good luck to me one final time. Around us, as the melodious Christmas carnival drumbeats echoed, she walked away from me and from us, the final time.

Yesterday is over, and I know I won’t get over it anytime soon. I came up to the cashier as usual today morning and ordered a cup, tall and black. This cuppa, this Joe in my hand, is my last from this café. The coffee today tastes particularly bitter, and the reason is not the sugar I failed to add. Too many memories clog my veins, too much nostalgia lingers enclosed within these walls. Goodbye, dear café. Maybe our paths might cross someday in future. I, for one, wouldn’t bet on it though.

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