‘I lust for you.’
I told her the same, exact words without raising my gaze off the cup of coffee I held in my hand. As a matter of fact I did not have to. The effect of my words were already in motion. She had stopped sipping her shake. She was in a trance. Yes she was staring. And the stare grew stronger with every passing moment, gently applying its pressure on me.
Gently but firmly.
I summed up my courage and raised my eyes to look at her over the rim of my spectacles. Her face screamed ‘What???’ in silence.
I returned my gaze back to my coffee that grew colder with each passing second. The black had somehow learned to turn darker.
She had decided to break our silence stammering those exact words. This was turning out better, much better than I expected. Better than the slap I imagined. Better than the silent treatment, the ignoring spell that she had casted for the past two weeks. She had finally agreed to meet at Costa Coffee in Lulu Mall as a remedy to my desperation.
And this was that meet-up.
‘That is? Impossible?’, responded I looking up slowly with a pinch of sarcasm in my voice. I had begun to stare at her unintentionally. ‘You mean to say, that you, have nothing ‘lust worthy’ in you?’, I raised my arms at lust worthy to make air quotes.
‘Pretty much, yeah.’ she retorted.
I leaned back on my seat as I heard her, eyeing my surroundings. The café was packed with all kinds of people. I squinted my eyes as I brought my gaze back to her saying ‘sure, dear’ with an emphasis on the word dear. She hated that. And that never failed to appear on her face whenever I said so. This time was no different.
‘You are unbelievably pathetic’, she sighed. I was staring at the shake she had ordered. Oreo and Cookies. Her favorite. The glass was half empty. Others would point out it was half full. Even I would, any other day. But not today.
‘You are unbelievably pathetic. You have nowhere else to go so you finally turn to me?, she continued. Just ’cause Sherin got married, and Miriam rejected you? And you lust for me? How low can you stoop?’
I looked sideways smiling, as I heard these words come out of her sweet, wet lips with all the contempt in the world she could gather. I couldn’t stop smiling for some weird, fucked up reason. It was the same old story. I smiled as I heard the names Sherin and Miriam for the umpteenth time.
It always came down to this no matter what. She vs. all the ‘other women in my life’. I vs. Her insecurity. All the times I reasoned, my words somehow ended up at the bottom of the drain. She was somehow oblivious to the fact that she was surrounded by jerk-offs of all sizes, all ages who were trying their level best to get in her pants. I never wanted to join that sleazy line. I never wanted to be that random guy who messaged her on Facebook calling her beautiful or claiming that she owned a smile that could make any grown man cry. No. She meant a hell lot more than that to me.
But she was beautiful.
And she did own a smile that never failed to melt my insides.
Something I had stopped seeing a while back.
The woman who was seated in front of me, meant the world to me. And she had no fucking clue. And it wasn’t her fault. I’d never tried all these years to convey or describe the place where she resided inside my rib cage. It was a long story. But the bottom line was that she was the one. And the truth was, she never made it to the bottom line. Because I was that bad a storyteller.
I was that good an asshole.
The coffee that I had bought was as cold as ice now. And I hadn’t even tasted it yet.
I hated coffee.
I only ordered so that I could get to see her order her favorite.
Oreo and cookies.
And I lust for her, I said.
Such a selfish bastard.
Sounds believable than ‘I love you’ if you ask me. After all the shit she’s been through all these years ’cause of me, lust was the logical word.
‘Its complicated’, slowly I began as I leaned forward. She sat there unmoved. ‘It was terrifying’, I went on, glancing at the locket she wore around her slender neck. The same one which her mother had bought her when she went abroad for her holidays. It was beautiful, and she loved it. And I loved and envied it at the same time, only because it got the liberty to rest it’s arms around her neck while I couldn’t.
This was terrifying.
This was beautiful at the same time.
She cut me off as I tried to explain. She had had enough and she was not going to sit there and take this anymore. In fact that’s what she told me. ‘All these years, you’ve been nothing but an asshole, and now you expect me to believe this shit? Last year it was Sherin. Three months back it was Miriam. And now? I’m nobody’s last resort. I’m nobody’s rebound! Do you get that? Fucker??’
The fucker was loud enough to get us kicked out if it wasn’t for the rush, the crowd that was present there that evening. But she was on her feet and that expression on her face said it all. Every word. I still couldn’t take my eyes off her.
She walked out of the café and disappeared into the crowd outside as I sat there watching her go. I could have pulled her hand but I didn’t.
This was far from over.
Suddenly the speaker at Costa Coffee started playing Bob Dylan out of nowhere.
If You See Her, Say Hello…
‘Impeccable timing’, I muttered to myself amused.
‘I lust for you.’