Written by: Samadrita
                        Saumyarup

“Relaxed. Enjoying coffee… location… Jitters Cafe, Southern Avenue,” she murmured while typing. Somebody said it right, a lot can happen over coffee. Rusha put down the phone and seemed restless.

“Would you like to order now, ma’am? ”

“No!” She replied for the second time and diverted her vision from the waiter.

Maybe, she will be lucky this time. Six months have passed and involuntary she time travelled in imagination. What if she didn’t react in that manner that night! What if… Things would be so different. Oh no! It’s almost half a year and nothing has returned to normalcy.

Suddenly a poke on her right shoulder brought Rusha back to her consciousness.

“Ryan! Finally! You are trapped.”

“Trapped? What does that mean? You will not change your habit of speaking like a CIA agent! Huh!”

“Okay, fine. You solve the riddle then. Answer me why I would travel kilometres and check in at Jitters?”

“Come on! Maybe your boyfriend suggested. Where is he?” (Ryan looks around)

“You are wrong. Last chance.”

“Maybe it’s near my office. Lol! How stupid I am! You would be the last person to consider this option. Okay ma’am I give up. Please clarify your motive.”

“Idiot! That was my plan. I knew you would rush in for a glance as soon as I would post my ‘check in.’ (She smiles wickedly)

“Seriously?! You haven’t changed a bit, Rhu! And for God’s sake, it’s a crap and not a trap!”

“Oh really? So why are you here? To have coffee for lunch? Haha!”

“Maybe to meet you for that one last time”

The awkward silence lasted for minutes before Ryan broke it.

“You have put on a little bit of weight, Rhu. But you look good- effect of newborn relationship! Ahaa! I understand.”

“What relationship? What boyfriend? Don’t talk shit…”

“Hey, Don’t lie. C’mon! So what does he do? Is he good enough for you? Does he take care of you and your PMS? My God! You become so clingy and your mood swings, Uff!”

“Stop! Stop! Stop! I am single. All of these ended when you left me. I don’t even remember how does it feel to be pampered.

“Are you kidding, Rhu? What about all those FB posts?”

“Another trap, honey! Just to make you burn in hell”

“What the f…!”

Ryan looked hopeless.

“I still wonder that things would have been so different if I wouldn’t have reacted like that. I am sorry Ryan. Your Rhu couldn’t tolerate the fact that you went to Tanya’s birthday party without informing me.

“But!…”

Rusha didn’t let him complete, She continued, “Did I ever force you to block her?  Did I ever stalk her and the texts you sent to her?  Never ever in spite of knowing that ‘that bitch’ is your ex. I never wanted to be one of those typical girlfriends but when I found that you met her in the party, got drunk and all, it was too much for me”

“Calm down, Rhu! Have some water.”

“Wait! Wait!”

Rusha started coughing after one sip.

“Oh God! Stop talking please. How many time I’ve warned you not to talk while drinking water? You haven’t changed a bit, always a chatterbox.

After pausing for a minute she again started, “I also saw that you are in a relationship, as per your Facebook profile”

Ryan nodded for a yes

“That is for the same purpose, right? To make me feel jealous.” She smirked.

He was staring down at the half empty glass

“You have failed miserably, mister! Your Rhu knows you the best. How will someone else accept you!”

“You were always special to me, Rusha! You were my ‘Rhu'”

“Now you have to repay me each and every minute of these six months- at least by paying this bill. Agreed?”

“My crazy li’l Rhu, grow up!”

“Okay. Now that you have come back I will. Pakkawala promise.

Ryan’s phone starts vibrating and beeping. “Let me check.” He interrupted.

“No messages, no phone calls and nothing on our dates. You forgot? You made this rule”

She snatched his phone away.

“Okay fine, miss CIA. Just excuse me for a minute. I need to go to the washroom”

“Sure! Call the waiter for the order. You do. Like before”

Ryan did so and entered the washroom. Standing in front of the mirror he couldn’t look at his own reflection.

His phone beeped again. Rusha looked at the screen. ‘Should I check?… Umm.. No! Don’t do that!’

The phone beeped for once more and her hesitation terminated into ‘Let me give it a try, this might be an emergency’

She typed ‘RhuCIA’ and the phone unlocked. A drop of tear started appearing at the corner of her eyes. Bitter happiness- she thought.

She opened the WhatsApp messenger. There were three messages popping from the chat of an unsaved number. There were two text messages ‘Hey!’ and ‘Where are you?”

The third one was a voice note, ” Ryan, where are you? Why aren’t your replying? You took a half day at office, isn’t it? Today it’s going to be the first day of our bridal shopping. I’m so excited. Don’tbe late. My parents are ready”

She got numb at first, then searched for the number from the Truecaller. It was TANYA.

“Would you like to order, ma’am? “the waiter disturbed her moment again.

 

Ryan returned from the washroom only to find an empty chair. The waiter came to him with a covered tray.

“Sir! This is for you. Ma’am ordered this. And there’s a note too”

The waiter put the lid away. It was Ryan’s favourite Red Velvet and the mousse that was a must for their date. The note read-

Congratulations on your wedding!!

You have repaid the debts.

Best wishes…

           Yours, 

             Rhu!

Her name was smudged by her tears.

Ryan asked, “What about the bill?”

“She paid already! Sir I forgot one thing! I’m extremely sorry. She issued a voucher for you in the name of Ryan and Tanya”

The audio started playing- ‘I have given you too much, I’m takin’ back my love.’ The lights on the signboard of Jitters cafe turned on.