* Two Months Later… *
Nandini’s P.O.V ~
I wrapped my hands around the mug, enjoying the smell of coffee, the quiet hum of lights above me, but most importantly, I liked watching people. They were quite fascinating. Especially the ones who were brave enough to walk the city streets at the middle of the night.
I looked at the clock on the wall which showed 12:15 am. Whenever I couldn’t sleep, I headed to this place called
Dolly’s Kitchen. Clichè? Yes. But I liked being here.
Suddenly, the small bells hung at the door chimed, alerting the patrons and the staff that a new customer had arrived. I brought the hot cup closer to my lips and looked up to take a glance at the new customer. I wandered who’d come here at this time of the night? Maybe there was somebody else like me…
As soon as the new customer walked in, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Now you must be thinking what made me feel so. Well, it was him. It was none other than the Manik Malhotra. He was talking to the lady behind the counter, and didn’t really seem to notice me sitting in the corner.
Thank God he didn’t! I’d met him a couple of months ago. That’s not it! I had also embarrassed myself enough by crying in front of him over my tragic breakup story. Now definitely, I didn’t want to get noticed by him.
I let out a small gasp, quickly grabbing the book in front of me, and hiding my face behind it. As much as I wanted to go and meet him, I didn’t want to embarrass myself again.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Manik smiling at the lady who took his order. He mumbled a thank you, and looked in my direction. Dang! I quickly hid behind the book. But it looked like I wasn’t going to get away so easily.
His footsteps were clearly heard on the wooden floor, as he walked in my direction.
” Excuse me? ” He asked. I lowered my book a little, still hiding the part below my eyes.
” Yes? ” I asked.
” Can I sit here? ” He asked. Oh God, why? I thought and looked around the small place. There were four more tables, and he could’ve sat there. Then why did he come to me?
” Y-yeah… ” I said, not knowing how to say no. That would’ve been really rude of me. He smiled and sat down in front of me.
” Uh… you… ” He said once he was seated, but I cut him in between.
” Yeah? ” I asked, raising my voice a bit. Why was I so nervous?!
” Um… I think you’re reading the book upside down. ” He stated pointing towards the book in my hand.
” I… I like to read it that way. ” I said and heard him chuckle.
” Okay… ” He said. I sighed, and pretended to be really busy reading an upside-down book.
A few awkward silent moments passed, and I hadn’t turned a page in that time. Suddenly, I heard him clear his throat.
” Actually… I think I’ve seen you somewhere… ” He said.
Lie, Nandini, lie.
” No. No we haven’t seen each other before. ” I said quickly.
” Hmm… then why do I feel like- ” He said but I cut him in between.
” Even I felt like I’ve seen you before somewhere, but I haven’t. So chuck it. ” I said.
” Are you sure, we haven’t met? Your voice sounds familiar… ” He said. I sighed, holding the book with one hand in front of my face, and used my free hand to grab the cup of coffee. I felt so stupid…
I was so nervous, that I couldn’t see the cup which was sitting on the edge of the table, and I accidentally spilled all the coffee on my dress.
My night couldn’t have got worse than this. As an instant reaction, I kept the book aside, and grabbed some tissue papers from the box placed on the table. I frantically started rubbing the stain off my jeans, as I noticed Manik looking at me with a complete poker face. I decided to focus on my stained jeans instead.
” Nandini… ” He spoke.
Here we go…
Credit to: Nisha Malhotra